Antonio Brown burned every bridge in sight as he exited the Pittsburgh Steelers, but could a return to the team be feasible for one of the NFL’s most mercurial players?
Mike Tomlin is not holding his breath.
The Pittsburgh Steelers discussed their former wide receiver and much more during Appearing on Pivot Podcast. When asked about the possibility of Brown returning to Pittsburgh, Tomlin was candid:
“You know that won’t happen.”
Tomlin seems to acknowledge that Brown could sign a one-day contract to retire from Stiller, but he dropped any thoughts on wearing black and yellow again:
“In terms of putting on a helmet and getting out of the tunnel and playing ball and things like that, man, we’ve moved forward. We can sit and cut that and pretend this is a realistic conversation, but we all know that’s not realistic, man.
“What I’m going to say about AB is this, man. We’ve had nine great years. I appreciate this guy in ways I can’t explain to all of you. I wouldn’t even bother trying to explain to all of you because it seems like I’m defending him in some way, and to me, from his point of view Considering this, the nature of our relationship and what we have done together requires no defense.You can digest it however you want to ingest it. [Tomlin blows a kiss.] Do you know what I mean?”
Brown left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers poorly in Week 17 last season and didn’t quite act like someone he plans to play in the NFL again. he is He said he won’t have the necessary ankle surgery until the team signs him in March and He candidly told fans that they shouldn’t expect to see him playing football this coming season in May.
But he indicated his desire to retire with the Steelers.
Will the Steelers be subject to this? It remains to be seen, though, as Tomlin did his best to praise Brown as a player, while acknowledging that things weren’t handled well on a personal level. Notably, he used nothing but the past tense:
“I don’t think enough is said about this guy’s will. About this guy’s work ethic. About the audacity with which he played the game. Is fear ever a factor in his playing? … I’ve never seen him blink on the football field, I’ve never seen him blush From anything uncomfortable on the football field I’ve only seen him crash into burning buildings on the football field We talk about all that other stuff, man, but we don’t talk about it Incredible will Incredible work ethic Unbelievable belief in himself That’s what I think of when I think of the nine years I spent with this man.
“With success comes a lot of things. Some we handle well, some we don’t. Some have handled it well, some not. Some others in ways that weren’t attractive. It grew and grew exponentially… Success is a slippery red carpet” .
If that really is for Brown, he’ll retire with 928 career receptions, 12,291 yards and 83 touchdowns, with seven Pro Bowl nods, a Super Bowl ring and a place on the 2010 All-Decades NFL Team. Very good for a 5-foot-10 sixth Roundabout from central Michigan.
Brown’s heyday in Pittsburgh was one of the highest the sport of football has seen from a wide receiver, but even his most successful coaches will admit there were things he could have handled better.
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”