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02-05-2011, 02:10 AM
Steelers rookie Brown overcomes difficult past

DALLAS — The biggest stage in sports won't faze Steelers rookie receiver Antonio Brown.

That is because of what it took for him to get to Super Bowl XLV.

Brown is not only a former walk-on at Central Michigan; the guy who has given the offense a jolt during the past month was homeless for a couple of months as a 16-year-old.

"I've been fighting for my life before and sleeping in cars and trying to find a place to lay my head," Brown said. "I've had situations where I've had nowhere to go. This is the easy part. I overcame life."

Brown, who has turned in two of the biggest catches of the postseason, arguably has come further than anyone who will suit up for the 6:30 p.m. game Sunday.

He grew up in a rough section of Miami, and, while he was in high school, his mother married. Brown didn't get along with his stepfather.

"There came a point where my mom had to make a decision, and it was best for me to go," Brown said. "I wanted her to be happy, and as a young man I had to spread my wings and fly myself."

He easily could have followed some of his close friends into the vortex of crime and drugs. But when he hung out on the street corner, it was usually because he had nowhere else to go after football practice — not because he wanted to make a score.

Brown said he never went hungry or wanted for shelter. But the Steelers' primary kickoff returner sometimes would get a hotel room for a couple of hours, money permitting, just so he could sleep in a bed.

"I did what I had to do to survive. I never sold drugs," Brown said. "I always had good support from the people who knew me. I didn't take the wrong road. I just take that on the field and use it as fuel to be great."

The 2010 draft may also drive him.

Brown lasted until late in the sixth round despite leaving Central Michigan — he earned a scholarship two weeks into his first preseason camp — as the school's all-time leading receiver.

The 5-foot-10, 186-pounder may have scared off teams by turning in a 4.5-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. When asked if he simply picked the wrong time to have a bad day, Brown flashed his engaging smile.

"I didn't run in a straight line," said Brown, who left college after his junior season. "I swerved really bad."

The Steelers didn't get a chance to time Brown again, and they were fortunate he was on the board for the second of their two sixth-round picks.

"He was too good to pass up," Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said.

Brown not only made the team, but he also accounted for three of the biggest plays of the season.

An 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in September and a third-down reception late in the AFC Championship Game bookend a 58-yard catch against the Baltimore Ravens on Jan. 16.

"That guy has made some big-time plays for them," Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins said.

"I love him," veteran receiver Hines Ward said.

Brown will get some love from an unlikely place tomorrow: the prison where his close friend, Jeff Anderson, is serving time for robbery.

The two grew up together in Miami and were teammates in little league football.

Brown stays in touch with Anderson to offer words of encouragement, and the two talked recently.

"He said he's going to get the whole cell riled up Sunday just to see me play," Brown said.

While plenty of folks will be rooting for Brown from afar, his brothers, Eddie and Desmond, will be in the stands at Cowboys Stadium. Desmond, the youngest of the three, is a student at Pitt and lives with Antonio.

The two are a long way from Miami.

"Now I'm coming home to a nice house and seeing my little brother smiling," Brown said. "It's amazing.

Brown paused and reflected on the path he took to get here.

"This is the easy part," he said. "This is icing on the cake."

Read more: Steelers rookie Brown overcomes difficult past - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1D3qDWX7t (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_721519.html#ixzz1D3qDWX7t)

02-05-2011, 09:23 AM
Would it not be a cool twist of fate if he is the Super Bowl MVP???????

Give him a couple big returns and catches and could be.

02-05-2011, 11:55 AM
That was an awesome story. Just another reason to love this young man.

02-05-2011, 12:04 PM
For all of the bad pub Ben/Harrison has gotten, there is a ton of character on this team.

02-05-2011, 01:11 PM
Would it not be a cool twist of fate if he is the Super Bowl MVP???????

Give him a couple big returns and catches and could be.

Especially since there is no way they give it to Ben.

02-05-2011, 02:38 PM
Would it not be a cool twist of fate if he is the Super Bowl MVP???????

Give him a couple big returns and catches and could be.

I have been saying for the last two weeks, that A. Brwon will win the MVP.
A KO return for TD, and catch a TD pass from Ben = MVP!

02-05-2011, 03:35 PM
Great kid. He has an infectious smile too. I think the sky is the limit when he learns the entire playbook and multiple positions. He'll be our slot guy of the future.

02-05-2011, 03:59 PM
Great story indeed, but I'd just assume he wasn't needed as much in this game. He's a rookie with very few touches, albeit some big ones. He could just as easy fumble a punt and I would fault the coaches more than him. He shouldn't be in deadly positions yet.

02-05-2011, 04:01 PM
Great story for sure. Brown AND Sanders for that matter have made a big difference this season and stories like this just reaffirm our passion for Pittsburgh sports and the players that hit the field. HOWEVER Micheal Oher's story was pretty remarkable so Oher still gets the nod in that department. I read the book a few years ago and was blown away. Either way both great stories.

02-05-2011, 04:46 PM
Would it not be a cool twist of fate if he is the Super Bowl MVP???????

Give him a couple big returns and catches and could be.

KO return TD defdinitely not out of the question for us... the Packers' ST's have been shaky all season. Would be AWFULLY nice to see us WIN one based on a return for once.

02-06-2011, 01:55 AM


For the ninth edition of Beyond The Wall, we sat down with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown at a Steelers Media Session prior to Super Bowl XLV. Brown’s father, Eddie Brown, played for the Albany Firebirds (AFL) from 1994-01. When the team moved to Indianapolis in 2001, Brown played with the Indianapolis Firebirds until 2003.

In January 2006, when the League celebrated its 20th anniversary, Brown was voted the best player in AFL history.

Brown was also successful in coaching his son in becoming an NFL caliber player. In only his rookie season, Antonio shined and rallied his team to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, TX.

EDITOR: Antonio, thanks for joining us today! First and foremost, good luck on Sunday. You are having an outstanding rookie year. Tell me a little about your relationship with your father and the Arena Football League.

ANTONIO BROWN: I stayed with my dad when I was in the third grade.I went to school in Albany, New York and had the chance to watch him practice some days. I also had the chance to go to a lot of his games. It was something special and motivating; seeing him run out to practice with his teammates and doing extra gassers. That pride and motivation was fuel to me.

ED: Did you ever get the opportunity to run routes on the 50-yard Arena Football League field?

AB: Definitely. My dad always had a ball around me and kept me busy. He really kept me involved with athletics and it really helped me get to where I am now.

ED: What did your father teach you about the Arena Football League game and which of these skills are you using now?

AB: Work ethic and motivation. He taught me if I wanted to be the best, I need to outwork my opponent. He taught me to do the little things to get better and to separate myself from opponents.

ED: How else did he coach you while playing the wide receiver position?

AB: He always coached me up at receiver and was a critic to my game. He came to the combine, watched me run routes and evaluated how I looked. He has always there and a part of it. He gave me insight of what I could work at.

ED: What are your thoughts of the Arena game?

AB: It’s a great game. My dad said he saw it as his NFL. He was voted the greatest player ever to play the game. He just wanted to see me use the NFL the way he used the AFL.

ED: Antonio, thanks for joining us today. Good luck against the Green Bay Packers on Super Bowl Sunday!

http://www.arenafootball.com/news/btw-a ... father-son (http://www.arenafootball.com/news/btw-antonio-brown-father-son)

02-06-2011, 10:48 AM
This kid has such a great story.

I look forward to seeing him in 2 years when he really knows his stuff at the pro level. He will be unstoppable then, with fully developed chemistry with Ben.
:tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt1

02-06-2011, 11:54 AM
I think while the Packers key on Hines, Wallace and Miller the difference makers will be Sanders and/or Brown. I love what these young guys have done.

Too bad we see no contributions from our young players on the defense that may get exploited badly today :stirpot