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Antonio Brown steps out of bounds to erase miracle touchdown on last play

Antonio Brown out of bounds

Antonio Brown stepped out of bounds on his way to the end zone on the final play of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Miami Dolphins game, wiping out a miracle touchdown that would have tied the game.

The Steelers were down 34-28 to the Dolphins and tried one of those plays at the end of the game where they would lateral and run up field like a rugby play. The ball eventually ended up in the hands of Brown, who went forward and broke free. However, he was pinned against the sideline as he was breaking for paydirt, and he ended up stepping out towards the end of his run.

Though it looked like the Steelers may have had an illegal forward pass on the play, the referees didn’t penalize them for it, meaning if Brown hadn’t stepped out, the touchdown might have stood.

Here’s a look at the play:

GIF via GIFD Sports

Antonio Brown was benched at end of loss to Patriots

Antonio-Brown-SteelersPittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is having a career year, but there have been some bumps along the way. One of them came on Sunday against the New England Patriots.

Brown, who leads the NFL with 61 receptions through eight games, was benched by head coach Mike Tomlin toward the end of the game for disciplinary reasons.

“That was my decision,” Tomlin told reporters Tuesday, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We weren’t getting quality execution from an assignment standpoint. It led to an interception. I chose to remove him from the game.”

Tomlin added that Brown will start against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

After Pittsburgh’s Week 2 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Brown reportedly got into it without offensive coordinator Todd Haley about not getting the ball enough. He has seen plenty of targets since then, though the volume must not have been enough to keep him focused against New England.

Brown is on pace to catch more than 120 passes for over 1,400 yards. He may not maintain that torrid pace, but there’s no reason he can’t come close. However, he may find it challenging to remain focused. The Steelers are 2-6 and are going to miss the playoffs barring some sort of miracle. If Brown is already cashing it in at the end of games, it could get worse as the season progresses.

Antonio Brown reportedly ‘angrily complained’ to Todd Haley that he wants the ball

Antonio-Brown-SteelersThe Pittsburgh Steelers are off to a disappointing start to the 2013 season. They lost an embarrassing home game to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 and were beaten handily again by the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. The team’s biggest issue is clearly its offense. If you ask wide receiver Antonio Brown, he might tell you that one of the main problems is he’s not seeing enough balls.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brown confronted Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley during the second half of Monday’s loss. Tempers flaring on the sidelines is nothing new, but Bouchette said as of Tuesday the two still had not gotten over it.

Brown angrily complained to the coach that not enough pass plays were called for him, several sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Specifics of the argument were hard to come by but sources say that Haley was upset by Brown’s actions and that the two were still seething about it Tuesday. Brown’s complaint to Haley was harsh enough and the reaction to it along the sideline volatile to the point that  many people there noticed, although it was not shown nor apparently caught on camera by anyone, including ESPN, which broadcast the game.

Brown was targeted only three times in the first half. That number jumped up to six in the second half, and he finished with a team-high six catches for 57 yards. Emmanuel Sanders was targeted 10 times and Jerricho Cotchery, who looked sluggish and completely lost, saw five targets in the first half and nine total.

In Haley’s defense, the Steelers’ biggest issue was pass protection. Ben Roethlisberger had hardly any time to throw, so he had to make quick decisions. Although, it should be noted that Roethlisberger has described Haley’s offense as “dink and dump” in the past and admitted he was frustrated with it at one point last year.

It’s no surprise there are players who are angry with the play selection on an 0-2 team. Pittsburgh has a lot of things to fix. The losses of center Maurkice Pouncey and rookie running back Le’Veon Bell have hurt the offense as a whole. Bell’s return could help, but it’s not looking good for the Steelers. Reports like the one about Brown and Haley lead us to believe it could get worse before it gets better.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Antonio Brown says it’s a bit awkward that he got a contract and Mike Wallace didn’t

Antonio-Brown-Mike-Wallace-SteelersMike Wallace is one of the best free agents in the NFL this offseason, and there are very few people who feel that he will sign a new deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. As you know, Wallace held out last year before reporting to camp. He is looking for top dollar, and the Steelers may not be willing to give it to him.

Pittsburgh was, however, willing to throw a large chunk of cash at receiver Antonio Brown last season, signing him to a five-year extension worth $42.5 million. Brown, who has become a more reliable target for Ben Roethlisberger than Wallace, said the fact that he received a contract and Wallace didn’t created a bit of tension last season.

“Some bit of awkwardness,” Brown told 98.7 ESPN in New York. “You know, a guy who has been there longer than I and definitely wanting a deal, but you gotta not dwell on that and that kind of situation prohibits bad blood to a team where guys are there for themselves, and not buy into the team aspects and could definitely cause a drama within a team.”

As we have learned since the start of the offseason, the Steelers had their fair share of locker room issues last year. While it would probably be an exaggeration to say that Brown getting a contract over Wallace contributed to those problems, I’m sure it didn’t help.

That being said, football is a business. The Steelers obviously feel that Brown is reliable and has a bright future, even if his numbers were down in 2012 compared to 2011. Wallace is 26 and Brown is 24. Both are above-average receivers, so Pittsburgh would have to commit quite a bit of its bankroll to keep both. At this point, that seems unlikely.

Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for the transcription

Kurt Coleman rips Antonio Brown’s shoe off and throws it

The NFL has implemented a number of new rules over the past several seasons, most of which attempt to place an emphasis on player safety. If you watched Sunday’s game between the Eagles and Steelers, you may have found yourself thinking the league has to create a rule about throwing an opponent’s shoe. That’s right, a shoe-throwing regulation.

As you can see, Philadelphia defensive back Kurt Coleman tackled Steelers receiver Antonio Brown after Brown caught a pass for a big gain. He also removed Brown’s shoe and angrily tossed it toward the sidelines. A player’s shoe coming off on the field because of a tackle is not an uncommon occurrence, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a receiver forced to sit a play out because a defender hummed their shoe across the field.

Maybe Coleman was mad at Brown for making these comments about his teammate earlier in the week. Either way, I’m not sure he deserved the shoe throw.

Antonio Brown calls Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin ‘the candy bar’

The Eagles have one of the best starting cornerback duos in the NFL in Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. If you’re an opposing offensive coordinator or quarterback, those are certainly two guys you want to game plan around and be aware of at all times. Philadelphia’s nickel corner, rookie Brandon Boykin, does not carry the same reputation as his teammates, which is why Steelers receiver Antonio Brown recently referred to him as “the candy bar.”

“That’s the candy bar,” Brown said according to Observer-Reporter.com. “He’s given up a lot of plays. Whoever gets that guy definitely has to take advantage.”

Brown is referring to the fact that Boykin is sweet for giving up so many big plays this year, but it seems kind of lame to take a shot at a rookie fourth-rounder who is the third corner on his team. Does anyone expect him to be all that good?

Most NFL teams don’t have one great corner, let alone two or three. It would only make sense for the Steelers to go at Boykin, so I’m not sure if Brown is trying to intimidate the rookie or what. If he wants to prove something, he should focus on trying to get the best of Asomugha or Rodgers-Cromartie.

Helmet knock to Shutdown Corner

Ravens’ Lardarius Webb: Antonio Brown is Better than Mike Wallace

If Mike Wallace is widely considered to be one of the best receivers in the NFL, then Antonio Brown must be right up there with Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, if you believe Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb. Even though Wallace is one of the fastest players in the game and an unbelievable deep threat, Webb is more impressed by Wallace’s teammate, Antonio Brown.

“Every time somebody asks me [a question], they’re always talking about Mike Wallace,” Webb said on Wednesday when asked about having to cover Wallace. “But they have a guy No. 84 in Antonio Brown who is better than 17 [Wallace] in all aspects of the game. He’s a great returner, a great wide receiver.”

Through eight games, Wallace has 43 catches, 800 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Brown, on the other hand, is having a more modest season and has caught 34 passes for 431 yards and one touchdown.  Both receivers could turn out to be a huge part of the Pittsburgh offense for the coming years, but Wallace is obviously the superior talent at this point.  Unless you ask Webb.

As ESPN’s Jamison Hensley noted, Webb’s praise of Brown is likely due to a past experience; Webb was burned by Brown for a 58-yard pass last season in the playoffs.

Brown is emerging as a legitimate option for Ben Roethlisberger, but I wouldn’t go grabbing him ahead of Wallace in fantasy leagues next season.  In fact, I wouldn’t be drafting him ahead of about 30 other guys unless he absolutely tears it up over the final eight games.