Hoge: Antonio Brown A Quitter, Not A True Pro

Merril Hoge explains why he wouldn't want AB on his football team

Zach Gelb
August 26, 2019 - 10:07 am
Antonio Brown Raiders

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Since Antonio Brown left the Steelers, there has seemingly been no drama in Pittsburgh. Since arriving in Oakland, however, the drama has seemingly been non-stop.

That’s probably not a coincidence.

“It’s just like a divorce,” former NFL player Merril Hoge said on The Zach Gelb Show. “When they’re married, sometimes you get these stories. But then when they’re separated, they stand as individuals and you get to see who’s who. Well, you haven’t seen any drama or issues in Pittsburgh, but you still see what’s going on in Oakland. AB didn’t have a problem with Ben for years, and all of a sudden he started having problems with him. It’s just kind of interesting. I think now the evidence has shown itself where really things stand, who is the big problem.”

Hoge, who played for the Steelers from 1987-93, believes Brown has been unhappy ever since JuJu Smith-Schuster was named Pittsburgh’s MVP. He also believes Brown’s work ethic in no way atones for the drama he creates.

“Everybody works hard in the NFL,” Hoge said. “Antonio Brown is not the only guy. Everybody that’s a true pro works hard. True pros don’t quit on your team because you didn’t get awarded the MVP of your team or you feel like you got snubbed. That’s not what good pros do. I think he has never shown that he is a true pro. He has shown he is anything but a true pro.”

Hoge said he would not want Brown on his team.

“No, you don’t win with people like that,” Hoge said. “What have they won with Antonio Brown? Nothing. When critical times matter, that’s when you need your real pros and you need people to step up. All he has done is quit on your team, walk away on the team. You don’t need people like that. You don’t build championships with people like that. It never happened and it never will. 

“There’s always going to be bumps in the road; there’s always going to be things where it becomes rough,” Hoge continued. “That’s when you find out about people. Unless Antonio Brown changes and looks at his own self and quits blaming everybody else and he becomes accountable, things aren’t going to change. He’s going to be the same guy when it goes bad.”

Hoge added that the Steelers seem like a “more cohesive unit” this offseason.

“I’ve been there when Antonio Brown was there,” he said. “I’ve watched drills that they’re waiting for Antonio Brown to show up, and he’s already five minutes late. So that’s just being a poor professional right there. I didn’t see any of that. I saw them start early in a lot of drills because they’re not waiting on Antonio Brown. From that perspective, I just saw a lot better focus on team and accountability.”

Click below to listen to Hoge’s interview in its entirety.