Brown drew criticism from teammate Ben Roethlisberger, who told 93.7 The Fan (h/t ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler) that Brown's actions went "a lot further than throwing a temper tantrum." Roethlisberger added the story "is causing a distraction that none of us really need."
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was also critical of Brown.
"A.B. is a competitor, we all know that. It aids him, it aids us," Tomlin said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac. "He has to control [his emotions]. If not, it can work against him, it can work against us. Those are lessons you learn along the way."
Brown had taken issue with Roethlisberger's failure to find him while he was open on a play in the second quarter. The Steelers quarterback instead threw to Le'Veon Bell and the pass fell incomplete.
The three-time All-Pro receiver then threw the cooler and walked away from Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley when Haley began talking to him on the sideline.
"I'm passionate about the game," Brown said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ray Fittipaldo. "Anytime you work as hard and a play doesn't go the way you wanted, you get frustrated."
At a different point in the season, the blowback from Brown's outburst may have faded a day or two after the game. However, it comes on the heels of the drama surrounding the Steelers' decision to remain in the tunnel for the national anthem before their Week 3 defeat to the Chicago Bears.
Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who served tours of duty in Afghanistan in the United States Army Rangers, was the only player to stand outside the tunnel. Villanueva later told reporters he indirectly "threw [my teammates] under the bus."
After the Steelers put that story behind them, it's understandable why Roethlisberger and Tomlin are frustrated with having to deal with further turmoil.