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Thread: Brown continues to deliver for Steelers

      
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    Default Brown continues to deliver for Steelers

    WR Brown continues to deliver for Steelers
    By Ralph N. Paulk, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Antonio Brown was the silver lining in a foggy, disjointed performance by the Steelers in their preseason opener against the Washington Redskins on Friday night.

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ID:	3023The second-year receiver didn't stack up any awe-inspiring numbers: four catches for 64 yards. He didn't make any of the acrobatic catches that have become routine during an impressive training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

    What the Central Michigan product did more than anything was gain the confidence of coach Mike Tomlin.

    Last week, Tomlin wasn't ready to anoint Brown as the heir apparent to veteran Hines Ward. Yet in a game in which the Steelers staggered out of the gate en route to a 16-7 defeat, Brown was sharp enough to impress even his disappointed coach.

    Tomlin had few good things to say about a team playing for the first time since losing Super Bowl XLV, saving his only kudos for Brown.

    "Antonio Brown appears to be in great physical condition," he said, "but we knew that before we stepped into the stadium tonight."

    Translation: Brown was the only Steeler who appeared to bring his "A" game to FedEx Field except Daniel Sepulveda, who had punts of 62 and 54 yards.

    Brown, like Tomlin, knows he'll begin the season behind the 35-year-old Ward. However, Tomlin's confidence is growing rapidly. More important, Brown senses his teammates are believers.

    "I know every man in this room knows they can trust me," said Brown, the 195th player taken in the 2010 draft. "They can count on me."

    "I don't look at it as a bright spot because I already know what he can do," receiver Mike Wallace said. "That guy's out there every single day of practice. It's not like he showed something nobody thought he could do. He does this every single day."

    Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich figure they can lean on Brown, too. He was their favorite target, and he caught all but one of the balls thrown his way, the only miss being Roethlisberger's overthrow on a deep route in which Brown blew by the defense.

    "I got a lot more reps than the other guys during practice," Brown said. "There are a lot of things I can work on, like getting the correct releases and understanding the little things that defenses try to do."

    Brown has gotten plenty of work during camp, partly because Emmanuel Sanders and Ward who began the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list have been fully engaged in contact drills.

    The extra work seemingly has paid dividends for Brown and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

    "I had a chance to go against some first-team defensive backs," Brown said. "I got a really good look and learned something about reading defenses and coverage schemes. It's the first preseason game, but I took a lot of mental notes."

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    Default Re: Brown continues to deliver for Steelers

    If these young receivers can take advantage of these new defensive rules, the offense could be downright deadly, like when Bradshaw, Swans and Stallworth exploited the Mel Blount rule.
    Last edited by Steelreign; Aug-14-2011 at 10:48 AM.
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