Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – WR Antonio Brown

By Matthew Marczi

End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.

Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.

Player: Antonio Brown

Position: Wide Receiver

Experience: 4 Years

The 2013 season was the first in Antonio Brown’s career in which he was asked to be the top receiving threat for Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers after Mike Wallace chased the big contract in free agency. There were a lot of questions surrounding him in the offseason, and he spent much of the year answering them.

The miniscule receiver set career-, franchise-, and league-best numbers in 2013 en route to his second Pro Bowl trip and a nomination to the second-team All-Pro team behind Calvin Johnson and Josh Gordon.

Brown became the first player in NFL history to catch at least five passes in every game of the regular season in addition to gaining at least 50 receiving yards. To think that nobody in the history of the league had done that before, and that Brown was the first to do so, is pretty remarkable. It is the embodiment of consistency.

More locally, Brown’s 1499 receiving yards easily surpassed the previous franchise record set by Yancey Thigpen in 1997, topping the previous 1398-yard mark by more than 100 yards. Brown also became only the second player in franchise history with triple-digit receptions in a season, falling just two shy of matching Hines Ward’s record 112 receptions.

Perhaps most importantly, he showed that he could replicate Wallace where it mattered most—in the end zone. Brown had a career-best eight touchdowns in 2013 after having just seven total in his previous three years. That, personally, was my biggest concern about him as the top target entering this season.

Brown put up some monster individual games stats throughout the year, three times exceeding 130 receiving yards. In Week Three, he came four yards shy of reaching 200 yards. He also twice scored multiple touchdowns in a game.

In one three-week span, he recorded 30 receptions. He had at least nine receptions in a game five times. And despite the high volume of use, he still averaged 13.6 yards per reception. Part of that is due to the fact that Brown forced 16 missed tackles on the year and accumulated 657 yards after the catch, or 6 yards per reception.

Toward the end of the season, Brown began to display some focus issues, dropping a pass in each of the last five games. Still, eight drops for the season on 159 targets is not bad at all, and he finished 15th in the league in the drop rate category among receivers with at least 50 percent of the team’s snaps played.

Roethlisberger had a completion percentage of nearly 70 when targeting Brown in 2013, while Brown’s 2.37 yards per route run ranked fifth in the league. He had a spectacular season, all things considered, and I expect him to continue to be among the best in the league in 2014.

Previous Articles In This Series
Steelers End Of Season Player Exit Meetings – QB Ben Roethlisberger

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • steeltown

    Yes sir, love this guy.. im hoping Wheaton models his game or atleast his training around A.Brown

  • Deuce22

    The best thing about AB is his training on and off the field. From what I have heard, he is usually the first one on the practice field, and last to leave. Then he heads to the weight room to get more reps in. I think that AB plays with a chip on his shoulder as some people doubted his abilities because of his size. He is one of the most electrifying players in this league and his open field quickness and agility is something you can’t teach. He is also a very humble player as he is excited when people show up wearing his jersey. Always willing to stop by and say hi to fans and appreciate them.

  • Callentown

    Gotta hand it to AB. He’s legit and has worked his butt off to achieve it.

    JUST IMAGINE if a #2 develops or joins the team, how good this guy could be.

    He basically did all of this with no real TE receiving threat and an average #2 in Sanders across from him. The rest was him and Ben.

  • Jeff

    Colbert & Co. look like geniuses for getting a long term deal done with all the controversy surrounding Wallace….. And now look, AB is leaps and bounds better than Wallace for a lot cheaper

  • DrakePirate

    Yes, really hoping Wheaton is a sponge to AB and gets hot quickly … I see Wheaton as a good slot guy, would love to pick up a Big WR for the #2 !

  • Willoughby Spitt

    I keep REPEATING the fact that Wheaton is gonna’ BEAST out in 2014! He’s going with AB to work out with Tom Shaw in Florida this offseason. Wheaton ALREADY knew the ENTIRE route tree this past season as a rookie but J-Cotch’ balled out & Wheaton busted up his digit, etc. Mark my words for @ least the fifth time in a post, Marcus’ll be hella straight this upcoming season. We need a #3 WR to step up or to draft one. Here We Go STEELERS, Here We Go!!!