'Nocturnal beast' Antonio Brown known to pump late-night iron

PITTSBURGH -- Antonio Brown speaks to the Pittsburgh media once a week, and each session takes on its own identity, depending on his mood. The Steelers wide receiver can be insightful, playful, clipped or even combative. But he almost always delivers one unique, borderline goofy line that sticks.

Take the Friday before the Week 11 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, when Brown was asked about Cam Newton recently calling him a "nocturnal beast" because of his penchant for late-night workouts.

Brown took that conversation straight to the farm.

"Well, you know, like we was saying today -- goat cheese, goat milk, goat skin," Brown said. "Goats eat grass and you got to make time for what’s important. You know there’s no time where you got to get your workouts in."

Who knows if other Steelers say this, but Brown makes it a thing, and it makes sense because of his track record. The interviews might be unpredictable, but his work ethic is anything but.

Brown, who sits on a league-high 11 receiving touchdowns entering Sunday’s game at Denver, isn’t exactly a nocturnal beast, but he does have a habit of working out late at night, before bed.

He will squeeze in a workout anywhere, at any time. In the offseason, he travels to several different states and is known to pop up at gyms randomly for training sessions.

During the season, Brown sometimes finds himself in his home gym in the late hours for a simple reason -- he's a family man.

"It’s all about making sure you’re prepared," Brown told ESPN. "Sometimes in the course of a day you’re spending time with your family, your kids, your girlfriend, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on. There’s no time. You’ve always gotta get in no matter what time it is."

Newton knows this firsthand. Over the summer, the Carolina Panthers quarterback asked Brown if he could spend a few days training with him in South Florida. He didn’t expect to be on a local football field past 10 p.m.

"Whenever he feels the urge to work, he works. And I respect it," Newton told Charlotte-area reporters before the Week 10 Panthers-Steelers matchup. "If he can get some lights on the field, he got a quarterback to throw the ball, he trying to work. He just refused to kind of have people around him that’s not gonna push him. And that’s something you’ve got to respect about him. He sets the tone."

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Brown said he liked being around Newton because he's "like a sponge and wants to be great" and is willing to outwork his quarterback peers.

From Newton to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Brown has a network of super-friends who have hit the gym with him.

Manning Sumner, who trains several NFL athletes in South Florida each year, said Brown is known to show up at Miami-area gyms in impromptu fashion.

"He'll come for a day, get his work in and move on to the next," Sumner said. "I'm sure he has his staple gyms that he usually goes to. Bouncing around like that isn't particularly a good workout plan for most since it's often better to streamline, but it's hard to argue with his results."

Asked about the gym-hopping, Brown delivers another one of his one-liners.

"I don't count -- I just make it count," he said.

He said this around 1 p.m. on a Friday. Sometime in the next seven to nine hours, he might hit the home gym for some core exercises.

"Whenever it comes, you’ve got to get the job done," Brown said.