During the team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Monday night, Brown angrily complained to coach Mike Tomlin that his number wasn’t being called enough in the passing game, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora also highlighted the unhappiness of the wide receiver:
Steelers Mon night blowup between Todd Haley and Antonio Brown was a long-time coming. WRs not very happy in PIT: http://t.co/y8s43VYA2V— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 22, 2013
It looks like Tomlin heard his receiver’s pleas. Before halftime, Ben Roethlisberger looked in Brown’s direction 13 times and connected on nine of them for 196 yards. One of their connections included a clutch 45-yard grab—the longest play of the season for the Steelers—on a 3rd-and-long play.
He also caught this 33-yard touchdown gem:
Brown wasn't content with providing one eye-popping play to back up his demands for more involvement. His second touchdown in the third quarter was one of the best of the young 2013 season.
The Steelers were trailing right from the get-go, but it appears that Big Ben and his No. 1 receiver are finally getting on the same page.
Did you bench Antonio Brown after two average weeks of production? (Be honest)
Pittsburgh has been struggling without Brown being more heavily involved in their vertical passing game. His impressive performance against the Bears should force offensive coordinator Todd Haley to do whatever it takes to get him the football. He's their best deep threat, after all.
Brown had been a consistent option in previous weeks—averaging eight targets per game—but if he continues to be looked at as frequently as he was in the first half against Chicago, he’s a must-start WR2 in all fantasy formats.
If you don’t have him and are looking to trade for a receiver, you might want to buy now before Roethlisberger and Brown really heat up and his value skyrockets. Unfortunately, it might already be too late.