The Steelers let several veteran players go before the 2012 season and there figure to be more departures this offseason as the team continues to say goodbye to key members of teams that went to two of the last five Super Bowls.
Many have noted that a lot of the leadership from those teams has been lost as the Steelers transition away from those players, something that wide receiver Antonio Brown hopes to address by taking on more responsibility for guiding the team back to the winning record that eluded them in 2012. Brown told the team’s website that he wants to serve as a bridge from the teams of the past to the Steelers of the future.
“We have a lot of young guys,” Brown said. “A lot of guys haven’t been around here for the history of this team. I want to make sure guys understand the importance of being here, the tradition and what is required from our peers, coaches and everybody inside this building. You have to know the history of something if you are a part of it. You have to know where it started, where it came from and what it’s about. You know where you are with it now and where you want to go. I can help teach guys about that and take that type of approach. Every man here has to understand the importance of what the Steelers logo stands for, the men that came before us and wore the jersey and we have to understand the importance of it, be humbled by it and work with that mentality.”
If Mike Wallace leaves as a free agent, Brown will have more on-field responsibilities as well in 2013. It’s the natural progression for a player the Steelers gave a long-term extension last year to serve as the foundation of their receiving corps, albeit one that further underlines the way things are changing in Pittsburgh.