Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was a busy man this past week in Houston as he was interviewed several times on radio row ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl. In one of his interviews on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Ward was asked to comment on what Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin brings to the table that a lot of people might not understand and especially when it comes to him being a leader of men and getting players ready to play on a weekly basis.
“Coach Tomlin is always, and I think all coaches, for them, you want to lead by example, we call a player’s coach,” Ward started. They understand the players. For Coach Tomlin, I just think his connection with his players, you can’t really describe it. He gets the most from his players because he connects with them in only a way that he can.”
Several weeks ago, former Steelers quarterback turned Fox Sports analyst, Terry Bradshaw, called Tomlin a “cheerleader guy” and Ward addressed that subject while talking about his former head coach.
“I think for the situation with people calling him a cheerleader or whatnot, Terry Bradshaw, everybody’s entitled to their opinions, but I played under Coach Tomlin, he’s a phenomenal coach,” said Ward. “I was blessed to play in two Super Bowls with him, so I don’t know, I think he’s a little more than a cheerleader. The guy has impacted me in a lot of ways and really got the most out of veteran guys. [He] understands that I’m going to take care of my veteran guys that show up on Sundays. And if you do that, man, I loved him. I loved playing for him.”
Ward, like Bradshaw, is now in the media side of the business and in since making that transition he hasn’t been afraid to criticize his former team when he’s deemed it necessary. Ward, however, unlike Bradshaw did play for Tomlin for several seasons, so he knows firsthand about his coaching style and how he treats his players.”
The only peoples’ opinions who really matter the most when it comes to Tomlin are the ones he answers to. During one of his interviews last week, team president Art Rooney II commented on the job Tomlin did during the 2016 season
“I think Mike [Tomlin] did a great job, obviously getting to the AFC Championship Game and being in the final four is a good accomplishment,” Rooney said, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.