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Antonio Brown Says Mike Tomlin Was a Father Figure to Him



Steelers Antonio Brown

Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown opened up in a wide ranging one-on-one interview with Jason Whitlock that Mike Tomlin was like a father figure to him during his nine years in Pittsburgh.

Things didn’t end on good terms with Brown in Pittsburgh, as he burned every bridge imaginable with the organization, but he still has a lot of respect for Tomlin and what he did for him.

“Mike Tomlin, that dude was like my pops, to be honest,” an emotional Brown told Whitlock. “Ever since I met Mike Tomlin I always knew, I’ll have success. I feel like when I went to the Steelers, Mike Tomlin, once I saw him and talked with him, I knew I was going to the Steelers. Mike Tomlin was that father figure for me. Outside of coach. Obviously as a coach and the minutia as a coach, he was always challenging me at the utmost to make sure I was better.”

Brown won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, but his runs with the Steelers, Raiders, Patriots and Buccaneers all ended with controversy.

“What I’ll say about AB is this man, we had nine great years,” Tomlin said on The Pivot Podcast in June of 2022. “I appreciate that dude in ways I can’t explain to y’all. I won’t even bother to attempt to explain to y’all because it sounds like I’m defending him in some way. And to me, from that standpoint, the nature of our relationship and what we all did together requires no defense. You could digest it however you want to digest it. I don’t think enough gets said about the will of that dude. About the work ethic of that dude. About the fearlessness that he played the game.”

Brown appreciates Tomlin’s consistent support of him, even when the road got narrow.

“That guy Mike Tomlin, always had my back, always believed in me,” Brown said. “So I’m always indebted to Mike Tomlin. He’s one of those guys that’s stood in the foxhole for me. And that meant a lot to me.”

Brown also reiterated in his interview with Whitlock that he requested a trade from the Steelers after the 2018 season because he didn’t think they were capable of winning a Super Bowl.

“I [wanted] to get out of Pittsburgh because I was realizing we’re not gonna win a Super Bowl,” Brown told Whitlock. “We’re not gonna do anything great. How we gonna do anything great? You putting your top receiver against a kid, he’s a rookie … you think a rookie receiver gonna be able to take two double teams and the best guy every week? He’s not even prepared.”

The “kid” that Brown refers to is JuJu Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster blossomed into a star wide receiver in his second year, posting career-high numbers in receptions (111) and yards (1,426). His popularity in the city and throughout Steelers Nation was astronomical. It wasn’t to the level of Brown, but the star wide receiver obviously thought he was infringing on his territory.

“It wasn’t about who they’re promoting. It’s about the team going to the next level and win the championship,” Brown told Whitlock. “Forget who you’re promoting. Are we gonna win 2018? I don’t think we even made the playoffs then. We made the playoffs against Cleveland. I didn’t play. They lost the first game at home.”

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Jesus Christani
Jesus Christani
May 8, 2024 10:37 am

A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.”

”A great father will forgive his (prodigal) son.”