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Offseason Program

Brown: 'Throw me all of the passes'

It's was Day 2 of OTAs for the Steelers.

Yes, Day 2.

Of OTAs.

Voluntary OTAs that is.

But if you watched Antonio Brown even for just a minute, you would think it was mid-season.

That's because Brown doesn't have an off switch. Not even close.

Now, of course practices during OTAs aren't even close to what they are in training camp. Saying they are scaled back is a huge understatement. There are no pads. There is no hitting. It is simply jerseys and shorts.

That doesn't matter to Brown. New offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner wants his players to be accountable when they are on the field, and when it comes to Brown you know that is what you are going to get.

"He is holding everyone accountable," said Brown. "He has that accountability sheet going in regards to whoever makes a (mental error), misses a pass. Just holding the group accountable. If everyone holds each other accountable, that is how we get better. You don't want to make that sheet."

Brown put on a show for the younger receivers on the Jugs machine, proving two things. The guy has talent beyond compare. And he has no problem working hard so that he never loses that edge.

"I am just trying to stay physically in shape, stay ready," said Brown. "Continue to get better, continue to push myself.

"Waking up every day and challenging myself to be the best every day. Coming to practice and knowing I did my best with every rep. Just the physical challenge of getting better every day."

If he is looking for a way to push himself, he has found the answer in cornerback Artie Burns. The two have picked up where they left off last season, one always trying to outshine the other.

"It's always competitive," said Brown. "Me and Artie are at it already. But those are the things you want. The competitive side of it to bring out the best in our teammates and us competing against each other and making each other sharp so when it's time we are ready.

"We are hometown friends, competitors. It's like your brother. You want to get the best of him, he wants to get the best of you, and at the end of the day it's all love."

And that love, Brown is all about spreading it around to the younger receivers by teaching them, working with them, and not talking about it, but doing it.

"It's all about leading by example," said Brown. "If you do the right things, those guys come to me and ask me a few things. I show them a couple of things. It's communication through the process.

"I hope these guys understand what it means to be a Steeler. When they walk in the building, they should understand it. It's hard-nosed, physical, championship environment, championship coaching, a bunch of big-time, first class players. I think those guys learn what it takes."

Brown, who said he is feeling 'better than ever,' will have a different weapon lined up on the other side at wide receiver this year. Martavis Bryant was traded to the Oakland Raiders on the first night of the NFL Draft, and that means someone else is going to have to step up.

"It's a business," said Brown. "I am never surprised by what goes on in a business. I am learning to take care of my business. If you take care of your business, you will be here.

"We lose guys every year. We have to work with the guys who are here in the helmet. We have some other guys who are willing to step up."

Then he paused, laughed, and with his trademark smile added.

"If not, throw me all of the passes."

Yep, Brown definitely is in mid-season form.