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linzhihong18 Aug 10
Antonio Brown didn’t skip out on the vast majority of the Pittsburgh Steelers organized team activities to make a statement. Or to disrespect the backup quarterbacks. Or to take a stand alongside running back Le’Veon Bell.

The All-Pro insists he simply felt more comfortable working out back home in Miami Mike McGlinchey Color Rush Jersey , where he could spend time with his five children and escape what he described as the ”pressure” he faces from outside forces daily in Pittsburgh.

”I needed that precious time with myself to get my mind right,” Brown said Tuesday as the Steelers began a mandatory three-day minicamp.

A move the 29-year-old star called necessary as he prepares for his ninth season. Brown is typically a fixture at the voluntary workouts, where he is usually among the few players in actual football pants instead of shorts.

This spring, however, he participated in the first two days and then jetted off to Florida. The fact that starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appeared for the first day of OTAs before taking time off for what he called a planned family vacation was purely coincidental.

”I play with any quarterback, no matter who’s here,” Brown said. ”I play with the Steelers. It’s not one guy that I (catch passes from).”

Brown dismissed any insinuation that he left OTAs because he didn’t want to work with the second or third string. He also expressed frustration with media for asking other players to comment on his absence.

”You guys making up stories to ask these guys stuff that they shouldn’t be dealing with,” Brown said. ”You know, that’s the pressure of being a professional athlete. Everyday scrutiny. Everyday pressure. It’s hard to be free.”

Brown http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-trent-brown-jersey , however, struggled to be specific about how the attention that comes with being one of the NFL’s top players negatively affects him.

The only player to have five consecutive seasons with at least 100 receptions stressed he wasn’t calling out Bell when he was questioned last month about Bell’s decision to stay away from the team while waiting to sign his franchise tender.

”You guys paint me a picture to talk about Le’Veon,” Brown said. ”I’m not involved in Le’Veon’s business or his contract. You guys write about it and say `Oh, AB says to show up.’ I just say `The first rule of getting better is show up.’ I didn’t say he got to show up. He’s got his own business.”

The comments by the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver are a bit at odds with the persona he’s cultivated during a career in which he has evolved from a sixth-round pick to a perennial Pro Bowler. His Instagram feed is updated multiple times a day and gives 2.4 million followers access to workouts, highlights, video of his children running track meets or artsy cuts of the multiple Rolls Royces in his driveway.

Lately, though, the posts have taken a different turn. Last week, he called out former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians for labeling him simply as a “special teams guy” and even tweaked coach Mike Tomlin for benching him in favor of Emmanuel Sanders during his rookie season in 2010. Pressed for an explanation http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-markus-wheaton-jersey , Brown hinted he’s tired of toeing the company line.

”I think you’ve got to start expressing those things that year by year that you go through to get them out of your head,” Brown said. ”I think the more you bottle stuff up and you’re not aware of expressing yourself, that’s when these players have problems.”

Brown’s work ethic has never been in question. As his profile has risen – he’s one of the league’s most marketable players and his exuberant touchdown celebrations have taken on a life of their own – he’s attempted to give longer glimpses into the regimen that’s made him one of the most prolific receivers of his generation. Those posts continued even as he said he wanted to create more time for himself.

”I took a moment to get my mind right from organized team activities,” Brown said. ”It wasn’t even like serious. It’s not even mandatory. It’s volunteer.”

Brown is no longer concerned about his stats but the number of titles he’s won, which remains at zero. It’s the one thing left on his career checklist and the one he feels his career will be judged by. That remains his sole focus even as he lives in a fish bowl of which he’s been a willing architect.

”The game requires a lot of mental happiness and the older you get the more you start thinking about the things that are important,” he said. ”I’ve got five kids, a lot of family … the only thing left for me to do playing the game is to win a championship. I had to take a little time to spend time with my family and see what’s important for me.”

With a win in the regular season finale, the Anaheim Ducks secured home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs and finally know who they’ll face: the Pacific Division-rival San Jose Sharks.

Rickard Rakell had a goal and assist, and Ryan Miller made 31 saves to lead the surging Ducks to a 3-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night Jihad Ward Color Rush Jersey , helping Anaheim clinch second place in the division.

Rakell scored for the 12th time in his last 19 games. He led the Ducks with a career-high 34 goals and 69 points this season.

”We know they have a good power play and they’re strong around the boards,” Rakell said of the Sharks. ”They have four good lines working really hard, so we’re going to have to match that.”

Miller earned his fourth shutout of the season and 43rd of his career. It was also his 370th career win, moving him past Tom Barrasso for second place on the all-time list among U.S.-born goalies.

”Definitely somebody I looked up to,” Miller said of Barrasso. ”Just happy to still be playing meaningful hockey and getting some wins.”

Adam Henrique scored his 24th of the season for Anaheim and added an assist, and Hampus Lindholm scored an empty-netter before the final buzzer.

The Ducks (44-25-13) won their fifth straight to finish 10-1-1 over the final 12 games.

The Coyotes (29-41-12) finished last in the Pacific, but went 17-9-3 in their last 29 games in a season they started 1-12-1.

”I thought we got better from October, so there’s some good positive things,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. ”We just ran out of gas tonight. For the most part Chase Edmonds Color Rush Jersey , the last 25, 30 games, we beat some good hockey teams and I thought some of the young guys really progressed, which is nice.”

The two teams combined for 26 penalty minutes.

Arizona goalie Antti Raanta appeared in his first game since signing a three-year, $12.75 million contract on Friday that will keep him from free agency. He stopped 24 shots.

”Anaheim, they played a strong game,” Raanta said. ”Everyone left everything on the ice but sometimes puck luck isn’t on your side.”

An altercation between Coyotes defenseman Luke Schenn and Ducks forward Nick Ritchie in the first period resulted in minor penalties for both. That was followed by another confrontation involving Arizona’s Brad Richardson and Anaheim’s Derek Grant, with Richardson sent to the penalty box for two minutes.

The power play for the Ducks helped when Henrique muscled in a backhand for a goal at 10:54 of the period, giving Anaheim a 1-0 lead. Rakell got an assist Royce Freeman Color Rush Jersey , his 35th.

Richardson and Anaheim’s Corey Perry served five minutes for fighting early in the second period. The Ducks missed a chance to add to their lead when Jakob Silfverberg hit the post with a shot at 13:07 of the second.

Rakell scored off a pass from Ryan Getzlaf with 3:43 left in the second. Getzlaf picked up his team-leading 50th assist of the season.

Perry earned his 400th assist on Henrique’s goal.

Anaheim logged its fifth consecutive 100-point season as a team.

”We had a plan. We tried to execute the plan. I’m not standing here saying it was perfect by any means, we had a lot of speed bumps on the way,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. ”We’ve got our group together here over the last six weeks and we’ve played good enough to gain points.”

NOTES: The Coyotes brought up D Joel Hanley on emergency recall from Tucson, their AHL affiliate, in time for Saturday’s game. … C Clayton Keller, a rookie and the team’s leading scorer this season, was voted Coyotes Most Valuable Player for the season as voted on by local media. … Ducks C Antoine Vermette and F Troy Terry played Saturday, Vermette’s first game since March 23 and Terry’s second of the season. F Jason Chimera and F J.T. Brown were scratched. … A moment of silence was held in remembrance of lives lost in the fatal bus crash involving a junior hockey team in Canada Friday night.

UP NEXT

Ducks: Western Conference playoffs vs. San Jose

Coyotes: Offseason.

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