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For the second time in three seasons, wide receiver Antonio Brown is the Steelers‘ MVP, as chosen by his teammates.
Brown was picked over quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who remains a one-time winner.
Brown’s 2011 award was considered surprising because he was a first-year starter, and Roethlisberger had a big season while leading the Steelers to a 12-4 record.
This season, Brown is among the NFL’s receiving leaders with 101 catches for a franchise-record 1,412 yards and eight touchdowns, and he is one of the league’s most dangerous punt returners. The only other Steelers receiver with a 100-catch season is Hines Ward, who caught a team-record 112 passes in 2002.
âœIt means everything,â Brown said of his second MVP award. âœAny time you are voted by your peers and put in this position, you are obviously thankful. You definitely don’t take it for granted. It’s something I appreciate.â
Brown has had at least five catches and 50 yards in every game, and has had five 100-yard games in his first season as the Steelers’ No. 1 receiver.
âœHe has exceeded expectations as far as we are concerned,â offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. âœHe’s been the same guy every day. He never missed anything. Obviously, he’s made a lot of plays for us.â
Brown’s 1,820 all-purpose yards, including his 388 punt return yards, are the fifth most in Steelers history. He has five punt returns of 40 yards or more with an average of 13.4 yards, the third-highest in the league.
âœIt’s still not over yet,â Brown said. âœWe have one game to go and hopefully there are still playoff hopes. I just want to continue to remain positive, continue to provide the team with situational plays and continue to never take anything for granted.â
Roethlisberger set Steelers single-season records for passes (553) and completions (356). He is within 247 yards of breaking his own 2009 team record of 4,328 yards passing.
Other recent MVP winners include tight end Heath Miller last season, Brown in 2011, safety Troy Polamalu in 2010, Roethlisberger in 2009 and linebacker James Harrison in 2007 and 2008.
Brown is the 11th player to win the award at least twice since it was first presented in 1969.