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Brown to Vick: “Trust Me a Little Bit”

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It came as little surprise to anyone, but it’s been made official anyway: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been ruled out for this week’s blockbuster clash with the Arizona Cardinals.

For Antonio Brown, that means going at least one more game without the man with whom he has built a league-beating rapport over the last couple of seasons. Since Mike Vick’s promotion to starting quarterback, Brown’s numbers have dwindled severely under a run-first, ball-security offense.

But as the Steelers prepare to face arguably their toughest challenge of 2015 to date, Brown has some words of encouragement for his veteran quarterback.

“He’s got to take some shots,” Brown told reporters following Wednesday’s practice. “I told him, ‘trust me a little bit.’ Let’s make some plays. Let’s get a victory. It doesn’t have to be that hard.”

What could be misconstrued as some pretty harsh words are more likely a product of passion from Brown.

Much like Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant – whose heart-on-the-sleeve approach to football has earned him the undeserved titles of “diva” and “prima donna” – Brown knows he has the talent to earn his team a win all on his own, and it must be frustrating to see the offense struggling without his usual contributions.

Through Vick’s two weeks as a starter, Brown has amassed a total of 87 receiving yards; a number he could comfortably eclipse in just one half of football when hooking up with Big Ben.

Brown appeared visibly peeved at his lack of production last week in San Diego, throwing his hands up in frustration on the field, and standing stiff and steely-eyed off it.

The NFL’s best receiver probably doesn’t have to wait too much longer to get his elite thrower back, but his production will need to again hit triple figures this week to keep his team competitive against a Cardinals unit boasting a well-rounded offense and a straight up nasty defense.

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