Steelers receiver Antonio Brown will soon complete his fourth NFL season. For the half of his NFL career, he has been regarded as the franchise’s most valuable player.
The Steelers announced Thursday that Brown has once again been named team MVP, via a vote of his teammates. Brown also won the award in 2011.
Through 15 games, Brown already has set a new team record for receiving yards in a season, with 1,412. He’s 11 catches behind Hines Ward’s single-season reception record of 112.
Some will say that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should have won the award. Others will point out that the players vote on the award. Some of the others will wonder whether the decision to pick Brown over Roethlisberger was influenced by personal feelings and preferences regarding the two men within the locker room.
On his way to joining the all-time greats in Steelers history, Brown already could be on the short list if he had found a way to stay in bounds on the final play of a loss to the Dolphins earlier this month. But for a foot landing on the white stripe after Brown had broken through the defense to cap the NFL’s answer to the Stanford band play, the Steelers would have won the game — and they would have been one win over the Browns away from an playoff berth.
Even with that misstep, Brown has something the Steelers’ roster currently is lacking: youth and a high degree of talent. If they can find more players like Brown in the later rounds of the draft, Brown will have a chance to join Lynn Swann, Ward, and Santonio Holmes are Steelers receivers named MVP of the Super Bowl.