The past week we witnessed Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown air a few grievances on his social media accounts and within those were a few shots at head coach Mike Tomlin and former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for past slights he received from both and presumably during his rookie 2010 season. On Friday, Bob Labriola of steelers.com addressed Brown’s shot at Arians, who is currently make the rounds on any show that will have him in order to promote his upcoming football analyst work for CBS Sports.
According to Labriola, Arians wanted to cut Brown ahead of the 2010 season with the idea of possibly getting him to the practice squad.
“But when it came time to cut the roster, Arians’ opinion was that Brown was nothing more than a practice squad player,” claims Labriola. “That was what Arians advocated, which would have meant waiving Brown first before he could be signed to the practice squad. And during his 24 hours on waivers, Brown could have been claimed by any other team in the NFL.”
That preseason, Brown registered nine receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns in addition to returning seven punts for 80 yards and three kickoffs for 74 yards. As for the Steelers other drafted rookie wide receiver in 2010, Emmanuel Sanders, who was selected in the third-round that year and thus three rounds earlier than Brown was, he caught nine passes for 149 yards and a touchdown during the preseason in addition to returning three punts for 33 yards.
Keep in mind that in addition to Arians being the Steelers offensive coordinator in 2010, the team’s wide receiver coach that year was Scottie Montgomery and thus it would be interesting to hear his side of the story about who wanted to keep Brown and who wanted to cut him now that he’s long since been gone from the organization. As Arians continues to make his media rounds the rest of the summer it will be interesting to see if anyone asks him about his original 2010 thoughts on Brown and if indeed he was in favor of cutting the Central Michigan product ahead of his rookie season.
When the 2010 regular season got underway, Brown was obviously on the Steelers 53-man roster along with Sanders and veterans Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El, Arnaz Battle. Mike Wallace was also on the 53 and in his second season. It should be noted, however, that Battle was merely a special teams player. Brown was inactive for the team’s opener against the Atlanta Falcons while Sanders and the other wide receivers on the roster all dressed for that game. The next week, however, Brown dressed in place of Sanders against the Tennessee Titans and he instantly provided an impact as he returned the opening kickoff 89-yards for a touchdown.
Brown and Sanders, if you remember, were given the “two dogs, one bone treatment” from Tomlin most of that 2010 season and it’s obvious that the former remembers that quite vividly judging by his social media postings this past week. We’ll now have to wait and see if Arians has any recollection of his initial thoughts of Brown as the summer progresses and especially if he broadcast any Steelers games in 2018.