Dunlap: Get Mad at AB, But Steelers Enabled All This

Colin Dunlap
September 17, 2018 - 6:56 am
Antonio Brown

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Antonio Brown acts like a kid. 

He whines. 

He pouts. 

He stammers and screams. 

He rolls his eyes and grumbles when he doesn't get his way. 

He makes sure to surround himself with people who say "yes" to him; people who let him know just how great he is. 

That's AB. That's been AB since AB got good. That's --- more than likely --- always going to be AB. 

But, perhaps most important, that was a striking characteristic of Antonio Brown's personality when the Steelers signed him to a four-year, $68 million contract extension in Feb. 2017 that plans to keep him in Pittsburgh through 2021. 

You got that part, don't you? You are understanding all of this, right? 

When Antonio Brown fired on Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner on Sunday on the sideline, it was just as much Brown being a knucklehead (and he is) as it was the Steelers making a clear decision to live with said knucklehead because his talents are so incredible they outweigh his occasional embarrassing outburst. 

Brown is one of the most selfish players the Pittsburgh Steelers have ever employed. He has zero self-awareness and seemingly even less regard for how you feel about it. 

But guess what --- the Steelers knew all this when they continued to employ the man. That's why if you want to play the blame game, I just don't know how much blame I can put at the feet of AB. 

Should he mature? Hell yes. 

But when your employer isn't punishing you for not maturing --- and in a way enabling your behavior --- what incentive do you have to shape up? 

See, that's where all of this is right now.

Some (or maybe even many) in Steeler Nation will come down hard on Brown. They'll be heavy-handed with him, throw darts and even go so far to ridiculously say the Steelers should run him off.

Hardly. That's all silly. 

This is the same Brown who continually has a huge entourage (his own camera crew) around him and the organization allows him to be a production. 

This is the same Brown who landed a helicopter -- well his hired pilot did --- near the practice fields to start training camp this season. Someone in the organization had to give clearance and say that was OK. 

Antonio Brown didn't create this monster himself. He didn't do this unilaterally. He's had help along the way and his biggest assistance has been Mike Tomlin and that bunch allowing Brown --- so long as he keeps performing on the field --- to carry on as his own personal sideshow. By and large, I'm OK with that. Better players get longer leashes, that's just the way sports is. That's the way sports has been for a long time. 

So when you look at the latest situation with Antonio Brown, there is zero question he should absorb blame. 

But don't forget the biggest factor in all of this --- the Pittsburgh Steelers knew exactly who they were getting and what they were getting into when they inked the showman to a contract extension. 

And here's another safe bet: AB most likely isn't changing. ​

 

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