The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: What is going on with Antonio Brown, and is there a chance he doesn’t attend minicamp?
Antonio Brown is known to be just about the hardest worker in the NFL. He has hardly ever missed a practice in his career. Even when he suffered a significant ankle sprain last season, he did everything in his power to get back on the field for his team during the postseason and had a great game against a stellar secondary.
So it has been a bit odd to see him skipping all but two OTA practices over the course of the past few weeks. Brown was in attendance for the first two practices, but missed the following seven—or eight, if you include the trip away from the facility.
It was presumed initially that his absence was tied to Ben Roethlisberger’s absence, but Roethlisberger showed up during the final week of OTAs, and Brown continued to stay away. And he also used that time away to express himself in some interesting ways.
He kicked things off by posting an image of himself on Instagram in which he was taking a knee and giving a shout out to the Jets’ owner, who said he would pay any fines players receive for kneeling in response to the league’s new rule about the national anthem.
Recently, he posted about comments directed toward him early in his career by former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and head coach Mike Tomlin, essentially questioning whether or not he was smart enough or good enough to make it in the NFL.
On Thursday, he posted an image directed to Dan Rooney, the Steelers’ former owner who was a father figure to many players, expressing his wish that he were still here to talk him “through this day and age and time”.
There may be some lady drama going on as well.
It’s seemingly unlike him to behave this way and has me at least wondering what’s going on. It would definitely be out of character if he were to skip out on a mandatory event like minicamp. But if he is going through something in his life, who knows?