PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 18: Isaac Redman #33 of the Pittsburgh Steelers jumps over a Philadelphia Eagles defender during the preseason game on August 18, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Tribune-Review reporter Alan Robinson's tweet yesterday that Steelers LB Stevenson Sylvester was told to not discuss his knee injury, and was kept away from the media is the second incident this preseason in which the team made a point to have its players not discuss an injury.
RB Isaac Redman was reportedly "chastised" by head coach Mike Tomlin for discussing an MRI Redman had on his recent hip injury.
Tomlin has proved himself to be tip-lipped in regards to injuries, reporting the absolute bare minimum he's required to report by league mandate.
LB Stevenson Sylvester off limits to media today, says was told not to discuss knee injury.— Alan Robinson (@arobinson_Trib) August 22, 2012
It makes the conspiracy theorists in us wonder how many injuries the Steelers really do suffer throughout the year, and whether something reported as minor really is much more severe.
Redman is the most obvious example. He hasn't practiced much since suffering the injury, although he did recently appear to have broken Tomlin's edict on speaking about injuries, telling the Post-Gazette he woke up pain free on Wednesday.
Still, the lack of direct confirmation shows how tight of a ship Tomlin wishes to run. It makes sense; the Steelers have absolutely nothing to gain from a competitive standpoint by discussing injuries in-depth. It may ruffle the feathers of some media members, but most of them are adept enough at finding the answer anyway.
It also leaves enough intrigue to wonder if there is more behind the scenes. Tomlin's desire to not discuss injuries does not mean he's hiding anything in particular, and probably just means he won't help opposing coaches know any more than he's required to inform them (and the gambling/Fantasy Football community). Maybe he does it tongue-in-cheek, like Patriots coach Bill Belichick used to do by listing QB Tom Brady as "Probable" every week on the injury report due to a "right shoulder."
Tomlin doesn't appear to have even a remote sense of humor when dealing with the media, and it's certainly his province to be that way. But with the Steelers racking up injuries particularly in the second half of this preseason, it's quickly becoming the first, second and third news items every day. His hard-and-fast rule to not discuss it is a way of enforcing discipline on the team.
Now, if he just made a rule about not fighting each other in practice, he'd be set.