It’s hard to recall a time during Mike Tomlin’s tenure as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in which not only his leadership, but the leadership of the team as a whole, has been questioned so profusely and so openly. Suffering their first season with no playoffs since 2013, the off-field drama combined with the lack of results on the field has created a perfect storm for discontent in and out of the locker room.
The Antonio Brown Situation™ has been drawing all the attention, and for good reason, and there are a lot of takes on it. Among those who have spoken on the subject the most is Cameron Heyward, who added more of his own thoughts in multiple media appearances yesterday over the course of the day.
Dave Bryan covered those comments extensively, but during his interview with The Fan, he also explained why he is taking the situation perhaps more personally than most in the locker room might be, and it’s a very simple reason: it reflects back on him as a locker room leader and a team captain.
“You want to be a good person first and I think AB wants to be a good person and I think he’s capable of being a good person but there’s a way to go about it the right way”, he said of Brown. “Everything’s just got to be communicated a lot better and that goes for my standpoint too and I got to challenge guys in that regard and hold people accountable”.
This echoes a Twitter message that he sent out during the Pro Bowl week in which he acknowledged that his leadership was being questioned and that he was accepting the challenge to step up and do better and take greater control in 2019.
“I look forward to being a good leader”, he told his radio hosts on The Fan.
The Steelers need him to be, and others as well, as things have been getting out of hand lately, even if you only consider the extent to which typical locker room drama has been so easily turned into fodder for the media.
Heyward has turned into the player that they need him to be on the field, making the Pro Bowl two years in a row while compiling 20 sacks, but they also need help in the locker room. That is where he needs to make his biggest strides this offseason.