Antonio Brown report had an error, Steelers don’t deny he was pouting

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NFL Network’s report on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown being overly concerned with his own stats had a fairly significant error, and yet the response to the report from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suggests that the report was largely correct.

The error was in claiming that Brown was upset because he was “wide open” on the play when the Steelers scored their first touchdown and didn’t get the ball thrown his way. Brown wasn’t “wide open” at all; it was a running play and Brown was blocking Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. And yet NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala twice used that play as the basis for her larger report that Brown is too focused on his own stats.

“When DeAngelo Williams scored the Steelers’ first touchdown, Antonio Brown was open in the back of the end zone,” Kinkhabwala said in one report. “He hung his head after that touchdown. He was the last player to walk off the field.”

“DeAngelo Williams scores the Steelers’ first touchdown, Antonio Brown was wide open in the back of the end zone, and he pouted,” Kinkhabwala said in another report. “He pouted. His team just scored a touchdown and he was upset that he was wide open and Roethlisberger didn’t go to him. . . . He was the last player off the field.”

But that simply isn’t what happened. Brown was blocking on the running play when Williams scored the Steelers’ first touchdown. And Brown hadn’t been “wide open” on the pass play prior to that, either: Roethlisberger had first looked to Brown in the end zone before checking down because Brown wasn’t open. In fact, on the replay CBS showed immediately before Williams’ touchdown, commentator Phil Simms specifically pointed out that Brown wasn’t getting open because the Patriots were double-teaming him.

“Any time you get inside the 20 they’re going to double-team your best players. You see Malcolm Butler, there’s the safety over the top, Devin McCourty,” Simms said of the Patriots covering Brown.

The TV feed doesn’t provide a good enough look at Brown’s face to see whether or not he was “pouting,” but he certainly didn’t look unhappy when Williams scored. He put his arms up as soon as Williams stuck the ball over the goal line. He then proceeded to go into the end zone where his teammates were celebrating.

Was Brown the last one off the field? A shot of the Steelers’ sideline before the extra point showed Brown and Roethlisberger both reaching the sideline at about the same time, in the area where Tomlin was standing. There was no indication that any of them exchanged words. (Not to mention that some of the Steelers who were on the field for the touchdown stayed on the field for the extra point, so Brown was obviously off the field before those players.)

But the part about Brown being “wide open” and being the last off the field isn’t the most important part of the NFL Network report. The truly significant part — the part we focused on when we first mentioned it on Tuesday — is that the Steelers have a concern that Brown is too focused on his own stats. And that more important part of the report is the part where the Steelers’ response was interesting.

When Tomlin was asked about it on Tuesday, he easily could have dismissed the report and pointed out the inaccuracy in Brown being “wide open.” Instead, Tomlin said he didn’t see pouting but then switched focus to say he’s going to continue to challenge Brown.

And when Roethlisberger was asked about it on his radio show on Tuesday, he seemed to indirectly confirm that Brown was pouting: Roethlisberger said he thinks Brown is such a great player that his play overshadows “extra stuff” he does, and Roethlisberger specifically mentioned pouting as part of that “extra stuff.”

“He’s one of the best in the business, and the plays that he makes and has made over his career are so special,” Roethlisberger said of Brown. “I think sometimes that overshadows the extra stuff: the hands up, the arms up, the frustrations, the pouting, the things like that.”

Between Tomlin and Roethlisberger’s reactions to the report and Tomlin’s use of the word “selfish” to describe Brown last week after his Facebook Live fiasco, there seems to be a lot of truth to the idea that the Steelers aren’t exactly thrilled with the attitude of their star receiver. That shouldn’t get lost in the inaccurate description of one particular play.

82 responses to “Antonio Brown report had an error, Steelers don’t deny he was pouting

  1. The great ones always think they are open, they cry until passed too even at detriment to the rest of the team.

  2. Is this a joke? Roethlisberger has some nerve, this man carried your passing game. Tomlin has some nerve he got mopped up by Belicheck from a coaching standpoint. Brown is the best performer on that team!

  3. again no credit to an “UNDRAFTED CB” who won them the SB,,and turned in a premier shut down corner

  4. Look… if they don’t want Brown, there are 31 other teams that would be happy to have him on their team.

    Send him to Cleveland! I’d love to see them become relevant under Hue!

  5. Yet STILL no mention of Brown being the first to celebrate with a touchdown signal. Waiting for the next and final article about this mess that will hopefully clarify this…well… clarification.
    P.S. Kinkhabwala is a hack.

  6. Maybe it was Williams’ second touchdown? The passing TD?

    In any event, I’m surprised at Ben’s comments. Keep that stuff in-house.

  7. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    Live by the selfish player, die by the selfish player.

    I don’t remember Franco Harris or John Stallworth heaping attention on themselves nor pouting. My recollection is that they were relatively reserved guys who excelled on the field.

  8. Didn’t notice anything unusual from Brown. What stood out to me was Bell doing his best LaDanlian Thomlinson imitation on the sideline after his injury. The only thing missing was the tinted visor.

  9. This isnt about alternative facts. This is about women who have never played the game and try to pretend they understand the game. Now take ESPN’s Josina Anderson….. there is a woman who likes to “create” stories…

  10. not that my opinion matters but Brown has slid on my list of great recievers due to his additude.
    this is what makes AJ Green and Julio Jones great they just go out and play hard make great plays every game without all the antics!

  11. The Steelers are a bunch of lying, cheating, whining babies and it all starts with Trip Tomlin. My headset wasn’t working, the D line shifted waaaaaaah. I need to trip somebody. Loser team, loser fans.

  12. every single detail of her report has been clearly shown to be a made up lie. Anyone can see this by watching the replay of the TD. I, along with others, have posted this repeatedly all week. Sorry, I’m going the other way, when every detail of her report is clearly a lie, I’m severely doubting the “pouting” part too. made up drama

  13. Also why are most commenters up here not just going back and watching the play in question instead of taking these articles and running with them. It CLEARLY shows
    1) AB was on a block for the run play
    2)He put his hands up signally touchdown in a celebratory fashion as bell crossed the line
    3)He put his head down in a way the indicated relief as one would do after a long effort filled drive ending in a TD
    4)He waited for Bell to congratulate him when he was standing in back of endzone

    It’s all on film folks for the world to see. Stop being lazy and content with false reporting.

  14. Why listen to L’il Bennie, he is butt hurt and going to stay home next year. He does nothing to refute his label of being a “Drama Queen” Somehow he fits in Stealer Country.

  15. Go back to the post way back when, when Brown showed up to training camp in a custom car. It was brushed off as him loving the game and having fun. I said it was more selfish than anything, and then when he didn’t start to produce, things and distractions like that were going to be used against him by the Steelers and the media.
    Well, it begins…

  16. Browns talent is undeniable and has huge upside but he does tend to make it about himself ans should be more focused on team goals…the td flips….the camera Facespacing er whatever and posing for photos at every turn gets old .especially when you lose a game or two …its magnified…..

  17. We will gladly take Antonio off your hands over here in Wisconsin. Can you imagine the ARod to Antonio connection? My God. We might actually score enough to bail out Dom’s pathetic playoff defenses who tend to give up 35+ every other GD game.

  18. The reporter gave FAKE news about Brown. Brown is a tremendous receiver and yes, there will be times of pouting, immaturity etc, but the HC needs to work on those things.

  19. I think the Steelers would be fools to offer Brown a long term 15 mil a year type deal at age 31 in 2018.

    Franchise him if you have to but the Steelers can’t win if a third of their team payroll in 2018 and beyond is taken up by the 3 B’s.

  20. What’s interesting is that ESPN’s shoddy, inaccurate, and sometimes outlandish reporting has become so commonplace that it’s not even a story anymore!

  21. Steeler Trash the whole crew. now we can officially add pouting to their great history of molesting, steriods, major drug use, CTE cover-up, tripping, under arrest coaches and cheating as much as any team in the NFL besides the patriots.

  22. His talent is enough that you can deal with the distractions.

    Everyone says TO was a cancer, and while he was at the end in philly, he put up hall of fame numbers. Point is if brown was a worse player than he is, he wouldn’t be on the team now.

  23. California allows undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses. So why couldn’t they have voted.

    Belichick was quick to notice how much Randy Moss’s value to the team had diminished once opposing defenses learned during that 2007 season how to neutralize him with a “safety over the top.” Belichick has since used that same tactic to take away the other team’s best receiver.

  24. This team is imploding. All of this will be a giant distraction next season.

  25. Aditi, don’t go down the same path as Pam Oliver did years ago with McNabb. Report the news, don’t make it up.

  26. California allows undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses. So why couldn’t they have voted.

    Because their names aren’t on the voter rolls?

  27. Are we now using replay to look at he faces of players not involved in a play to see how they may be reacting to not being part of the play and then determine if they are angry that their stats are not going up….What is going on!?!?!

  28. “mkesfinest says:
    Jan 25, 2017 9:36 AM

    We’re entering the Age of Alternative Facts.”

    Fake Facts?

  29. tritz32 says:
    Jan 25, 2017 10:00 AM
    We will gladly take Antonio off your hands over here in Wisconsin. Can you imagine the ARod to Antonio connection? My God. We might actually score enough to bail out Dom’s pathetic playoff defenses who tend to give up 35+ every other GD game.


    I don’t think Dom’s defense was the reason ARod put up a goose-egg in the 1st half against the Falcons…. ARod came up extra-small in that game.

  30. Guess what? No one cares! People will always believe he pouted on this particular play.

    Remember Mort’s “11 of 12” comment that we later found out was a blatant lie? Didn’t matter and the damage was done. That’s when a lot of people stopped paying attention and they still believe Brady cheated.

    It doesn’t matter that the Well$ Report, 2 court hearings, science, and common sense contradicted Mort and proved the footballs deflated naturally. They stopped listening and facts be darned!

  31. curmudgeon13 says:
    Jan 25, 2017 9:40 AM
    The media lying and reporting fake news?? Say it ain’t so…….
    And the office of the POTUS sends out alternate facts. It’s the world we live in. Question everything, trust no one and do some research to form an opinion.

  32. patriottony says:

    again no credit to an “UNDRAFTED CB” who won them the SB,,and turned in a premier shut down corner

    Malcolm Butler is a very good player but he didn’t shut Brown down. Brown was doubled the whole games which defeats the idea of one person shutting him down.

  33. Look at the replay. When Williams scores, Antonio Brown is the first person to raise his arms in celebration, indicating it was a touchdown.

    This is just made up nonsense.

    Wouldn’t there be stories if he didn’t care and was yucking it up on the sidelines with a big smile on his face while his team was getting killed?

    I’ll take the guys who care and are emotionally involved.

  34. I need more Antonio Brown stories. There better be another one tomorrow about how he maybe pouts, or doesn’t but might, because his cousin definitely said he might have once. If there isn’t another AB story tomorrow I might pout

  35. If you think illegals couldn’t find a way to vote for Bernie or Hillary, you need to come to reality. There is always corruption or a way to grease the wheels in the real world. Heck, people let things go real easy if they are sympathetic to cause they find righteous. I lived in Texas once near the border and man things are easy. Need someone to lose a vehicle you spent way too much money on. You can make it happen in a snap without a bat of the eye.

    Back to football. The report was stupid. He got a boo-boo face because Butler and company shut him down. He didn’t get to be big time in prime time, couple that with a blowout, and being a WR… of course he got a boo-boo face and was upset.

  36. steelcurtainn says:
    Jan 25, 2017 11:33 AM

    The Steelers are next in line to win a championship. Home field will get them there.
    Next in line? Did you watch the game? This team is so weak on defense they’ll be lucky to sniff the wild card round next year.

  37. The problem with these “opinion” pieces that are passed off as a factual story by the sports networks is that the average fan believes this is the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth.

    Don’t believe me? Check out yesterday’s story. Comments were at least 4-1 that AB is a selfish player, doesn’t care about winning, only cares about stats, not a team player, etc.

    But as I posted yesterday, AB has NEVER publicly complained about targets or catches. And remember, this is a guy who is basically in a contract year. So the better his stats, the higher probability he will get a little more money on his next contract. If he put up a 90-1000-4 season, do you think he’s going to be paid as the top WR? But, again, he didn’t complain publicly and I haven’t seen him throwing his arms up in frustration.

    But even if he wasn’t in a “contract year”, remember that at any point, a team can force a player to either take a pay cut or outright cut him (and not owe him another dime). How’s that for job security??

    This is why I have no problem with a WR, RB or TE PRIVATELY talking to his coaches if he feels like he isn’t being utilized properly. I know we all want to think that this is a game and every player should only care about winning, but this is a business, and people’s livelihoods are at stake.

    EVERY YEAR IS A CONTRACT YEAR when you have non-guaranteed contracts.

  38. Can’t say I’m a fan of Brown, but after seeing how many of his fellow WRs in the league react to “personal disappointments”, a little pout is far better than say Beckham’s or Dez’s rants.

    How about listing WRs who one thinks behaves the best? I’ll start with Julio Jones, AJ Green, Fitz….

  39. Just trade him to the Eagles. It is obvious the relationship between AB and the Steelers has soured.

  40. I was at the game and thought they were talking about the second touchdown which was a pass because Brown didn’t seem too excited he didn’t catch it but tough to blame him because the game was over, there wasn’t anything to be excited about. On the first touchdown, he raised his arms at the touchdown signal. Too much being made of this. Standard for NFL reporting and reporting in general.

  41. I cant believe the Iron Strong Steelers tolerate this effeminate Hollywood poser.

    Brown is so Un -Steeler like.

    He is totally responsible for the Steelers loss due to him being a distraction.

    Bill Cowher and Chuck Noll would have cut him long ago.

    Mike Tomlin seems stronger than them, what is he waiting for?

    Brown is making the Steelers look weak.

  42. You all realize that the Stealers as a team are ranked #3 biggest cheaters in the NFL? Right?
    Do five minutes of research and you too will find it.

  43. As much as I think Terry Bradshaw is a doofus, I think he was more correct than not with his recent comments about Trip Tomlin. I just do not see him showing any leadership. He talks a good game, but talk is cheap.

  44. steelers shoulda tried harder to keep emmanuel sanders. brown couldnt get open vs the pats and the young wrs killed the steelers.

  45. The Steelers have quite a few talented, but very young guys on the team. The future looks good, but they need a no nonsense, Belichick type coach that will jerk a knot in their rear ends when they step out of line. I have nothing against Tomlin as a person, but on his watch, it seems that I have heard of more negatives than positives coming out of the locker room. I’m not saying it never happened under Cowher, but I don’t remember this loosey goosey stuff. Cowher and Noll were paid to be coaches, not their buddies. Obviously, they had a relationship with their players, but the main focus was on preparation for the opponent.

  46. @prestonarnyek says:
    Jan 25, 2017 6:37 PM

    pair him with the GOAT: Marcus Mariota
    Tennessee is fine with its WR corp. I’m ignoring the other part of your post.

  47. Getting this far into the playoffs is proving to be a bad deal for the Steelers. They get: 1) Drama, 2) worse draft pick position, 3) tougher schedule next year. The only game they won post-season wasn’t even good — they scored zero touchdowns to win it.

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