RE: ANTONIO BROWN
Wide Receiver - Central Michigan University
6th Round – 195th Overall
Scottie Montgomery: Once again, another exciting day for the wide receiver room and also the Pittsburgh Steelers. We had the ability to sign an unbelievable player, Antonio Brown, from Central Michigan. Also had him in and had a chance to speak with him. We feel very confident about his ability to play, ability to learn, to fit into the room, and to come in and be in a competitive situation within the room.
He came out early. Any reason for this?
He lost a tremendous amount of his staff at Central Michigan and a lot of the people that he connected with, one being Zack Azzanni who I had a previous relationship with, who is now at the University of Florida, was (Antonio's) receiver coach. He also lost a good portion of the rest of the staff and where he was in his career with 110 catches in that year and a couple thousand-yard seasons, he felt it was time to go and move on.
He was highly regarded as a special teams player. Can you expand on that?
Yes, he is. He is an exceptional player with the football in his hands. He's one of those natural guys at fielding punts and kickoff returns. There's a lot of things you can do from a coaching standpoint, but if they can't get to the spot and catch it, then you can't really help a lot of them. He is one of those guys that does have the natural ability to catch it. He has great short-space quickness. He is one of the last guys in a long line of guys to come out that can make a move going forward, being able to put his foot in the ground in a forward motion, meaning not coming to stop or coming to balance in order to make someone miss.
Will both receivers you drafted be competing for punt returns and kickoff returns?
I think that everyone that gets back there is willing to compete for that job. And both these young men are willing to compete. One of the best ways that we evaluate is competitive nature. If we ask them to do it, then I'm sure they'll get back there and do it and I think we'll ask both of them to do it because of their dynamic ability to make people miss and go try to score and finish the football.
Do you as a coach like the competition that you're going to have amongst your guys?
It makes coaching a lot easier. I'll tell you, everyone likes to eat, and right now it's super competitive in the room and guys know that every single day, every single play, being a consistent contributor is what it's going to take to be a part of what we have here. It's a great feeling. I'm a little bit subdued all the time when I'm around a lot of people. But I can assure you that I am tremendously excited.