PITTSBURGH -- On Friday afternoon, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown began a routine interview session with a dozen or so media members. For Giants week, the Odell Beckham Jr. storyline was convenient. Brown talked about how they "challenge each other as friends to be better" and compete for receiver supremacy.
Then, Brown cut off his timing route and audibled to weird.
Throughout the final 90 seconds, Brown referred to himself as Ronald, but wouldn't explain the alter ego, calling it "top secret."
There's no real way to explain this, so here's the exchange:
What are your plans for cleats this week?
Brown: "It's top secret. For now, you guys call me Ronald."
Do you watch receivers from other teams, and will you do that this week with OBJ?
Brown: "You definitely tune in to see (Beckham). He's an exciting player. I always watch his highlights, talk to him, critique his game, definitely like seeing what he does. I'm sure he's going to be excited to be in Heinz Field. It should be an exciting matchup for us all."
Who else do you do that for?
Brown: "Ronald. I'm watching Ronald every day."
Any lingering effects from that hip issue you had a couple of weeks ago?
Brown: "There's effects against Ronald everywhere."
With the league getting on you about your cleats, yet this week guys can do what they want would you like to see that freed up a little bit?
Brown: "We all follow the rules. The NFL does a great job of taking care of the players. Ronald just gotta follow the rules."
What's the whole Ronald thing?
Brown: "I can't tell you. It's top secret."
Who is Ronald? What's the deal?
Brown: "It's my new name. Ronald. From now on call me Ronald."
Brown: "I can't. It's top secret. From now on, address me as Ronald."
(Teammates laugh in the background.)
Why [are you] wearing Kimbo Slice at practice?
Brown: "It's top secret." (He pauses.) "Thank you guys."
Reporter: "Thank you, Ronald."
I tried to ask Brown off to the side about the challenges of this season -- namely, an injury-riddled supporting cast, a four-game losing streak -- and he said, "Ronald weather through any storm."
Brown is a unique dude. Maybe there's a Ronald McDonald-inspired shoe in the works.
The entire interview took on a different tenor than usual Brown scrums, with Brown telling reporters, "you guys do all the measurables. You are all in charge of the stats."
For his part, Brown is among the top three in the league in five major receiving categories -- 82 receptions (1st), 120 targets (2nd), 998 yards (3rd), 50 first downs (2nd) and 10 touchdowns (tied for 1st).
Brown is hoping for a big finish to the 2016 season.
"During the course of the year, adversity is going to happen," Brown said. "I can't make no excuses. Find a way to get the job done."