Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown goes for a touchdown against Chicago Bears defensive back Prince Amukamara during their game last month. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo
Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown admits he needs to control his emotions after he threw a sideline temper tantrum during last Sunday's game when Ben Roethlisberger failed to target him on a play.
After not getting the ball downfield, Brown flipped a Gatorade cooler and had words with offensive coordinator Todd Haley on the sideline in Baltimore, where the Steelers won 26-9 to move to 3-1.
"You've got to do a better job of controlling emotions," Brown told reporters Friday, via ESPN.com. "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."
Praising Roethlisberger as "the general of our team," Brown acknowledged he approached Big Ben earlier in the week to clear the air, along with Haley.
Roethlisberger said on his weekly Pittsburgh radio show Tuesday that Brown should have talked to him directly instead of acting out.
The 35-year-old Roethlisberger said holding players accountable is part of the job description, citing 14 years of NFL quarterback experience.
"I'd like to feel as a leader of this team that's kind of my job," Roethlisberger told 93.7 the Fan on Tuesday. "You have to be able to talk to people, you have to be able to communicate in different ways. I've been doing this a long time. I feel as voted as a captain that's kind of one of the rules of being the captain.
"He's a professional. He's probably the best wide receiver in the game now, maybe to ever play."
Brown was upset in the second quarter Sunday over a fake crossing route that left him wide open deep.
"He's the guy who's given me every opportunity," Brown said Friday of Roethlisberger. "He's always put me in a place where if he feels I'm out of (line), he always lets me know. ... I don't want him to think I'm spazzing out because he does a great job of throwing me the ball, giving me the best chance to make plays."
Brown, who has four consecutive 100-catch seasons, is second in the league in receptions (30) and yards (388) in four games this season, with one touchdown.
"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."
On Wednesday, Brown tweeted an apology: "Apologize for all the noise and the distractions Steeler nation let's stay focus #Pushfor7."