Bettis: AB Didn't Change, Was Tough To Deal With

The Antonio Brown drama isn't anything new, Jerome Bettis says; it's just that now the spotlight is on him

The DA Show
August 15, 2019 - 12:36 pm

Antonio Brown did not play in Week 17 last season, even though it was a must-win game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since then, he’s been in the news seemingly every week, seemingly never for a positive reason.

Did Brown simply change as a person over the last year?

“I think his viewpoint of Pittsburgh changed, obviously,” Steelers legend and Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis said on The DA Show. “I don’t think he changed. He was a tough guy to deal with, but he was a great player. Make no mistake about it: he was the same player he’s always been, the same person. But obviously with the issues that he had, he wanted to make a change. Is that right or wrong? Hey, that’s up for everyone to decide. But he felt he was ready to go. When a player is ready to go like that, you’ve got to let him go because he will destroy the continuity of the football team. So you got to let him go, you pick up the pieces and you keep moving.”

Still, there have been more AB stories over the last nine months than in his first nine NFL seasons combined. Did the Steelers simply keep his shenanigans under wraps all this time?

“There wasn’t a lot of issues,” Bettis said. “He was doing his job. There were obviously things he was doing here in Pittsburgh – it wasn’t significant, so it’s not going to be brought to the forefront. But when you put him in the public eye like this, now anything that he does becomes significant. I don’t think that was the case (in Pittsburgh). All those minor blips on the radar screen, they were able to be looked at as small issues and things that you can work through. 

“But there was some things that happened when he was here,” Bettis continued. “They didn’t make a big issue of them, and the public didn’t make a big issue of them because, hey, he was having success and they were winning. Now everything has changed because he made the big issue to be traded, he was traded, and now he’s in the spotlight more. So I don’t think it’s him changing; his situation has changed.”

D.A. wondered if the relationship between Brown and Ben Roethlisberger was just that bad.

“I wish I could tell you,” Bettis said. “I wasn’t in the locker room. I have no idea. But here’s what’s telling for me: When it’s one-sided like that, that’s strange. If you don’t have a good relationship with somebody, usually both guys know about it. When Ben came out and said, ‘I don’t know where this is coming from,’ that just strikes me as being strange. Usually if I don’t like you and you don’t like me, we both know about it. That’s what was strange for me when all this stuff came out.”