Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown went on the offensive while meeting with reporters on Thursday. Brown has been the center of attention this week, as he was seen venting in the direction of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner during Pittsburgh's 42-37 setback to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The six-time Pro Bowl selection then offered a curious "trade me" response to a critical tweet from former Steelers public relation staffer Ryan Scarpino on social media the following day while failing to show up for work at the team facility.
Brown set the record straight on Thursday, saying that he doesn't want to be traded and attributed his anger during and after Sunday's game to the team's 0-1-1 start to the season.
"We were losing the game. We haven't won a game yet. I'm not on the sideline begging for the ball or making statements that you guys [say I] make. I'm [angry]. We're losing. We [stink]," the 30-year-old said.
"... I'm committed to this program, this organization, I'm fully here. I go to work every day, about my business and I don't take it for granted. My business is winning here, I come here to win. When we ain't winning, you're damn right I'm [angry]."
Brown admitted that his recent social media exchange was a bad decision that became a distraction.
"[I] can't respond to people saying crazy stuff," he said.
Brown said his failure to report to work on Monday was a personal matter that was conveyed to head coach Mike Tomlin ahead of time.
Tomlin met with Brown on Tuesday, with the former saying the following day that the latter received undisclosed discipline. Brown didn't divulge the nature of the discipline, but told reporters that he didn't have any reason to believe that he would not be on the field for the start of Monday night's road game against the unbeaten Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) at Raymond James Stadium.
Brown finished with nine receptions in his second straight game on Sunday while increasing his season total to 160 yards and a touchdown. He has a team-high 33 targets, although he is averaging a career-low 8.9 yards per catch.
Brown has recorded 100-plus-catch seasons in each of the last five years. He also has eclipsed 1,200 receiving yards while reeling in eight or more touchdown passes in every season during that stretch.
Signed to a four-year, $68 million contract extension in February 2017, Brown had 101 receptions for an NFL-best 1,533 yards last season despite missing two games with a calf injury. He also had nine touchdown catches en route to being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Year.
Brown has 751 career receptions for 10,070 yards and 60 touchdowns since entering the league as a sixth-round pick of the Steelers in the 2010 NFL Draft.