It was early in the second quarter, and the Steelers, leading, 3-0, faced a third-and-4 from their own 36-yard line. Ben Roethlisberger's pass to Le'Veon Bell in the right flat was incomplete.
That's the way the events would be described in the play-by-play, but away from the action, deep down the field and in the area of the left hashmark, Antonio Brown was standing by himself. All alone. Wide open. A touchdown waiting to happen, with the only thing missing being the football.
Brown clearly was frustrated, and after making his way to the Steelers bench area he took out that frustration on a Gatorade cooler. Naturally, it was a topic in the visitor's locker room following the Steelers' 26-9 win over the Ravens, and so it was again today during Mike Tomlin's weekly news conference at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
"It can be (a distraction). I didn't see it on Sunday, I heard about it after," said Tomlin in response to a question about the incident. "AB is a competitor. We all know and understand that. It aids him. It aids us. But we have to control 'it.' He has to control 'it.' If he does not, it could work against him, it could work against us. Those are just the lessons you learn along the way.
"Sunday was a big game for a lot of reasons, and emotions are capable of getting away from you," continued Tomlin. "It doesn't need to happen. It shouldn't happen. Hopefully it won't moving forward. Hopefully he's learned a lesson through that. Hopefully others have learned a lesson through that. That's one of the things you really have to focus on when you talk about something like that. We have young people on our team, and they need to be taught good things, good lessons, ways to conduct themselves as professionals.
"We all make mistakes. He made a mistake. I'm sure he's ready to move on from it, but I also think there's a lesson to be learned, or a lesson to be taught there. And I hope he addresses that element of it as well as he moves forward."
In answering a subsequent question about how he might address it, Tomlin said, "This is not Antonio's first rodeo. I'm not going to waste a lot of time talking to Antonio about not throwing water coolers and so forth. Be a professional."
TOMLIN'S INJURY UPDATE
"We didn't absorb any major negativity (in Baltimore). Some of the guys went into that game with some pre-existing things, things that we had monitored during the week leading up to the game, guys like Sean Davis and Stephon Tuitt and T.J. Watt. But none of those things appeared to be issues in-game or after the game, so we'll move forward this week. Naturally, we have some normal bumps and bruises associated with play, and so we'll watch a number of guys through the early portion of the week, but nothing significant to speak of there. William Gay was sick (last week), and he missed a lot of time in preparation for the game, and that weighed into the equation (of making him inactive) as well. He was feeling better on Sunday morning, but he had missed a lot of prep time leading up to that."