Saturday, September 21, 2013
What Antonio Brown can do for Steelers
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- Devin Hester is probably expecting to leave Heinz Field in the early hours of Monday morning with a Chicago Bears victory and a wallet that is a little heavier.
It seems, when it comes to the latter, that Pittsburgh Steelers receiver/return man Antonio Brown still has an outstanding shipping bill from a car transaction he made with Hester.
“I know he’s going to be looking forward to me bringing money to the game,” Brown said with a laugh. “That’s my guy, though.”
The two friends share a Miami connection -- Brown grew up there; Hester played his college ball for "the U" -- and Bears coach Marc Trestman linked them in another way earlier this week.
He said Brown has the same kind of ability as Hester to change a game via special teams.
That is high praise, considering that Hester continues to build a case that he is the best kick returner of all time.
He had kickoff returns for 80 and 76 yards last Sunday against the Vikings and set a Bears record with 249 kickoff-return yards in Chicago’s 31-30 victory.
Hester has 17 career touchdowns via kickoff and punt returns, and that number is all the more astounding when you consider how often opposing teams kick the ball away from the eighth-year veteran.
“I definitely love his game, look up to him as a returner and what he’s been able to do in this league,” Brown said.
Brown has a lot of catching up to do if he wants to be approach Hester as a return man.
The fourth-year veteran has returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown, but the Steelers no longer use him on kickoffs because Brown is plenty busy serving as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver and primary punt returner.
He almost broke a punt return Monday night in Cincinnati, and his 40-yard return set up a Shaun Suisham field goal.
“I was close,” Brown said of scoring a touchdown.
Close enough that Brown is confident a punt return for a touchdown is on the horizon for him and a team that needs all of the help it can get scoring points?
“Absolutely,” he said with a smile.