The Steelers Antonio Brown is an elite wide receiver but you may be surprised to know he’s an elite trash talker too
Antonio Brown has many skills. He can turn on a dime and run routes better than anyone. He can catch anything and run after. He can even return punts. But, turns out, he’s also great at talking trash.
This may surprise some. Brown does not typically find himself in altercations on the field. You really don’t see him in peoples’ faces. He’s a soft spoken guy publicly, and he certainly doesn’t talk trash publicly. He even just recently won the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year, again.
And yet, when ESPN put together a list of the best trash talkers on each team, Steelers writer Jeremy Fowler chose Antonio Brown as the top trash talker on the team. He had this to say of the pick:
"“Believe it or not, the Steelers’ best trash-talker is wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is mild-mannered and respectful in interviews. But he loves to talk on the field. “If he beats you, you’re probably going to hear about it,” former Steelers cornerback B.W. Webb said. Brown has been known to tell defensive backs that they can’t cover him — which they can’t. After Brown, there are a few close seconds, such as guard Ramon Foster or linebacker Vince Williams. But Brown runs his mouth as fast as his routes.”"
The story on Brown is that he works hard. He came in a 6th round pick and has put together some of the best seasons any receiver has ever had. So obviously his reputation has to be correct in terms of his work ethic. It’s usually associated with being humble, which is usually associated with being quiet. Perhaps these leaps are unfair though.
Furthermore, Brown is soft spoken. This much is true. But sometimes his demeanor leaves a bigger impression than his words.
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For example, Brown’s been in conversations about MVP and when asked about his opinion of who the MVP is, according to Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today, he simply said, “Well, I am the MVP.”
He also said, according to AP Sports Writer Will Graves per WTAE.com, “I am the best though, right? Guys haven’t done what I’ve done. But we don’t want to talk about that. We always want to grow. Growing is never-ending.”
But we don’t think of Brown as a guy who is cocky necessarily, and yet in print that suggests a great deal of confidence. He’s flat out saying he’s the best, literally, he says the word best. But we don’t notice because he has a very even demeanor and a mild tone.
The same thing plays out on the field. Brown’s outward physical expressions do not betray what he’s doing with his mouth. Watch Brown between plays. He’s talking. His head will occasionally turn toward an opponent walking back to his own huddle.
But Brown doesn’t do anything physical. I don’t just mean he doesn’t push and fight, which he doesn’t. He doesn’t raise his arms or pound his chest. He doesn’t make expressive faces even. Brown doesn’t walk toward opponents or even turn in their direction.
All Brown’s trash talking takes place above his shoulders. We’re talking neck and mouth only. As talented as Brown is it’s no surprise there’s a psychological element to his game. It’s got to be tough to have a guy like Brown tell you he’s going to beat you, and knowing he’s probably right.
But that doesn’t mean Browns a bad guy or anything, this revelation. Brown recently called a Steelers fan, a high school junior from Indiana, who became paralyzed in a sledding accident to wish him well and offer any help he could. He also took the time to write a thank you letter to Steeler Nation after the season as well as to his coaches and teammates.
So Brown works hard, he’s humble, he’s a team player, he does the right thing, and cares about his fellow man. He also talks trash. It’s just part of the game. It’s part of his game. And did I mention he’s the best receiver in the league? Brown’s game kind of speaks for itself so don’t change a thing buddy.