Every family has a crazy relative or two. Sometimes that crazy relative becomes such an issue that he has to be separated, at least to some degree, from the rest of the family. In the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers, former wide receiver Antonio Brown is the crazy relative, yet he is still a part of the family, and we got another glimpse into that reality yesterday.
Both Maurkice Pouncey and Brown, who were drafted together in 2010, were named to the 2010s All-Decade team, one of only two pairs of draft classmates from he same team to receive such an honor, with the San Francisco 49ers’ Patrick Willis of 2007 also both being named.
Pouncey was the first-round pick, the big, athletic center out of Florida, a championship program and viewed as a plug-and-play starter. Brown, a scrappy, troublesome little wide receiver out of SMU, was a flier in the sixth round after having also taken Emmanuel Sanders in the third.
The former would immediately rise to the top of his profession. Brown took a bit, but make quick and steady progress, and by year four had embarked upon one of the greatest stretches of play by a wide receiver in the history of the game.
With the honor, Pouncey recognized Brown yesterday with an Instagram story. Over a photo of himself with the wide receiver, he wrote, “came in together & our stories are not over yet!! Congrats @ab love you for life my brother! #ALLDECADETEAM”.
— Steelers Depot 🏆👑 (@Steelersdepot) April 7, 2020
Brown and the Steelers had a messy divorce not much more than a year ago, when he forced the team to trade him. They exhausted all avenues of salvaging the relationship until it got to that point, even resulting in the team president flying down to meet him personally after having his calls ignored.
Prior to that, Brown embarked on a scorched earth program to try to force their hand, criticism the team, the coaches, teammates, especially Ben Roethlisberger. After the trade, he started to turn his attention to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Still, while he may have burned some bridges, such as with Smith-Schuster, the message when there has been one has fairly consistently been one of compassion. We still care about you, even if we recognize that we can’t work with you anymore. If you need something, we’re here if you need us.
Brown has only gone further down the rabbit hole since then, but he’s still trying to make his way back into the league. In the meantime, he’ll be facing assault charges stemming from his arrest earlier this year. Pouncey has certainly been accused of being loyal to a fault, but we know he’s not the only Steeler who keeps him in their thoughts. Even Diontae Johnson, who never played with him, worked out with him last month.