His Thursday session with the media was an extension of frustrations he expressed about the media back in the spring, offering a hint of contrition about his turbulent 72 hours -- mainly, his "trade me" tweet that he called a "stupid remark" and a distraction for his Pittsburgh Steelers.
Brown is on edge, and has been for a while. He's hot. And it's still hard to believe what's real, like what did Steelers coach Mike Tomlin really know about Brown's Monday absence before it happened?
But Brown’s broad message -- being "pissed off" the team’s not winning -- resonates in the Steelers' locker room as just the edge this team needs after an 0-1-1 start.
"That's what you want the team to be thinking -- to be pissed off," running back Stevan Ridley said.
Brown and offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner are cool, with Fichtner calling the sideline exchange a nonissue. And teammates expect Brown to go off on Monday Night Football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Coming off Brown's previous two controversies -- the Facebook Live broadcast in the locker room during the playoff two years ago and the flipped Gatorade cooler early last season -- Brown produced a combined 17 catches for 234 yards in the following games. In the Jacksonville game, Brown got 19 targets, or 25 percent of the Steelers’ offense.
Guard Ramon Foster acknowledges Brown was rattled Sunday but dominates when the focus stays intact.
"It's more mental than anything," Foster said of Brown's game. "The physical part is just what he does. The mental part is when his mind is made up, that’s what makes him great. He’s not a weak guy. He’s a guy who understands and laughs at this stuff because he knows the end of this is going to be something great for him. I look forward to him bouncing up big time."
Foster adds that Brown "wears his feelings," which he appreciates.
Brown might be viewed as a distraction, but not in his locker room. Players have had several chances to softly check him and opted against it. They will excuse the occasional lapses because they believe the fierce, sometimes over-the-top competitiveness is borne from a good place.
"He knows where he stands with us," Foster added.