Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown caught 110 passes in 2013, but with three more he would have broken the franchise single-season record that Hines Ward set in 2002. During a Monday appearance on ESPN’s “Highly Questionable“, Brown admitted that in the season finale against the Cleveland Browns, that that was likely the maddest he’s ever been with a teammate or coach, because he really wanted to break that record.
“Probably the last game of the season,” admitted Brown. “I knew I was in tune with probably breaking Hines Ward’s record with two more catches, so I think my attitude with getting the ball was a little bit more – my frustration with getting the ball when I was open was a little bit more different than the other games when I was able to control that mentality and able to work with poise under pressure.”
Brown, however, was willing to admit how detrimental those actions were to the team and how they rubbed at least one of his teammates the wrong way.
“I feel like it was selfish,” he said. “You know I got a great quarterback and he loves me, and we’ve got a great relationship, and I think that no one [sic] on our staff didn’t want to help me achieve that record. But when they see that attitude and selfishness, that kind of draws guys away from you. Ben [Roethlisberger] didn’t answer my phone call for about a week. It took a week for him to really respond to me.”
Brown said he tried to reach out several times to Ben Roethlisberger via phone and text from the Pro Bowl in Hawaii to no avail. When he finally did get to talk to his quarterback, Brown said his quarterback pretty much let him have it.
“The first thing he said, ‘Man, I don’t want to talk to you when you’re like that, man. You’re not infectious and contagious when your attitude is like that. I don’t want my son to root for you for you.’ And that’s what meant the most to me when he said, ‘I don’t want my kids to root for you when you’re like that, because here they are watching you as a great player and they got so many positive images in their head about you, and then I got to deal with the attitude.’”
It’s good to know that Roethlisberger put Brown in his place and hopefully the young wide receiver will remember this moving forward. He still managed to break the franchise single-season receiving yardage record that belonged to Yancey Thigpen, so at least he has that feather in his cap.
You can listed to the full interview with Brown that begins around the 7:18 mark in the audio below.