Bruce Arians coached Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown for two seasons when he was Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator and got to see the player Brown was during the early stages of his career. However, the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers isn’t a fan of the way Brown is carrying himself as he has watched the situation between Brown and the Steelers deteriorate.
Brown did not play in Pittsburgh’s regular season finale after leaving to get an MRI on his knee, skipping the procedure and then not communicating with the team on Friday or Saturday. Head coach Mike Tomlin told Brown on Sunday that he wasn’t playing in the game. Additionally, Brown reportedly had a confrontation with a teammate that week that included throwing a football at a teammate.
“There’s too much miscommunication, too much … diva,” Arians said on The Adam Schefter Podcast, via ESPN.com. “I’ve heard so many stories — I like Antonio — he plays as hard as anybody on Sunday, and he practices hard. He’s just gotta make better decisions off the field, be on time, do some of those little things.”
Since then, team president Art Rooney II has said Pittsburgh won’t release Brown but all other options remain on the table. He also said it was “hard to envision” Brown being with the team when training camp opens for 2019 in July.
Brown has said he will address some of the criticism against him soon over the “negative speculations about my character.” Arians is just the latest person with connections to Brown and the Steelers to levy criticism against the star wide out.
It’s a vast departure from the player Arians says he coached in Pittsburgh.
“He was the hardest working,” Arians said. “He and Emmanuel Sanders, boy they went after it because Mike Tomlin used to tell them, ‘Two dogs, one bone.’ And at that time, we had Mike Wallace, Hines Ward — I mean, we had a pretty good run for one of them to get on the field. By the end of the season, they were both winning for us to go to the Super Bowl.”