Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown have a special relationship on the field. It’s probably safe to say that by now, just a couple of days after the pair tied a franchise record for the most scoring hookups between a quarterback and a receiver in the history of the franchise.
But regardless of how naturally talented both players are—and that are easily within the top five players at their respective positions in the league—the reality is that so much of that relationship is actually built upon intangible factors, elements in their chemistry that can’t be put into numbers.
Part of that is simply an inexhaustible resource of trust that exists between the two. Roethlisberger always knows that Brown is going to be in the right place at the right time, and that he is going to fight for every ball. Brown knows that Roethlisberger is going to extend plays and look for him, and is going to give him the chance to make the play.
More often than not, he comes through and makes the play, as we saw on Sunday evening on his 22-yard touchdown reception in the back of the end zone. It was a typical Roethlisberger play and throw, buying time and throwing to a target that was not clearly open upon the release of the ball.
The improvisational magic that exists between the two is purely unscripted. Aditi Kinkhabwala asked Roethlisberger after the game if he has ever been able to find that same sort of success with another wide receiver on unscripted plays, and all he could say in response was that Brown is a special player.
The reporter also Tweeted that Roethlisberger told her it is not something that is practiced. “it just happens”, the quarterback said. “It’s trust and faith”. It’s certainly a lot easier to build trust and establish faith between two players who are so naturally talented in their own right, but the chemistry that they have forged as a pair cannot be denied.
Kinkhabwala also asked Brown if he felt he did everything he was hoping to accomplish in the game. “You’re always going to feel like you can do more”, he said. “But it’s only about winning. It’s not about what I want to do and my agenda. The team agenda comes before my agenda, and that’s how I always look at it”.
Brown was not impressed with the fact that the Steelers beat a team on a six-game win streak. He said that the win doesn’t say anything about them. “We’re just totally focused on continuing to get better”. He said that “December is a month to remember, and we have to continue to get hot as we continue (toward the playoffs)”.