STEELERS NATION UNITE: Join for FREE | Login

News

Print

A front row seat to the ‘Antonio Brown Show’

Posted Nov 21, 2015

Wide receivers coach Richard Mann has a solution for the problem of only having one football.

It’s been the Antonio Brown Show all season at wide receiver, and it’ll continue to be by design.

“We only have one ball,” wide receivers coach Richard Mann explained. “We say, ‘Give ’em all to Antonio and everybody else gets the rest.’”

Brown’s record-setting, 17-catch, 284-yard effort on Nov. 8 in a 38-35 victory over the Raiders stands out as Exhibit A over the season’s first 10 games as to why the Steelers think that way.

“He caught 17 balls and we needed every one of those catches,” Mann continued. “It goes back to what I learned from a coach years ago, in times of crisis you think of players and not plays.

“We got it to him and he made plays.”

Brown’s already made enough of those to amass 79 catches, 1,141 receiving yards and five receiving TDs.

Second-year wide receiver Martavis Bryant has also caught five touchdown passes. But Bryant was suspended for the first four games, missed the first five and hasn’t been consistent as a complement since making his 2015 debut on Oct. 18 against Arizona.

“We know what he’s capable of doing,” Mann said. “I attribute some of the roller-coaster stuff to being out the first month. Being able to get him back to where he was at, I think he’s starting to get there. He’s locking in on the offense.

“There’s a couple of things we have to work out as far as doing it the right way, but he’s easy to coach.”

Bryant burst onto the scene as a rookie last season with eight touchdown receptions in his first 10 NFL games and added another in the Steelers’ playoff loss to the Raiders.

And his 22 catches, 440 receiving yards, 20.0 average per catch and five touchdowns in five games this season suggest he’s pretty much picked up where he had left off in terms of combustibility.

But Bryant has also been noticeable of late for plays he hasn’t made.

There was a ball in the end zone on Nov. 1 against Cincinnati that he should have caught for a touchdown but didn’t.

“No question,” Mann said.

There was a deep sideline pass on Nov. 8 against the Raiders that Bryant juggled out of bounds that should have been at least a field-flipping big play if not a length-of-the-field TD.

“No question,” Mann repeated.

And in the Steelers’ most recent outing, a 30-9 victory over Cleveland, Bryant hauled in what became a 64-yard completion via a spectacular fingertip grab but then had the ball knocked from his grasp and the Browns recovered the fumble.

And that can’t happen, either.

“No question,” Mann confirmed.

That’s the stuff the Steelers will seek to clean up when they resume play following their bye on Nov. 29 in Seattle.

“He’s getting where he’s supposed to be,” Mann said. “He’s doing the right thing to get there. He’s capable of finishing, we know that. We gotta lock in and make those plays, and he knows that.

“If we can run it, it’s easy to throw and we have a guy like (quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) throwing. The sky’s the limit for us if we just stay focused.”