Jesse James On Antonio Brown: ‘If There’s Any Receiver Who Could Get MVP, It’s Him’

It is incredibly difficult for a wide receiver to even enter the discussion of Most Valuable Player for the entire NFL, let alone to actually win it. All one need do is consider the fact that a wide receiver has never won the award, even though Jerry Rice is considered by many the greatest football player ever.

That Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers have now thrust himself into the conversation is in itself a remarkable achievement that he himself acknowledges, recently telling reporters following a 213-yard game, “to even be mentioned with those guys is something special”, making reference to playing in “a quarterback league”.

Chances are, a quarterback is still going to win the award when all is said and done. Following some key injuries this season, it could end up defaulting once again to Tom Brady, who even after an unspectacular showing against the Dolphins, is still having a very good year.

Through the first 13 games, the man many now consider the greatest player ever, even over Rice, or Jim Brown, has 27 touchdown passes to just six interceptions, averaging over eight yards per attempt with a 67.4 completion percentage, nearing 4000 passing yards on the season.

That is a very good season for a quarterback. But it is no longer remarkable. The pace that Brown is on remains in that lofty territory of “he shouldn’t be able to do that”. projected to finish with 122 receptions for 1857 yards and 10 or 11 touchdowns, which would be among the top handful greatest seasons a wide receiver has ever had. And Brown should know, as he has already had one or two of them before.

One of his biggest obstacles might end up being his own success, as if the Steelers clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs early, he figures to sit out a game, as he did last year, which hurt his statistics and caused him to lose the reception title to Larry Fitzgerald.

But if we really look at the value of each individual player based on the tape, I really think that Brown has an excellent point of contention to make, especially in his performance over the course of the past month.

Not only has he simply been excellent on the field in the little nuances of the game, he has repeatedly come up with huge receptions in huge moments, from the first game of the season against the Browns to the last game in the division-clincher against the Ravens. You want value? He’s all value.

His teammate, Jesse James, agrees that he deserves to be in the discussion. “If there’s any receiver who could get MVP, it’s him”, he said. “Plays that shouldn’t happen, he makes plays on. Balls that shouldn’t be caught, he gets his feet in. He makes the best play look like it’s easy for him. Best receiver in the game, there’s no doubt”.

It’s hard to argue with that. All you need is eyes and a highlight reel.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Conserv_58

    There are some great receivers in the NFL, most of whom were big names playing for big college programs, whom were high round picks in the NFL draft and with measurables that teams covet. Antonio had none of that when entered the draft from a small school. He was an unknown who’s pre-draft wrap sheet was not rife with glowing superlatives. In fact it was the opposite and it was those slights that drive him to this day. Being selected in the sixth round of the draft by the Steelers was seen by most Steelers fans as not being note worthy. What we had come to realize is that the Steelers scouting staff unearthed a rare gem. With some polishing by the Steelers’ coaching staff and an obsessive compulsive drive by Antonio to prove he belongs in the NFL he has far and away exceeded everyone’s expectations.

    The Hulio Jones’ of the NFL earned their accolades, but none of them have displayed the versatility and sixth sense that Antonio seems to have. When the conversation of whom is the best WR in the NFL is the ultimate measuring stick is he has earned the utmost respect and admiration from the other elite receivers in the league. Even they express awe at what he does on a consistent basis.

    Antonio has done things as a receiver that defy conventional wisdom. The Giants’ star receiver, Beckham achieved overnight, super star staus for one play, that being the one handed grab, behind his head, while falling backwards into the endzone. He has made many great plays, but not he or any other receiver in the NFL has consistently made as many jaw dropping, eye popping, breath taking and unbelievably spectacular plays as Antonio has. Antonio has an uncanny and unique ability to shut out all extraneous noise and distractions and completely focus on making the play at hand. His eye-hand coordination is second to none. He has supreme confidence in his ability and that comes from his all consuming obsession with training.

    Does Antonio deserve to be the league MVP? As far as I’m concerned, it’s not even close. Brady might have the stats, but not even he makes the kind of plays that take other players and football fan’s breath away in the way A.B. does. A.B. absolutely deserves to be the league MVP.

  • All that and a bag of chips!

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: what separates AB from other receivers and what puts him in the LEAD for the MVP(in my honest and biased opinion) is his performance in clutch situations. You saw it as a rookie in the playoffs against Baltimore. You saw it the regular season against Baltimore last year… that play was to win The game AND the division. It was on display in this years first game against Cleveland. And it has most certainly shown true the last month in the 4th quarter in close games. This guy is spectacular every time he steps on the field, but so are a lot of guys. Brown is dominant on third and “we need you right now Antonio.” He’s consistently excellent in “down with two minutes and everyone in the building knows it’s coming to you.” The Steelers are currently the #1 seed in the AFC. Without AB, I don’t know that they’d even be a playoff team this year. That’s what an MVP is! That’s what AB is.

  • rystorm06

    I agree, we won many games this season and the main contributor was Brown. I’d honestly say if we didn’t have AB, we could easily be a 7-6 team right now. This guy isn’t just having a special season, it’s all-time

  • Ross McCorkle

    I hope it doesn’t go to Russell Wilson. Threw three picks in their only chance to take the division back.

  • Mark

    Business is Booming AB84, however, I watched the greatest WR of all time in College and Pros. Jerry “World” Rice will always be the greatest, the numbers and Superbowl titles don’t lie and he did it longer than anyone..

    HOWEVER MUCH LOVE GOES OUT TO AB84, 100 GRAND, fleek, lit, slay, all of the words the younger generation uses to represent EXCELLENCE!!!

  • Olde Gold

    AB will not be the MVP. Not because he doesn’t deserve it, but because it’s not an MVP award. Marsha went down a few years ago, the evil genius just plugged in another guy and away they went. MVP is really MPP, AB just isn’t that popular yet, but he’s getting there. No AB and this team is hovering around .500, that’s VALUE, but sadly it just won’t matter.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    I just think it’s funny that this narrative is gaining traction. I don’t think it’s just a popularity contest, but it does help to have a story line. Fact is, Wentz went down, and Brady is having an excellent but not shockingly good season. Brady is the obvious choice, Brown is a sexy one.

    A lot will come down to the last three weeks. If Brown has 150 yards and 2 TDs against the Pats this week, and Brady throws a couple picks, there’s a shot. I’d still give the odds to Brady overall, though.