Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians on the Antonio Brown drama in Pittsburgh……“There’s too much miscommunication, too much, too much diva,” Arians said of Brown on The Adam Schefter Podcast. “I’ve heard so many stories. I like Antonio, he plays as hard as anybody on Sunday and he practices hard. He’s just gotta make better decisions off the field, be on time, do some of those little things.” Arians from the outside said Brown isn’t the same player the Steelers drafted in 2010. “He was the hardest working,” Arians said of Brown. “He and Emmanuel Sanders, boy they went after it because Mike Tomlin used to tell them, ‘two dogs, one bone’.
Antonio Brown’s infatuation with the San Francisco 49ers continues on social media. Brown now has Jerry Rice in his corner, who says Brown wants to play for the 49ers “really badly” and has endorsed the 49ers to pursue Brown. “He wants to come here really badly,” Rice said of Brown on 95.7 The Game. Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus has no control of over Brown but what he should be trying to do with Brown is get him off social media immediately, get him wired in to put on a good face wherever he eventually gets traded and focus on having a monster 2019 season for leverage to rework his current contract after the 19 season for another massive payday.
Offensive line coach Mike Munchak won’t be back with the Steelers in 2019. Munchak who was a runner up for the Denver Broncos head coaching job, has been hired by the Broncos as their new offensive line coach, Broncos insider Mike Kils reports. Munchak’s contract had expired with the Steelers. He informed the Steelers today of the decision to move on as the Steelers had been expecting a Munchak exit for days.
Prior to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers zeroing in on Bruce Arians, buzz in Steelers circles is the Buccaneers through backchannels gathered information in the final days of the regular season on whether there was even the slightest chance that the Steelers and Mike Tomlin were headed towards a situation where both sides would consider mutually parting via trade compensation. Tampa Bay quickly found out in their information gathering process there would be zero interest from either side. As the heat would seem to be turning up on Tomlin, who has 2 years and around $15 million left on his contract, there’s no sense it actually is from those above him.
Aside from the obvious teams with a ton of cap space like the 49ers, amongst others, that will look into Antonio Brown, Ian Rapoport of the NFLnetwork reported Saturday the Denver Broncos are “plotting” a run at Brown and will be a team to watch. While the Steelers don’t plan to seriously engage into trade talks until closer to the combine, Denver sets up as a potential match. The 10th overall pick the Broncos have surely won’t be in play for the 31 year old Brown, but Denver having an early 2nd and early 3rd rounder is the type of draft capital expected to draw the Steelers attention when it comes to getting quantity in return for Brown. MORE STEELERS BUZZ
The Pittsburgh Steelers who have been in the market to add veteran defensive minded coach to the staff, have hired Teryl Austin. Austin will have the official title of senior defensive assistant/secondary. From 2003-2016, Austin began his career as a defensive backs/secondary coach with the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens. He served as the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions from 2014-2017 and the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018.
Barring a surprise development, the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to retain Keith Butler as defensive coordinator for the 2019 season. Butler has been informed by head coach Mike Tomlin to prepare for the upcoming senior bowl, sources close to the situation say, and Butler has been part of regular meetings with the staff, including having a voice on the next hire for a linebackers coach. Butler has one year left on his contract.
Antonio Brown “likely” to be traded this off-season from the Steelers has now reached the stage where it’s beyond just media speculation. It’s going to happen! Art Rooney II said today in an interview with Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette that it’s “hard to envision” Brown being on the roster by training camp and said “all options” are on the table. Another tidbit from Rooney that stands out — Rooney saying the salary cap ramifications will not “box” the team in when it comes to potentially moving Brown.
As former Bengals coach Marvin Lewis mulls his options for the 2019 season, that includes front office opportunities, the Pittsburgh Steelers have held preliminary discussions with Lewis about a role in the coaching staff, sources tell TIOPS. Lewis is not being sought to become the Steelers defensive coordinator in 2019 but has been eyed to join the staff in a consultant/specialist role to help oversee a number of areas on the defense.