There a reason why former players are highly sought after for studio gigs after their careers end.
Former NFL safety Darren Sharper was a teammate of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin at William & Mary in the early-to-mid-90s. Serving as an analyst now for NFL Network, Sharper had a few comments in regards to the exchange between Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Ravens coach John Harbaugh after Pittsburgh defeated the Ravens 23-20 in Week 13.
According to USA Today, Sharper, appearing on Showtime's Inside the NFL, said Tomlin's animosity stemmed from comments Harbaugh made after Baltimore defeated Pittsburgh at Heinz Field 13-10 in Week 11.
Said Harbaugh, "The toughest team won that football game. The mentally tough team won that football game. The better team won the football game. The team that knows how to win won that football game."
The ringless team with the ringless coach that knows how to win...you can understand how that may not have sat well with Tomlin, who's appeared in two Super Bowls and has a shiny commemorative ring from one of them.
Sharper claims he spoke with his former teammate about the curt greeting with Harbaugh, and confirms it was rooted in Harbaugh's words after the Week 11 game.
"I know this for sure," Sharper said. "I talked to Mike, and after the game I asked him about the handshake, and he said that there is some bad blood there. And he did not appreciate what Coach Harbaugh said postgame after the first victory."
The USA Today added:
If you're watching, Coach Harbaugh, NFL Films captured Tomlin repeatedly referred to his troops as "tough team" as he shook each player's hand on their way into the visitors' locker room at M&T Bank Stadium, which lasted hosted a victor on Dec. 5, 2010 ... that's right, Tomlin's Steelers.
And to think we just heard recently about one side not even thinking it was a rivalry anymore.