Had Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown not missed the team’s Divisional Round playoff game last year against the Denver Broncos, there’s a good chance the team would have won that contest and went on to play for the right to go to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, Brown did miss that game with a concussion that he suffered at the hands of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the AFC Wild Card game the week before and you know the rest.
While he’s disappointed he wasn’t able to return from that illegal hit by Burfict in time to help his team beat the Broncos, Brown said Wednesday morning in an interview on ESPN’s First Take that it won’t have any lasting effects on him and how he plays the game.
“You can’t have no fear,” Brown said. “It’s like a NASCAR driver who’s been in an accident. You can’t get into the car with fearful thoughts. You have to have faith. You just have to go out there and be more aggressive.”
Brown actually thinks he’s improved in one area since the Burfict hit late in the game against in the Bengals.
“I think my swag got a little bit better,” Brown said.
So how did his swag get better after such a devastating hit?
“You got to be more aggressive,” said Brown. “You play this game long enough, you’re going to get hit and that just comes with part of playing football and being in the game. And obviously that hit actually won us the game, so it’s called taking one for the team.”
So how does Brown currently feel about Burfict being as he’s the one who in essence ended the Steelers chances at winning a seventh Lombardi Trophy?
“I don’t feel no way about him,” Brown said. “I haven’t thought about him, don’t care too much about him. He’s a football player and I’m looking forward to competing against him.”
While Brown will eventually play against Burfict again, it won’t be in Week 2 of the 2016 regular season as the Bengals linebacker will miss that game due to a suspension as a result of his hit on Brown. Because of that, Brown won’t get a chance to compete against Burfict again until Week 15 of the regular season when the two teams meet again in Cincinnati. Hopefully in that game Brown doesn’t have to take another one for the team as the Steelers are certainly a better team when he and his swag are on the football field.