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Steelers WR Antonio Brown Says Players Like Himself Need To Step It Up Next Season

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown visited Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh recently and said during an interview with KDKA-TV that he plans to take on more of a leadership role next season and that he wants to be a Steeler for life.

Brown was asked during the interview how difficult it will be should fellow wide receiver Mike Wallace end up leaving via free agency this offseason.

“We got to do what we got to do,” Brown said. “Guys got to step up, guys like myself and we have to take this team to the next level”

Brown was then asked if he is ready to take over the number one spot should Wallace not return.

“I\’m definitely willing and capable,” said Brown. “I\’m definitely going to give my team all I got and I\’m looking forward to giving the city my best. I\’m taking things more serious, understanding the emphasis on things and definitely willing to give my all and continue to grow as this journey continues unfolding.”

Brown was then asked how important it is to him to be a Steeler for life and if he would be willing to sacrifice money down the road to ensure that happens.

“I’d sacrifice whatever I\’ve got to take,” he said. “I know how special it is to be here. It\’s definitely a fit for me. You don\’t want to be a journey guy in this league. You want to establish yourself at one place and know that when people come, that\’s where your at and that\’s where you\’re going to be. You don\’t want to bounce around this league and have guys say you was good for a little bit, and you chasing after different things other than your respect for the game. I love this game and respect this game, and know what I\’m a part of is something bigger than me. I definitely feel the specialness of me being here, and I appreciate that fact.

Brown, who didn\’t have a great follow-up to his breakout 2011 season, is certainly saying all of the right things. He now has his first big contract underneath his belt and will be relied upon heavily to be a leader and main contributor in 2013. The Steelers sorely missed the leadership of Hines Ward last season and they will need more leaders to step forward next season if they are to rebound from their disappointing 8-8 record.

You can watch the full interview in the video below.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Jollyrob68

    Look forward to your continued growth.

  • steeltown

    Love this guy

  • Garrett Hunt

    Maybe a message to Wallace??

  • Garrett Hunt

    I think Brown and DeAndre Hopkins would be a good 1 2 combo. Would remind me of Roddy White – Julio Jones combo

  • Mike Carroll

    I like Brown and look forward to seeing how he handles himself next year. There are definitely some things he could look to improve upon in terms of both his play and demeanor from last season. I still am doubtful that Brown can be a quality number one receiver and think the Steelers overpaid a little bit for him. Unfortunately, his size is a real factor in that equation. He looks small compared to even Mike Wallace.

  • steeltown

    Yes, but look at a guy like Steve Smith or even Santana Moss .. small yet still used to strike fear into opposing Defenses. I sort of agree though, intodays League he isnt really a true #1, but the Steelers have always done things differently, look at Hines Ward, he stuck it out through the yrs, through Burress and Holmes because of his drive and attitude. I think the Steelers paid up for Brown half for his athletic ability 1,000yds rec and 1,000kick return yds in a single season BUT also for his tenacity, drive and work ethic.. you can find OL and DL and LB etc with that drive and mindset BUT Its hard to find WR’s with that kind of attitude

  • steeltown

    Would LOVE to get Hopkins

  • Mike Carroll

    I like the drive and motivation Brown has as well. That’s why I am hopeful he uses those tools to focus on fixing problems in his game from last year. But, I think his size will keep him from ever being a true number one. Hines wasn’t a big receiver, but he still had 2 inches and 20 lbs on Brown and that’s fairly significant.

    I agree that Brown can be a great return guy and that does add a valuable dimension to him. I guess I kind of forgot about that since he only handled punts last year and didn’t have such a great season with them. I know part of the issue was penalties, but I was furious when Brown failed to catch several punts last season. Again though, I am hopeful he will be motivated to improve his game this year. And I’d love to see the team use him for both kickoff and punt returns as he did in 2011, but I know that’s a tough call without more depth at the receiver position.

  • Broderick Wallace

    What!? You must mean a shorter version. Brown is 5’10 and Hopkins is 6’1. White is 6’0 and Jones is 6’3. Apples and oranges comparison.

  • Garrett Hunt

    Height is far from the only stat important for receivers my friend. Also, Hopkins is only 6’1 but plays bigger because of his body control and basketball experience, like Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham. This past offseason was the first time Hopkins focused solely on football instead of playing for the Clemson basketball team and look what happend! Yes, a shorter version technically, but I wouldn’t call them apples and oranges.

  • Garrett Hunt

    Me too, but the only way I see it happening is trading down/up to the beginning of the second. Unless he wows at the combine and stuff and they believe he is worth the #17 pick. I don’t think there is any chance he is there when we pick in the 2nd.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. It would be nice if he had 20lbs on him and still could have his short area quickness.
    I dont think we’ll see him playing too much in the return game. Like you said we dont have the depth at WR to risk him there, but I still think he’ll contribute some in the return game.
    Also lets not forget Sanders is an explosive, quick guy too and we have Gilreath back on roster.. both are very fast guys who can return kicks and neither is being paid BIG bucks at the moment, the risk is far less with those two

  • steeltown

    Agreed. You read my mind. We would need to either trade way back and accumulate extra pick(s) and/or trade up in the 2nd… I dont really see either of those happening unfortunately, sad to, I think Hopkins is something special

  • steeltown

    Hopkins will be a superstar in the League at some point… I truly believe it

  • Garrett Hunt

    On the same page man, I think the same. He was the star of the offense on a team with Andre Ellington and Sammy Watkins. Well he and Tajh Boyd were the stars.

  • Pete

    I think Brown can be a #1 or fill in until we get another very good WR. Brown can put up some great numbers. Last year was a wash. Too many distractions, poor concentration, and a leadership void. I can’t wait to see who the Steelers bring in as receivers. They have a good group even without Wallace. This is one of the best draft positions they’ve had in years so I’m excited to see who they’ll pick up.

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