Will we ever really know what all transpired during the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday practice prior to their season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals that ultimately led to wide receiver Antonio Brown going AWOL for days and thus being effectively benched on game day? Probably not, but it’s sounding more and more like neither Brown nor quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a football at each during that infamous Wednesday walkthrough like the very early reports suggested happened.
During a Thursday interview with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, TN, Steelers guard Ramon Foster was asked if he saw Brown throw a football in anger at Roethlisberger during that Wednesday practice prior to the team’s regular season home finale against the Bengals and he said that such an event never occurred.
“That didn’t happen and I wanted to say something on social media, but it was just one of those things like, okay, just let them run with it, let them keep it going,” Foster said. “But that did not happen, there was no ball thrown at anybody. There was a ball thrown on a route, but it wasn’t at anybody. If something like that had of happened in house like that, like, we would have heard about it because those two guys definitely would have said something to each other. So, that’s false.”
Foster was then asked to confirm that the only time a ball was thrown was during a regular route taking place.
“Just a regular route, that’s all it was,” Foster said. “And I think somebody might have missed a hot [read] or something like that. That’s all it was and whatever happened after that was, you let everybody else tell their story.”
So, did Brown miss a hot read and get yelled at by Roethlisberger for doing so like former NFL wide receiver turned NFL Network analyst James Jones said last week that he heard happened? It’s hard to say for sure. However, judging by a comment made on Thursday by Foster, it certainly sounds like something happened between Brown and Roethlisberger on that Wednesday that set the wide receiver off.
“So whatever happened after that, between him in the training room and him and Ben has been solely just up to them,” Foster said. “So, you see a million stories come out, and of course it’s only a few people that really know the truth. Even us with the guys that are around, we heard some stuff like, what the heck? But, it just, it happened the way it did that past week.”
Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree also commented recently on their being some sort of recent rift between Brown and Roethlisberger.
“We don’t really know what’s going on, we just know [Brown and Roethlisberger] are heated at each other,” Dupree said, according to ESPN.com. “It’s not Coach Tomlin, it’s two grown men, two free players butting heads. … We have to learn how to be together [as a team]. We have to put it in the open and stop hiding.”
As you would probably expect, Foster was eventually asked during his Thursday interview if he thinks Brown’s current situation with the Steelers is irreparable.
“I’ll put it this way. I know Antonio’s very strategic in the stuff that he does,” Foster said. “A lot of people don’t give him credit for being a cerebral guy. I think AB is a very smart guy, I know he’s not doing it for nothing and I say that as a guy that knows him. So, with this situation coming up, I feel like he and Ben, or he and the front office, will find a way to make this all right.
“AB is a guy that loves the game. That last week, the Cincinnati week, it was just out of the norm I feel like and we’ll just see. Like I said, nobody’s had a sit down with him. I’m sure this offseasons, there’s a lot of time because we’re done early. Not wanting to be, but we’ll find a way to correct these wrongs.”
Judging by the Thursday afternoon comments made by Steelers team president Art Rooney II concerning Brown’s current status with the organization, the wide receiver might want to make sure he starts trying to quickly find a way to correct the wrongs he’s done recently, that include him reportedly not communicating with anyone in the organization since he allegedly left the season finale game against the Bengals at halftime. Rooney made it clear on Thursday that while cutting Brown isn’t an option, all other avenues are on the table and that includes the team possibly trading the wide receiver.