Throughout his eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Antonio Brown consistently finished among the top five wide receivers in NFL. Along with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell, the trio was a lethal combination on the field that led the Steelers to several winning seasons.
By the end of the 2018 season, cracks started to show in the celebrated offense. Bell moved on to the New York Jets in the off-season. Rumors of friction between Brown and his quarterback led to the wide receiver skipping practices leading up to Week 17. This, in turn, led to Mike Tomlin’s decision to bench the wide out.
"So, you know, I think I was showing I was humbled, grateful to just get [an] opportunity to play. I think you get misconstrued with all the other things because like you know, Tampa Bay didn't want me at all you know, Tom didn't want me."
Brown changed teams. Whether he went to Oakland, New England, or Tampa Bay, his diva attitude and odd off-the-field behavior followed. Most recently, Brown seemingly had a breakdown in the middle of the Week 17 match against the Jets last season.
While fans watched, Brown stripped off his jersey and shoulder pads and walked off the field while taunting the crowd.
Antonio Brown redirects blame toward Buccaneers head coach and starting quarterback
Now, in a recent interview on the Off the Record podcast, Antonio Brown made some big claims. He said that Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and starting quarterback Tom Brady didn’t want him on the team.
Furthermore, he stated that he was never really treated with respect and viewed himself as “the head, not the tail.”
"Yeah, and they put that on record a bunch of times, so it was like end of the day you know, these guys didn't really treat me with respect will give.... I'm the head not the tail man, so I was like, I saw a respect and a certain from teammates like I don't hang around teammates."
The metaphor suggests that Brown believes he wasn’t touching the ball enough. Also, that he viewed himself as the No. 1 receiver on a Bucaneers squad loaded with talent.
However, in a receiving corp that included Mike Evens, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski, the lack of targets should have come as no surprise.