Today Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin joined The Pivot Podcast with former NFL players Ryan Clark, Fred Taylor, and Channing Crowder. During the show Tomlin talked about several topics from Ben Roethlisberger to Brian Flores, to his legacy in Pittsburgh.
But one of the most interesting topics of the hour plus long podcast was Tomlin’s comments about former receiver Antonio Brown. Brown of course spent nine years in Pittsburgh under the tutelage of Tomlin. There we many highs and lows of that relationship. The Steelers ultimately never won a Super Bowl with Brown, but Brown left a mark on Steelers history in many different ways.
Everyone knows what happened when the relationship came to an end. Today for the first time since Brown was traded Tomlin opened up about his relationship with Brown. He was asked about Browns recent comments about wanting to retire as a Steeler.
“Ya’ll know that ain’t happening. In terms of putting a helemt on and running out of the tunnel and playing ball and stuff like that man. You know he’s moved on and we’ve moved on. We can sit around and chop that up like it’s a realistic conversation, but we know that’s not realistic.”
Tomlin would then go into his relationship with Brown and how he remembers the good times and not so much the bad.
“What I’ll say about AB is this man, we had nine great years. I appreciate that dude in ways I can’t explain to ya’ll. I won’t even bother to attempt to explain to ya’ll because it sounds like I’m defending him in some way. And to me from that standpoint the nature of our relationship and what we all did together requires no defense. You could digest it however you want to digest it. [Tomlin blows a kiss]
I don’t think enough gets said about the will of that dude. About the work ethic of that dude. About the fearlessness that he played the game. If fear ever a factor in his play?” Tomlin asked Clark. “Not one time,” Clark responded. “That about all of the people who played the wide out position that you could say that about…I never seen him blink on the football field. I’ve only seen him run into burning buildings, as they say, on the football field.
There is no denying Browns desire to be great. He was always the last one off the field at training camp. Staying after in the heat to catch 150 balls from a jugs machine. The way he treated his body each week after each game. The dude was just as crazy about being great as he is being crazy in life.
“Man we talk about all of this other stuff, but we don’t talk about that,” Tomlin continued. “Unbelievable will. Unbelievable work ethic. Unbelievable belief in himself. Thats what I think about when I think about the nine years I spent with that dude. It’s so funny man, I think he was the best punt returner on the planet you know what I mean? The first time he touched the ball in a NFL football game he ran a kickoff back. I had a ring side seat for all of that stuff.
So when people want to talk about craziness, about negativity as it pertains to him I choose not to participate.
With success comes a lot of thing. Some we deal with well, and some we don’t. Some he dealt with well and some of it he didn’t. Some of it changed him in ways that were not as attractive. Some ways he grew and grew in a big way. You know he was real naive when he got here man.
One of the greatest questions in Steelers history will always be what would’ve happened to Antonio Brown if he wouldn’t of walked out on the Steelers.
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