Receiver Antonio Brown sat out the final series against the Patriots last Sunday after a miscommunication with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger resulted in an interception. The Patriots took advantage, turning it into their final touchdown en route to defeating the Steelers, 55-31.
Coach Mike Tomlin made the decision to sit Brown for the final series, saying on Tuesday, "We weren't getting quality execution from an assignment standpoint. It created an interception. As opposed to continuing to absorb negativity from that standpoint potentially with some of the things we were doing in the no-huddle offense I chose to remove him from the game. It was my decision."
Brown said he respected the decision Tomlin made.
"He came to the sidelines and said I wouldn't be able to go in the last two minutes of the game," said Brown. "You have to listen to the coach. He is the coach. He made the decision. I respect what he did.
"It was a missed opportunity on me and I have to get better. I have to do a better job of helping us execute and giving us the best possibility to win."
Brown leads the NFL with 61 receptions but said it's not numbers he cares about; it's finding a way to help the team win and that was what was frustrating for him last Sunday.
"It's always frustrating when you lose and you are not on the field to help our team win," said Brown. "I respect our coach and have a great relationship with him. I feel he is going to do whatever is necessary to help the team win.
"The only statistic that is important is winning. It's not about stats, it's about winning. At the end of the day, nobody likes to feel like a loser. Maybe I need to be more productive, catch more balls and maybe get some more looks. Maybe I just need to find a way to help us win, whether that's taking a punt back; any difference to change the outcome of the game."
The key moving forward for Brown is to respond in a positive manner.
"You take a day like today to come to practice and put it on tape," said Brown. "You have to be on your P's and Q's and work hard and do what you can to help the team win. I am ready to prepare and work like this is our first game. I got to get better. I have to help us win. I've been in positions, and it doesn't help just doing good, I have to help the team win. When you aren't helping the team win those are some things coach may do."