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How pushing and pulling Antonio Brown helps him and Steelers

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Antonio Brown plants a neon Nike cleat into the rain-soaked grass, head fakes inside and bolts to the sideline, where Ben Roethlisberger’s pass awaits. This is an unguardable play that Roethlisberger and Brown have refined with thousands of reps, but Brown just missed a week of practices, so he must set a tone for cornerback Artie Burns.

“You ain’t stick me since we’ve been here,” Brown said in Burns’ direction after flipping his touchdown pass to the ball boy and heading to the back of the line for another one-on-one session, where he’d later hit Joe Haden with an unfair triple move.

“Man, whatever. We’ve still got time,” Burns said.official nfl jerseys cheap

This is how the best moments of camp are formed. Brown makes his greatness known, the cornerbacks chirp back and the physical downfield plays ensue.

There’s no diva treatment with the game’s best receiver. Brown is cool with pulling, pushing and jersey-yanking, as long as teammates know he’s giving it right back.3

“We know we can take it to that extra limit. I know he’s going to bring his best, so you better bring yours,” said Burns, who matches up with Brown most often and has had modest success over the past two training camps. “He doesn’t really care what techniques I use, he’s just going to line up and try to beat me. He’s going to get real physical back.”

Brown loves facing Burns because of their connection as Miami natives, but that won’t stop him from charging at Burns with both hands during a run play, forcing the corner to reset himself.

For the player known for 10 p.m. leg-lift sessions in the Saint Vincent College gym during camp, the expectation is clear: Use physicality to get better each day, and others will follow.

“It’s a competitive league so I embrace anyone who is a Steeler,” Brown said of his practice approach. “I love everyone who is a Steeler, and hopefully these guys know what being a Steeler means when they get here — hard-nosed, physical, a championship environment, big-time first class players, blue-collar.”

Brown isn’t expressing that love mid-route, though. In one-on-ones Saturday, Haden had Brown covered well for about three seconds until Brown used Haden’s momentum against him, spinning off the pylon and fading into the corner for the score. Haden doesn’t sweat it, knowing Brown likely can’t buy that much time in game action. “You be running those triple moves in the end zone,” Haden said.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Haden wasn’t pushing Brown on that play but will be physical when necessary. If Haden is in press man coverage, for example, he has told Brown he will be “getting into him” as if he’s preparing for a game. That often means checking Brown with one hand at the line. If bodies bump on the turn of the route, so be it.

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