If there’s one thing NFL teams hate more than losses, it’s “distractions.” So when Steelers receiver Antonio Brown flipped a Gatorade bucket on the sideline during the Steelers’ victory over the Ravens on Sunday — he was mad that Ben Rothlisberger didn’t spot him on a wide-open route — he created an immediate controversy.
Brown did his best to end the firestorm Friday. He revealed that he spoke with both Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley to clear the air. He also expressed regret for his antics.
“You’ve got to do a better job of controlling emotions,” Brown said, per ESPN. “I don’t want to wake up and turn on the TV and you guys are talking about me throwing a tantrum. We should be talking about Ben and a lot of guys who had a great game, the Steelers winning a big game.”
Brown also said he was glad Roethlisberger called him out. Earlier this week, Roethlisberger called Brown’s outburst “unfortunate.” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin also called Brown’s acton a “mistake.”
Brown acknowledged his mistake on Friday.
“It’s not about me. It’s about the Steelers,” Brown said. “We all make mistakes as players. Sometimes I might miss a read. I don’t see Ben throwing me under the bus if I drop the ball or if I run the wrong route or didn’t get my depth. I don’t see him kicking the cooler. It’s no excuse for my behavior. I’m glad [Roethlisberger] did what he did. He called me out. As a general of our team, he has every right to call anything out. … I’m just grateful we have a great leader who’s forgiving and accommodating and willing to talk to me.”
And so, hopefully that ends the controversy. Brown, arguably the best receiver in football, probably shouldn’t have reacted the way that he did. But it’s not a big deal. Football is an emotional sport. Stuff like this happens. The Steelers will move on and Brown will see plenty of more chances to catch open touchdowns from Roethlisberger.
And for what it’s worth, Brown was open.