Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Antonio Brown: Sportsman of the Year Steelers Star Has Quickly Become a Catch

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Antonio Brown: Sportsman of the Year Steelers Star Has Quickly Become a Catch

Article excerpt

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn't the only sixth- round pick to play college football in the state of Michigan and become an NFL star.

Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has followed a similar path, including the meteoric rise to stardom.

After one of the best seasons for a wide receiver in NFL history, Brown is the Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year, another honor in a year in which he was named to the Pro Bowl for a third time and All- Pro for the first time.

Brown, 26, beat out some pretty good competition for this year's award, including a couple Steelers offensive teammates -- Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell -- along with candidates from two other playoff teams, the Pirates and Penguins.

Brown is the first Steelers player to win the award in nine years, since Jerome Bettis in 2005, and their first receiver since Louis Lipps in 1985. Coach Mike Tomlin won the award in 2008. The Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year has been honored annually by the charity wing of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since 1939.

"It's an honor. It's been a big charity event for a great cause," Brown said. "It's something special in Pittsburgh and it's a great honor to achieve that award."

Brown burst onto the scene in 2010 from Central Michigan University, had a huge catch in a playoff victory against the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie and caught 69 passes for 1,108 yards in his second season. That earned him the first of two Steelers MVP awards and his first Pro Bowl.

This past year, Brown had one of most spectacular receiving seasons in NFL history when he became the first Steelers receiver to lead the league in receptions and/or receiving yards. He finished with 129 catches, second most for a single season in league history; and his 1,698 receiving yards ranked sixth most all time. Both were franchise records. …

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