It’s been a little since we last heard from Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, but with that said, he did talk to the media following the team’s first of three mandatory minicamp practices on Tuesday.
Tomlin, as you can probably guess, was immediately asked how he characterizes his feelings concerning running back Le’Veon Bell not being present for the start of mandatory minicamp.
“I wouldn’t,” Tomlin said.
The Steelers head coach was then asked if he’s completely indifferent to Bell not being present.
“I really am,” Tomlin said. “It’s a waste of my time to focus on the guys that are not available to me whether it’s injury, or otherwise. I tend to focus on the guys that are here and working. I think that’s appropriate when you’re in my position.
While Bell decided not to show up for mandatory minicamp, Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva did, even though he’s still yet to sign his one-year, exclusive rights free agent tender. Tomlin was reminded that Villanueva said earlier in the day that he decided to show up out of respect for the coaches and the head coach was then asked if his starting left tackle saying that did anything for him, personally.
“I’m glad he’s here getting better,” Tomlin said.
Bell apparently wasn’t the only player missing on Tuesday as defensive end Stephon Tuitt was reportedly also absent for the start of mandatory minincamp, according to Chris Mueller of The Beaver County Times. Tomlin was asked after practice was over if he gave any of his players excused absences for Tuesday.
#Steelers DL Stephon Tuitt was not present at mandatory minicamp practice today, Tyson Alualu confirmed. Tuitt seeking long term deal.
— Chris Mueller (@bychrismueller) June 13, 2017
“I’m not getting into any of that – attendance, excused, unexcused,” Tomlin said. “The bottom line is that the guys that are here working are getting an opportunity to get better. The guys that aren’t, are losing that opportunity.”
It should be noted that Tuitt is still recovering from offseason finger surgery that prohibited from taking part in the team’s recent OTA practices. His absence on Tuesday is not believed to be contract related even though he’s likely to sign a new lucrative deal later on this summer.