Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown is known for his big-time catches, breakaway speed and, last year, his rift with his quarterback and head coach on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But Tahir Whitehead says Raiders fans should know something else about the dynamic player who has six straight seasons of 1,200 or more receiving yards.
The veteran linebacker says Brown, who joined the team via an offseason trade, will make an impact on this team in other ways than the number of receptions and touchdowns he collects in 2019.
Whitehead says Brown has been a leader and positive influence throughout the spring in meetings, workouts and team gatherings, and he’s even become a buddy of former Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, with whom he’s had a feud in the past.
"He comes in, you know, he’s in the locker room offering the young guys advice," Whitehead told a writer for the team’s Twitter account. "He’s taking guys under his wing, and it’s not just wide receivers. He’s chatting up with guys on the defensive side.
"Everyone talks about the bad blood between him and Vontaze. It’s been nothing but love. They’re just chomping it up, talking ball. You ask him a question about offense, he’s shedding light on what he’s looking at from the offense.
"He’s a premier guy in the league and you can see every bit why being around him."
Jerry McDonald, who covers the Raiders for the Bay Area News Group, says Brown has displayed full commitment to success with his new team. Brown was known for his work ethic in Pittsburgh, and that’s been the same with the Raiders.
Wrote McDonald recently: "Brown’s work ethic is so revered it’s almost become cliché. He employs his own chef, his own trainer and is convinced he has the ability to impose his will on any opponent."
Brown and the veteran Raiders will report for training camp July 26.