Antonio Brown has already had issues with Mike Tomlin this season. The Steelers wideout may have conflict with Ben Roethlisberger now.
The Pittsburgh Steelers locker room has already had more than its share of drama this season. Unfortunately for Mike Tomlin, he may need to deal with even more soon. Antonio Brown’s recent words about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could spark even more conflict in the Steel City.
Brown hasn’t started the season poorly, but he hasn’t been producing big plays at his normal clip. He’s clearly one of the most talented wideouts in the NFL, but he’s actually trailing Juju Smith-Schuster in terms of receptions and yards. Evidently, being the second most productive pass catcher on his own team isn’t sitting well with Brown.
Things got a little tense yesterday when a reporter asked Brown about his relatively slow start. He quickly told the media present that they should watch the tape. He clearly feels like he’s still getting open despite facing tons of attention from opposing defenses. In fairness to Brown, he does draw the opponents’ best defensive back (or backs, as he sees plenty of double coverage) on a weekly basis.
Things took an awkward turn with Brown and the media after his initial, pretty mundane response. He made the point to the media that he “can’t throw it to himself.” He didn’t mention Roethlisberger by name, but it was a clear shot at his franchise quarterback.
Immediately after those fateful words, Brown tried to engage in some significant damage control. He talked about how he was fine as long as his team is winning. It was a bit of an attempt to put toothpaste back into the tube. He obviously couldn’t rewind time and take what he said about Roethlisberger back.
Expect Big Ben to make a point of addressing Brown about his remarks. Both players have strong personalities, but fortunately for Steelers fans, they have years of history working together. Roethlisberger knows that Brown is fond of saying things without thinking them through. He also understands that his wide receiver’s confident nature is part of what makes him a great player. Expect the two to mend fences before a real rift is given an opportunity to form.
In fact, Brown’s comments might even get a few more balls thrown his way in the coming weeks. It might serve Roethlisberger well to remember just how good Brown is. With all due respect to JuJu Smith-Schuster, there’s no question who Pittsburgh’s most dangerous wideout is.
Steelers fans shouldn’t expect a meaningful conflict to emerge between Roethlisberger and Brown, but stranger things have happened. It’s a relationship worth watching as the season moves forward.