Working it out

The plays available to be made with wide receiver Antonio Brown aren't being made on a consistent enough basis in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's estimation.

Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner concurs.

It didn't happen on Sunday night against the Ravens.

It didn't happen every time in practice today.

The Steelers' response has been to continue working on it until they get it right.

"There was one today we didn't make," Fichtner explained. "It was just off, his ball was off, 'A.B.' didn't make the grab. The next one that was close to him, he could have caught it, the DB made a play. But overall today, pretty good practice.

"There's great communication amongst them, work today, awesome. We're just going to stay the course. We didn't emphasize anything as far as those two. We just emphasized the idea that we're going to have a good practice, and we did."

Brown has been targeted a team-high 53 times through four games this season. He ranks second among Steelers in receptions (29) and receiving yards (272), but his yards-per-catch average (9.4) trails what Brown accounted for last season (15.2) and his career figure (13.5).

Brown leads the Steelers in receiving touchdowns (three), but three of Roethlisberger's passes intended for Brown have also been intercepted.

"We hooked up early in the season, threw a go-ball to him in Cleveland (for a 22-yard touchdown),' Fichtner said. "He caught another go-ball the other night (for a 26-yard touchdown against Baltimore). Some have been off, some have been not thrown perfectly and some have been played well. I don't know that there's any one answer for that.

"I just know we're going to keep working and keep going to him. Eventually, it's all going to work out between those two."

Brown's work continued beyond the conclusion of practice today, with quarterback Mason Rudolph making a series of throws to Brown.

"He's an extra-work guy and I am, too," Rudolph said. "Plus, I don't get to throw too much.

"We've done it for a few weeks now. That's kind of our routine, it's usually Thursday."

Roethlisberger maintained after the Ravens game and again this week the responsibility was his, and that the Steelers weren't far from the fix they're seeking.

"I just have to play better," he said. "It has nothing to do with (Brown) and things that are going on, it's just about me. If I play better and put the ball in better spots, then we make those plays.

"I felt really good at camp. And I don't feel like it's really been that bad so far. Obviously, our record is what it is. I hold myself to a higher standard. It's a couple misses here and a couple misses there and that's where I need to be better. I need to make sure I'm putting the ball where guys can make plays.

"It's no time to hit a panic button and try to change anything. It's time to get ready for the second quarter of the season."

Advertising