Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was back at practice on Wednesday, two days after skipping team meetings.
Brown was a no-show in Pittsburgh on Monday when the team gathered in the aftermath of a 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Mike Tomlin, who confirmed the absence, said Wednesday that Brown was disciplined. Even so, he’s also heavily involved in the Steelers’ Week 3 game plan.
Defensive end Cam Heyward, one of four team captains, said he also met with Brown but declined to divulge any additions from their chat.
Brown, however, wasn’t entirely invisible Monday. He barked back at former Steelers PR man Ryan Scarpino via Twitter, when Scarpino wrote on Twitter: “AB needs to thank his lucky stars, because he was drafted by a team that had Ben. And Ben got AB paid. You know darn well he wouldn’t put up those numbers for other teams.”
Brown replied: “Trade me let’s find out.”
Scarpino knows Brown well, having working public relations for the team from 2010-17.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he spoke to Brown and wasn’t worried. He also said the wide receiver didn’t address teammates.
“If I spoke to him and personally he reiterated those things to me or if I felt they were personally coming from him and not just a reaction to someone else, maybe I’d have a little more worry,” Roethlisberger said, per triblive.com. “But as of now I don’t feel that way.”
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Brown’s tweet “was not in reference to anything other than Antonio responding to a person he knows.”
He continued: “It was not directed towards a trade, or wanting to be. Any idea he was asking for a trade is not accurate.
Antonio had a personal matter. I talked to the team about it. His issue was unrelated to the tweet or his relationship with the team. Third, AB has an incredible drive to win. He just wants to win. That’s all that is.
That’s not anything more than him encouraging his coaches and teammates to win. And that’s what his entire focus is on. Any notion, any speculation otherwise, can be put to bed. This is a non-story that has been blown out of proportion. We can end this right here and now.”
Brown caught nine passes for 67 yards in Sunday’s loss and was visibly upset during the game in which JuJu Smith-Schuster caught 13 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown, and tight end Jesse James had five receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown.
Brown, 30, has not been above drama in recent years with the Steelers, who made him the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver with a deal paying him $17 million in 2018.
—Field Level Media