Tomlin explains his failure to commit to Big Ben

In the days preceding the start of the regular season, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin declined to commit to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger upon his return from a four-game suspension.

Earlier this week, Tomlin explained his reasoning for refusing to tell Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of Sirius NFL Radio what everyone believes — that Big Ben won’t be on the bench when he comes back.

“I’ll answer why I answered it that way,” Tomlin said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  “In
order for us to see our way out of this situation, we need to have a
one-foot-in-front-of-the-other mentality
.  We need to be singularly
focused on what’s in front of us.  That’s the only way we’re going to
work ourselves out of this situation.

“As the leader of the outfit, I’m going to subscribe to that as well. 
I refuse to ponder the potential or hypothetical scenarios that wait
for us at the end of this situation. I’m in the midst of it.  I’m living
it, like our football team is.”

Setting aside the question of why Tomlin didn’t simply say this when asked the original question by Schein, we don’t understand how acknowledging that Roethlisberger remains the No. 1 quarterback distracts the team from trying to win its first four games — unless Tomlin is trying to wave a vague carrot in front of Dennis Dixon, hinting that maybe he’ll have a chance to keep the job if he takes the team to a 4-0 start.

Even if he doesn’t.