When Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton arrives at training camp next month, he won't need to ask anyone where to go, what to do or how to comport himself as an NFL rookie. Antonio Brown plans to tell him even before the third-round draft pick asks. “We'll do a good job of getting him in and getting him settled. I think I'll be a great guy to facilitate that, as soon as he gets here — make sure he learns, understands the opportunity that's here in front of him, understands the vision of the group,” Brown said. “And that he knows what we're trying to do here, what we set out to do in 2013.” Taking a rookie by the figurative hand might be expected of a player such as Brett Keisel, Ryan Clark or Larry Foote, one who has been with the Steelers during multiple Super Bowl seasons. But the 26-year-old Brown has only three seasons of experience, and this year will be his first as the unofficial No. 1 receiver, a role held the past few seasons by Mike Wallace. There are more experienced receivers on the team, namely Plaxico Burress and Jerricho Cotchery, but Brown appears to be embracing his new status in a take-charge way. “That's my role around here —guys come in, walk them around, let them know what we stand for and what is the standard, show them how we work and go about things,” Brown said. Asked to further explain what the task means, Brown said, “Just be a leader. Be the guy the guys look to and count on, and continue to come out here and set the standard. Just be an example.” Brown won't say that leadership was a missing quality last season during what he said was a “below the line” performance by the wide receivers. But he understands that Wallace couldn't have performed any meet-and-greet functions during training camp because he held out after not getting a new contract. Wallace's numbers subsequently dropped from the previous season — from 72 catches to 64 and from 1,193 yards to 836 — though some of that fall-off might have resulted from the change in offensive coordinators from Bruce Arians to Todd Haley.
WR Antonio Brown embraces expanded role in Steelers’ offense
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Jun 2