Mike Tomlin was blunt about Antonio Brown and his post-game decision to film part of the locker room interactions following Sunday’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs. He called him out during today’s press conference in maybe the harshest way he’s ever publicly talked about someone on his team.
“It was foolish of him to do that,” Tomlin said of Brown. “It was selfish for him to do that. And it was inconsiderate for him to do that. Not only is it a violation of our policy, it’s a violation of league policy. Both of which he knows. So there are consequences to be dealt from his perspective. We’ll punish him, we won’t punish us. We’ll do so swiftly and we’ll do so internally.”
Brown, as you certainly have to know by now, captured Tomlin’s expletive-filled speech to the team after the win, creating its on controversy in itself. Tomlin apologized for the comments and called them “regrettable” during his press conference.
As Tomlin pointed out, the NFL could fine Brown. Players are not allowed to use social media 90 minutes before or after the game and Brown was in clear violation of that rule. Tomlin did say that sitting Brown for the game, for any period of time, was not an option.
He continued to send a strong message to Brown.
“He’s got to grow from this. He has to. He works extremely hard, he’s extremely talented, and those things get minimized with incidents such as this. You wear on your teammates when they routinely have to answer questions about things that aren’t preparation or football related. It’s our desire for him and everyone to be great teammates as well as great players.”
Tomlin said moments like this hurt Brown’s credibility as being a great teammate.
Though it’ll be seen as another distraction by many, Tomlin did not anticipate it being an issue for this week’s AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
“Other than that, hadn’t wasted a lot of time with it, to be honest with you. I haven’t visited with him yet because on Monday and Tuesday, I prepare for games. When I see him at some point, I will address it.”
Tomlin did not expand on the situation when pressed by reporters. But he gave a blunt and candid picture of the situation and called out one of his best players. It’s a rare tactic by him but hopefully one that will resonate with Brown and make him a more mature player and better teammate.