Antonio Brown addressed a variety of topics head on in the Steelers locker room on Thursday afternoon, ranging from his heated discussion with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner on the sidelines during the Chiefs game, to missing a meeting on Monday, to his recent comment on social media.
Brown clarified that the comment he made on social media did not in any way mean that he wanted traded, and also said that his actions stemmed from him being a competitor who is frustrated that the team hasn’t won a game yet this season.
Below is what Brown had to say:
Why weren’t you around on Monday?
Personal reasons. Obviously the coach knew where I was at. We talked. Between me and him.
Can you tell us about your conversation with him?
It’s personal. It’s between the team and me and coach.
What did you think about the results of the talk?
It doesn’t matter. It’s all about playing football. The distractions, we have to stay away from. I am here to play football. In that regard we have to stay focused in the midst of it.
After the fourth touchdown, why were you so mad?
We were losing the game. We were getting beat. We haven’t won a game yet. For me as a Steeler, that is unacceptable. I am not on the sideline begging for the ball or making statements as you guys make. I am pissed off. We’re losing. We suck.
You had just tied the game.
You guys make assumptions about my emotions. You guys don’t know me at all. You guys just write what you think is going to get hits. Between me and you, everyone in this locker room knows what I stand for, know what I am about. I am committed to this program, to this organization. I am fully here. I go to work every day. I am about my business. I don’t take it for granted. My business is winning here. I come here to win. If we aren’t winning, you’re right I am pissed off.
We wanted to ask you about that but you weren’t in the locker room on Sunday. Why?
You guys write stories about everything. I am pissed off we lost the game. If you guys want to talk to me, let’s talk. I am right here. I am not hiding from none of you. I don’t hide from no one. I am from Liberty City.
What about Sunday, why did you leave?
I was available. I left early. I am pissed off we lost. We didn’t win the game. You guys frustrated? I thought you guys around here were supposed to be writing about winning. The culture should be winning. That’s all that matters. That’s our business is winning. If we’re not winning I am pissed off. I am passionate about winning. I signed up to win. I work extremely hard, put in 20 hours a day of my life and my body, away from my family, to win. And when we don’t I am pissed off. I take this seriously. A lot of time goes into this. A lot of hard work and effort. So yeah, I am pissed off.
What is lacking from getting the wins?
We’ve got to find a way to win. No excuses. We can’t point the finger at any one. We have to look within ourselves and see how we can be the difference to make us win.
Were you still made, is that why you tweeted ‘trade me’?
It was a guy who used to work here, a PR guy, a guy who actually even picked me up, took a personal shot at me. Obviously I don’t want to be traded. I am still grateful to put on my uniform. I am grateful to be a part of this organization. I don’t take that for granted. Obviously it was a stupid remark online. I just have to stay away from online with the distractions and letting people get me out of my character. It is just sad for a guy that worked here numerous years to say what he thinks. It’s a team game. My success does depend on (Ben) Roethlisberger, the offensive line and all the other receivers doing their job. As a competitor I take this serious. It’s just not a game to me and cashing checks. Money don’t matter. I look at my assignments and performance. That means a lot to me. When I go home I weigh in on that. My family weighs in on that. To me, guys think they can just disrespect me. It’s out of order.
Are you referring to yourself when you say it’s a ‘stupid’ remark that shouldn’t have been made?
Yeah, of course.
Do you plan on staying off of Twitter?
I can’t respond to people that are saying crazy stuff. Obviously I have to do a more important job, focus on what’s important. What’s important now is for us to win.
Was the discipline Mike Tomlin said you received justified?
I never could go against the program or what these guys think is right for me. I am a player and I just have to follow suit.
Do you look at yourself as a leader?
I think I lead by example. I come to work every day. You guys can make a statement that I am a diva. You can ask these guys. I put my heart on the line every day regardless of how I am feeling, I am out there giving 100 percent effort. That’s what I am about.
Do you have to be more careful because you are looked at as a leader?
I am in the spotlight so you guys are going to put me under the microscope. I am a passionate individual. I can’t fake the way I feel. I can’t hide the way I feel. If it wasn’t important to me then I would say it doesn’t matter. I am not that type of guy who is just cashing checks and doesn’t care. It means something to me. It not only means something to me, it means something to my family. When football is not fun and I can’t dedicate and take it serious, I shouldn’t be here.
Will you be on the field from the first snap on Monday night?
Why wouldn’t I be? You guys don’t want to see me in my jersey?
You said you’re ticked off. How do you plan on taking that out on the Bucs?
We got to find a way to win. Monday night is another opportunity to erase the doubt and erase the thoughts about us as a team.
Were you still mad about the way things were going on Sunday, is that what kept you away on Monday?
I just told you I had a personal issue. Want me to tell you that, then that’s another story for you to say what was wrong with me right.
Did you let Mike (Tomlin) know on Monday or did your agent?
Yeah I let him know. You just can’t not show up. What do you guys think, I would just not show up? We have a job. My job is to just let everyone know what is going on with me, why I am not here.
Were you fined by Mike Tomlin?
I told you it was personal, internal. You have to ask the coach.
Your teammates said you didn’t owe them an apology. Did you apologize?
Apologize for what, I had a personal issue. You guys have personal issues at home. Stuff happened. Do you guys apologize for it or what? That’s life. I’ve got to apologize for the way I react. I’ve got to apologize for everything. I am a man. I don’t make any excuses. If I did something I take sole responsibility for my actions. I am accountable for my actions and I take full responsibility.
Do you feel that you are misunderstood in the way that the media portrays you?
It don’t matter man, my business is winning. I can’t get caught up in the media side of your things. Obviously I’m a good bait for you guys. So you guys keep putting that bait out there.
You’ve always played with so much joy, are you still happy, do you still have fun on the football field?
Absolutely it’s fun. I don’t take this game for granted. It’s a blessing to play. Obviously I am grateful to play for this organization. I don’t take it for granted. But losing is not fun. When you lose it’s not fun. People say everything about you, you got the hate, you got the write ups, you got the bad looks. You know I am a guy who takes this serious. When I go home I evaluate my performance, I evaluate what I am doing and you got to make this game fun.
This week a lot of people are talking about your stats and how much you care about your stats. How much do you really care about your stats?
Well your stats you know, stats depend on the team. And I can’t throw it and catch it myself. It’s a team game I’ve got to depend on Ben, I’ve got to depend on the O-line, I’ve got to depend on the running back, I’ve got to depend on the other guys to do their job so I can make stats. But our business is winning. If you don’t win nobody cares about your stats. You know what I mean? So I am here trying to win. When you see me talking on the sideline to Randy Fichtner you ask him what I am saying. I am ready to win. But to you guys it’s always spun as oh yeah he’s selfish because maybe I do have big stats. But that is what it is. You know it’s all about winning. If I am not coming here to win, if guys don’t want to win here then just send me home.
What did you say to Randy?
Ask him. You ask him what I said. Let’s win you’re not trying to win let’s win.
You do have 33 targets the second most in football, so should you have more targets or are you more upset about the lack of connections coming from those?
I am not upset about anything. I am upset that we are not winning. We are getting our butt kicked. I can’t throw the ball to myself. I don’t count stats. You guys do that. That is not my job. My job is to help the team win. My stats take care of themselves. We got a long way to play. We only have played two games.
Do you miss Todd Haley and his offense?
You want me to give you another story, you want another headline. That’s crazy.
Well you hugged him one week and yelled at Randy the next week?
I never yelled at Randy. We just talked. I have a great relationship with Randy. Randy is the reason that I am here. He recruited me. So if you see me in his face talking that’s just because we have that type of respect for each other, where I can talk to him like that. We know each other on that type of level. It’s not no disrespect. You ask Randy what I am saying, I am saying winning. But obviously I am misunderstood. You guys wouldn’t have a clue.
Do you feel like you have been a distraction?
Obviously it is a distraction when you are writing guys on twitter and my teammates have to answer about it. You guys making headlines that I want to be traded. I am nothing but grateful for this organization that took a chance on me, giving me an opportunity to live out my dream. So any time I’m looked upon, or looked upon my teammates as I am a guy who doesn’t appreciate them or I’m a guy who is not trying to win. Or the guy in the media you guys make me out to be, then it is a distraction. Because our business is winning and playing football. And that is what I am here to do.
Do you have any physical limitations?
What do you want me to say? You don’t care about my problems. You are probably glad I’ve got them. What do you want me to tell you? Nobody cares about my problems. They just care about the winning.