Hall of Fame defensive lineman Mean Joe Greene thinks Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is more concerned with showboating than winning, and he doesn’t like it.
Describing himself as “a complete Steeler,” the four-time Super Bowl champion takes pride in what he and his teammates built in the 1970s. He gave his all to Pittsburgh for 13 seasons, and sees somebody like Brown as someone who is dancing and marketing himself at the expense of the organization.
“I’m saying right now we need someone in there who epitomizes what the Steelers are about and doesn’t mind picking up that gauntlet to be a Steeler and not to be out there creating – what do they call it? — their brand,” Greene told Ed Bouchette for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “You have to be a Pittsburgh Steeler first. You can’t create that act.”
acknowledged Brown wasn’t the only player guilty of having his priorities mixed up, suggesting the year-long drug suspension of Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant contributed to “a lost year.”
Most of Greene’s comments seemed directed at Brown, who made more headlines for excessive celebration penalties and a controversial locker-room video he posted to social media than performance on the field. The Steelers rewarded the five-time Pro Bowl selection with a huge five-year, $73 million contract extension anyway, but the organization is not thrilled with some of the antics.
Whether Brown’s focus on extracurricular activities is hurting the team is purely subjective. The 28-year-old quietly finished 2016 with 106 receptions for 1,284 yards – down from the previous three seasons, but still spectacular. Still, the Steelers failed to reach the Super Bowl, falling to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game after Brown’s infamous locker room video.
Everybody can probably agree that Brown could tone it down a little while still having fun and building his brand. Whether he’s being selfish or not is probably in the eye of the beholder.
The Pittsburgh Steelers moved on from Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live incident, but Brown still has some damage control to do inside the Steelers family.
Hall of Famer Joe Greene, the great Steelers defensive lineman from the franchise’s Super Bowl-winning ’70s era, told Pittsburgh 93.7 The Fan this week that he was “very, very, very disappointed in the actions of our wide receiver, No. 84.”
“Those types of things can’t be tolerated,” Greene said. “My first thought was, I would have to say goodbye [to Brown], but that’s me.”
Brown ran a live Facebook feed in the Steelers’ locker room after a divisional playoff win over Kansas City. The broadcast caught coach Mike Tomlin’s profanity-laced message to the team that he clearly thought was private. Tomlin called Brown’s move “selfish,” “foolish” and “inconsiderate.”
Brown apologized a few days after the broadcast, which got more than 900,000 views a few hours after it aired.
“I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me,” Brown said.
In the offseason, the Steelers signed Brown to a four-year, $68 million extension. Greene called Brown a “fantastic player” and thinks the Steelers will come to benefit from Brown’s extension. But the Facebook incident doesn’t run parallel with the Steelers’ culture, he said.
“When you sign on with the Steelers, you’re signing on with an organization that you gotta put your job, as [former coach] Chuck [Noll] always told us, there was God, family and football,” Greene said. “And when you start to put yourself above all of that, then the selfishness comes into place, then you get individual acts like the ones then that I personally think is a detriment to the entire organization and what we’re trying to do in Pittsburgh. … That’s a youthful mistake, but in my view, I just don’t think that it should be tolerated.”