2019 South Side Questions: Should Antonio Brown Have Been A Finalist For NFL 100 All-Time Team?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, in which they entered with big aspirations, in spite of a tumultuous start to the offseason. Significant players were lost via trade and free agency, players who have helped shape the course of the franchise in recent years. We even now sit here without Ben Roethlisberger after just two games.

The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they have new starters. And quarterback was suddenly added to that list.

How will the season progress without Roethlisberger, behind Mason Rudolph, and now Devlin Hodges? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in games? Who is sitting out due to injury?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Should Antonio Brown be a candidate for the NFL 100 All-Time team?

As you may or may not have noticed, the league has been slowly but surely putting together the NFL 100 All-Time team, consisting of 100 players from all positions representing the greatest of the game through all eras. The Steelers have found solid representation on the defensive side of the ball with five players in Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, Rod Woodson, and Mel Blount. Chuck Noll also made it as head coach.

None of the running backs made it, but Mike Webster does represent their offensive line. About the only thing remaining, I believe, is the wide receivers, and only one Steelers name is on the list: John Stallworth. No Lynn Swann, no Hines Ward.

No Antonio Brown. Should he be?

Many already regard him as the greatest wide receiver in Steelers history, though opinions have obviously changed given his personal conduct. Based purely on his playing career, should he be on the list of candidates for consideration?

Over the course of nine seasons with the Steelers, Brown caught 837 passes for 11207 yards and 74 touchdowns. He added to that very slightly with his one game that he played in New England. His production numbers over his final six seasons in Pittsburgh were unprecedented, however, and he has led the league in receptions and yardage multiple times, and in touchdowns once.

Still, he sits just 35th all-time in receiving yardage (behind Calvin Johnson, who is on the list, and Julio Jones, who is not). Larry Fitzgerald, in fact, is the only active player on the list. Brown is also 28th in receptions and 34th in receiving touchdowns. Had he played this year, he realistically would have been in the top 15-20 of just about all of those categories.

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