JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Mutual respect is what Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown have for each other. The two were both All-Pro selections in 2017. They also spent a good portion of their AFC Divisional Round Playoff game matched up against each other.
Jacksonville came out on top 45-42, but Brown had seven catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns. When Bouye made his debut at Jaguars OTAs (Organized Team Activities) on Tuesday he shared how that game motivated him this off-season.
“I talked to A.B. [Antonio Brown] at the Pro Bowl, and he saw how I kind of played him in the first game and he adjusted and I didn’t,” said Bouye. “He was showing me some of the stuff he was doing, and he was doing it in the walkthrough [at the Pro Bowl]. I was just like, ‘Alright. I am going to start playing that [style] and work on certain things with my body just to stay stronger at the top of the route.’ Stuff like that and then having watched film with the Patriots game with the scheme we were running and seeing how I could work on getting that better.”
Picking off a career-high six passes, being named to his first Pro Bowl and being widely regarded as one of the best players in the NFL at his position isn’t satisfying to Bouye.
“I still do not get a lot of respect,” said Bouye. “Nothing is wrong with that. I appreciate it because it motivates me even more. I just feel like it was just the beginning. It was my first time in the scheme, and now that I have learned it, I know how they are going to attack us, and I’m always adapting to that. It is just extra motivation.”
Part of warding off those attacks includes working picking the brain of Brown and some of the other top players in the NFL.
“Yes, we both have a lot of respect for each other’s game,” said Bouye when asked if Antonio Brown gave him any pointers. “I was just picking apart a lot of other DBs. After this, I am going probably going to work with [Richard] Sherman and all of them. I am going to start learning stuff from them, too.”
After going undrafted, Bouye still has a chip on his shoulder. However he does plan to share the information he’s gained with some of the long shots on the Jaguars roster.
“I just have to get around and know them,” said Bouye. “I just have to talk to them and see how they are as a person, first-off, and how their work ethic is. It is not even really now, it is when we get back here in camp and you know everything is on line: when you can get cut or something like that. You just have to stay positive with those guys and let them know that there are 31 other teams watching them.”