<
>

In Steelers' locker room, enter 'Guap Avenue' at own risk

play
Young: Steelers need to take advantage of a 'coasting' Saints team (0:35)

Steve Young explains what the Steelers' game plan should be against the Saints in order to take control of the AFC North. (0:35)

PITTSBURGH -- Antonio Brown sauntered through the hall on his way to a throng of media forming a semicircle around his locker.

Before he arrived, he spotted a familiar face to his left.

"Didn't know you were coming through 'The Trap,'" Brown said before taking questions.

No corner of the Steelers' locker room is more playful, defiant, rich and unpredictable than "The Trap," a collection of six slots in the southwest corner.

Brown and linebacker Vince Williams are basically HOA co-presidents, and they had two recent transplants move in -- starting cornerback Joe Haden and practice squad corner Herb Waters.

This has become high-end real estate, with Haden, Williams and Brown playing on contracts worth nearly $120 million.

"It used to be 'The Trap.' Now it's 'Guap Avenue,'" Williams said. "Because all of us are millionaires. Multi, too."

There is the spot for teammates to chill, listen to music and block media from entering -- unless it's Friday, the day Williams and Brown have designated for interviews.

The lockers are lined with random sports fare -- Haden's superfluous collection of Jordan shoes and cleats, a black-and-white "Vibes" sweatshirt, a throwback Seattle Mariners Ken Griffey Jr. jersey.

Only the most confident and grateful are allowed to enter.

"We're always messing around with the fact we're playing a kids' game and getting paid handsomely," Haden said. "Being able to have contracts over here and keep getting it -- over here, you have to play well."

View this post on Instagram

A few Good Men

A post shared by joehaden23 (@joehaden23) on

Former resident James Harrison used to do barebacked pull-ups in the background as Williams and Brown did interviews.

Now that Harrison is gone, teammates try to uphold the comedic standard.

Here's an example, as Brown interrupts an interview with Williams.

Brown: "How many cars you got, Vicenzo?

Williams: "I’ve got three cars. They all BMWs."

Brown: "How many square footage is your crib?"

Williams: "57."

Brown: "Damn."

Brown: "This [spot] right here is caesar salad."

Williams: "No croutons."

Williams returns to the interview.

"We just real chill over here, know what I mean?" Williams said. "We understand we’re playmakers and we make plays. We don’t take it too seriously, and we’re very passionate about football."

Brown often fuels his own mystique by keeping his media answers short, and his description of Guap Avenue follows the script.

"Lot of money? Lot of enmity? Yeah," Brown said.

When Haden signed a three-year deal last year, Guap Avenue needed to add "a stud" who fit the neighborhood qualifications, Williams said.

While Brown and Williams set unwritten rules and playfully intimidate on occasion, Haden is one of the most media-accessible interviews on the team. His locker sits on the far left side of Guap Avenue, so media can interview him without having to set foot inside.

But living here requires a level of nasty, so don't get the friendliness twisted.

"Joe’s a pit bull," Williams said. "You think Joe’s nice, try to run a slant."

Added Haden: "I'll say I'm probably the nicest one over here, but we get it in when we got to."

Surrounded by star power, Waters is just grateful to be in the mix, heeding Brown's advice to stay grounded and keep working. As a converted receiver out of the University of Miami who spent time with the Green Bay Packers as well as the Steelers, Waters is hardly in the same tax bracket as his neighbors.

But he aims to change that.

"I try to repeat after them," Waters said. "They made it this far. Follow in their footsteps and I'll be the same."