There’s nothing those who cover sports enjoy more than waiting around for some multi-millionaire to address an issue that they created themselves. It’s a field day right now with all of us waiting on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to actually share anything meaningful since he went AWOL at the end of the 2018 season.
There are two layers to this, of course. For one thing, he has posted two live videos on social media alluding to later videos that will begin to address the entire situation. But those subsequent videos have yet to surface. And then the second layer is the fact that he hasn’t been in contact with the team in any official capacity.
So the question is this: when is anybody going to hear from Brown? When are we going to get anything meaningful out of him? When is he going to bother speaking to anybody with the team, whether it’s Art Rooney II, Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger, or even JuJu Smith-Schuster? To the best of our knowledge, he has not been in communication with any of his teammates, though I can’t confirm that with certainty.
In spite of the fact that their situations are very different, Brown is heading down the same path as Le’Veon Bell, perhaps the one teammate he may actually be in contact with. Bell shut out almost all of his teammates—James Conner a notable exception—and dissociated himself from the team after he failed to reach a long-term contract with the Steelers.
He seemed to send the message that he was ready to move on to another organization, and it’s easy to wonder if Brown is sending that same message or if he is just being immature. It’s impossible to get a read on the situation properly until he actually comes out and speaks.
So unfortunately, this is what the offseason is going to be like for those who cover the team. Outside of the risk of losing Mike Munchak, there is really nothing going on in Pittsburgh right now, so we sit and wait. There may be some minor shuffling of position coaches, but that’s about all we should expect to hear outside of Brown until March.
And really, what could we possible hope to hear? Has he given even the remotest hint of any sense of contrition? Does he truly believe that he is not culpable for his own behavior? That it’s up to the team only to fix the things that are bothering him? Would he come out on social media and say that he wants to be traded?
I quite frankly have no idea what to expect from him at this point, or if we will even actually hear from him. That’s just where we are, and I honestly never expected we would be here. When will he address the “negative speculations”, and will it do any bit of good?