Already struggling at 0-1-1, the Pittsburgh Steelers are hearing the feedback from their oh so patient, intensely reasonable fans, and … it’s not going well.
Antonio Brown, for whatever insane reason, is making the mistake of engaging with critics on Twitter. In response to one saying that Brown “wouldn’t put up those [good] numbers for other teams,” Brown responded, “Trade me let’s find out.” (Hey, at least it’s not another veiled-threat tweet.)
For Pittsburgh sports radio stations, Christmas just arrived in September. Adding to the mix? Ryan Scarpino, the guy Brown responded to, wasn’t just an anonymous Twitter troll; he worked in Steelers PR up until 2017. Hmmm.
Are the Steelers going to trade Antonio Brown?
What? No. Of course not. What a ridiculous thing to even ask … or, from Brown’s perspective, even suggest. (He’s almost surely kidding. Almost surely.)
And yet, the numbers aren’t there. Through two games, he has 18 receptions on 33 targets, totaling just 160 yards and one touchdown. That’s not the kind of production you’d expect out of a receiver of his caliber.
Ben Roethlisberger has noticed the significant dropoff in Brown’s numbers too, and he has theories on why. As he told NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala:
Also asked Ben Roethlisberger about this last night. Does he feel he and Antonio Brown are not connecting as they usually do, and is there anything going on there to explain why they’re not? He said this: pic.twitter.com/BItB5SiHmi
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 17, 2018
“Defenses are doing a good job of trying to take him away [by] doubling and putting extra people around him,” Roethlisberger said. “So other guys are stepping up.”
Maybe so. But the idea of your stud receiver even hinting at the T-word has to be … well, annoying might be the nicest word to use, especially considering your stud running back is still nowhere to be found.
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