Brown: 'Football comes first'

The sweat was dripping off Antonio Brown's forehead and down his cheeks as he stopped and took a breather.

For the past hour and a half he had been working on his footwork, speed, hand-eye coordination and anything else he could squeeze into his session with personal trainers.

And the reason he was doing it on an April afternoon had nothing to do with what many might think.

While everyone sees Brown working on his dance moves these days as a part of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars," he has made sure that doesn't interfere in any way with his preparation for football season, which is still months away.

"The battle is never ending," said Brown. "I always have to improve, always have to grow. Always have to understand what is important. I want to be the best player and it takes a different type of commitment. I have to make sure I am ready.

"I am sharpening my tools so when it's time to get back going, I am ready to go. I am dancing and doing a lot of stuff, but I have to prioritize and do what is important."

There is no doubt that Brown is putting football first. When he isn't dancing, he is a regular working out preparing for football season, whether it's at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, or wherever his schedule lands him.

"The reason that I am dancing is because I am a football player," said Brown. "I understand what is important and the commitment I have for myself and the team. Football comes first."

Brown's schedule is definitely full these days. He dances on Monday nights, but practice and preparation begins on Wednesday and doesn't end until he hits the dance floor. But it's not something that he feels is hurting him, rather it's helping.

"It's not a distraction at all," said Brown. "I think it will help me on the field, being able to be in control, being able to move throughout my whole entire body. My feet are getting stronger, being able to be on your feet and point them with the movement. It exercises my ankles. My shock absorbers. I think it will improve my breaking points and how I move.

"It's fun. I am having a lot of fun. My body is getting the necessary rest. I feel as long as I am stretching, getting massages, the proper nutrition and having fun that is what is important."

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