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Give him credit, Antonio Brown owns up to missed opportunities

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A back-of-the-plane conversation between Brown and Ben Roethlisberger shows Brown isn't going to sit on his success and ignore the two plays he could have made against the Raiders.

Kirk Irwin

If the Steelers are going to pick up a rare win against the New England Patriots, wide receiver Antonio Brown will likely factor in to the offensive success needed for that victory.

That makes the fact he spoke with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after Sunday's loss at Oakland, taking responsibility for two drops he had on third down - the latter having been intercepted off his hands - important.

Brown wants to be the guy Roethlisberger can count on to make plays.

"I thought I could have done some things better to help us win," Brown said, as quoted by ESPN's Scott Brown in regards to a conversation Brown had with Roethlisberger on the team's plane back to Pittsburgh Sunday. "You always want to rally around the quarterback to make sure everything’s on par. I come down with those two footballs maybe it’s a different game. I’ve got to be better."

And Brown can be that guy. It's not like it's far off. He has 56 catches, highest in the NFL,and his 73 targets leads the Steelers by a wide margin.

Making plays, simply put, is the absence of not making them. Dropping passes, or not hauling in poorly thrown passes, is the basic ingredient. A look or two in the end zone might help his reputation as a between-the-20s-receiver. Perhaps that's on Roethlisberger, but no one on the offense has gotten much of anything into the end zone recently. The Patriots have one of the league's better pass defenses, even without cornerback Aqib Talib, but the match-up for Brown on anyone New England has is going to be a positive one.

Brown holding himself accountable is step 1 to getting out of that funk. Step 2 is Roethlisberger getting him the ball, and it's all concluded with step 3; Brown taking it to the house.

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