End-of-season player exit meetings are not something that we are often privy to as outsiders of the football world. Generally, we only get a glimpse into that world when a player is asked by a reporter how the meeting went, if the player is willing to discuss it.
Still, it’s not generally a hard concept to grasp, and we have a pretty good feel by now of how Mike Tomlin and his staff likes to operate, and we see all the game film, so it’s not an overly difficult project to simulate. If we were to administer the end-of-season player exit meetings, it might go something like this.
Player: Antonio Brown
Position: Wide Receiver
Experience: 5 Years
What need there be said in reflecting upon the greatest regular season that a wide receiver has ever had in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ franchise? In 2014, Antonio Brown caught more passes, for more yards, while scoring more touchdowns, than any other player at his position had done before. And some of those marks he blew out of the water.
As an encore for an excellent breakout year in 2013 in which he caught 110 passes for 1499 yards and eight touchdowns, Brown upped the ante by recording 129 receptions for 1698 yards and 13 touchdowns.
His 129 receptions is not only the most in franchise history (the previous record was 112), it is, in fact, the second-most receptions in a single season in the history of the league. Brown’s 1499 yards from 2013 was already a significant upgrade over the previous team record, but he has seemingly set the bar outside of the stadium with his new mark of nearly 1700 yards.
And with his 63-yard game clinching touchdown grab in the season finale, he recorded one more receiving touchdown in a season than did anybody else wearing a Steelers uniform.
He did so while retaining a perfect model of consistency, recording at least five receptions in every game for at least 70 yards. He caught at least seven passes in 14 games, including the last 11, and recorded at least 90 yards receiving 13 times.
He finished the year with a nine-reception, 117-yard performance in the postseason, having had a touchdown taken away late when his knee was marked down inside the one-yard line. It would have been his first postseason score, but I suspect he’ll have a few of those before his career is over.
Unsurprisingly, Brown was named to the All-Pro team, and is beginning to be considered as perhaps the best wide receiver in the game, even if he only stands at 5’10”, well shy of the ‘ideal’ physical dimensions of the wide receiver position.
Did I mention that he also threw for a touchdown pass, and recorded another touchdown on a punt return? I think it’s fair to say that he had a pretty good year—one that will be seemingly impossible to live up to in 2015.