Heyward Says Steelers Wore USC Gloves To Mess With Mike Tomlin

Ben Roethlisberger

Ok, I promise this will be the last Mike Tomlin/USC story. But it’s too good of one not to write about. Cam Heyward joined The Rich Eisen Show and revealed that for the past week, Steelers’ players have had a bit of fun at Tomlin’s expense. After Tomlin’s terse response about the job opening, Heyward said players have messed with him a little bit.

“Now we do our own things where we like to screw with Coach T,” Heyward told the show,” whether it’s Ben wearing his USC gloves during a meeting…Ben wore his USC gloves in his media interview. There’s subtle things we do here and there. I think we were going to play the USC song in our warmups but I think that got ditched pretty quickly.”

As Heyward said, Roethlisberger sported a pair of USC gloves during his media session last Wednesday. Of course, when you’re a Hall of Fame QB who has been with Tomlin every step of the way, you can get away with doing those kinds of things. It’s less advisable for a rookie, lest they get put into the Coach T doghouse.


Though playing the Trojans’ fight song in warmups is taking it to a whole ‘nother level. Probably smart for the Steelers to put the kibosh on that.

On a more serious note, Heyward said the noise created by baseless rumors had no impact on the Steelers’ locker room.

“It really didn’t land in our locker room. But me being an older player and knowing Coach T it just puts the rubber stamp on it. It’s immense what he does. Coach T is locked in and he’s not looking for a quick out. He thinks he has the greatest job and we know it what every single day. He appreciates every moment.”

Tomlin’s strong rejection of the rumor certainly resonated with some players old and new. Guys like Heyward, like Joe Haden, which trickled down to the likes of newer faces like James Pierre.

Heyward finished by saying how important Tomlin’s singular-focus mentality is for the locker room.

“He’s consistent. And he challenges us. He comes to work fully locked in for every single player whether you’re the first player in or the last player in. Just getting to know him over these years, you really do appreciate how consistent he is and the message he portrays to the team.”

Consistency has been Tomlin’s strongest suit on and off the field. A don’t-blink mentality off it (or else your eyelids are in big trouble) and a consistent record on it, his teams always competing, even if they have underachieved in past years. Tomlin and the Steelers have dug themselves out of a 1-3 hole and figure to compete yet again in 2021.

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