LATROBE, Pa. – You've heard all the clichés.
You can't teach speed.
It can go on and on.
Speed is something a wide receiver needs, and Antonio Brown has it, now more than ever.
While it seems to those watching that the all-everything receiver didn't have a lot of room for improvement heading into this season, he saw things differently.
This offseason he went full throttle, and believe it or not, he looks even better than ever.
"You always have to get better," said Brown. "You are either getting better or you are getting worse. This offseason I attacked it, working on little things. Trying to improve on it every day and continuing to grow.
"I surrounded myself with some good trainers, some good people that can bring out the best in me. This offseason was an opportunity for me to attack my weaknesses and hone in on things I can get better at."
Weaknesses. When you are arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, are there really weaknesses?
"I worked on my strength, full control of the body, I got my core right," said Brown. "That has been an asset."
His work ethic, it's maniacal to say the least. From the moment he steps foot on the field he is doing something. He can't stand still, always working, always trying to get better, always setting the example that hard work pays off.
Hines Ward, who himself was a hard worker, recently said Brown takes it to another level.
"We all come here to set the standard," said Brown. "The guy behind us or the next man in line should do it better. I try to set a tempo and pace guys can relate to and see, I am catching passes, finishing the ball. Hopefully the guys in the room take heed to all of those things. Those are things that make a difference in you being a great player."
Brown came into the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick and wears that with pride, approaching every day like he is that rookie fighting to make the roster.
"Every year I try to be a rookie all over again, just a little bit smarter," said Brown. "I never take anything for granted. I take every day like it's my first day. Don't look too far, be in the moment and make sure I give it my all."
Making sense of it: As the NFL official made a call during a recent Steelers practice at Saint Vincent College, Coty Sensabaugh walked over to him, talked for a few minutes, his hands showing that he was trying to get an explanation of a call.
The scene was repeated several times, Sensabaugh asking; the official explaining.
"It's constant learning and communication," said Sensabaugh. "It's good to ask them questions. I think every relationship is built on communication. I was trying to get a feel for what they call, what they don't call to help me get better.
"If you are a sponge, it can help. It doesn't hurt to learn new things. I try to learn new things every day."
Fast forward a few days and there was Sensabaugh again, asking questions and talking. This time it was with Ben Roethlisberger in practice.
"I am just trying to get an idea of what the quarterback is looking at, what their thought process is," said Sensabaugh. "I think the last time I played quarterback was little league. I couldn't throw the ball, I just ran. I think it's good to have that dialogue. I may be able to give him some input I am looking at as a cornerback. It's iron sharpening iron, helping this team be the best possible team we can be. At the end of the day our goal is a Super Bowl and to win it everybody has to play a part in it."