Former Steelers star Ryan Shazier recently opened up about mercurial wide receiver Antonio Brown, now with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
Shazier, appearing on a Ringer podcast last week, said his former Steelers teammate ran hot and cold in Pittsburgh -- and predicted he would have a "huge" impact on his new team, one way or the other.
Brown, whose locker was near Shazier's, was an attention-seeker first and foremost, the recently retired linebacker told host Cole Wright, according to the Post-Gazette.
“The biggest thing for me on Antonio is he’s all for attention,” Shazier said. "He’s super about attention, man — on the field, off the field.”
This dynamic could undermine the Buccaneers at the first sign of trouble, according to the two-time Pro Bowler.
“The moment he makes it about himself,” Shazier said, “Tampa’s not going to go to the Super Bowl.”
Shazier, an Ohio State product, said he was blocked by Brown on social media after they grew apart on Steelers, even though they had once been friends.
The 28-year-old said Brown was a "wishy-washy friend," and was more interested in surrounding himself with people who flattered him instead of anyone who challenged him.
“To me, Antonio’s like a wishy-washy friend, bro,” Shazier said via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I don't know if he’s bipolar and all that stuff, but like, one day me and him would be cool. Then, if you don’t say something he wants to hear, then he’s mad at you. Like, 'bro, I don’t have time to suck up to you and be your best friend. You don’t want to hear what I’ve got to say? I’m trying to tell you, for your advice from my past experience,' you know what I’m saying? And I just hope he doesn’t do that over there.”
Shazier, who last played in 2017 due to a spinal injury, said he suspects Brown began giving him the cold shoulder over a 2019 NFL Network interview in which he appeared to side with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in his reported falling out with Brown.
“I was like, ‘Man, I wish the best for AB, but whoever’s going to help the team, I want him here. If you don't want to be here, best of luck to your endeavors,’” Shazier recalled. “And a few weeks later, I got blocked on Twitter. I got blocked on Instagram. Like, 'bro, I wished you good luck. I’m not showing no beef, not throwing no shade on you, but if you want friends who are going to tell you what you want to hear, that’s not me.'”
Brown finished his Buccaneers debut with three catches for 31 yards in the team's blowout defeat at the hands of the New Orleans Saints in Week 9.