Antonio Brown Intent On Teaching Younger Players About The Steelers History & Tradition

The 2012 season that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown had wasn\’t a smashing follow-up to the breakout year that he had in 2011, but the fourth year Central Michigan product certainly is saying and doing all of the right things to ensure that he, and the team, move forward.

Brown was recently interviewed by Teresa Varley of when he stopped in at the Steelers facility to workout and you have to admire the things that he told her as reflected back on the 8-8 season and looked forward to 2013.

“You have to do something to better yourself every day,” Brown told Varley. “You have to take a step every day to be your best.

“If you want to be your best, you have to outwork your opponent. My opponent is not just someone I am competing against, but I am my biggest opponent. I know if I compete against myself every day I am working to be my best. That is something I always take pride in, working to better myself.”

Brown has already established himself as player that takes very little time off in the offseason. During the 2011 lockout, for example, Brown kept himself in shape by working out with Chad Johnson, Donte Stallworth, Plaxico Burress and others down in Miami. The result of that work, combined with Hines Ward and Emmanuel Sanders starting off training camp on the sidelines, resulted in him having a monster season which included him registering 2,048 yards of all-purpose yardage and him earning his first Pro Bowl selection. He was also voted the Steelers team MVP in addition.

The biggest chore for Brown heading into 2013 will be him potentially serving as the leader of the wide receiver group moving forward, and it\’s a role that he seems ready to embrace. The Steelers figure to address the wide receiver position in the draft, and depending on what ultimately happens with Jerricho Cotchery, who is currently under contract for 2013, and Burress, who is currently an unrestricted free agent, Brown could wind up being the most experienced of the group.

Brown intends on not only leading by example, but also by teaching what it means to be part of a great organization like the Steelers, which is something that he takes seriously.

“We have a lot of young guys,” Brown said, via the report by Varley. “A lot of guys haven’t been around here for the history of this team. I want to make sure guys understand the importance of being here, the tradition and what is required from our peers, coaches and everybody inside this building. You have to know the history of something if you are a part of it. You have to know where it started, where it came from and what it’s about. You know where you are with it now and where you want to go. I can help teach guys about that and take that type of approach.

“Every man here has to understand the importance of what the Steelers logo stands for, the men that came before us and wore the jersey and we have to understand the importance of it, be humbled by it and work with that mentality.”

Music to your ears, is it not?

The Steelers certainly have a few question marks surrounding the wide receiver position heading into the 2013 but Brown is not one of them. He was signed to an extension during training camp last year and has stated recently that he wants to be a Steeler for life. The 2012 Steeler team had spotty leadership and it looks like Brown is ready to make sure that doesn\’t happen in 2013. Hopefully his words and attitude wind up being infectious and results in a few more younger players on both sides of the ball following his lead.

  • DoctorNoah

    I love the sound of loyalty.

    Here is my question to Dave and company: can you make a financial argument for team loyalty and sticking with (for example) the Steelers. Assuming a player is talented (Pro Bowl caliber maybe), does success (HOF? Successful enterprise or post-football career? Staying out of bankruptcy and prison? Not getting shot at a nightclub?) correlate with longevity with a single team? Have players who left for big money in Free Agency been successful after?

    It would be very interesting to see what metrics could evolve to evaluate this.

    Would Lambert or Greene or Bradshaw, or even Ilken or Webster be so beloved by fans had they left Pittsburgh? Will Joey Porter be successful after football? Where does Rod Woodson for in: typical or anomalous?

  • steeltown

    Absolutely love this guy

    Had a couple fumbles in 2012 (only lost one) but other than that this guy is money. He missed 3games with that high ankle sprain otherwise he wouldve been around 1,000yds again this year

  • JPDQ

    Does knowing the importance of the Steelers history and being
    “humbled” by it include strutting 10 yards downfield and pointing
    towards the end zone after EVERY friggin’ first down?

    Talk is cheap, AB. Just prove it on the field.

  • WilliamSekinger

    It’s too bad Mike Wallace didn’t learn the team’s or the ownership’s history before holding out last season. If he had known common sense woulld have told him to report to camp. Possibly he and the Steelers would have had a better showing.

  • Garrett Hunt

    He likes to celebrate his hard work. What’s wrong with that?

  • RMSteeler

    Each NFL team seems to have a personality, whether perceived by the public as good, mediocre, or bad. Since 1970, no team has had more success, and it could be debated that there has been no team tougher team than the Steelers. This past season, the Steelers looked very different than teams of the past. The whole season, it seemed that the body language, particularly of the offense was that they struggled with confidence. After watching the playoffs and Superbowl, I was left thinking “Wow, it’s probably a good thing the Steelers didn’t get in this year. We couldn’t hang with any of them offensively”. Yes, I know we were within 4 points of sweeping the eventual SB champs with backup QB’s, but I’d have to say that was due to the defense. In the playoffs it seemed every single offensive line exploded at the snap and drove defenders back and opened up running lanes. Go back and look at the body language of the offense of the Steelers last season. Was it a lack of leadership? Coaching? Someone(s) gonna have to light a fire under the offense next season. I watched rookies on both offense and defense on playoff teams play with confidence I did not see consistently with the Steelers. I don’t want to hear the “injuries” drone as an excuse, because other teams in the playoffs had as many or more key injuries. The difference is that the next guy up on other teams came in an played with confidence. Yeah, it was a new system, but look at SF. They installed a new one halfway through the season and thrived. Why is the defense satisfied with just occupying space (after being pushed back 3 yards) in our 3-4 defense while saying that’s to let the linebackers make the plays, when others running the same system explode at the snap and push the pocket back? Wouldn’t that help the linebackers? The coaches and the players need to do some soul searching this offseason, and the Steeler’s “attitude” needs to return to both sides of the ball. I’d like nothing better to even see an offensive lineman false start and pancake the man opposite him early in the first game. Then return to the huddle to high fives! The same goes for a defensive lineman. Beat the snap by a count and roll a guard or center onto his back! Each side make an early statement in the first series of the game on each side of the ball! Let the NFL know that the “real” Steelers are back!

  • JPDQ

    Just a difference of opinion about the way professional sports should be played, I guess. The same reason the guy bagging my groceries doesn’t celebrate when he somehow manages to get all my frozen items, canned goods and vegetables into separate bags – it’s his job, that’s why. When you do something GREAT, celebrate. When you catch a six yard out for a first down, flip the ball to the official, go back to the huddle and do it again.

  • steeltown

    I have to agree with you there if it was a 3rd & 25 and he made a first down by all means celebrate alittle bit, but not after a routine 5-10yd play and especially not when we’re trailing on the score board

  • Garrett Hunt

    I guess you are right, it is a difference of opinion. The guy bagging your groceries hasn’t dedicated his whole life and put in countless hours to bagging like NFL players have done for playing football. I am not saying that I would celebrate after every first down or see it as necessary, but at the same time I don’t have a problem with it either.

    However, things like the play last season where he ran the last 10 yards backwards into the endzone does cross the line to me. So I would have to agree and say he isn’t completely humbled.

  • I am old school. Pretend like you have done a million times. I hate how he reacts after a catch. Dude just drop the ball and run back to the huddle. Really my only complaint about Brown.

  • Jake

    Absolutely no pleasing most Steelers fans. All read about is how we need a leader to step up and take charge of keeping everybody’s head in the game. Now Brown comes out and says that he is going to teach younger players about the tradition of the Steelers, and everybody $#!ts all over him. Its pretty embarrassing to be a part of Steeler nation because its fanbase is acting like a bunch of eagles fans.

  • JPDQ

    I see your point to an extent, but the fact remains that catching a football is the bulk of what he’s being paid very handsomely to do. And the fact that he’s done it for years and years only supports my theory that it should be a routine action, not something that warrants excessive “look at me, look at me, look at me” posturing.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s not Deion Sanders or anything, and frankly, everything I’ve seen and read about AB off the field makes me think he’s a really good guy – which is why I guess it particularly irritates me when he does that crap on the field. As another poster pointed out, there seems to be a disconnect between what he says and what he does. That’s all I’m saying.

  • zyzak

    This guy is a bigger pain than Wallace, he is way over paid

  • JPDQ

    To vbarzey above:

    You’re right. You caught me red-handed and called me out… I’m not a real Steelers fan because I don’t like self-congratulatory, overpaid, showboating athletes. Our team would be better off with some Terrell Owens/Warren Sapp/Michael Irvin type guys.

    In fact, I think Ben should take off his helmet and point up at the sky every time he completes a screen pass; Rashard should do cartwheels when he crosses the line of scrimmage, and Ike Taylor should wave his hands in front of his face and “swag” even harder every time he deflects a pass (oh wait, he already does that. God knows what he’d do if he actually intercepted a football).

    While we’re at it, Mike Tomlin should run up and down the sidelines high-fiving the rest of his coaches when he wins a challenge or decides to run one of his super secret two-point conversion plays.

    It would all make this TEAM sport so much more enjoyable!

    But maybe, just maybe… it’s YOU that don’t remember how the Steelers used to play football – you know, when guys just made a habit out of kicking the other guy’s ass and didn’t have to announce it to the world with hollow, choreographed antics.

    Whatever – to each his own. You like celebrations, I don’t. AB’s a good receiver, not great. Hines Ward is unquestionably and statistically one of, if not the SINGLE GREATEST receiver this franchise has ever known. It’ll be a while before Antonio Brown earns that kind of status. I won’t argue that he’s the best receiver on the Steelers, but really — is that saying much?

  • Garrett Hunt

    Who on the Steelers didn’t catch fumbleitous? Hopefully the new Mann in town can help with that issue. As long as Brown stays healthy I can see a big season for him. Especially with Wallace all but gone as long as he steps up to take the true #1 receiver role.

  • steeltown

    I agree.. not sure he’ll be a true #1 WR, but he’ll still be the man (think Hines Ward) AB’s work ethic speaks volumes, I watched a couple clips of his daily routine and workouts, in one he literally road his bicycle (not his Corvette or Ferrari) to the facility and then proceeded to due his training. First there, last to leave mentality and if he truly has that and teaches that to any new guys coming in I am glad to have him.. I think thats one of the main reasons they signed him long term, his overall attitude and work ethic (not to mention he was the first NFL player ever to have 1,000yds rec. and 1,000kick return yds in a single season, that helps ha!)

  • SteelSpine

    JPDQ: you’re right top to bottom. Enjoyed your comparisons/sarcasm. Pown’d.

    Vbarzey: Sorry because on so many other topics you were one who had the guts to tell it like it is. For you who’s been critical of players coaches on here to then call anyone who wants Steelers to improve “fake Steeler fans”, is strange.