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 steelers.com 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.