There is one former NFL head coach that believes Antonio Brown is using is talents for selfish purposes, and as a result, Tony Dungy thinks that after all that has happened this summer, it is the wide receiver with Hall of Fame caliber abilities that is missing out and in the end, will not come out a winner.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dungy took to Twitter shortly after the wide receiver was released by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday morning and posted these thoughts: “I feel sorry for Antonio Brown. He’s been blessed with amazing talent but he’s lost track of the fact that football is a team game. So is life. He thinks he’s the victim but he’s missing out on the real joy that comes from being part of a team. He’ll be the big loser in the end!”
Dungy is of course correct that football is a team game; it is, however, a team game made up of smaller teams all wearing the same uniform. For better or worse, the players who are out there on an island the most are wide receiver. Unlike running backs, no one blocks for receiver to hel get them open, much of what they achieve comes from their own talent, hard work and their relationship with one other player on the field, the quarterback. Also, the culture in the National Football League that wide receiver are allowed to be divas even more than the quarterbacks because they are perceived to have the most talent while also risking the most. Despite the new rules surrounding defenseless receivers, one hit to the head or knees can knock a wide receiver out of a game, or end his season, and perhaps his career.
Additionally, it is clear the people around Antonio Brown have enabled him to become the person he is today, with no one, including his agent Drew Rosenhaus, willing to stop him from doing what he did during his brief time as a member of the Oakland Raiders. So, while true that life can be a team game as Dungy believes, when you are calling all the shots and the person making the money, those people on your “team” are going to follow your lead, even if it means driving off a professional cliff, or getting out of contract with one NFL team and landing with other hours later.
Anyone who knows Tony Dungy understands how spiritual he is, and it is that side of him that is coming out in his thoughts about Antonio Brown. Sadly, for the Hall of Fame coach, his feelings are more befitting a more ideal world, not the one that all of us live in, and especially the one that National Football League has created for the 2019 season. I also believe that Dungy’s tone and opinion would be different if Antonio Brown was on one of the teams he coached during his career and he was not waxing poetic on Twitter as he did this weekend; because it is a lot easier to talk about an ideal world when you are looking at things from above the fray, not from within it.