Antonio Brown was the best receiver in the NFL last season, in looking at both his statistics and impact he had on games, especially in crunch time. But his 2018 campaign thus far has been a different story.
Brown has caught 24 passes for only 210 yards (two touchdowns), and hasn’t looked to be on the same page with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It’s unclear exactly why his production has decreased, but Brown did address the topic in speaking to reporters at his locker on Friday.
“My statistics are already there,” Brown said, via a video posted by Chase Williams of WPXI. “I’ve already done everything from a statistical point. Obviously, it’s out of my control. I can’t throw it to myself, but what’s important is we continue to win. I’m getting a lot of respect out there. Guys are doubling me, tripling me, but what’s new? We’ve got to continue to win. Winning is most important. Obviously I think I’m the top-rated receiver from 2010 who’s in the league, so, it’s all about winning at this point.”
Brown also told reporters to “watch the tape” a number of times, so it appeared that he wanted to deflect some of the blame for his numbers decreasing this season.
And that’s what made his quote so interesting, specifically the part where Brown said, “I can’t throw it to myself.” He snuck that in there, but it appeared to be a dig at Roethlisberger. Brown isn’t the first player to make a comment such as that one, and it’s usually a way of saying the receiver is getting open, but the ball isn’t where it’s supposed to be.
The Steelers finally got off the schneid on Monday night, earning their first win of the season, but it does appear that there’s still a bit of tension in the locker room.