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Thread: Anyone Still Doubt Brown? Hello?

  1. #1
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    Anyone Still Doubt Brown? Hello?

    In today's Trib

    Kovacevic: Anyone still doubt Brown? Hello?
    By Dejan Kovacevic



    Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 10:55 p.m.
    Updated 9 hours ago



    For all I care, Antonio Brown can throw a party every time he finds his way to a first down. He can point that football forward, then release it a la the classic mic drop. He can dance the salsa, take a Lambeau Leap, try the Ickey Shuffle and, before he gets back to the Steelers' huddle, whip out a Sharpie and sign a deal to make a rap video.

    It's all good.

    Because he's that good.

    Or is that great now?

    One look at No. 84's still-growing 2013 ledger, and it's getting easy to call it the latter:
    • His 74 catches lead the NFL, and he has had no fewer than five in any game. This despite the Steelers' offense having virtually no other vehicle through that 0-4 start.
    • His 952 yards rank fifth in the league, and 298 have come after the catch. This despite the bubble screen.
    • He has made 15 catches of 20-plus yards, third-most in the league. This despite only five touchdowns, a powerful sign of how hard he has had to work to get open for Ben Roethlisberger.
    • This one's my favorite: He has made those 74 catches on just 105 targets from his quarterback. That's a 70.5 percent rate and best in the league among the top 10 receivers.

    Stop and think about that: Every time Roethlisberger throws a ball Brown's way, and those often travel downfield and into double coverage, he has nearly a 3-in-4 chance of catching it.

    That's amazing.

    I would say it's akin to Calvin Johnson or Wes Welker, except that Megatron is at 54.1 percent and even the possession ace Welker is just behind at 70.1. Oh, and you won't see Brown vanish for an entire half, as Megatron did here Sunday.
    Small wonder Roethlisberger is running out of words: “I say it every week, but AB's been so good for us, so steady … I'm not sure what else I can say.”

    Well, here's something: Brown is on pace — a comfortable one, at that — to break the franchise's most important single-season receiving records: Hines Ward set the mark for catches in 2002 with 112, but Brown is on pace for 118. Yancey Thigpen set the mark for yards in 1997 with 1,398, but Brown is on pace for 1,523.

    Never mind the franchise. If Brown tops 1,500 yards, he'd be just the 22nd in NFL history.

    So, AB, how's it going?
    “You know, I just want to keep it going, continue to better myself week in, week out,” he was telling me the other day on the South Side. “All I think about is trying to change the outcome of football games, helping my team.”

    But there has been more, no?

    “I just want to be the best,” he said. “That's all I've ever wanted. I'll keep battling.”

    That's all Brown has done, really — one challenge at a time — since the Steelers waited until the sixth round in 2010 to draft him out of Central Michigan, 195th overall.

    At the time, he was saddled by a too-small tag at 5-feet-10 and all the standard knocks on MAC players. But even after his teammates voted him the Steelers' MVP in 2011 and management wrapped him up with a five-year, $42.5 million contract, the doubts persisted: He'd scored only two touchdowns. He didn't stretch the field. He did a lot of his damage on returns. He wasn't a true No. 1. The money should have gone to Mike Wallace.

    This season, too, there were early doubts: Brown had a sideline barking match with Todd Haley, was benched briefly in New England by Mike Tomlin and has taken all kinds of public guff for a few ill-timed celebrations.

    All of it now obliterated, of course, overwhelmed by his actual performance.

    Anyone still clamoring for Wallace, he of 44 catches and a single TD since riding his one-trick pony to South Beach?

    Even this week, there are doubts about Brown with his pending matchup in Cleveland against Joe Haden, the brilliant corner some are calling the new Darrelle Revis.

    It's justified. Haden this season has stoned Megatron, Greg Jennings, Torrey Smith and A.J. Green twice. Last week, Haden and Green each caught two Cincinnati passes.

    There will be a mutual respect for the receiver and corner this weekend. At least I think. Haden referred to Brown on a conference call as “smaller than the guys I usually cover but faster,” which sounded like a compliment. And Brown … well, let's just say he seems tired of the topic.
    “He's a great talent,” Brown said of Haden. “But we'll see you out there on Sunday, OK?”

    With that, Brown whirled around toward his locker stall, evidently finishing our chat with a flair.

    Mic drop?

    OK by me.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  2. #2
    Watching NFL Network post-game highlights on Sunday I was amazed when Jamie Dukes went on a rant about how much the Steelers need a #1 receiver. He said that's one thing Big Ben lacks. I can't believe the other idiots sitting there didn't chime in about AB LEADING THE NFL in catches this year!

    With a poor record I guess stuff like this gets lost, but Brown is truly a #1 receiver and one of the best in the league.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelsnis View Post
    Watching NFL Network post-game highlights on Sunday I was amazed when Jamie Dukes went on a rant about how much the Steelers need a #1 receiver. He said that's one thing Big Ben lacks. I can't believe the other idiots sitting there didn't chime in about AB LEADING THE NFL in catches this year!

    With a poor record I guess stuff like this gets lost, but Brown is truly a #1 receiver and one of the best in the league.
    Same thing they said the entire time Hines was playing. But that worked out OK for us. Unless you have a Calvin Johnson, I think having depth and complementary skills at WR is more important.

    Given all the rules advantages benefiting WRs do you really need the "classic #1" anymore?
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    But Brown doesn't score TD's...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    But Brown doesn't score TD's...
    If you combined Brown with Cris Carter you would have a complete WR.

  6. #6
    Hall of Famer SidSmythe's Avatar
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    Brown is like Reggie Wayne. What separates him from all other #2's who lose their #1's is his attitude. This kid is a HARD worker and it's paying off.
    Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go...
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    Many were in doubt because of his stature & make up of WRs in the NFL. Had nothing to do with work ethic, prep, & heart....That is for sure. He had odds stacked against him. There isn't many Steve Smiths that come along...But it appears the Steelers found one. I still feel the Steelers needs the big WR lined up opposite & another TE out of the draft...And the pieces are in place. The LT resolution "may" be on the roster but they can't go into '14 hoping. The smart think to do on that issue would be sign a FA like maybe Jared Veldheer. Let Adams & Gilbert fight it out at RT. Gilbert will be in his last year next year & Adams has 2. In that scenario, you OT position is solved at minimum '15 under current contracts. By that time the RT spot would be figured out & locked up...So the Steelers are looking at OT not being an issue for 5-6 years. Wouldn't have to gamble on another high draft pick at OT and the two 2nds invested on Adams & Gilbert could present the most return on investment. Of course, this is all based on the Steelers now drafting 17th or later. Top 10 would change my plan.

    Steelers plan? Get Levi Brown to take a huge paycut in '14 and let him & Adams battle it out for LT. Brown, Adams, Gilbert, & Beachum remain in '14. I don't like that plan but it has "Steelers Plan" written all over it if they end up drafting mid to late 1st.



  8. #8
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    I've always seen a little Steve Smith in AB. I think AB's becoming the better WR. The only thing Smith had on him was his leaping ability to go up and get a pass over top of DBs.

    AB keeps getting better and eventually, I think the only way to slow him down will be for teams to use a CB with S help over the top and a LB to hit him within 5 yds of the LOS. When people start to figure out how good he is, it's gonna open up this whole Pittsburgh offense.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JUST-PLAIN-NASTY View Post
    Many were in doubt because of his stature & make up of WRs in the NFL. Had nothing to do with work ethic, prep, & heart....That is for sure. He had odds stacked against him. There isn't many Steve Smiths that come along...But it appears the Steelers found one. I still feel the Steelers needs the big WR lined up opposite & another TE out of the draft...And the pieces are in place. The LT resolution "may" be on the roster but they can't go into '14 hoping. The smart think to do on that issue would be sign a FA like maybe Jared Veldheer. Let Adams & Gilbert fight it out at RT. Gilbert will be in his last year next year & Adams has 2. In that scenario, you OT position is solved at minimum '15 under current contracts. By that time the RT spot would be figured out & locked up...So the Steelers are looking at OT not being an issue for 5-6 years. Wouldn't have to gamble on another high draft pick at OT and the two 2nds invested on Adams & Gilbert could present the most return on investment. Of course, this is all based on the Steelers now drafting 17th or later. Top 10 would change my plan.

    Steelers plan? Get Levi Brown to take a huge paycut in '14 and let him & Adams battle it out for LT. Brown, Adams, Gilbert, & Beachum remain in '14. I don't like that plan but it has "Steelers Plan" written all over it if they end up drafting mid to late 1st.

    The Left Tackle solution is not on the roster at this time. I don't think Levi Brown takes a paycut unless he is cut and has to come back and sign for less which is unlikely. We have to get a long-term solution for our LT through the draft.

    Signing a Free Agent is also unlikely because our cap situation going into the '14 season will be worse than it was this season.

    It seems like we will do just well enough this season to both miss the play offs and make one of the better LTs coming into the draft out of our reach...just great!!!!
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    I've always seen a little Steve Smith in AB. I think AB's becoming the better WR. The only thing Smith had on him was his leaping ability to go up and get a pass over top of DBs.

    AB keeps getting better and eventually, I think the only way to slow him down will be for teams to use a CB with S help over the top and a LB to hit him within 5 yds of the LOS. When people start to figure out how good he is, it's gonna open up this whole Pittsburgh offense.
    Just wait until Wheaton gets his feel for the Pro game! It is going to open all kinds of opportunities for those two guys to help each other.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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