Ex-RB Reggie Bush was on the NFL Network, and blasted the Steelers for several reasons, most notably looking past Jacksonville in the playoffs and because Antonio Brown missed most of OTAs.
Bush traced his criticism back to Coach Mike Tomlin. That’s something rarely heard.
Players shouldn’t be criticized for ditching OTAs. OTAs are optional.
Brown and Ben Roethlisberger missed most of the OTAs, but their performance level can’t be questioned. Roethlisberger is 36, Brown 29. Each is at the point in his career (especially Roethlisberger) where rest might help more than work.
But I agree with Bush’s critique of Tomlin.
Tomlin isn’t heavily criticized in Pittsburgh because there’s no point to it. Tomlin won’t get fired, and won’t change.
Tomlin has fostered a culture that won’t win another Super Bowl. Not just a players’ culture, but a players’ culture gone overboard. When Bush talked about Tomlin mandating a culture change, I laughed out loud. Tomlin doesn’t even remotely see that as a problem.
When we hear somebody take Tomlin to task, we in Pittsburgh flinch. It doesn’t often happen here.
You hear all sorts of nickel-dime criticism, like from talk-show callers, and much of that is racially-tinged.
But you never see this headline in a Pittsburgh newspaper: TOMLIN’S GOT TO GO. Has that column ever been written?
For better or worse, the Steelers will never fire Tomlin. That knowledge has corrupted the local media.
When Bush says what he said, it should give Pittsburgh pause. Because it might be true.