Antonio Brown looking forward to matching up against Keenan Lewis again


PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers play at home Sunday for the first time in almost a month, and that fact elicited a smile from Antonio Brown Wednesday morning.

“It’s at Heinz Field, man,” Brown said. “I’m excited to get back out there and play in front of our fans.”

He should be excited to return to Heinz Field considering how Brown has turned the stadium into his personal playground at the expense of opposing defensive backs.

The fifth-year veteran is averaging 123 receiving yards in games at Heinz Field this season compared to 91.2 receiving yards in six road games. Brown has also caught six of his nine touchdown passes at home and even thrown a touchdown pass at Heinz Field.

The NFL’s second-leading receiver will look to extend his home success -- four of Brown’s five 100-yard games this season have also come at Heinz Field -- against a familiar foe.

Keenan Lewis, who played his first four NFL seasons with the Steelers, returns to Pittsburgh when the New Orleans Saints visit Sunday for a 1 p.m. ET game.

Lewis has emerged as a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback since signing with the Saints in March 2013. Adding to the intrigue of his first game against his old team is that the Steelers expect Lewis to shadow Brown -- something he did often from 2010-12 in practice.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him again and getting the opportunity to compete against him,” said Brown, who has studied tape of Lewis even though he already knows him well from their time together in Pittsburgh. “He's playing on the line and has been really good down the field, combative with his hands.”

Lewis has been one of the few bright spots on a Saints defense that has struggled this season, even though he is still working his way back from a knee injury.

“Keenan Lewis is a cornerstone of their cornerback position,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “His play has been highlighted by his ability to travel with top receivers. I am sure he and Antonio Brown look forward to a big-time battle this week.”