“Antonio is a good guy, a good person,” said Steelers’ President Art Rooney II after the season. “I enjoy our personal relationship. His teammates like to have him on the team. He is a hard worker.
“AB is a big contributor to our success, has been for several years now, and I think he’s capable of continuing to be that kind of player. I think he’s someone who wants to be a great player and works hard to be that. Hopefully, he’ll continue to evolve as a player and as a person.”
Brown's trademark smile was brighter than ever as he talked about what it meant to stay with the Steelers, and how his hard work paid off.
“I am extremely thankful. You have to have a vision. You have to think positive things for yourself. You have to continue to dream. This is one of the things I dreamed about five, six years ago. I want to continue to dream and be motivated and continue to grow.
“I can tell you the work that goes in pays off. Working smart, working hard, always being ready when the opportunity presents itself.”
He was drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round in 2010 and has grown and developed into one of the best wide receivers in the game. In his first seven seasons in the league he has caught 632 passes for 8,377 yards, a 13.3 yard average, and has hauled in 50 touchdowns.
Brown, who was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time, including four consecutive years, became the first player in team history with 1,000 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns in three straight seasons (2014-16), and the first player in team history to record 90 receptions in four straight seasons.
The list of accomplishments for the hard-working Brown goes on and on. He has at least one reception in 99 straight regular-season games, set an NFL record for the most receptions by a player in the first 100 regular season games of their career with 622 and has the most receptions in NFL history in any four-year span with 481 (2013-16).
“He has big play written all over him and it can happen at any time,” said Stallworth of Bell. “One of the philosophies we had that Chuck Noll taught us was a big play can happen at any time and don’t be surprised when it happens. With Antonio you have a big play waiting to happen any time he touches the ball, whether it’s a short pass or a long pass, catching a short one and turning it into a big one or on punt returns. He is a big play ready to happen. He is somebody opposing defenses have to take into account and believe me he probably scares the dickens out of them.”