‘Hurry Up And Get Out The Way’ | Antonio Brown Recalls Wanting Steelers Legend Hines Ward To Retire

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

In a recent interview on the “Cigar Talk Podcast,” former NFL All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown touched on a myriad of subjects, one being his arrival in Pittsburgh as a rookie with franchise stalwart Hines Ward still staking claim to the No. 1 receiver position.

Brown, a product of Central Michigan, was taken by the Steelers with the 195th overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft. At the time, he was projected as a talented but unpolished player that the Steelers could bring along as the fourth or fifth receiver behind a talented bunch featuring the aforementioned Ward, Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle-El and Emmanuel Sanders.

It was a dogfight for Brown to rise above the fray and establish himself as the elite receiver in the game. He carried a chip on his shoulder and relentless work ethic that catapulted him to greatness.

 

 

 “Nothing is given,” Brown said. on the podcast. “You have to work for everything you have. I’m actually grateful for going late in the draft because it allowed me to be disciplined in regards to some other guys getting opportunities early, getting a lot of money early. But I don’t regret nothin’ from my situation and how it happened.”

 

AB has been making the rounds since his unforgettable final game as an NFL player when he undressed and walked out the stadium after a squabble with head coach Bruce Arians during a Bucs game in January.

The uber talented-but-mercurial pass catcher hasn’t held back on any of his opinions or feelings in any interview he’s done since that cold, blustery day in the Meadowlands.

He’s totally immersed himself in being a shock jock social media personality, socialite and hip-hop artist under Kanye West’s creative umbrella. Business is still boomin’.

So why would he stop now? When Brown says he’s paid his dues, he’s probably referring to his early days in the Pit. 

Brown Had To Wait His Turn In Steel City

Any player coming into an organization like the Steelers — which is truly one of the most well-run in the NFL — has to earn his respect and reps. Job security is a reward for consistent performance.

Brown showed right away that he could play and delivered some “WOW” moments in his rookie season when the Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl.

By Brown’s second season he was a full-time contributor, with Antwaan Randle-El being released right before training camp. Brown, became the No. 3 receiver, finishing second to Wallace in yards and catches, with 69 grabs for 1,008 yards. It was safe to say Brown had arrived.

 Brown still wasn’t satisfied though. He wanted to be the top dog, and that meant replacing Ward, whom he did respect.

      “I was trying to tell him, ‘Hurry up and get out the way,’” Brown recalled.

“I’m trying to pave my own time. But just grateful to be around him and learn the intangibles of what made him great. But you know, when you in the NFL, it’s time to pave your own way, set your own principles. You know what I mean? At that point, Hines Ward was not the same guy I looked at in college.”

 

Ward (1998-2011) finished his career with two Super Bowl rings. He was also the Steelers’ all-time leader in receptions (1,000), yards (12,083) and touchdowns (85) — numbers Brown was well on his way to shattering before he let his ego and pride get in the way.

Brown ended his illustrious but controversial Steelers career with 837 receptions, 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns in just nine seasons (2010-18).

 

Brown Is Doing A Little Bit Of Everything Now Except Playing Football

After his meltdown with the Bucs, Brown joined rap and fashion mogul Kanye West and his Donda Sports venture, becoming president. He’s also in the rap game now, having dropped a couple of singles under the name “AB.”

Based on how things ended for him in Tampa and previous stops prior, it’s almost safe to say that we’ve seen the last of Brown on the gridiron, but he continues to be a lightning rod of controversy, saying things that hold some truth but definitely border on the distasteful.