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Steelers Ben Roethlisberger shuns Antonio Brown to prove point

Sometimes, ignored phone calls and messages goes a long way

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

If the late December/early January text conversations between Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown were a Sprint commercial, James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell wouldn't have had much dialogue to work with.

On Monday, Brown admitted on Dan Le Batard's ESPN show "Highly Questionable" that his quarterback ignored his phone calls and text messages for about a week after the team's final regular season game, a win over Cleveland.

Brown said the reason for Big Ben's communication freeze was due to Brown's visible and verbal frustration over not being able to pass Hines Ward's team record for catches in a season. He finished two catches shy of Ward's record of 112 receptions.

"My attitude was so bad he didn't want to deal with me," Brown said. "You understand that when you play for a great organization, you can't act like that."

Brown stated that Roethlisberger's message hit home when the quarterback finally broke his silence.

"The first thing (Roethlisberger) said was, 'I don't want to talk to you when you're like that. He said 'I don't want my kids to root for you when you're like that.' That's what meant most to me. If my quarterback acted like that, I'd tell my son you don't wanna watch that guy. He has a bad attitude."

Le Batard's follow up question was whether or not Brown's attitude was the mindset receivers should have, which Brown refuted. Brown also assured fans that he and his quarterback are back on good terms.

Brown also talked about his off season, which he said has been spent mostly with his six-year-old son, also named Antonio. Brown said the most difficult part of being a father is not having enough time with his son. His father, former Arena League Star and a current Miami high school coach Eddie Brown, stood behind Antonio during the interview.

"He's so passionate about football," Brown said. "He usually gives me a five-minute speech that normally turns into a 30-minute speech. He turns coach on me; he loves it."

Interview begins at around 7:00 mark

The 25-year-old Brown, a Miami native, played his college ball at Central Michigan before arriving in Pittsburgh. He's currently ninth all-time in Steelers history with 261 catches and is only 97 catches away from the fourth receiver on the list, Louis Lipps. Teammate Heath Miller is third on the list with 466 receptions. Last season, Brown broke Yancy Thigpen's 16-year-old record for most receiving yards in a season with 1,499.