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Cam Heyward wants Antonio Brown to return and hopes he feels the same - ‘we want him to want to be a part of this’

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The Steelers defensive captain was clear he still wanted Antonio Brown on the roster in 2019 when talking to reporters on Thursday.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown still yet to share his side of the story about the events that led up to him missing the final game of the season, he remains a topic of conversation for the media when talking to his teammates at the Pro Bowl. But if reporters were looking to uncover some dirt on Brown this week, the responses of Maurkice Pouncey on Wednesday and now Cam Heyward on Thursday are sure to have disappointed.

Much like Pouncey the day before, Heyward had nothing negative to say about the team’s star receiver, repeatedly stating how much love and respect he had for AB and how much he wanted him back on the team in 2019.

Indicating to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that it was up to Brown to make the next move, Heyward left no doubt how he felt about his teammate.

“I love the guy. I think the world of the guy. I love his competitiveness. I love that he strives to be the number one receiver. I’m not saying I’m perfect. I’ve been a jerk. I’ve done plenty of stupid things, but I just think I’d love to have him on our team. That’s all I can ask for, now the balls in his court. I just look forward to competing with a bunch of guys that are contending for a Super Bowl.

Sentiments he echoed when talking to Missi Matthews of Steelers.com.

“I think we all want AB here, but we want AB to be a part of this, we want him to want to be a part of this and that’s all we can ask for. He’s a heck of a player, a special talent, a Hall of Fame talent and we’re all striving to get one thing, a Super Bowl. And we just look forward to hoping he wants to be a part of this. We know it wasn’t ideal last year, but you learn from mistakes on both sides and just continue to be better people.”

Without trying to read too much into the remarks of Pouncey and Heyward, it appears fairly clear that both believe that whatever AB did is far from unforgivable, with each implying that it is up to Brown to make the next move if this issue is to be resolved. While no one seems willing to share what the problem actually is, neither player has come even close to suggesting they want him off the roster.

Hopefully, hearing these encouraging words from two of the team’s leaders will inspire AB to get in touch with those who have been reaching out to him as of late. In something of a positive sign on his part, his latest post on Instagram from Thursday was perhaps a sign his stance was softening as well. He has also unfollowed the San Francisco 49ers on social media for whatever that is worth