Antonio Brown's ongoing drama with the Oakland Raiders is causing some to wonder when Brown starting exuding such behavior. It's also causing some to blame the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown's former team, for the actions Brown continues to display in Oakland.
Brown reportedly started showing signs of his destructiveness in 2012, shortly after he received his first contract extension. During practice, Brown got into a shouting match with then-Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, a beloved figure in Pittsburgh who was fiercely revered by his defensive players. Brown, according to a Yahoo Sports report, ruffled feathers before practice while saying that he was the new face of the franchise and that he shouldn't be touched during practice.
He then reportedly went after LeBeau after LeBeau tried to calm down tensions between Brown and his defense.
"Coming into the next practice, he just got his money, he cusses out Dick LeBeau," former Steelers safety and current ESPN analyst Ryan Clark said earlier this year, via ProFootballTalk.com. "Coach LeBeau, somebody who Troy [Polamalu], myself, James Farrior, all respected so much that anything he ever said, there's no reply. We almost got into a physical altercation that day, me and Antonio Brown. Because my thing was, this is not how we behave. This is not how we act. And for sure we don't talk to Coach LeBeau that way."
Pittsburgh's defense was so enraged that Polamalu, one of the most mild-mannered players you'd ever meet, wanted full reign to hit Brown during practice.
"I saw Troy get seriously pissed off maybe twice, and this was one of those two times," a source told Yahoo Sports. "Troy was so mad, he says to wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery, 'The receivers are live [targets] the rest of this period.' Which was Troy's way of saying, 'We're going after this guy.'"
While Polamalu never laid Brown out in practice, Brown continued to cause headaches within the organization. While he put up prolific numbers on Sundays, Brown was consistently late to meetings. He was also late to a slew of public appearances, sometimes forcing fans to wait hours after his scheduled arrival time.
Brown also consistently complained about his lack of involvement in the offense despite catching more passes than any receiver in NFL history over a six-year period. Brown once yelled at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after Brown failed to continue one of his many consecutive receiving single-game streaks. Brown said it was so bad that Roethlisberger didn't return his texts of calls for weeks during that ensuing offseason.