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Mike Tomlin takes away the Steelers’ toys

Santo Merlo AP

There are stories that seem to pop up exclusively around teams with ugly records that never pop up around those with better records — see almost everything having to do with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently — and a coach taking the toys out of the team’s locker room would certainly fit into that category. 

That’s what happened with the Steelers, where coach Mike Tomlin has issued a team-wide ban on things like table shuffleboard, ping pong and pool that had been installed in the team headquarters in recent seasons as a reward for the team’s two Super Bowl trips under Tomlin. The Steelers veterans recently issued a decree that banned those with less than four years experience from playing the games, but now everyone from Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu to Le’Veon Bell and David DeCastro has to find otherwise to occupy themselves during their down time. 

Safety Ryan Clark said that the idea behind the ban on younger players was that they needed to earn the right to play them, something Roethlisberger echoed when he said the youngsters were “getting comfortable” too quickly. Clark explained Tomlin made the change because the Steelers weren’t doing a good job of sharing. 

“From his point, it was dividing the team in a way,” Clark said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “One sect of people couldn’t do a certain thing and he just wanted everybody to be together — because we’re all in the losses together. We’re all in the business of fixing this problem together. He didn’t want anything to divide us.”

It’s unlikely that a game-free locker room is going to be the thing that fixes all that’s been wrong with the Steelers this year. Should they beat the Jets this wekeend, Tomlin might want to try threatening to turn the team bus around on the way to the stadium in Week Seven. 

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83 Responses to “Mike Tomlin takes away the Steelers’ toys”
  1. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 10, 2013 6:00 PM

    Remember when Tim Tebow DESTROYED pittsburgh steelers in the playoffs?!?

  2. stoogy says: Oct 10, 2013 6:03 PM

    Remember the last time Steelers won a game?!?

  3. smartanis says: Oct 10, 2013 6:04 PM

    “…but now everyone from Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu to Le’Veon Bell and David DeCastro has to find otherwise to occupy themselves during their down time.”

    Uh oh, someone better change the lock on the women’s restroom!

  4. cajunaise says: Oct 10, 2013 6:04 PM

    Take away Roethlisberger’s motorcycle!

  5. successfultroll49 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:05 PM

    One more loss and the entire team has to sit in the corner.

  6. borisbulldog says: Oct 10, 2013 6:06 PM

    I think Tomlin will bring the toys back when they hit 0-15!

  7. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 10, 2013 6:06 PM

    wow, what a bunch of baby high school jocks.

    Read a book.
    Watch Netflix.
    Play Candy Crush on your phone.
    It’s not that big of a deal.

    Or better yet, WIN A FREAKING GAME!!!

  8. coltzfan166 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:10 PM

    So is making the environment less fun supposed to make the team play better?

  9. coachjohnharbaugh says: Oct 10, 2013 6:11 PM

    these guys are pathetic.

  10. floratiotime says: Oct 10, 2013 6:11 PM

    How the mighty have fallen to resort to High School stunts like this.

  11. chargerdillon says: Oct 10, 2013 6:11 PM

    You let your Quarterback get away with rape and little punishment so why should ANYBODY in that locker room ever feel accountable?

  12. olcap says: Oct 10, 2013 6:12 PM

    doctorrustbelt says: Oct 10, 2013 6:00 PM

    Remember when Tim Tebow DESTROYED pittsburgh steelers in the playoffs?!?
    —————-

    I don’t often think of Tim Tebow destroying opposing teams…

    But when I do, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  13. pfic15 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:13 PM

    Children.

  14. Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 10, 2013 6:15 PM

    doctorrustbelt | Oct 10, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

    Remember when Tim Tebow DESTROYED pittsburgh steelers in the playoffs?!?

    Tim Tebow didn’t destroy the steelers injuries to their defense did if you care to dig deep enough…but hey don’t let logic get in the way of your obvious butt sore hate.

  15. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 10, 2013 6:15 PM

    The steelers haven’t been relevant since the steelers team doctor fell under suspicion, was fired, and indicted for hgh/steroid distribution.

  16. stoogy says: Oct 10, 2013 6:17 PM

    What a joke of a team. I remember listening to Tomlin on the fan saying that the games are not a big deal its just a way for the guys to unwind. Look like he is a yoyo. I bet this is Haleys fault some how

  17. xgarcia22 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:18 PM

    REBUILDING

  18. cajunaise says: Oct 10, 2013 6:21 PM

    I think they should be donated to needy children in Florida (aka the Jaguars).

  19. ydousuk says: Oct 10, 2013 6:21 PM

    Now they will go undefeated……….

  20. peytonsneck18 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:21 PM

    as long as they dont take away their Thundercats action figures they are alright, u know troy always uses Lionel

  21. darkneptune73 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:24 PM

    Take away Big Ben’s women too!

  22. getyourownname says: Oct 10, 2013 6:25 PM

    “One sect of people couldn’t do a certain thing ..”

    Is this some sort of religious cult?

  23. steelers88 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:26 PM

    LETS GO PENS!

  24. 12444uggg says: Oct 10, 2013 6:29 PM

    When I saw “toys” and the steelers in the same sentence I knew my first instinct was wrong.

  25. seatownballers says: Oct 10, 2013 6:33 PM

    If they lose the next game, management will take away their orange sliced at half time

  26. susanscott1 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:35 PM

    What down time? The Steelers haven’t won a game this season. There should be no down time.
    You guys have some serious work to do.

  27. jetsmmt says: Oct 10, 2013 6:35 PM

    Maybe they should just get rid of Haley instead.

  28. 700levelvet says: Oct 10, 2013 6:38 PM

    What a joke…Grown men treated like the JV high school team. Without Cowler’s players, Tomlin is a complete farce.

  29. Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 10, 2013 6:41 PM

    stoogy | Oct 10, 2013, 6:17 PM EDT
    What a joke of a team. I remember listening to Tomlin on the fan saying that the games are not a big deal its just a way for the guys to unwind. Look like he is a yoyo. I bet this is Haleys fault some how

    Einstein I know you are basing your opinion on hours of your time spent in the steelers locker room. Skippy, your underwear is making it very difficult to follow your logic. As an Internet genius you are pathetic and just another hater. This story should never have left the steeler family which you don’t belong to….thank god.

  30. koenig61 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:43 PM

    I just love how the articles are written in such a way as to bring out the trolls. Based on the posters in this thread, it had its desired effect. Personally I think this is one of the ways that you try to get people focused. You take away distractions. And as far as Tebow destroying the steelers in the playoffs? It’s kind on funny. When tebow was winning those games leading up to the playoffs, people were saying what a great leader he was, and how he simply found a way to win, and how even though he wasn’t the greatest passer, he was a winner. Now those same people like to use him as a joke an day how pathetic the steelers are because the broncos and tebow won in overtime. I might add the steelers were without starters Mendenhall, Starks, Keisel Clark, and Hampton as well as losing Pouncey and a gimpy Roethlisberger that game, but a loss is a loss. The same people talked about how terrible James Harrison was, when he was with the steelers, and now the same fans say how stupid the steelers are for letting Harrison go? You constantly hear the same logic from these fans. Which tells you all that you need to know about them. They just spew hate against a team they don’t like. There is no logic to their posts. I may not like certain teams or players, but I’m not going to sit here and tell you Brady, Rodgers Flacco suck, or bill belichick can’t coach. It’s a moronic statement.

  31. realitypolice says: Oct 10, 2013 6:44 PM

    doctorrustbelt says:
    Oct 10, 2013 6:00 PM
    Remember when Tim Tebow DESTROYED pittsburgh steelers in the playoffs?!?

    ===

    No, but I remember when he beat them once in overtime. Is that what you call “destroying” someone?

  32. steelcurtainn says: Oct 10, 2013 6:47 PM

    Good! Its worth a try. It can’t hurt anything. Get the young players in the film and weight room and off the shuffleboards/pool tables. I believe there are just a few guys on offense and defense that are playing well below the line that’s effecting the outcomes of some of these games. Obviously, Mike Adams, and losing Larry Foote (with a rookie ILB in Williams replacing him) are just 2 examples that need to be fixed for the steelers to improve.

  33. bjsdad says: Oct 10, 2013 6:47 PM

    Knock Knock Who’s there
    Ben Ben who
    Ben winless since the season started

  34. ivanpavlov0000 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:48 PM

    Tomlin did the right thing. Once the season starts they’re supposed to be one team against the world. Creating haves and have-nots in the locker room goes against that.

    I like Pittsburgh to win this week, but not because of the silliness about the pool table. The Steelers want this one more than the Jets.

  35. donnymacjack says: Oct 10, 2013 6:48 PM

    You always find out how great coaches and vets are when their team is losing. Just a comment by a vet saying the “youngsters are getting comfortable too fast” speaks volumes about the player *cough* leadership. And the coach reacting with a “if they can’t have it none of you can have it” stance says even more about the coach.

    Now take a look at someone like Coughlin and Eli. They’re having a tough, tough season. But do you see any of them imploding or treating each other like children? Come on man! Face the facts. The Steelers are getting old. Especially that defense. Nothing more. Nothing less. If anything point a finger at the FO for not bringing in young talent sooner and in greater numbers.

  36. ydousuk says: Oct 10, 2013 6:49 PM

    Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 10, 2013 6:41 PM

    Skippy, your underwear is making it very difficult to follow your logic.
    —————————————————————-
    Um…………..ok then……….Skippy’s underwear………

  37. bills9951 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:49 PM

    This just goes to show how immature Big Ben still is. For a guy who has a bad history of “getting comfortable too quickly” he should focus more on his self rather than whether or not another grown man can play ping pong when he wants. Pathetic. As is the Steelers fans defending their joke of a team.

  38. larryravor says: Oct 10, 2013 6:50 PM

    Oh, pity the poor littlt Steelers!! They can’t play with their toys anymore! What has happened to “the best organization in football.” GROW UP and get off your high horse and play football

  39. stillers213 says: Oct 10, 2013 6:51 PM

    Here’s a crazy idea….

    How about studying the playbook and watching film when you’re at work!
    Sorry boss, I can’t manufacture this part. It’s my turn to play Jenga. Ridiculous!

  40. ghjjf says: Oct 10, 2013 6:53 PM

    Unless the players were completely skipping film study and practice to instead play ping pong and shuffle board, I don’t think this will make a difference at all.

  41. dcapettini says: Oct 10, 2013 6:54 PM

    How sad, when one of the finest organizations in the NFL is reduced to making headlines of this sort. I have always hated the Steelers but has a great deal of respect for them; not now. They really haven’t handled adversity well or with any dignity.

    On the up side, maybe this will help to shut up some of their more obnoxious fans. I am so tired of hearing about their musty old rings. My team won the SB, but come February, it will be old news, unless in the unlikely event they win this year too. You only get one year to revel in it.

  42. mibengal says: Oct 10, 2013 6:55 PM

    And they wonder why the locker room is fractured. A 3rd year vet can’t play with the big boys? Sounds more like grade school than grown men. Not a very good way to foster team spirit.

  43. 6ball says: Oct 10, 2013 7:02 PM

    .

    So, all these stories about Tampa just ” pop up ”? . That’s news to me. I thought they were written by journalists.

    .

  44. rmodlin says: Oct 10, 2013 7:06 PM

    SMH!

  45. corvusrex96 says: Oct 10, 2013 7:10 PM

    I would enjoy the Steelers demise more if i could forget that the last time they had a down year tbey got s high drsft pick and was Able to pick rothlisberger.

  46. peytonwantsaflag says: Oct 10, 2013 7:14 PM

    Cause there’s no table sports in hell -which is surely about to be unleashed any day now right?

  47. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 10, 2013 7:14 PM

    315 passing yards — 2 td — 0 int

    50 rushing yards — 1 td — 0 fumbles

    D E S T R O Y E D ! ! !

  48. bobzilla1001 says: Oct 10, 2013 7:15 PM

    Curtainn:
    When the Steelers went 0-2, the team held a “players only” meeting, at which time the veterans banned all players with four or less years of experience from billiards, ping pong and shuffle board privileges. All Tomlin has done is expand the ban on everyone.
    Therefore, the “young players” have been off the shuffle board for a few weeks now.
    Do any of you people live in Pittsburgh where Steelers news is reported on a daily basis?

  49. dstep24 says: Oct 10, 2013 7:30 PM

    Unfortunately for Tomlin, pawn shops aren’t currently trading wins for pool tables.

  50. fc187 says: Oct 10, 2013 7:34 PM

    That will show them.

  51. Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 10, 2013 7:46 PM

    On the up side, maybe this will help to shut up some of their more obnoxious fans. I am so tired of hearing about their musty old rings. My team won the SB, but come February, it will be old news, unless in the unlikely event they win this year too. You only get one year to revel in it.

    Just to let you know your culture full city has over done their revelry…. Culture in Baltimore is what is growing in joeflaccomontana’s refrigerator and the Petri dishes in school labs.

  52. 700levelvet says: Oct 10, 2013 7:47 PM

    31.6 yards per completion, a NFL playoff record. Accomplished by a QB who can’t even hold a clipboard in the league now , is total destruction.

  53. steelchampions says: Oct 10, 2013 7:49 PM

    Ditto to everything koenig61 said!

    Tomlin’s doing what any coach would do in his place; keep the team together and focused on the task at hand. To victor come the spoils, right? Well, they shouldn’t get any until that’s the case, again.

    The Steelers are the ‘steady-eddy’ of the entire NFL and this will get worked out as this season progesses and probably into the next one too. Much to the dislike of all the ‘haters’. They should spend their time cheering for whatever they’re favorite team is, beacause when the Steelers make their way back to the top of the pack; they’re favorite team is likely getting mowed down.

  54. jr507 says: Oct 10, 2013 7:51 PM

    somewhere Reg Dunlop is smiling

  55. florioleadswitnesses says: Oct 10, 2013 7:54 PM

    CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

  56. schmokes says: Oct 10, 2013 8:04 PM

    It’s fun watching the steeler fans get mad at the Tebow comment. Yeah, he destroyed you. And you still haven’t recovered.

  57. jimeejohnson says: Oct 10, 2013 8:14 PM

    Last time I checked the Steelers were still in the league but the joke of a QB Tebow is picking his nose and eating it somewhere NOT in the NFL.

  58. Joemontanaflacco says: Oct 10, 2013 8:25 PM

    Nofool, this story is a Steelers’ hater’s dream. Why are you even engaging? How can you possibly counter when the whole premise is that the Steelers are an embarrassing mess? And I’ll be the first to admit– I have no idea why you are talking about someone’s underwear. To quote my friend, Crown, that’s just weird, even for you.

  59. stoogy says: Oct 10, 2013 8:33 PM

    I agree with Tomlin 100 percent on this one! How ever this is what his reaction should of been from day one when he found out there was a divided locker room between old and young players. Maybe could of prevented a chemistry problem and they might not be 0-4!

  60. stainlessstill says: Oct 10, 2013 8:44 PM

    The comment section proves why the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the greatest organizations in all of sports. It’s absolutley fantastic bein’ hated and envious of, even when we’re winless. Lmao, too funny. Thanks for the laugh, haters :) Keep on provin’ it!

  61. stainlessstill says: Oct 10, 2013 8:47 PM

    I guarantee no amount of words or defeats can break our hearts as much as the Pittsburgh Steelers broke yours. That’s a fact. LOVE IT.

  62. larrydavid7000 says: Oct 10, 2013 8:56 PM

    I am the happiest guy in the world I have been saying the HC has and is a J O K E . He was handed a team at the beginning of his tenure. The Clown in Baltimore is next.

  63. flash1283 says: Oct 10, 2013 9:12 PM

    doctorrustbelt says:
    Oct 10, 2013 5:36 PM
    The Bengals DESTROYED the patriots.

    doctorrustbelt says:
    Oct 10, 2013 6:00 PM
    Remember when Tim Tebow DESTROYED pittsburgh steelers in the playoffs?!?

    —–
    “Destroyed” must be a new word for this guy.

  64. junglerat524 says: Oct 10, 2013 9:20 PM

    Too funny!

  65. deenice810 says: Oct 10, 2013 9:33 PM

    So this is what it has come down to in Steelers country. So sad (sniff,sniff)

  66. bengals512003 says: Oct 10, 2013 9:57 PM

    I guess the league not letting the dirtiest team get away with everything like they use to now they can’t win a game boo whoo !!!

  67. bengals512003 says: Oct 10, 2013 10:01 PM

    Boo who winless

  68. richcranium2112 says: Oct 10, 2013 10:43 PM

    Verlander rules!

    Sorry was thinking about something else…..

  69. swagger52 says: Oct 10, 2013 10:57 PM

    As long as they don’t takeaway the prunes and metamucil

  70. bensstinkyfingers says: Oct 10, 2013 10:59 PM

    Tomlin would make more of an impact if he revoked Ben’s team buffet privileges , and took the mirrors out of the locker room so Polomalu would spend more time studying film instead of admiring his awesome chic hair. Man I wish these guys were still relevant so that the rivalry with the browns would fire up again. One sucks the other looks great, go figure.

  71. db3233 says: Oct 10, 2013 11:35 PM

    You think Peyton Manning is playing shuffle board during down time??? No such thing as down time. Maybe daddy Tomlin will give them their toys back if they promise to start sharing.

  72. crownofthehelmet says: Oct 11, 2013 12:00 AM

    Haley put in a request for the pool table to sell on his ebay account.

  73. taosravenfan says: Oct 11, 2013 12:40 AM

    Now go to time out for the rest of the year

  74. ydousuk says: Oct 11, 2013 1:26 AM

    Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 10, 2013 6:15 PM

    doctorrustbelt | Oct 10, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

    Remember when Tim Tebow DESTROYED pittsburgh steelers in the playoffs?!?

    Tim Tebow didn’t destroy the steelers injuries to their defense did if you care to dig deep enough…but hey don’t let logic get in the way of your obvious butt sore hate.
    —————————————————————
    So, Skippy, I see you’re using the old injury excuse. I bet the Broncos didn’t have any huh?

  75. ydousuk says: Oct 11, 2013 1:30 AM

    Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 10, 2013 6:41 PM

    Skippy, your underwear is making it very difficult to follow your logic.

    Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 10, 2013 6:15PM

    but hey don’t let logic get in the way of your obvious butt sore hate
    —————————————————————

    You seem to be obsessed with something…………….

  76. Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 11, 2013 5:16 AM

    Joemontanaflacco | Oct 10, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT
    Nofool, this story is a Steelers’ hater’s dream. Why are you even engaging? How can you possibly counter when the whole premise is that the Steelers are an embarrassing mess? And I’ll be the first to admit– I have no idea why you are talking about someone’s underwear. To quote my friend, Crown, that’s just weird, even for you.

    Crown is hardly your friend and if you can’t figure out that your overs are muffing the voice that’s coming from your butt….in simple terms for the genius from culture city you are talking out of your butt skippy….got it Einstein?

  77. quittsburghstoolers says: Oct 11, 2013 6:35 AM

    Gosh, that means no more winner-takes-all, marathon games of Candy-Land!

    That Tomlin is a BIG meanie….

  78. raybguilty says: Oct 11, 2013 6:35 AM

    Kudos to Tomlin for taking charge of his team, wresting it away from the #2 pick machine in the NFL – Big Ben.
    Sorry Ben, I’m a huge fan of yours, but you are the main reason we’re on a losing streak with your reckless play and lack of ball security.
    Maybe the slow veterans should be the ones banned from the toys, since they are the main ones bleeding points and yards.

  79. bigbensboyfriend says: Oct 11, 2013 6:42 AM

    Wow there are a LOT of funny comments on here!!!!!!

  80. steelerben says: Oct 11, 2013 11:39 AM

    The tables were put in as a reward for the trips to the Super Bowl. At the beginning of the season the team veterans told anyone that was on the team for fewer than four years, or anyone that wasn’t on the team when they made their last appearance, they had to earn a place at those tables. I can see what they were trying to do. You want to encourage the new players to strive for excellence. What they did was make themselves look like fools. If you are sitting back on your Super Bowl loss four years ago as a reason for being superior to the new guys, you are missing the point.

    What Tomlin did was revoke the games for everyone. None of them are playing like champions, so none of them deserve rewards.

  81. susanscott1 says: Oct 11, 2013 3:18 PM

    Knock, knock.
    Who’s there?
    Owen.
    Owen who?
    0-4

  82. squealersarelosers says: Oct 11, 2013 5:36 PM

    There’s no doubt that Tomlin has lost the team. Banning the games just pushed all of the players over the edge.

  83. southcarolinamike says: Oct 12, 2013 9:51 AM

    If the Steelers have to be “punished” into professionalism, they have bigger problems than playing ping pong.

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