The fight that broke out between cornerback Ike Taylor and wide receiver Antonio Brown at practice on Sunday, which turned into a skirmish after practice as well, is in the rearview mirror and they are moving forward like all families do when there are disagreements.
“Brothers get into it. We are family,” said Taylor. “That is how it is sometimes. Up here in Latrobe we are getting tired of seeing each other. We are two highly competitive guys and when you have the same blood type things are about to happen. We are cool.”
The two talked after practice Sunday, resolving things right away.
“In the heat of the moment, we let our emotions get the best of us,” said Brown. “But at the end of the day, that’s my brother not just on the field but also off the field. We have a great relationship with each other that goes far beyond just one incident. It’s training camp. We’re competing against each other every day. I think early in the practice, he was a little ticked off about something that happened, and maybe me trying to rip the ball out stemmed his mind to someone who ticked him off earlier.
“It was just the heat of the moment. We couldn’t say what stemmed from what. It’s camp. We’ve been here for about two weeks now and guys are getting aggressive, competing against each other every day. That’s stuff that happens at camp. What’s important is that we’re all on the same team and we go to bat for each other. I’ll root for him just as he’ll root for me.”
The two had breakfast at Caffé Davio on Pittsburgh’s South Side on their day off Monday and Brown will be the guest on Taylor’s radio show on Tuesday night.
“We ate breakfast yesterday,” said Brown. “We sat down for about an hour or two and had out our differences. We know how much we mean to this team, how much he is a leader, and me being the young guy, trying to be a leader. That’s not the way we want to look for the fans and our teammates. That’s not what our organization is about.”
Taylor knows now it’s all about moving forward.
“You just have to let it go,” said Taylor. “Me and my cousins always used to fight and we would shake it off after that. Don’t hold grudges. Anybody outside of the family is a different story.
“Boys will be boys. He is a highly competitive guy. I am a highly competitive guy. In the heat of the moment things happen like that. You get over it, get it off your chest and put it in the past.”
“We’re a band of brothers,” said Brown. “We all care about each other. We all want the best for each other. Nothing’s personal. It was just the heat of the moment in battle. We get past it and move on.”
While they might be going at each other in practice, this being the second time they fought, they have respect for each other.
“I have been saying since AB walked on the field he is special,” said Taylor. “A guy of that caliber, runs crisp routes, he is hungry, he has proven what he can do on the field, he can play special teams, punt returns, and score touchdowns as a receiver,” said Taylor running down Brown’s abilities. “I have watched him grow. I look at AB like a little brother of mine.”
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Another player Taylor looks at as family is wide receiver Mike Wallace. Taylor has been staying in contact with Wallace, who has yet to sign his one-year tender, even hooking him up with his conditioning coach Tom Shaw in Orlando, Florida.
“Mike is working out, working hard,” said Taylor. “When he gets back we will welcome him with open arms. Mike is taking care of Mike right now. As long as he is working out, getting in football shape that is all that matters.
“I have been asking him for years to go see Coach Shaw and he finally took me up on it. I just can’t wait for him to get back.”
Taylor is allowing Wallace to stay at his Orlando home while working out with Shaw, hoping in the end it benefits the team.
“I don’t do that with too many people,” said Taylor. “I call him home team. We are from the same area. If I can do anything to help the team, the situation, I will do it.”
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