PITTSBURGH -- Antonio Brown made it a point to seek out Ben Roethlisberger on the plane ride back to Pittsburgh last Sunday.
“I thought I could have done some things better to help us win,” Brown said of why he talked to Roethlisberger in the back of the Steelers’ plane. “You always want to rally around the quarterback to make sure everything’s on par. I come down with those two footballs maybe it’s a different game. I’ve got to be better.”
That players like Brown are holding themselves accountable it as least one positive sign as the Steelers try to fight their way back from a 2-5 start.
And if Roethlisberger didn’t belabor the point as far as Brown’s miscues, critical as they were, that is because drops have been few and far between for the fourth-year veteran.
Brown leads the NFL with 56 receptions -- it is also a Steelers record for most catches through the first seven games of a season -- and his 630 receiving yards are tied for the ninth-most in the league.
Brown continues to put up big numbers despite receiving extra attention from opposing defenses. It's not just Brown’s statistics that reflect his status as a No. 1 wide receiver.
So did his feeling the need to talk to Roethlisberger before the team got back to Pittsburgh.
“I hold myself to a higher standard,” Brown said. “These men around here hold me to a higher standard.”
When asked if he is upholding that standard, Brown said, “We’re 2-5, so obviously not. If we were winning maybe it would be a different story.”
Brown should get plenty of chances to atone for the two fourth-quarter drops he had in Oakland when the Steelers visit the Patriots.
Roethlisberger has thrown 99 passes in his last two games against the Patriots, and he won’t hesitate to looks Brown’s way when he drops back in New England despite what happened late in the Oakland game.
“When Antonio drops a pass, he is human,” Roethlisberger said. “I throw a bad ball sometimes. He’s made enough plays for us that it’s not worth getting upset or frustrated over. I feel that he is playing at a very high level. If you watch defenses, they obviously feel the same way because they are doing a lot of doubling and safeties rolling his way.”