Newly signed by the Oakland Raiders, Antonio Brown is drawing the type of attention most teams shy away from. Brown, arguably the best wide receiver in the National Football League, has shown up to camp unable to fully participate due to a problem with his feet that could have easily been avoided. Additionally, he has legally imposed a grievance against the league regarding the new safety helmet’s that are now required to be worn by the players. The drama is not what owner Mike Davis, and General Manager Mike Mayock, or Head Coach John Gruden, anticipated when bringing Brown onboard. On paper, Antonio’s stats make for an exciting acquisition and a real asset to the Raider family; particularly at a time when the team is rebuilding. But is his attitude and the drama he brings worth it?
Acquired from the Pittsburg Steelers, Antonio Brown had a reputation as being temperamental and insensitive to the direction of his team’s offensive schemes. The final straw came when he chose not to practice because he didn’t like the call to run the ball as opposing to putting it into the air. Unfortunately, this resulted in a blow up with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Brown was released in the off season.
Antonio’s decision to try cryotherapy also backfired. Cryotherapy is the latest trend in treating pain and inflammation. The individual is immersed in a chamber that lowers the body temperature to -241 degrees. Prior to entering, the athlete is provided the proper attire to wear for their protection from frostbite. In Antonio Brown’s case, he chose not to wear the provided footwear and now is being treated for the condition. As a caveat, this is the same situation that plagued sprinter, Justin Gatlin, when he wore sweaty socks to the cry chamber, and it took months for him to recover.
The issue surrounding the helmet doesn’t make sense in my opinion. Brown recently filed a grievance against the NFL regarding the new helmet rule. The new helmet is designed to minimize incidents relating to concussions and in doing so there are some noticeable changes in the technology. The new Vicis helmet design is ranked at the top of the list for safety, while Antonio’s Schutt helmet is now banned. There are also changes to the face mask which might be a slight issue for some skill positions. For receivers, the mask now has an extra bar on both the right and left sides. The remedy for the hinderance is to practice and get acclimated to the change. Antonio is now threatening to not play unless he gets his way.
My message to Antonio Brown is to simply to play football and stop whining. As great as you are, there is always someone on the horizon a little bit better.