What in the world happened with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, or between Brown and his teammates and other members of the Steelers organization, that resulted in him ultimately becoming persona non grata since the Friday practice before the season finale?
Don’t ask Art Rooney II, because he doesn’t know.
To be fair, I don’t think anybody really knows exactly what happened. Brown may not even understand himself how we ended up getting to the point where we’re seriously discussing the likelihood of his being traded a couple of months from now.
From his perspective, while he knows that there have certainly been things along the way—and he has previously said that he doesn’t believe it was all about just one issue that set him off—he did offer that Brown was not “a major distraction to the team until the last weekend of this season”.
“If you start talking about that period, from then until now, it’s a different story”, he expanded. “I was referring to prior to that in terms of, was he a distraction, was he a problem. For the most part, I would say he wasn’t a distraction to his team, and the proof is in the pudding”.
“Obviously that changed the last week of the season”, Rooney would add. “There’s no other way to say it than I’m very disappointed where we are and what happened, and I don’t have a lot of good explanations for it as we sit here today”.
The only person who has an explanation is Brown, and he is merely perpetually teasing an interview that he plans to conduct under his own control in which he presumably intends to deliver his truth, his perspective about the events that led to his feeling as though his teammates and coaches have abandoned him.
Rooney continued to expand on the fact that he has a hard time understanding how things unfolded in a way that led to these results, and offered that that is perhaps the biggest reason that he wishes Brown would respond to him.
“I would have liked to have had the opportunity to talk to him and understand where he is. Maybe that will happen at some point, who knows?”, he said. At this point, I think we can safely say that we shouldn’t expect Rooney will from him before he gives his own interview. Despite all that, he refused to say anything bad about Brown.
“I’m not going to sit here and disparage Antonio”, he said. “I think that you have to remember he has been one of the most productive receivers in the league for a long time now. He has helped us win a lot of games over the last few years”.