Despite a Monday tweet reply to some criticism he received from a former member of the team’s public relations department that included him suggesting he should be traded, nobody actually believes that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown really wants that to happen and especially not quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“I don’t,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday morning during his weekly interview on 93.7 The Fan when asked if he thinks Browns really wants the Steelers to trade him. “I think just another reason why I don’t do social media. Guys can get under your skin and find a way to do it and easy for them to do it, but I don’t think he wants traded. I’ll speak to him tomorrow and maybe I’ll have a different answer for you after that, but I don’t think that. I think it’s just the competitor in him, a guy that is still fired up and I think he enjoys being here.”
Roethlisberger’s comments aside, it sure looked like the quarterback might have had some sort of an issue with Brown late in Sunday’s home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. In fact the CBS cameras at one point even caught Roethlisberger seemingly dismissing Brown with a little hand wave followed by him possibly muttering something to himself about the wide receiver on his way back to the huddle. Roethlisberger was asked about that particular on-field sequence on Tuesday.
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) September 17, 2018
“You know, I think it was just frustration,” Roethlisberger said. “You know, he’s a competitor and he wants to be the best in the world and he probably is the best in the world. So, and he wants to make every play and catch every ball and every touchdown, which is what every player wants to do, every great player wants to make every play. And I think he just was getting frustrated and he took it out on some people.”
The CBS cameras also caught Brown seemingly taking his frustrations out on Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, and quite possibly even wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, on the sideline early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Chiefs. Roethlisberger was also asked about that Sunday afternoon animated sideline discussion during his Tuesday radio interview.
“I give Randy a lot of credit for not losing it on him, but you know, it’s just one of those things that I think in the heat of the battle and you’re losing a football game, it’s just tough on anybody,” Roethlisberger said.
As for Brown and his Monday ‘trade me” tweet, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during his Tuesday press conference if the wide receiver has requested a trade since Sunday’s game.
“No, no,” Tomlin quickly replied in a somewhat amused, yet dismissive, manner.
With Brown quickly leaving the locker room after Sunday’s loss and combined with him seemingly having an unexcused team absence on Monday, a lot of his teammates have had to answer questions concerning the wide receiver and his recent actions that he would likely be getting if he had addressed the media. On Tuesday, Roethlisberger was asked if he personally gets tired of answering questions for and about Brown and if he thinks the wide receiver should have been in the locker room on Monday talking for himself.
“Well, I think when there’s controversy that happens, no matter if you’re there speaking, you’re still going to ask other guys questions, right? We’re still going to get asked about it, that’s just this day and age,” Roethlisberger said. “So, whether he spoke or not yesterday, we’re all going to get asked questions because something happened and that’s the world we live in.
“We live in a world where we have the freedom of speech, or texting, or reading, or whatever you want to. So, he’s going to have to speak and when he does, I’m sure he’ll have plenty of time to have cooled off and think about exactly what he wants to say and be real poignant with his answers.”
Judging by Brown’s normal schedule, we aren’t likely going to hear any real poignant answers from him until Friday, as that probably the next time he’ll speak to the media. That is assuming he doesn’t skip out on that session as well.
Brown, be the way, enters Week 3 as the league’s leader in pass targets with 33. His 18 receptions has him tied for fourth in the NFL entering Week 3.