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

Travis KelceNov 27 07:43p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) tweaked his ankle in practice Friday, Nov. 27, but head coach Andy Reid thinks Kelce will be fine for Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills.

Danny AmendolaNov 27 07:33p

New England Patriots WR Danny Amendola (knee) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Nov. 27, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos.

Emmanuel SandersNov 27 07:23p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle, finger) and TE Owen Daniels (knee) both practiced in full Friday, Nov. 27, and are probable against the New England Patriots in Week 12.

Michael FloydNov 27 06:23p

Arizona Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (hamstring) is questionable to play in Week 12 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Nick FolesNov 27 06:23p

St. Louis Rams QB Nick Foles is prepared to start in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals with QB Case Keenum (concussion) still in the concussion protocol, according to [ More ]

Travis KelceNov 27 06:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (groin) was limited during practice Friday, Nov. 27, and is listed as questionable for the Week 12 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Malcom FloydNov 27 06:03p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) said he felt good the last few days in practice and has full range of motion in his injured left shoulder. Floyd [ More ]

Charcandrick WestNov 27 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Nov. 27, and is listed as questionable for the Week 12 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Kellen MooreNov 27 05:43p

Dallas Cowboys QB Matt Cassel is the starting quarterback again with QB Tony Romo (clavicle) out for the rest of the year. The Cowboys expect Romo to be 100% [ More ]

Tevin ColemanNov 27 05:33p

Atlanta Falcons RB Tevin Coleman will start in Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings with RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) injured. Coleman has 59 carries for 231 yards and a [ More ]

Isaiah PeadNov 27 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Fitzgerald Toussaint was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster Friday, Nov. 27, and RB Isaiah Pead was released in a corresponding move.

Malcom FloydNov 27 05:03p

San Diego Chargers TEs Antonio Gates (hip) and Ladarius Green (ankle) and WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder) are listed as probable for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Greg ZuerleinNov 27 04:53p

St. Louis Rams PK Greg Zuerlein (groin) was added to the injury report Friday, Nov. 27, as a limited participant. He is questionable for Week 12.

Case KeenumNov 27 04:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jarvis LandryNov 27 04:23p

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (knee) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the New York Jets.

A. Seferian-JenkinsNov 27 03:23p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (shoulder) is listed as doubtful for Week 12 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Larry DonnellNov 27 02:43p

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell (neck) is out for Week 12.

Nolan CarrollNov 27 02:33p

Philadelphia Eagles CB Nolan Carroll (ankle) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27.

Darrelle RevisNov 27 02:23p

New York Jets CB Darrelle Revis (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

Darqueze DennardNov 27 02:23p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (shoulder) was placed on the season-ending Reserve/Injured list Friday, Nov. 27. Dennard will undergo surgery on damaged ligaments in his injured shoulder, according to a source.

Dexter McClusterNov 27 02:03p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (knee) didn't practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 12.

Jarvis LandryNov 27 01:53p

Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry (knee) sat out of practice Friday, Nov. 27, to be ready for Week 12 Sunday, Nov. 29, according to head coach Dan Campbell.

Charcandrick WestNov 27 01:43p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (hamstring) is out of practice Friday, Nov. 27.

Matt BryantNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons PK Matt Bryant (quadriceps) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Devonta FreemanNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Leonard HankersonNov 27 01:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 12.

Tony RomoNov 27 11:43a

Updating earlier reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) had a CT scan Friday, Nov. 27, that confirmed a hairline fracture in his left collarbone, and his season is [ More ]

Brent UrbanNov 27 11:03a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (forearm) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27. DE Brent Urban (biceps) was activated from short-term Injured Reserve.

Justin ForsettNov 27 10:23a

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (forearm) was placed on Injured Reserve Friday, Nov. 27.

Tony RomoNov 27 08:53a

Updating previous reports, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (clavicle) tests were inconclusive, which the team was adamant about. He'll have a CT scan Friday, Nov. 27.

Tony RomoNov 26 09:43p

Updating a previous story, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (clavicle) will have more tests on his injured left collarbone Friday, Nov. 27, but a source close to the situation [ More ]

Ameer AbdullahNov 26 09:43p

Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah had 16 carries for a team-high 63 yards and one catch for 12 yards in a 45-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group