The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: How will Head Coach Mike Tomlin discipline wide receiver Martavis Bryant for his post-game behavior on social media Sunday?
One thing that Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin is known for is turning what some see as mountains into mole hills. It is pretty frequent that he is bombarded with questions that would make it seem as though a very serious issue is being addressed, when, in actuality, to paraphrase the coach, it really isn’t high on the damn agenda.
So he walked into yesterday’s press conference knowing that he would have to address wide receiver Martavis Bryant’s post-game comments on social media that quickly went viral, even though he deleted them, seemingly calling out rookie teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster and giving life to the report that he wanted to be traded.
While Tomlin characterized the whole issue as “somewhat of a distraction” only because he had to field questions about it, he did say that he would speak to Bryant and that he would reign down his discipline; so the question then is in what form that discipline will come.
It could be anything, really, from a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team to a simple order to say off of social media. Mike Mitchell had to be told to get off of Twitter and other apps early in his tenure with the Steelers because he lashed out in frustration at people during his injuries.
Tomlin did say that what he has said away from the team—namely, on social media—has presented a different set of information than he and the rest of the team have been given while speaking with him, so that could play a factor.
What should the punishment be? That isn’t for me to say, and, really, isn’t my place. I don’t even have enough information to venture a fair wager. But don’t let that stop you. If you were Tomlin, how would you handle Bryant—noting that he said that he is not available for trade?