Pittsburgh Steelers: Antonio Brown Is an Emerging Star

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Pittsburgh Steelers: Antonio Brown Is an Emerging Star
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 27: Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during a pre-season game on August 27, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Preseason isn't everything, but what you do in it needs to be acknowledged. Right now I hope everyone is acknowledging that Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown is having arguably the best preseason of any player in the NFL.

 The second-year standout lit up the Atlanta Falcons with four catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Brown caught a 77-yard touchdown, followed by a 44 yard touchdown catch.

Brown didn't just look good against the Falcons; he looked downright dominant. 

For the entire preseason, Brown has nine catches, 227 yards, and three touchdowns. 

I for one am not that surprised. Brown made some big plays last year as a rookie for the Steelers. 

Brown had a kick-return for a touchdown in the regular season, and made some huge plays in the playoffs. 

Against the Baltimore Ravens, it was third and 19 in the fourth quarter, and Brown caught a 58-yard catch, giving the Steelers first and goal. The Steelers went on to win the game and eventually made it to the Super Bowl. 

The next week, against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship, Brown came up big again. It was third and six, with two minutes to go, and the Steelers were a first down away from a victory. Roethlisberger rolled out to his right and Brown came from across the field to make a catch and picked up the first down.

Brown is a natural playmaker, and seems to have a knack for making big plays at big times. What's even better is he's only in his second year and should continue to get better.

What's scary for opposing teams, and fun to think about for Steelers' fans is this: if Brown can have this kind of success in the regular season, he will take a lot of pressure off Mike Wallace and Hines Ward.

Wallace became a star last year and is one of, if not the best deep threat in football. Of course teams will try to double-team him this year. When Brown's on the field I sure hope teams try and do that. 

With Brown and Wallace on the outside, Ward can have his way in the middle of the field, which is what he's best at.

The Steelers still have Rashard Mendenhall, Jerricho Cotchery, Heath Miller and Emmanuel Sanders at their disposal.

With Brown's star on the rise, the Steelers have a chance to have one of their best offenses in the history of the franchise.

This article also appears on the very popular Pittsburgh blog: 412sportstalk.

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