Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin once again talked to the media on Tuesday during the annual AFC coaches breakfast at the 2019 league meetings in Phoenix, Arizona and once again he stood up for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who’s leadership qualities have been criticized heavily by several now former teammates of his in running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown.
First, Tomlin was asked if he feels like Roethlisberger needs to be a better teammate moving forward.
“I have no problem with his play or his leadership,” said Tomlin, according to Teresa Varley of steelers.com. “I have heard some of the scuttlebutt about the situation. I am focused on the guys that are within our group and on our team. I think that’s what’s appropriate for me. I have no reaction to former Steelers and things of that nature.
“We were a 9-6-1 football team last year. We all need to look into the mirror at what we do and how we do it, starting with me. That is the approach I am taking. That is the approach I will ask him to take. Not in response to any criticism from the outside or anything of that nature. Just doing what is appropriate in terms of us being as good as we need to be.”
Tomlin was immediately asked if Roethlisberger has come to him so far this offseason and asked if there’s anything he can do better.
“There hasn’t been time for that,” Tomlin said. “You know, we’re in the midst of the offseason. We’re traveling a bunch going to pro days and combines and such. I’m sure there will be a point in time where we have necessary discussions as it pertains to how we approach 2019.”
Tomlin was then asked what it is that he would say to Roethlisberger concerning what all has transpired with the Steelers so far this offseason and what all has been said about him by former teammates and others.
“I hadn’t thought about it, yet, to be honest with you,” Tomlin said.
After that response, Tomlin was asked to give his thoughts on how he thinks Roethlisberger has responded to past challenges during his NFL career.
“You know him,” said Tomlin to the Pittsburgh media member. “You don’t do what he has done, at the level that he has done it, for the time in which he’s done it, without responding appropriately to challenges and adversity. That’s just his DNA.”
Tomlin is probably now tired of answering questions about Roethlisberger and Tuesday was likely the last time we’ll hear from him until the draft takes place. As for Roethlisberger, we’re probably not going to get to hear from him until the 2019 OTA sessions get underway in May. That should be one interesting and entertaining media question and answer session whenever it does finally take place.