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No shirt for you: Steelers' Mike Tomlin bans jersey-swapping

10/8/2014

PITTSBURGH – The jersey that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown wore last Sunday hangs in the locker of Tommy Streeter, who is on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad.

Brown autographed the jersey and gave it to Streeter, a childhood friend, after the Steelers’ 17-9 win at Jacksonville.

It will apparently be the last Steelers jersey Brown gives to an opposing player following a game – at least on the field.

“Jersey switching has been banned by the Steelers,” Brown said on Wednesday. “Coach [Mike Tomlin] doesn’t want us doing it anymore.”

The edict Tomlin handed down Tuesday apparently stems from his wanting players to be more discreet if they exchange jerseys – or not to do it at all.

In addition to Brown giving his jersey to Streeter -- the two played little league football growing up together in Miami -- Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell and Jaguars running back Denard Robinson exchanged jerseys after the game.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he has no problem with Tomlin putting the kibosh on players swapping or giving their jerseys to an opposing player right after a game.

“I’ve been asked a couple of times by guys, but if its someone that I really might exchange jerseys with, then we’ll do it off the beaten path, not in the middle of the field,” Roethlisberger told ESPN.com. “If I was lucky enough to play against Peyton Manning in his last game, I might try and get it, but that’s a different story. I’m sure everyone would try and get that.”

Brown traded jerseys with Detroit All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson last November after the Steelers beat the Lions 37-27 at Heinz Field, and it is something he has done several times.

But Brown said he understands the message Tomlin is trying to send by prohibiting the swap of jerseys right after a game.

“We want a point of emphasis on winning games. We’re not here to trade apparel,” Brown said. “It’s the right way to do it.”