Drama on offense, lackluster D haunts Steelers early


Drama on offense, lackluster D haunts Steelers early Drama on offense lackluster D haunts Steelers early

The Pittsburgh Steelers are winless in two games to start the season mainly because of the lackluster play on defense.

But drama on offense isn’t helping matters, either. On top of running back Le’Veon Bell‘s absence for refusing to sign his franchise tender, fellow All-Pro Antonio Brown is making waves.

The wide receiver took issue with a former team employee over social media on Monday.

“AB needs to thank his lucky stars, because he was drafted by a team that had Ben (Roethlisberger). And Ben got AB paid,” a former team staffer wrote on Twitter. “You know darn well he wouldn’t put up those numbers for other teams.”

Brown didn’t waste time responding, writing: “Trade me let’s find out”

Brown was also seen venting on the sideline during Pittsburgh’s 42-37 setback to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The six-time Pro Bowl selection finished with nine receptions in his second straight game while increasing his season total to 160 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive captain Cam Heyward said he wasn’t worried about Brown’s frame of mind.

“A.B. gives 110 percent every time,” Heyward said Monday. “You don’t ever have to worry about that. That dude loves football and for anyone to even question that is beyond the point.”

The 30-year-old Brown has recorded 100-plus catch seasons in each of the last five years. He also has eclipsed 1,200 receiving yards while reeling in eight or more touchdown passes in every season during that stretch.

Signed to a four-year, $68 million contract extension in February 2017, Brown had 101 receptions for an NFL-best 1,533 yards last season despite missing two games with a calf injury. He also had nine touchdown catches en route to being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Year.

Brown has 751 career receptions for 10,070 yards and 60 touchdowns since entering the league as a sixth-round pick of the Steelers in the 2010 draft.

As far as the Steelers (0-1-1), they need to get back on track, and Heyward had a message for the team’s fans.

“I want to apologize to Steeler Nation,” he said. “We lost this game, but we move on from here and we keep playing. Next game isn’t indicative of how we play, and we look forward to Monday.”

–G David DeCastro is unsure if he will play in the Steelers next game. He said he wants to be smart about a broken bone in his hand. “I am just making sure it’s protected and I don’t make it worse,” said DeCastro. “I don’t want to take one step forward and four steps back and miss more time. We have a good staff. They are being smart, we are all being smart. I want to get back out there as much as possible. I don’t like it, it’s abnormal, but it’s part of it.”

–CB Artie Burns, who has been a bit of a scapegoat after the Steelers defense gave up six touchdown passes to the Chiefs on Sunday, is not concerned with the state of the defense. “No, I have confidence in my guys. We just have to get better. We played sloppy and we have to bounce back this Monday coming up.”

–QB Ben Roethlisberger appeared in the 202nd regular-season game of his career on Sunday, breaking a tie with Donnie Shell for sole possession of the third-most regular-season games played in Steelers history.

–CB Joe Haden was badly missed on Sunday. Haden sat out with a strained right hamstring. There is no word on his status for Monday.

–TE Jesse James set a career-high with 138 yards receiving in the loss to the Chiefs on Sunday.

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