Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown currently leads the NFL with 60 catches and is second with 852 receiving yards. As previously noted, if Brown somehow duplicates those numbers in the second half of the season, he’ll easily set new franchise records in several receiving statistical categories.
Brown continues to be one of the league’s most consistent wide receivers despite him getting so much attention from opposing defenses. During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to explain how the former sixth-round draft pick is able to maintain his level of production on a week to week basis despite him getting so much attention.
“He’s one of the best in the world at what he does,” said Tomlin. “He’s physically and mentally on top of his game and when you have somebody that’s playing like that, you step into a stadiums, he’s a known issue, but still he performs.
“We say similar things about guys like J.J. Watt. We knew what he was capable of when we were getting ready to play him, but it still doesn’t stop the storm from coming. Antonio is playing at that type of level as a wide receiver, a J.J. Watt type of discussion kind of level.”
So just how often is Brown being double-teamed this year? Tomlin answered that very question Tuesday.
“It depends on circumstances,” said Tomlin. “I know that when it’s critical down and distances, almost always. Red zone, third down, we need a play, situational, two-minute and things of that nature. But he does a good job of managing it, managing his emotions and understanding that often times some of the things that people do to minimize his impact on the game creates opportunities for others like Martavis [Bryant]. He’s just doing a nice job of wearing it. It’s what come with being him right now.”
In the win this past Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, Brown extended his NFL record of consecutive games with at least five catches and 50 receiving yards to 24. If that’s not enough, Brown has now recorded at least five catches and 80 receiving yards in each of the first eight games of the 2014 season – joining Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (first nine games 1995) as the second player in NFL history to reach the feat.
Best in the world? It’s hard to argue that he’s not.
“I’m glad that he’s on our team,” said Tomlin.