The Antonio Brown soap opera added another subplot Wednesday, when the disgruntled Steelers wideout fired back at former Pittsburgh teammate Emmanuel Sanders over televised comments Sanders made over the weekend.
In a tweet, the 30-year-old Brown called Sanders — now with the Broncos — “the same guy who missed rehab to go on networks to talk about me,” and claimed his former teammate had “zero clue” about his situation.
The testy tweet was a response to Sanders’ comments on “NFL GameDay” on Saturday, when Sanders blamed Brown for the current drama surrounding the Steelers — but didn’t absolve Pittsburgh leaders, either.
Brown missed the Steelers’ must-win Week 17 matchup against the Bengals after a dust-up with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that led to Brown skipping team practices and meetings. Steelers owner Art Rooney II said last week it would be “hard to envision” the All-Pro receiver still on the team come July.
“It’s crazy, because I don’t like to see it, but I feel like Antonio brought it on himself,” Sanders said Saturday.
“You cannot turn your back on your brothers, and not only the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, who gave you an opportunity to make you who you are in terms of Antonio Brown the football player.”
He continued, “And knowing AB, and being my brother, man, he’s 100 percent wrong to even do that [skipping practices and meetings Week 17]. Because in turning my back on my brothers, I couldn’t even come to that game and sit on the sideline with a fur coat on, and looking at my brothers knowing that the playoff contingents is still on the line.”
In the tweet, Brown also ripped his former offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, who suggested Brown has changed over the course of his career, saying, “Arians now wears [Kangol] hats n glasses but ima diva!”
Sanders responded to Brown’s claims less than 30 minutes after.
“You know damn well I didn’t travel to LA to talk about you fam,” he said. “You trippin yo. I went to be a analyst in which you acting foolish was the topic and I gave my analytical opinion. Get off the gas yo. You did it to yourself.”
However, Sanders didn’t go after just Brown in his TV appearance.
The former Steeler also criticized head coach Mike Tomlin for enabling Brown’s antics over the years.
“In my opinion, I’ve seen several situations where it could’ve been handled a lot better [by Mike Tomlin], in terms of why it’s happening, going on now and the reason why he thinks that he could do that,” he said.
“I remember Mike Tomlin, one of his things was, ‘I’m gonna treat everyone the same, but I’m not gonna treat everybody the same.’ Meaning, if you’re out here making plays and you’re doing this, you’re gonna have some type of leeway. And so, obviously he’s given Antonio way too much leeway that he thinks he can leave on a Wednesday and have his agent call him on Sunday and still be on the sideline.”
Sanders didn’t stop there, as he went on to criticize the leadership abilities of Roethlisberger. The quarterback criticized Brown’s route-running after a Week 12 loss at the Broncos, and Sanders thinks those words boiled over and led to the confrontation with Brown during a week 17 walk-through.
“You’re the leader of this team, be a leader,” he said. “That’s the reason [for] my comments, when I first became a Denver Bronco, I said Peyton Manning is a far better leader than Ben Roethlisberger. That’s the reason why all that now is coming to fruition.”
Still, Sanders left the door open for his ex-teammate to join him in Denver, perhaps through a trade.
“I don’t like the situation, but I hear the Broncos — hey A.B., come on man!”