2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Brown settling into leadership role with Steelers

By Dan Scifo - Associated Press
    2013-08-17 18:54

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) - Antonio Brown doesn't think the Pittsburgh Steelers need Mike Wallace for them to have a Mike Wallace-type threat.

The way the fourth-year wide receiver looks at it, he can handle the job himself.

Brown is the unquestioned No. 1 guy in Pittsburgh after the speedy Wallace bolted to Miami as an unrestricted free agent this off-season, which means more pressure, greater expectations, and additional attention from defensive backs.

Brown doesn't mind. He expects to elevate his game to new heights.

``Every year is a year to improve and get better,'' Brown said. ``This league is we're in is `what have you done lately,' and that's the approach we take. It only matters and counts right now.''

Brown is taking more of a leadership role this season. He's never been the vocal type, always allowing his actions on his field to do the talking, and that much hasn't changed for the hard-working Brown, who has dazzled during training camp practices at St. Vincent College. But he's embracing the opportunity to lead his group this season.

``He's still doing what he does, and he's constantly trying to get better,'' said wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, a 10-year veteran. ``He comes in, works hard, and doesn't take days off. It's been the same way since I've been here. I see that same approach.''

That drive has fueled Brown ever since the Steelers used their second of two sixth-round picks to draft the former Central Michigan product in 2010.

Now, the challenge is to step up in Wallace's absence.

Brown, with more than 2,000 yards in three seasons, certainly has big play, deep threat ability, but he won't be asked to replace Wallace's blazing speed that produced 32 touchdowns, more than 4,000 yards receiving and a 17.2 yards-per-catch average.

``Ever since he was a rookie, he's come in and made plays,'' wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. ``I feel like people put a lot of hype on making that big jump. He has to continue to be himself. He doesn't have to try and be something he's not.''

Brown earned a five-year, $42 million extension after a breakout second season in 2011, becoming the first player in NFL history to finish with at least 1,000 receiving and return yards in the same year. He was named team MVP, earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl, and set a single-season franchise record with 2,211 all-purpose yards.

Brown's extension was a vote of confidence for the young wide receiver's future as a Steeler and a bold statement to Wallace, a training camp holdout, who was embroiled in a heated contract dispute with the team.

Brown answered the call in 2012 with an explosive start to the season, pulling in 42 passes for 499 yards as the Steelers opened the year with five wins in their first eight games.

``He had a heck of a start,'' Cotchery said. ``In his second year, he just blew it out of the water, and usually when you blow it out of the water, people see you're legit, so he started getting some attention.''

A high-ankle sprain against the New York Giants hampered the rest of Brown's season, forcing him to miss three games. He caught touchdowns in each of the team's final four games, but struggled with 230 yards as the Steelers dropped three of those contests.

``It set him back from being the type of player that he is,'' Cotchery said. ``He's a dynamic guy, cutting and doing all of the little things. He's so explosive. That held him back a little bit and obviously as an offense we need that from him.''

The disappointing end to 2012 is in the past. Brown is healthy now and looks forward to the opportunity to step in as the Steelers' No. 1 wide receiver. The comparisons to Wallace's production will be prevalent, but Brown welcomes the challenge and the additional attention from secondary groups across the league.

``The sky is the limit,'' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. ``He can be as good as he wants to be. I have seen growth in him and improvements, and that is what we want to see. He has come along as a number-one guy.''

NOTES: The Steelers practiced without pads during their final training camp workout on Saturday. The team will break camp Sunday and move workouts to Pittsburgh prior to Monday's second preseason game at Washington. Head coach Mike Tomlin didn't rule anybody out of the game, though running backs Le'Veon Bell and Isaac Redman practiced in limited capacity for the second straight day after leaving Thursday's workout with injuries.CB Cortez Allen, who underwent knee surgery two weeks ago, practiced Saturday and picked off a Bruce Gradkowski pass during team drills.The Steelers' starters will see more time in the second preseason game with guards and tackles on the offensive line working the entire first half.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group