Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown doesn’t feel like the New England Patriots received his team’s best in their 36-17 loss in the AFC Championship Game in Foxborough. Brown joined The Jim Rome Show on Super Bowl Radio Row in Houston and said he wished it was his team preparing to play the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51, not the Patriots.
“We went on the road against a great opponent, and I feel like they didn’t get our best shot,” Brown said. “I feel like Le’Veon [Bell] going down, and we not having a great game plan to combat what they were trying to take away was disheartening. I know we were capable of playing better ball and being able to do some positive things against them, because in Week 7, I thought we even had a better showing in Week 7 than when we did in a crucial moment.”
Brown didn’t blame his coaches for their game plan against the Patriots, but noted Belichick’s ability to stop what teams do best.
“I think they gave us what we need, but I think what we had prepared, the [Patriots] had already prepared to take away. And to lose Le’Veon of course, he’s a big role and factor of what we game planned. It was kind of like, ugh,” Brown said. “I feel like playing Belichick, he does a great job of figuring out what a team does best. And coming into late in the year, a team’s going to do the same thing, they’re not going to try to create a different identity or do things different from what they’ve been doing, so you kind of have to have a game plan to kind of do some things they might not have seen or some different things they might not have been prepared for.”
When asked point blank if they were out coached by New England, Brown only said everyone is to blame for the loss.
“We can’t make no excuses, we lost. We got beat. We weren’t good enough that day. We didn’t score enough points,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t blame it on coaches. I think it’s entirely as a whole, we lost as a whole. Players, from every phase. And I feel like everyone from our organization would say the same thing.”
The 28-year-old came under heat as well for his play in the game. Brown said he can handle the criticism he hears, unless it’s in regard to the effort he put forth.
“What was disheartening was when I hear people say I don’t play hard or I don’t run the right routes or I didn’t celebrate with my teammates in regards of the touchdowns. It’s like the biggest game in the world. This is the championship game. I don’t think I should be questioned in regards in my attitude and regards of whining or pouting and not being with the guys,” Brown said. “When I hear those type of things, that’s the part that’s dishearting, because that’s not who I am or what I stand for or what I represent, and for someone to put that out there, it’s not right. That’s not true.”
Brown said he is fine with the backlash he received from his Facebook Live locker room episode following the team’s Divisional Round win over the Kansas City Chiefs and has even apologized a few times about the incident. However, Brown said he still plans on being very active on social media with his fans.
“It’s business as usual. I think I just got caught in that moment of doing it at the right time. I got to be professional, I never want to misrepresent the organization or make my coaches look bad or make my teammates feel any other way than I’m there and committed to the regards of winning and giving my best effort,” Brown said. “But I love to give the fans in tune detail of me outside of playing football and my family, spending time with the kids, through my workout regiment or being here at the NFL and getting a chance to hang with you and show the world what I do outside of the game.”