The drama around the Pittsburgh Steelers is seemingly intensifying.
In today’s edition of South Side Stories, there’s a report that star receiver Antonio Brown has gone AWOL.
Brown did not report for work on Monday
According to reporters Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown did not report for work at the team’s facility on the South Side of Pittsburgh on Monday. Bouchette and Dulac cited several team sources in their report.
Players were in the building for meetings and film review after the Steelers’ 42-37 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Bouchette and Dulac’s sources didn’t know why Brown did not show up.
During his news conference on Tuesday, Tomlin gave a roster evaluation of the Steelers’ next opponent, the 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and when he was asked about Brown, he did not give many details on why the 30-year-old was not present on Monday.
He did say he was going to be meeting with Brown on Tuesday (it is an off-day for players).
“He was not,” Tomlin said when asked if Brown was at the facility on Monday. “I’m looking forward to visiting with him today. I’m not going to get into the details, whether he was excused.”
After he visits with Brown, “I may or may not provide details.”
Tomlin did mention that he’s been asked several times about Brown’s social media posts and expressed frustration that he has to discuss that instead of “real, legit things.”
While Tomlin was not directly asked if Brown has been suspended by the team, he was asked if Brown requested to be traded and said, “No.”
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Brown “had a personal matter (on Monday). I talked to the team about it.”
If it was an excused absence, Tomlin likely would have said it was an excused absence.
Brown upset on Sunday
Brown was upset on Sunday, when he was targeted 17 times against the Chiefs, with nine catches for 67 yards.
On the sideline, Brown got in the face of Randy Fichtner, the offensive coordinator, and the two exchanged words (video is above).
After the game, Brown was nowhere to be found during the 45 minutes the locker room is open to media.
— Yahoo Sports NFL (@YahooSportsNFL) September 18, 2018
Brown keeps creating drama
There’s no doubt that Brown is one of the very best receivers in the NFL, but he has a propensity for creating drama.
On Monday, when a former Pittsburgh team employee commented on Twitter that Brown wouldn’t put up the numbers he has — he’s had 100 or more catches in each of the last five seasons and was chosen first-team All-Pro in the last four — if he didn’t have Ben Roethlisberger as his quarterback, Brown saw it and commented.
“Trade me let’s find out,” he wrote.
Rosenhaus told Schefter that the tweet “was not in reference to anything other than Antonio responding to a person he knows. It was not directed toward a trade, or wanting to be traded. Any idea he was asking for a trade is not accurate.”
Last week, Brown was apologizing for another tweet. In that one, he threatened Jesse Washington, an ESPN writer he felt wrote an unflattering story about him.
These came after alleging Bouchette, who has covered the Steelers as a Post-Gazette beat writer since 1983, is racist for a tweet Bouchette sent during training camp saying that Brown had limped off the field during a practice.
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