Antonio Brown recently tweeted that he wants to retire as a Pittsburgh Steeler. If that happens, it would strictly be ceremonial.
During an appearance on The Pivot podcast, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin dismissed the idea of Brown returning to Pittsburgh as an active player.
“Y’all know that ain’t happening,” Tomlin said, via SI.com. “In terms of putting a helmet on and running out of the tunnel and playing ball and stuff like that, man. You know he’s moved on, and we’ve moved on. We can sit around and chop that up like it’s a realistic conversation, but we know that’s not realistic.”
Brown produced a Hall of Fame résumé in nine seasons with the Steelers, generating 837 receptions for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns. He led the league in catches and yards in two seasons while being named a first-team All-Pro four times. During his nine years, he averaged 86.2 yards per game with Tomlin’s team.
Since it ended poorly for Brown in Pittsburgh, the receiver’s career unraveled, with his runs with the Raiders, Patriots and Buccaneers all closing in controversy.
“What I’ll say about AB is this man, we had nine great years,” Tomlin said. “I appreciate that dude in ways I can’t explain to y’all. I won’t even bother to attempt to explain to y’all because it sounds like I’m defending him in some way. And to me, from that standpoint, the nature of our relationship and what we all did together requires no defense. You could digest it however you want to digest it. I don’t think enough gets said about the will of that dude. About the work ethic of that dude. About the fearlessness that he played the game.”