clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Antonio Brown’s comments point directly to the void left by Martavis Bryant

The Pittsburgh Steelers offense is good, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a giant hole where No. 10 stood in 2015.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9 action, media swarmed receiver Antonio Brown to ask him about what is plaguing the team’s offense.

It was evident the Ravens were going to throw two, and sometimes three, defenders his way to prevent him from making the plays which can break a defense’s back. His response ruffled some feathers with fans, but is 100-percent accurate.

"Others have to step up," Brown told Jeremy Fowler of "They need to find a way to step in, step up and make plays," Brown said. "It's been about eight weeks so far, and that's what we've been seeing -- double coverage. Today it was triple coverage with a linebacker coming over, and we just have to find ways to win. Other guys have to step up. It just shows that people got respect for me, but we have to find a way to win no matter what they do. It's all about what we do."

In other words, opposing defenses are daring one of the other receivers to step up and be the difference maker. In 2014 and 2015 that player was Martavis Bryant. Bryant, who burst onto the scene as a deep threat play maker, evolved into much more than that last season, but Bryant’s year-long suspension means someone else has to step up and make plays.

After his career day against the New York Jets in Week 5, most thought it would be Sammie Coates, but a broken finger and inconsistency has plagued the young receiver. Others put their money on Markus Wheaton to step up and have a huge year in his final season under his rookie contract. A shoulder injury has had him sidelined more games than he has played in throughout the first half of the season.

There were those who thought it could be Eli Rogers or Darrius Heyward-Bey, but neither have panned out for various reasons.

Steelers fans proudly beat their chests about how deep the team’s wide receiver depth chart is, and yet they are struggling to find a viable No. 2 receiver. Whatever, or whomever, is going to step up and help complete the team’s offense will likely have to do so soon, or it will be tough sledding for the rest of the season.

"We can't make any excuses," said Brown about being 4-4. "We've got to find a way to continue to get better, and we get a fresh start next week. We've got to get things on the right side."

The right side would be a good start, and finding a receiver to play opposite Brown with regularity could certainly point the Steelers on a winning course as the Dallas Cowboys come to Heinz Field in Week 10.