Steelers great Terry Bradshaw rips Antonio Brown: ‘I wouldn’t throw to him’
Terry Bradshaw regularly threw passes to a pair of fellow Hall of Famer in wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth while the Pittsburgh Steelers were winning four Super Bowls in the 1970s.
Antonio Brown broke most of their records in his nine seasons with the team, but Bradshaw is glad he never had the controversial wideout among his arsenal of pass catchers. Brown probably is, too.
“I wouldn’t throw to him,” Bradshaw said.
In an interview Friday with the Tribune-Review, Bradshaw expressed happiness that the Steelers traded Brown to Oakland in March. And given the behavior Brown has displayed in recent months – the frozen feet controversy, unsanctioned helmet grievances, threatening his general manager, forcing his release and rape allegations surfacing after his signing with New England – Bradshaw is wondering what took so long for the Steelers to unload him.
“I had no idea they catered to Brown as much as they supposedly did,” Bradshaw said. “I can’t stand players like Antonio Brown.”
The 71-year-old Bradshaw, who never shies away from sharing opinions as co-host of Fox NFL Sunday, then spent several minutes ripping the NFL’s most prolific pass catcher over a six-year span.
“Winning football games is all about the team and all about players caring about one another and everybody pulling together, not pulling apart,” Bradshaw said. “You can’t have Antonio Brown for all the greatness that they are, do you want the baggage that goes with that crap? I wouldn’t.
“I’m glad they got rid of him and I’m upset now that I know how he got away … (what) he was doing there. I wish the heck they would have gotten rid of him a long time ago.”
Bradshaw, though, has no issue with All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell, who sat out all of last season before leaving the Steelers via free agency and signing with the New York Jets.
“I would have paid Le’Veon, I would have given him money,” Bradshaw said. “Once again, I don’t know what kind of teammate he was. A good guy, a bad guy? I don’t know what. But the Steelers, if you mess with them, if you’re not a good person, they are going to unload you. That’s the way it used to be. I’m glad they got rid of that guy (Brown).
“What’s the over/under of him lasting in New England?”
Brown’s future with the Patriots is in limbo while the NFL investigates the rape accusations. Bradshaw doesn’t expect the marriage to be a lengthy one, and he’s disturbed by the messages and videos that Brown shared of his accuser on social media.
“I cannot emphasize how I cannot stand and have a disdain totally for players like that,” Bradshaw said. “I don’t want any part of them. I wouldn’t like them. They would hate me if they were on our team. They would hate me because I wouldn’t throw to him.
“I will not put up with that kind of behavior. You don’t win with it. Why haven’t we won more Super Bowls? There is talent, (but) it’s just guys like him. Let him go and his brand and whatever it is he’s doing.”
Bradshaw did not watch the Steelers’ season-opening 33-3 loss at New England – the team’s first game without both Brown and Bell on the roster. He’s not surprised the Steelers couldn’t find an offensive rhythm in their absence.
“You don’t just discard two phenomenal players and expect everything to be hunky-dory,” he said. “They struggled and they might struggle this year as the young kids come on strong … They are going to progress, and they are going to get better, I hope. I feel the defense is going to play better. Let’s not discount that this was (against) New England. Ten weeks from now, I expect it to be a totally different story.”
Bradshaw would be more concerned if the Steelers didn’t have another Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback on board. Even though Ben Roethlisberger is 37, Bradshaw thinks the Steelers made the right decision in keeping their quarterback around for three more years.
“I’m not worried about Pittsburgh at all,” Bradshaw said. “They’ve got young people over there, and they’ve got their quarterback. They’ve got the guy to do the job. There’s not going to be any panic out of Ben.
“Let’s just sit back, let’s (not) all scream and holler and look at it and go nuts and wonder what’s wrong. Let this thing slowly evolve, and it will. I believe it truly will. As long as you’ve got the quarterback. They’re not looking for a quarterback. They’ve got their quarterback.”
Just not their Hall of Fame wide receiver.
“Let New England have him,” Bradshaw said. “Maybe he becomes Billy Graham, I don’t know. I seriously doubt it, seriously doubt it.
“I’m not pulling for him, I can promise you that.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .