Dunlap: Don't Ever Take Antonio Brown for Granted

His short TD against Ravens was moment of brilliance

Colin Dunlap
November 05, 2018 - 1:07 pm

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Here it is about 24 hours after it happened. 

It's Monday afternoon and I can't stop watching the play on the Internet. I just can't help myself. I can't help but be flabbergasted and awestruck each time. I can't helped but be floored. I can't help but think about just how much better one man is than the others who are charged with the duty of tackling. 

And, you know what --- I can't believe more people aren't talking in a big way about the play from yesterday. 

What Antonio Brown did midway through the second quarter in what turned out to to be a Steelers victory was the stuff of stars. It was legendary, it was epic, it was all that stuff. But here's the thing, maybe the guy has become so good --- so damn good --- that we watch a play like he made and just shrug our shoulders and say, "that's AB." I surely hope not. I hope we stop for a moment and appreciate the greatness we are witness. It is real. It is right in front of us. And it won't be like this forever. 

We are seeing the greatest Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver who has ever lived, there is no question at all. 

In front of our very eyes is brilliance, he is a ballet dancer mixed with a bulldog. In the past we have seen Antonio Brown muscle his way into the end zone against the Ravens, use all the strength he has to nudge in for a game-winning score at the tail end of a game. That was bulldog AB. 

This time, it wasn't like that. This time we saw Baryshnikov AB.

This time he used his fleet feet to make some Baltimore players look silly. It wasn't muscle, it was flat-out speed and an incredible amount of escapability and slithery ways on Sunday. Truth be told, it was incredible. 

The Steelers found themselves up 7-3 with a first-and-goal at the 6. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was in the shotgun with back James Conner flanking to his right. Roethlisberger took the snap and immediately threw to Brown, who had come across the formation in motion from Ben's left to right. Brown pulled in the ball (back-peddling, no less) at the 7. As he looked up, Steelers wide receiver James Washington had very clearly missed a block --- or at least not latched on to his stock block as long as he should have. 

Here is where it gets good ... 

As Brown caught it, Baltimore defensive back Tavon Young came flying in between the hashmarks and the sideline with an angle. Brown had minimal room to operate but coolly made Young miss and whiff badly. From there, Brown cut it up and tiptoed the sideline but still had Marlon Humphrey to beat at around the 3. No matter. Somehow AB scooted in that narrow gap between Humphrey and the sideline and then traversed the remaining few yards in for the score --- defying logic and seemingly physics.

Call God. 

It was 14-6 Steelers.

Everyone cheered and the offensive linemen hugged him.  

The craziest part of the play, for me at least, was that the Ravens had the Steelers outflanked. On top of that, James Washington didn't get anywhere near a full piece of the man on a block which would have sprung Antonio Brown. Instead, Brown had to make all the hay himself. And he did. Not only did he do it, he made two players look silly --- two players (Young and Humphrey) couldn't stop one (Brown) even as they had him hemmed in against the sideline.  

So it's with that said, I hope you are paying attention to the brilliance. I hope you are seeing this each week. What we are looking at in Antonio Brown has never been seen in terms of a Pittsburgh Steelers receiver in the past. Truth be told, we probably will never see his talents again in black and gold in our lifetime. 

Don't take it for granted. Don't take one second of it for granted. 

His 6-yard touchdown against the Ravens --- although it looked innocuous to some --- was proof of just how breathtaking he is.