Antonio Brown on trade demand, Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers [Extended Interview]
Amidst his wild 2019 NFL offseason, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown opens up in an exclusive sit down with ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, diving into a laundry list of rumors and untold truths regarding Steelers owner Art Rooney II, head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. (0:38) First, Brown reflects back on his roots and upbringing in Liberty City, Florida where Brown dealt with unfortunate circumstances growing up in the suburbs, dealing with everyday violence and organized crime that was deemed normal in his hometown. (8:50) Brown recalls the time he was “grazed by a bullet” in the streets of Liberty City. (5:44) AB says always “believing” and being “strong willed” has guided him to this position, continually tapping into new levels of his game. (14:00) Brown transitions to the Steelers 2018 season, saying he “had a ton of fun this year,” and doesn’t regret anything that transpired as the weeks progressed. However, Brown says he’s excited to “join a new team” and develop new bonds and build fresh camaraderie with different teammates. (15:54) In the words of Brown, the older a NFL player gets, the more a player realizes what is important, and in Brown’s case, his primary focus was winning. (19:45) When Brown sat down with Rooney, he told him his disconnection with the franchise is nothing personal, and was appreciative of the opportunity with the Steelers for “fulfilling a dream.” (22:00) Brown later addresses the lack of a connection with Roethlisberger, first admitting that maintaining a job in the NFL innately comes with criticism. But with Big Ben, Brown responds with “don’t say I’m your guy then point the finger… don’t say I’m your guy and don’t throw me the ball” as Brown eluded to a previous occasion when Roethlisberger was critical of his No. 1 wide receiver on local sports talk radio. (29:41) AB discusses his Week 17 absence, as he spoke with Tomlin to admit he was sore and needed time off to rejuvenate his body. According to Brown, Tomlin simply told him to go home as the Steelers were set to fight for their playoff lives in the season’s final week. In essence, Brown says that was the string that broke the camel’s back, and later declined an offer from Tomlin to visit his home and talk things through. (36:00) Brown later responds to the controversial comments from Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, who said there is “one guy, and 52 kids” on the roster.