In the first half of Sunday’s win over the Denver Broncos, the Pittsburgh Steelers offense only managed to average 5.29 yards per play in the first half on their way to scoring 13 points. In the second half, however, the offense came alive as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown hooked up for 9 completions good for 110 yards and two touchdowns as the Steelers offense scored 21 in the game’s final 30 minutes.
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Todd Haley talked about the adjustments that were made during the game and how they mostly revolved around Brown.
“In that game last week, we made some major adjustments offensively and it had to do with him [Brown] and where we were putting him,” said Haley. “So I was calling a lot of plays that we hadn’t practiced with him in certain spots and for a guy like AB to handle it on the fly with very little communication, because it really was, it was like an unscripted training camp scrimmage, if you will, some of that second half. And all of it in order to really get him in the spots once we were able to figure out who was covering who and how they were trying to play us and it was the key to the game.”
The Broncos played two deep safeties on top of their base front for most of the game and that went against what the Steelers had prepared for. As a result, that forced the offense to make changes during the game, according to wide receiver Markus Wheaton.
Brown has taken over several games this season and the fact that dominated Broncos Pro Bowl cornerback Chris Harris Jr. for most of the game shows that he is indeed uncoverable.
Haley pretty much admitted Thursday that when he arrived in Pittsburgh several years ago that he really didn’t know what he had in Brown.
“I’m looking at this 5-10 guy. Yeah, he’s fast, (but) he didn’t fit that prototypical big-dog receiver,” Haley said. “I learned pretty quickly not to place a ceiling on AB because he’s going to shatter it.”
Brown now looks to shatter his own receiving records in the final two weeks of the season. He needs just 14 catches and 113 receiving yards to do just that and thus you have to like his chances.
“He’s the hardest-working dude in football,” fellow wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said of Brown, according to Will Graves of the Associated Press.