Friday Football Footnotes: Former Steeler rips Antonio Brown; O.J. Simpson piles on |
Breakfast With Benz

Friday Football Footnotes: Former Steeler rips Antonio Brown; O.J. Simpson piles on

Tim Benz
Antonio Brown is not with the Oakland Raiders amid reports he could be suspended over a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock.

“Friday Football Footnotes” returns for Week 1 of the NFL season.

Both O.J. Simpson and Merril Hoge are piling on Antonio Brown. Drew Rosenhaus doesn’t sound optimistic about Monday night for A.B. And we have injury information from both Cleveland and New England.

Rosenhaus not rosey

If Drew Rosenhaus can’t even spin things in your direction, you’re probably wrong.

Antonio Brown’s agent did what he could to defuse the time bomb ticking in Oakland Thursday night.

But with Mike Florio of, Rosenhaus couldn’t drum up a lot of optimism that the former Steelers wide receiver would be on the field with the Raiders on Monday night against Denver.

This is all a result of a rift between Brown and Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.

Brown is mad at Mayock for fining him over missed workouts. Mayock is mad that Brown posted the letter outlining his fines on social media.

It’s not only unclear if Brown will play Monday. It’s unclear if he will play with the Raiders at all.

And based on how that conversation went with Florio and Rosenhaus, one thing is obvious. Brown’s side is trying to drive a wedge between Mayock and Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

Gruden has been a total suck-up to Brown because he is desperate to get A.B. incorporated into the offense. That much was obvious if you watched “Hard Knocks” on HBO.

Meanwhile, Mayock is playing the heavy and trying to make sure Brown doesn’t get away with the preferential treatment he abused in Pittsburgh.

This should end well.

Mad Merril

Merril Hoge shredded Antonio Brown on 93.7 the Fan this week.

The former Steelers running back attacked Brown for his attitude and his overrated work ethic.

“There ain’t a bigger line of garbage than he works hard,” Hoge said. “Everybody in the NFL works hard. Anyone who is a good pro works hard. Because he works hard, it doesn’t take you away from being a bad pro.”

Also, how hard is Brown working if he skips so many practices, meetings and games?

“He’s a horrendous pro,” Hoge continued. “He’s an embarrassment to the National Football League.”

Aside from that, it was a glowing review of the former Steelers pass catcher.

O.J. on A.B.

O.J. Simpson is piling on Antonio Brown as well.

O.J. took to Twitter to plead with Brown to fall in line and get back to work.

Why? For all the right reasons — helping Simpson’s fantasy team.

Keep in mind, Vontaze Burfict was said to be the guy who held back Brown from going after Mayock during their skirmish this week.

So, in other words, Burfict and Simpson are guys who are trying to get Brown to calm down and be reasonable.

What does that tell you?

Uh oh, Odell

Odell Beckham Jr. is likely going to start the season at less than 100%.

The new Cleveland Browns receiver is dealing with a hip issue that isn’t allowing him to go full speed at practice.

“I’ve been kind of afraid to just open up,’’ Beckham said via “It’s something that hinders me from fully sprinting as fast as I can.”

Beckham had a totally understated way of describing his situation.

“It’s like an extremely fast car with the alignment off. The car can still go, but it’s dangerous,” he said.

Browns coach Freddie Kitchens didn’t have OBJ on the injury report. And he says Beckham will be “good to go” against the Titans on Sunday.

But it appears Cleveland’s huge offseason acquisition will be at less than peak performance.

New England news

We know the Patriots have questions in the pass-catching ranks after Julian Edelman.

And, frankly, his banged-up thumb may be an issue, too.

But their injury report is just about as scant as the Steelers’ report is.

No injured player sat out practice entirely for New England. Tight end Matt LaCosse (ankle), safety Obi Melifonwu (ankle) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) all participated on at least a limited basis.

Watch Thomas and LaCosse as the weekend moves along.

Sean Davis (ankle) and Mark Barron (coach’s decision) didn’t participate for the Steelers.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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