Baltimore — Antonio Brown’s frustrations boiled over early in the second quarter Sunday afternoon when he was not the target of a Ben Roethlisberger pass early.
The All-Pro receiver from Central Michigan gestured wildly toward Roethlisberger after he threw an incomplete pass to Le’Veon Bell. When he walked off the field, Brown took out his frustrations by tossing a Gatorade cooler. He then had it out with offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
“It’s like a kid being excited for Christmas,” Brown said after the game. “You work on it. You’re expecting that play on that day. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. You move on.”
Brown said he had no regrets about his angry display.
“I’m passionate about the game,” he said. “Anytime you work as hard and a play doesn’t go the way you wanted, you get frustrated.”
Roethlisberger has seen plenty of Brown’s outbursts over the years. He knows by now not to take offense.
“A.B. is a playmaker,” Roethlisberger said. “Sometimes there are not enough footballs to go around to everybody. A.B. is very passionate about wanting to help this team and take us to the next level. That’s nothing more than a competitor wanting the ball every single play.”
Brown, the NFL leader in receptions and receiving yards entering the game, finished with just four catches for 34 yards. Roethlisberger said Wednesday that he felt like he was zeroing in on Brown too much and at the expense of his other receivers.
Roethlisberger didn’t have much more success with any of his other receivers — Martavis Bryant led the team with 48 receiving yards — but he did take a back seat to Bell and the running game.
Bell, the former Michigan State star, finished with 144 yards on 35 carries and also chipped in to the passing game with six receptions for 42 yards.
“He’s passionate about the game,” Bell said. “He’s not a distraction. He wants the ball. He feels like he wants to be a part of it. He’s not being selfish. When the game is tight he feels like he needs to make a play. I’ll never say A.B. is a distraction.”
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.