Drama? In the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room?
Not the case. At least, according to Kevin Colbert.
Speaking to the media at the 2019 NFL Combine, Colbert said the narrative the locker room is a soap opera couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I really don’t agree with the perception there’s huge drama within the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room,” Colbert said during his Wednesday morning press conference.
Much of the offseason has been devoted to Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. You don’t have to look beyond this press conference, one where three of every four questions centered around one of those two players. But Colbert’s response suggests a big picture, putting the focus on the high-character and professionalism of the vast majority of the locker room. Not the vocal minority.
Colbert repeatedly credited the job Mike Tomlin’s done to handle the emotions of a locker room and team.
“Coach Tomlin treats our players like men. He gives them the opportunity to be a man. And he tries to grow them, not only as professional football players but as fathers, as brothers, just as men. So really I have a complete disagreement that our locker room is anything but very functional.”
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. More drama than Colbert suggests, there’s enough storylines here to fill out a couple of Hollywood scripts, but drama also tends to exist as a larger story outside the team than in it.
Even knowing there was some level of drama, tension, whatever word you’d like to use to describe the state of the locker room, as we wrote Monday, getting rid of Brown, Bell, and those distractions doesn’t solve all the woes afflicting this team. Their roster will be worse off for it, especially with the loss of Brown, and Colbert will have to replace their value in addition to the numerous needs defensively.