The Steelers defeated the New York Jets by 18 points on Sunday afternoon to improve their record to 4-1 on the young season and take sole possession of first place in the AFC North. Everyone should be happy with that.
It wasn’t always pretty with the defense allowing Ryan Fitzpatrick to actually move the ball for 255 yards and miraculously no turnovers (after having thrown 9 picks in two weeks). Or with Sammie Coates having a big day statistically but dropping five balls, LeVeon Bell with just 66 yards on the ground or DeAngelo Williams obtaining one total carry.
Yet those guys all left the locker room happy because the Steelers won and are marching in the right direction.
Antonio Brown, who put up 9 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown, however, is said to be, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, “unhappy” with his lack of production in the offense.
Really? Is Brown becoming the classic wide receiver diva? If so, as great as he is, he can move on after his contract is up. Now I’m not suggesting that will happen nor would I wish that to happen. Brown is the best receiver in football right now and he’s as dynamic as can be on the field but he needs to look a couple of lockers down to DeAngelo Williams as an example on how to act.
Williams, who clearly is a starting caliber back and was for the first three weeks of the season, at a high level, hasn’t complained once since the return of LeVeon Bell. His carries have dropped from over 30 in Week one to one carry in Week five. But does he care? No, he says he just wants to be part of the team. Anything it takes to win a championship, he’s in. That’s a true class act. That’s a good locker room guy and that’s a leader.
Brown is complaining after a nine catch day and the team won by 18 points. He needs to take a step back. The team can win without him if they needed to. See Wallace, Mike as a recent example of that. Big Ben makes Brown who he is; it’s not the other way around. The team can’t do without Ben, that’s a no brainer but if Brown wants to complain and become a distraction with his dances and shoes, then he will find himself in another uniform when his contract is up.
The Steeler way is not about singling yourself out and self-aggrandizing behavior; it’s about winning as a team and picking each other up. There have been plenty of great receivers over the year that made it about themselves and their teams couldn’t hang on to them. They were locker room cancers and they never won championships. You don’t need to look past Terrell Owens or Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson to see how that song and dance goes.
Brown has in no way, shape or form gotten to that level yet but it’s looking like he’s getting there, those guys started somewhere and it was very similar to this.
So before it happens, Brown needs to step back and realize that a nine catch day with 78 yards and a touchdown when your team wins by 18 points is pretty darn good and if he still doesn’t get that, he needs to talk to DeAngelo Williams who can instill some common sense into him.
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association http://www.steelnationassociation.com– Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.