When Mike Tomlin stepped to the podium inside the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex today, he did so as the coach of a team carrying an 0-1-1 record and about to face an undefeated opponent on national television, an opponent that has showcased a more potent passing attack than the one that shredded the Steelers defense for six touchdowns a couple of days before.
Based on the fact that just two weeks ago, Brown physically threatened a reporter on Twitter, it probably won't be the last time Tomlin has to speak to Brown about social media.
Antonio Brown's absence from Steelers practice Monday has yet to be explained. I believe that, but maybe it's best for Brown not to talk about trades or being traded next time around so we don't get confused. Third, anything you see between AB and the coaches, AB has an incredible drive to win. He just wants to win. He declined to discuss Brown's "trade me" tweet when asked about it, saying only that he "was looking forward" to talking with Brown later Tuesday.
"The tweet yesterday was not in reference to anything other than Antonio responding to a person he knows", said Drew Rosenhaus, Brown's agent. Any notion, any speculation otherwise, can be put to bed. "I'm not going to get into the details of why he wasn't here, and whether he was excused, and all of those things".
It is worth noting at this point that Brown was one of very few Steelers to publicly back Bell when he did not show up to the facility prior to the team's Week 1 game, while almost the entire offensive line and front office criticized Bell in the media.
Brown's absence comes amid Le'Veon Bell's holdout.
On Wednesday, Brown publicly apologized for a tweet threatening ESPN senior writer Jesse Washington about a profile titled 'Antonio Brown is an Instagram All-Pro. Tom Brady had a similar outburst on Sunday. There's opportunity for us to respond to it, particularly in the early portions of the year, to utilize negative experiences and things that occur, to educate our team at this point in the journey so it becomes a non-factor as we move forward, that's generally the approach that we take.