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John Stallworth raves about Antonio Brown

PITTSBURGH -- Antonio Brown, who set another Pittsburgh Steelers record with his first catch against the New Orleans Saints today, has a big admirer in one of his organization’s all-time greats.

“I think he’s just scratching the surface on what he can do,” former Steelers wide receiver John Stallworth said Sunday morning during a gathering of the 1974 team that won the first of four Super Bowls in the 1970s. “I’ve seen some amazing things and I think he’s just an excellent receiver.”

Brown entered today’s game with 88 receptions, most in the NFL, and 1,161 receiving yards. His first catch against the Saints netted 8 yards and gave him 4,730 for his career.

That moved Brown past Buddy Dial and into first-place on the Steelers’ all-time list for most receiving yards by a player in his first five seasons.

Stallworth, one of the stars on the dynastic teams of the '70s and a Pro Football Hall of Famer, has gotten to know Brown through talking to him before games and at training camp.

Stallworth, a minority owner of the Steelers, is as impressed with Brown’s approach as he is with the former sixth-round draft pick’s production.

“His personality suits well to him continuing to do well in this league,” Stallworth said. “He wants to get better. He has that mindset.”

Brown is among the pass-catchers who have challenged or eclipsed Stallworth’s spots in the Steelers’ record book.

Stallworth caught 537 passes for 8,723 yards – both are still second in Steelers history – from 1974-87. Who knows that numbers he might have put up had Stallworth played now when the NFL has increasingly become a pass-first league?

“Numbers would be a lot higher,” Stallworth said, “but for the era that we played in and what we were able to do our numbers were good for us.”