LATROBE, Pa. — Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. might sit out Friday’s Steelers-Giants preseason game at MetLife Stadium, but Brown expects Beckham to push him in the NFL receiver hierarchy this season.
Brown, 29, who’s close with Beckham, 24, knows both players are up to the challenge.
“Everybody’s coming …That’s what makes the game competitive and amazing,” Brown told ESPN. “A guy like Odell Beckham is a game-changing guy, trying to unlock the codes. One of my close friends. I always tell him, keep coming.”
Brown says he and Beckham are constantly critiquing each other’s games, including sharing personal videos of their offseason receiving work — “little stuff, sending clips so we can see each other,” he said.
Brown has a personal videographer who often films his workouts, which usually make their way onto social media platforms.
Beckham, Julio Jones and Brown are widely considered the game’s three best receivers. Brown is aiming for a fifth consecutive 100-catch season, which hasn’t been done in NFL history.
“If you want to be the best, you have to strive to be the best and sponge off everything,” said Brown of the learning process with Beckham.
Brown added he can’t detail the notes he shares with Beckham, but that “we share information” on how receivers best get open.
Both players understand that criticism comes with the job of a high-profile star, Brown said. Beckham has faced scrutiny for his impatience during games, while Brown navigated an ill-advised Facebook Live locker-room post after a playoff win in Kansas City.
Brown calls Beckham a “mature guy” who doesn’t need advice on how to handle himself. For now, Brown is busy working on route combinations with Ben Roethlisberger, whom Brown calls “a general.”
“You’ve got to stay tuned. We’re working on some good stuff,” said Brown of his work with Roethlisberger. “He’s a warrior, he’s a general. Grateful to play with him.”