Report: Ben criticized Brown in meetings, wanted him off the practice field

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A former NFL player turned NFL Network analyst has provided a different side of the ongoing saga of Antonio Brown‘s relationship with the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

James Jones, a former NFL wide receiver who’s now on NFL Network, said on the air that he has heard from multiple people on the Steelers that Roethlisberger’s needling of Brown has caused damage to their relationship, and it reached a boiling point last week.

“I have talked to a couple people in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and they told me this has been lingering on,” Jones said. “I’ve been told in meetings [Roethlisberger] would take shots at AB. Like, ‘I don’t got to throw you the ball,’ and things like that. Wednesday in practice, I heard he ran the wrong route, Big Ben threw the ball on the ground, said, ‘Get him out of here. Get somebody else in there,’ and that’s when AB was at his boiling point and that’s when he went off.”

Jones suggested that Brown doesn’t respect Roethlisberger enough to talk face-to-face with him about their issues.

“I do think it’s hard to sit down and have a conversation with a man you do not respect or trust,” Jones said.

Jones did not name the people in the Steelers organization he’s spoken with, but they’re clearly people who want to get Brown’s side of the story out. However, even if Brown’s side of the story is accurate, it’s hard to defend Brown’s actions: Roethlisberger’s words wouldn’t justify Brown walking out on his team before the biggest game of the season.

89 responses to “Report: Ben criticized Brown in meetings, wanted him off the practice field

  1. Steelers should trade Brown to the Giants for Beckham. Problem solved for both teams.
    Of course we all know it is just a different headache for both teams.

  2. Just imagine if Brown had to play with P Manning. Manning lets his receivers have it before, during, and after practice. lol

  3. Team full of divas, Big Ben included. However, it’s the QBs job to hold a WR accountable when running wrong routes, etc. I wouldn’t call that “taking shots” at AB.

  4. AB’s side of the story is finally coming out. Sounds like AB was feeling “dissed” when Ben got upset at him for running the wrong route and AB won’t talk to him face-to-face? Ben is no angel, but AB is a 30 year old child

  5. So Rothlisberger is a tyrannical d-head; who’d see that coming? Should have been locked up years ago. But Brown does not get a pass. He bailed on his team. The Steelers could solve much of their character issues if they cut the 2 of them. Tomlin needs to go too. Way too much nonsense going on that should’ve been squashed years ago.

  6. “Jones suggested that Brown doesn’t respect Roethlisberger enough to talk face-to-face with him about their issues.”

    No, that’s just being a coward. It amazes me how professionals can’t adult.

  7. tylawspick6 says:
    January 5, 2019 at 11:12 am
    wow. ben caught lying


    Lying about what? Roethlisberger has a history of publicly calling out other players. Is it surprising that he also does it during practice?

  8. edon8334 says:
    January 5, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Shannon Sharpe said it best, it’s harder to find a Big Ben than it is a AB

    >>>I never thought it was that hard to find an average QB, the NFL is full of them, now a top tier(which Big Ben ISN’T), well that’s another story!

  9. I’m from the Baldwin HS area. Moved to NY as a kid. Generations of y family lived north and south of the river, before the Steelers ever existed. My grandmother went to grade school with the original Rooney. I have a photo of them together. But I’m a long time Giants’ fan.

    Pains me to root AGAINST my dad’s team. But once their QB started paying off bathroom girls, it was over.

    Brown may be a Diva but at least he respects your sister, daughter and or mother.

  10. Why does a QB have to “call out” a WR for running the wrong route in practice or a game? I thought that was the job of the coaches.

  11. Sorry, don’t believe this guy, James who? As a Steelers fan, the best thing that could happen is that the cancer Brown is shopped and traded; hopefully to a team that has a sub-par quarterback and no offensive line, then we’ll see how good he really is. He’s a great WR, but let’s not forget that his is part of a duo that makes great things happen. He doesn’t have those stats without Ben. Seems like he’s drinks his own koolaid.

  12. I think we can safely assume the “people” Jones has been talking to is Antonio Brown and his agent.

    Steelers need to get rid of Brown, but I just don’t know who would want him in a trade. What a headache! Same with Bell. Notice all these divas (Brown, Bell, Beckham, etc.) never actually result in success for their team.

  13. Not believing a word J.J. said. If that were true most of the team would have witnessed it or heard it…yet, nobody has leaked that? Fake news coming from a WR that nobody respects in J.J.

  14. Ben’s not the smartest bulb in the shed but for some reason I really don’t hear him saying “I don’t got to throw you the ball.”

  15. do not care about the stealers woes. just keep fighting and LOSING till they get rid of the
    diva’s, hair pullers and especially the TRIPPER Tomlin.

  16. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, you have receivers getting the ball less and actually blocking for Lamar Jackson. Oh, and they’re going to the playoffs.

  17. Here is the difference between Ben and AB. Ben will take the blame when he has a bad game or the offense is out of sync. Yes he will publicly call out a player. But he also takes plenty of blame himself. AB needs to grow up

  18. If Brown thinks this somehow paints him in a better light then what team is going to want to add this immature child to their locker room?

  19. James Jones is an idiot. He played WR in the NFL. He knows Peyton Manning, Unitas, Elway, Marino, all QB’s have all called out WR’s for running wrong routes, not being attentive in practice/meetings,etc. Jones is defending Brown…his home boy. Simple as that. Antonio Brown was streaming the locker room on FB live while Tomlin was addressing the team after a game. James Jones going to defend that also?

  20. If you read between the lines with Jones’s comments, here is what you can infer:
    -Roethlisberger saying “I don’t got to throw you the ball” suggests AB was moping about not getting enough targets, something that has happened before
    -Roethlisberger getting pissed about AB running the wrong route means the very veteran WR ran the wrong route. It’s quite possible this was the straw the broke the camel’s back in practice, perhaps with AB dogging it or something along those lines
    -AB is apparently the kind of guy who won’t be straight with a guy he “doesn’t trust or respect”…but if he isn’t straight, that is probably why Roethlisberger treats him in a way that he feels is disrespectful and untrustworthy. It’s a Catch 22

    Sounds to me like AB is equally or primarily culpable here, but is painting himself as the victim.

  21. Now Ben is the problem instead of looking at the selfish attitude of Brown. Steeler fans have witnessed the actions of Brown on the sidelines all year pus the disrespect of listening to a coaches talk in locker room as he Facebooked himself. He has shown himself as Ju JU has taken over the fans favorite so now he is not man enough to talk to Ben, To talk to Mr Rooney or his coach. Spoiled kid who wants to point the finger at everyone else including an analyst that pointed out what is important to Brown, only stats and only his personal stats. Calling Clark Uncle Tom . This is the players today in the NFL, cry babies that have been spoiled and then send their agent to talk.

  22. AB is another diva WR who thinks he should get the ball evey play. His team didn’t vote for him as team MVP because of his attitude and he proves them right by throwing a tantrum and sitting out a do or die game. Ben saying “I don’t have to throw you the ball!” is a true statement. Juju is a tood WR and AB doesn’t have to have the ball every play. Oh yeah, and fire Tomlin! Because a coach with 65% wins, constant playoff apperances, and a Super Bowl win is a terrible coach. That’s my arm chair QB take of the day.

  23. People in Pittsburgh have seen this silly game with AB all year. Ever since JuJu emerged as a player, Brown has been pouting like a BIG BABY! AB Complains constantly All Year for the BALL, More catches!
    AB is doubled teamed and triple teamed, JuJU is wide OPEN…but AB wants the BALL!
    Complains all season long that he is not getting the BALL.

  24. Two toddlers fighting over a toy on a playground, with an indifferent nanny staring off into space.

  25. I don’t believe a word that James Jones says. I live in Pittsburgh and we have seen AB’s selfish act 1st hand all year. This is all about AB’s jealousy at JuJu Smith-Schuster’s emergence as a star player. Brown is a selfish, me 1st person. He wants the Limelight all to himself. It drove him crazy that JuJu was getting the ball also.
    James Jones has ZERO Credibility with me.

  26. Doesn’t sound a whole lot different than any other workplace setting, except for the part about one of the “coworkers” walking away from a 1.3 million dollar paycheck. That was a silly move by Brown. Who’d care whether Ben likes you or not if you were getting paid a million bucks a week to pretend to get along with him? I’m pretty sure I could fake it.

  27. Merely making excuses for Brown acting like a child and going AWOL when his team faced a must-win game. Listen, there is no excuse for what Brown did. None. Just stop it. People in the workplace disagree and criticize each other all the time, but they don’t do what Brown did. Brown better realize he will become known as a malcontent very quickly if he does not do what he can to clean up his mess and quickly.

  28. And it finally comes out. Like I wrote before, Ben has to go… Ben’s supporters on the team are few and far in between.

    If the Steelers want to continue winning and not go in to full on rebuild mode. Then they will move on from the 37 year old quarterback “who calls people out because he’s earned it”. Over the 30 year old emotional wide receiver in his prime.

    Ben is already sweating this in offering to “sign a new contract”. The dead money cap hit on Ben this year is only $6 million pre June 1st. And the Steelers would (Cap Savings) save $17 million.

  29. webofbelief says:

    Meanwhile, in Baltimore, you have receivers getting the ball less and actually blocking for Lamar Jackson. Oh, and they’re going to the playoffs.
    No dog in the fight but

    Playing a RB at QB will only take you so far and… at some point if your QB keeps running the ball like that you will need a second RB/QB. I have never seen this style of play result in winning consistantly in the NFL. Not to mention the shelf life of a run first QB (see RG3, Tebow and countless others)

  30. Living in Cincinnati this sounds just like what Carson Palmer has to deal with Chad Johnson……Ben shouldn’t have to put up with a Diva…… be a great player AB leave the rest out of the game

  31. The only truth about both players is that they
    are both selfish and have clearly put their
    own interests in first place, rather than thinking
    about what sacrifices and efforts are required, to
    get their team into first place.
    The practice of self interest before team has now become
    what the Steeler organization is about. This has
    come about as a result of a coach who has failed
    to reign in players, and ownership who does not
    recognize the difference in his fathers ability to be
    be tolerant yet decisive, when needed .

  32. Doesn’t Ben have a lengthy history of not getting along with teammates? I seem to remember a story about old vets “freezing him out” years ago, or something like that. I’ve never seen a weirder career than Ben’s. He’s obviously a good QB, but he hasn’t won anything of note without those legendary LeBeau defenses…which carried him through some pretty nasty playoff performances. He’ll probably make the HOF thanks to those rings and the logo on his helmet, but was he really a HOF player? I don’t think so.

  33. I couldn’t care less about Steelers drama, but you have to know there’s fault to go around. Honesty seems to be lacking.

  34. Why would Antonio 🤡 not respect Worthlessnooger? They work for the same circus.

  35. The truth is Ben saw AB in his Mink Coat and mistook him for a Wookie.

    AB hates when you call him Chewbacca.

    Call him chewy and the furniture will fly.

  36. One Pats fan obtusely blamed the Steelers for being in the spotlight of their own volition……only a Pats fan…again only a Pats fan.

    Much like the commenter above the source for this story is highly questionable but the Chummers and knee jerk trolls are very gullible. Relax ladies the truth will eventually surface and semblance to this report will only be that its in English.

  37. That’s what good leaders do. They lead. Brown was not good for the Steelers. You need a great QB to win. Ben is a great QB. You don’t need great WR’s to win, especially if they’re not team guys. If Bill Belichick was the Steelers coach, he would have gotten rid of Brown a long time ago. Tomlin doesn’t have that same kind of power in Pittsburgh. This is just like when the Eagles got rid of Desean Jackson and Shady McCoy, and won the super bowl the very next year. People thought Chip Kelly was off his rocker. How’s Desean Jackson doing in Tampa Bay? He’s already on his way out the door there too. Get rid of Brown and the Steelers are instantly better off. Big Ben knows that. Pittsburgh fans are hard working people, and they love their Steelers. They’re on Ben’s side.

  38. If this is true then the Brown looks worse because Ben exposed how insecure he is. Before you roll your eyes think about it for a moment. Brown is one of the top 2 or 3 wideouts in the NFL, no argument, he’s the cover boy for Madden, All-Pro, we know it, he knows it.

    So what’s changed in the last 2 years? The emergence of JuJu Smith-Schuster that’s what changed.The Steelers have another option outside and that should make them stronger instead Brown feels threatened. As many big catches as Brown had made in the clutch, do you really think Ben feels like he needs to lite a fire under him to perform.

    Its a great lesson. Usually the man keeping you down is the one you see in the mirror.

  39. Charliecharger, Eagles did themselves of Jackson and McCoy in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Then won the Super Bowl in 2017 with a totally different coach.

  40. If one looks at the big picture here, Tomlin is clearly the issue. It’s his room and his team to set the course for. The captain of the ship sets the tone. And this captain lets the players run amok. Clamp that crap down and be the head coach. As the comments above say over and over, how does Tomlin still have a job….

  41. This seems like damage control for Brown. The funny thing is that while its obvious intent is to help Brown, it actually makes him look worse. It comes from the same mindset where the guy thinks he did nothing wrong. If a WR on my favorite team is acting up or not doing what he is supposed to I WANT my QB to call him out for it.

  42. I don’t believe this. Sounds way too exaggerated to be true. Sounds like AB’s camp trying to save face with other teams so he appears more attractive.

  43. redislander10 says:
    January 5, 2019 at 12:19 pm
    AB should realize that Big Ben had a huge hand in making AB who he his. He is responsible for a significant chunk of his success


    Yep. He *should*, he’s seen it first hand with others. Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, Mike Wallace, Santonio Holmes… did those guys do after leaving Pittsburgh to catch passes from other QBs?

    The 5th rd punt returner from Central Michigan has done well for himself but he would not have these otherworldly numbers without a QB who hangs in the pocket longer than anybody giving him extra time to get open. Ben is today what Dan Founts was in the 70s and 80s.

  44. ‘I don’t got to throw you the ball,’ is pretty much just explaining how the quarterback position works. Roethlisberger has made half a dozen wide receivers Pro Bowlers, and two of them Super Bowl MVPs. If AB doens’t respect that he’s not just childish, he’s dumb.

  45. Give me a break. Everyone knows Brown is a spoiled brat. The thing you must look at is where does Coach Tomlin sit with the issue between these guys? It’s obvious, he’s squarely in Ben’s corner. That tells me everything I need to know. Because no matter what anyone says, Tomlin is not afraid to go after anyone on his team who he thinks is causing problems.

  46. So I don’t blame AB for being upset. Second year receiver and got voted MVP on his team. That should make him mad. When he’s not getting the ball thrown to him during a game they win. His stats aren’t very good, he should be mad. Quarterback calling him out for running your own routes. That should not happen to AB. He should be mad. So what if he quits on his team and goes AWOL. An important game which could have decided playoffs or not. I don’t blame him for showing the Steelers what you’re missing on game day. I think his coach was even mean to him. He should be mad. Signed James Jones

  47. Ben’s got his issues, but I’ve never heard of him refusing to attend practices, seen him throwing coolers on the sidelines, noticed him costing the team 15-yard penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, or watched him posting locker-room meetings online. So it’s difficult to believe Ben is responsible for Brown’s behavior. This is just more of AB being AB.

  48. As a Chiefs fan I’m do glad we have Pat Mahomes and Andy Reid. Chiefs didn’t think twice about unloading Kareem Hunt . Just because you have a bunch of good players doesn’t mean you have a team.

  49. Brandon in Northwest Suburbia says:
    January 5, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Yep. He *should*, he’s seen it first hand with others. Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, Mike Wallace, Santonio Holmes… did those guys do after leaving Pittsburgh to catch passes from other QBs?


    You forgot Plaxico Burress who went on to have his best seasons with Eli and the Giants. And Hines Ward who had his 4 best seasons with Tommy Maddox and Kordell Stewart, not Ben. Wallace improved in 3 of his first 4 years away from his last year with Ben. Santonio Holmes didn’t see much change in his first 2-3 years away from Ben outside of less targets. Then Holmes went south with the drugs ala Bryant. Wheaton was just an average wr with Ben or without him.

    So they all basically do very well without Ben.

  50. Not defending what Brown did,which is quit on his team,but is there a more passive-aggressive person than Roethlisberger? Aaron Rodgers,maybe. ” I sure don’t know anything about a heated argument or why AB left”…. It seems like he likes to light the fuse and watch the fireworks that are sure to follow,and Tomlin lets him do it. Roethlisberger is the one who really runs the team. No wonder the Steelers are a hot mess.

  51. Not defending what Brown did,which is quit on his team,but is there a more passive-aggressive person than Roethlisberger? Aaron Rodgers,maybe. ” I sure don’t know anything about a heated argument or why AB left”…. It seems like he likes to light the fuse and watch the fireworks that are sure to follow,and Tomlin lets him do it. Roethlisberger is the one who really runs the team. No wonder the Steelers are a hot mess.

    Absolutely brilliant water cooler analysis from someone never having played on a sports team. Have the stuff you see in the media about Ben and the Steelers is later proven to be false but go ahead spouting off like you are an expert I enjoy watching people embarrass themselves.

  52. dynastypolice says:
    January 5, 2019 at 1:59 pm
    He’s poison in any locker room. Not worth it for any team. No one won a SB with TO, and TO was much better than Brown.

    Yeah but I think there is an argument that Brown is the better route runner and he has the feet to run the entire route tree. Never saw Owens run post-corner or post comebacks…

  53. Keith Waters says:
    January 5, 2019 at 11:39 am
    Why does a QB have to “call out” a WR for running the wrong route in practice or a game? I thought that was the job of the coaches.


    Because he’s one of the highest paid players in the league especially at the WR position. If you can’t be a professional for 20 mil a year then get the hell outta here. He’s been in this same offense for going on a decade. That’s why this team is watching the playoffs – Ben knows the offense and it’s about time someone calls under achievers to the mat. Come on now. Good on u Ben. This isn’t the ME show. It’s a team game goddamnit.

  54. So let’s see…no Leveon Bell and most likely no Antonio Brown on the Steelers next year. All because of the DRAMA. This team is a hot mess. They need a fresh start with a whole new coach and staff.

  55. sorry James Jones, but feeling dissed or having hurt feelings, as a 30 year old man no less, does not justify leaving your fellow soldiers alone in the trenches when they need you.

    I always knew there was something off about AB. He just has a weird look in his eyes. If you saw his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, with his small children running around the set on live TV, you’d understand what I’m getting at.

    ps – can anybody remember the last time the team with the NFLs best WR won a superbowl? By my count it was the 94-95 49ers. Hey GMs, stop breaking bank to sign these narcissistic pass catchers.

  56. I enjoy watching people embarrass themselves.

    Me too drooly. All hail the World Champion.

  57. I am not sure how Antonio Brown could feel that Big Ben is somehow obligated to throw him the ball on every play. Is acknowledging that there are other receivers on the team a slight to Antonio Brown?

  58. How did AB run the wrong route when he didn’t even practice all week? I think that story is either old or bs.

  59. This is interesting……

    I know Vontaze Burfict isn’t very popular around these parts, but when he got suspended 4 games for a PED violation after JJSS concussed him last season, part of that suspension was because Cincinnati had listed him as ‘inactive’, rather than placing him on the ‘IR’ list.

    So effectively part of Burficts’ suspension was evidently for ‘falsification’ of the injury report by the team.

    So what punishment are we expecting now for The Steelers deliberate falsification of their injury report ?

    We all know now, the answer will be sweet nothing, because its The Steelers……….

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