KEVIN COLBERT, General Manager, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown has signed a five-year extension. He’s still under contract for six years which will take him through 2017. Antonio’s very deserving of this contract. In the two years he’s been with us he’s continued to make plays. Not so much the first year. The first year, watching him practice, you knew that this kid was going to have a pretty good career and we’re excited the next six years are going to be with us.
Q: How could you determine he’s worth the money after only two years?
A: As I said, even in Antonio’s rookie year, when you watched him practice and the way he practiced and how hard he practiced and how many plays he made in practice, you could see that he was going to have – we thought he was going to have – a great second year, which he did. You look at that and you only hope that it continues, as we think it will.
Q: How does this impact Mike Wallace’s future with the team?
A: Today’s about Antonio. If you have questions about Antonio, great. If not, we’re not going to address them.
Q: You drafted him 27 months ago with a sixth-round pick. Do you remember your thoughts about his potential at that time?
A: We liked his potential. You could see talent. And again, really, when you take him in the sixth round, to do what he’s done to this point, it’s a bonus, quite honestly. But again, the first season when he practiced, you’d see a ball in the air and he’d be coming down with it against our starting defense. It just seemed like he kept making plays. His development as a receiver – again, he’s a young guy and it’s only going to get better the more he plays, we anticipate. It’s exciting for us and I know it’s exciting for Antonio because he’s one of our hardest workers and he’s never going to be satisfied. He can speak for himself but he wants to win a Super Bowl, and hopefully we’re moving toward that end.
ANTONIO BROWN, wide receiver, Steelers
Q: What does it mean to you to happen now?
A: It’s special. I’m with a unique organization as the Steelers. Knowing that I’m going to be around here for long-term, it’s something amazing. It’s really special, something I take pride in and know it’s a tremendous honor. It provides me with some security and allows me to play football and focus on winning games.
Q: Who’s the first person you called in your family?
A: No one. Unless you’re here in training camp, all my focus right now is to prepare and build a foundation for the year upcoming and put my all in, so when it comes time for the fall I’m ready to go.
Q: Do you set new goals every year?
A: Definitely. You always want to be better from last year. You don’t want to place a limit on anything. You always want to do more year in and year out. There’s more expected and you want to rise to the occasion.
Q: Do you like the receiving corps as it is right now? Or do you have to get Mike Wallace involved?
A: All the men who are here who have their hand in the pile are willing and capable. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. The men who are going to be here are going to give their all. When Mike gets here we’ll embrace him.
Q: How do you like the new offense? Will it be different from last year?
A: It’s really good. It’s kind of the same. Different terminology. But with all 11 men buying in, getting on the same page, we should be able to execute.
Q: Is your job going to be the same?
Q: When did these negotiations begin to involve you?
A: I haven’t even taken time to focus on it. Being at training camp, my focus right now is to be in great shape, get prepared to play preseason games, and get ready for the year.
Q: So the negotiations didn’t affect you at all?
A: No, not at all. I’m here to play football and build a foundation for the year.
Q: Did you allow yourself last night to think about how quickly this is happening for a sixth-round pick from a small school who’s only started three games?
A: No, I haven’t taken time to focus on it, but what I do realize is I’ve been given a great opportunity to be around an organization that’s really special. I’m tremendously honored and thankful about that. All I can do is work to give them my best as long as I’m here.
Q: What can you do with 16 starts?
A: Man, we’re going to see. I’ve got three under my belt and I’m looking forward to this year and start fully.
Q: When did you learn to separate things and focus on one thing without distractions? Where does that come from?
A: Winning. Winning is all about what’s important now. What’s important now is me focusing on training camp, getting on the same page, learning the offense, and getting ready for the year.
Q: Is the little guy on Mike Tomlin’s lap (four-year-old Antonio Jr. wearing DaBeard Gear) a paid endorser by Brett Keisel?
A: Definitely. We actually just came from the gathering with Brett Keisel at Dino’s, so we’re definitely on board for fearing the beard.
MIKE TOMLIN, coach, Steelers
Q: Is he too expensive to be a return man now?
A: He’ll be available in that regard when I call on him. I’m sure he’ll be tapping me on the shoulder some. We’ve not closed the door on that but we are looking at some young, promising guys.
Q: Did his camp last year surprise you the way it surprised a lot of us?
A: He’s put together a body of work in the 24 months or so he’s been here that’s been very consistent in terms of how he approaches the game. I’m less and less everyday surprised by what he does. We can frame his story in that he’s a sixth-round pick, or he’s had three career starts. The reality is the guy’s been electric for us since he’s been here. The first time he touched a ball in an NFL stadium he scored. He was our MVP last year. Who starts or runs out of the tunnel is less important than the production on the field, and when given an opportunity he’s done it and done it in a big way. We expect it to continue.