Although many have stated that there is a Steelers bias in the Pro Football Hall of Fame thanks to the sheer number of HOF’ers from the 1970’s that it makes it difficult for Steelers of late to receive their earned busts, one young Steeler already has his jersey in Canton. This week Antonio Brown’s game worn jersey from the Week 17 matchup against the Cleveland Browns was signed and displayed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame acknowledging the historic milestone Brown reached last season becoming the first NFL player in history to compile both 1,000 yards for receiving and 1,000 return yards.
For Brown’s efforts for the Steelers in 2011 his teammates proudly voted him as team MVP as he not only broke an NFL record but broke the franchise record for all-purpose yards with 2,211. Brown surpassed Barry Foster’s 2,034 yards accumulated in 1992. Brown’s career-high numbers included in his 2,211 were 1,108 receiving yards, 737 kickoff return yards, and 325 punt return yards with 69 receptions. Entering his third season, Brown looks to play a more pronounced role in the Steelers offense, especially with the Mike Wallace situation not yet worked out, Brown looks to possibly take the place as the #1 receiver on the team. Most likely his role as kick returner might be filled by some other upstart, as it is a tradition with the Steelers that the top wide receivers make their names though Special Teams first.
Brown visited the display with the Steelers drafted and free agent rookies. The group made the trip to the Hall for the display and maybe to have a little history lesson on the franchise they have all become a part of. The Steelers are a unique franchise with the most players enshrined in the Hall of Fame; an active coach enshrined, and has 2 former players being enshrined this summer. No telling if the entire team will make the trip to Canton for Dawson and Butler’s enshrinement like they did two years ago when Coach LeBeau was inducted as a player. Clearly the Hall needs to expand to an All-Steelers section for those who are still left to be inducted.
For Brown’s jersey to be displayed in the Hall of Fame must be a very proud moment for the young receiver to enjoy. Brown might not be known for the speed like Mike Wallace but he has provided Steeler Nation with some awesome highlights like his “helmet catch” against the Ravens in the playoffs in 2010. Brown will be an RFA next season and most are already weary that we will be going through the same situation with Brown as what is going on with Wallace right now. Something tells me though, that won’t be the case. Congrats to Brown on the amazing accomplishment, here’s to hoping he can break another milestone this season and start a collection of jerseys in the Hall of Fame.
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