Receiver Antonio Brown is no longer playing second fiddle to Mike Wallace for the Pittsburgh Steelers as top target for Ben Roethlisberger, and began establishing the necessary chemistry to produce such a trust with his quarterback as early as 2012.
Brown will be looking to extend his touchdown reception streak to five games against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 of the regular season, after catching one scoring pass in each of the team's final four games last year. Brown ended the season with five total.
Wallace on the other hand, grabbed eight. With Wallace gone, those opportunities will be split among Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and others, meaning everyone's role will be increased. Replacing or surpassing the scoring numbers Wallace posted would further justify the organization's decision to offer Brown a contract and allow Wallace to leave in free agency.
Opening the season with a streak-extending score would put Brown on the right pace to meet the benchmark. He has already posted one 1,000 yard season in his career and was on pace for his second until missing three games with a sprained ankle, and suffering with the rest of the offense through Roethlisberger's injury and arguably premature return.
If the Steelers are able to maintain the chemistry and health of their starters in 2013, Brown could post career-best totals in yardage and TDs, and the team could be looking at a return to the post-season. The best way to begin is by performing on a consistent basis - like grabbing TD receptions in five straight games.
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