If you are like me, NFL game days don’t involve much of the pre-game festivities. As a father of 5, and plenty of things on the to-do list, listening to the ‘talking heads’ just don’t rank high on my priority list.
I will sit down around 12:45 p.m. ET and settle in to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers do battle with any number of opponents. Much to my surprise this week, when Mike Tomlin was heading into the locker room before the Steelers played the Ravens, ESPN’s Dianna Russini asked Tomlin about several different topics, but none larger than the question about Le’Veon Bell.
Tomlin, the constant wordsmith, gave Russini, and media outlets everywhere, a tremendous quote on his All-Pro running back who has passed up $7.7 million dollars and has watched James Conner turn in an All-Pro performance of his own.
Just watch his response below:
As I dug a bit deeper, the fan and media reaction to Tomlin’s remarks were outstanding. People were reading so much into Tomlin’s remarks, when they should just be taking them at face value.
How often does Tomlin have to tell the media he is only concerned about the players who are there in the facility working everyday? How many times does he have to refuse to talk about Bell, because he isn’t there> This was just a unique way of saying the exact same thing.
He wants volunteers, or people willing to do work, not hostages who are trying to leverage something for themselves.
Maybe this was Tomlin being more candid than he had been previously, but his stance on Bell’s absence has remained strong throughout offseason workouts, training camp, the preseason and the first half of the regular season.
If/when Bell returns, Tomlin will then have to make some tough decisions, but until then he will do what he has been saying he will do since the start of the season — focusing on those “volunteers” who are a part of this 5-2-1 team who has won four games in a row.
Tomlin loves to make comments like this, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone he used the words he used. But while some want to dissect his words, I suggest we all do something a bit more constructive...
Praise James Conner for his ridiculous play throughout the four games during this winning streak.