Steelers struggle and loss leaves Mike Tomlin in tears

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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin rarely shows a soft side.

But yesterday’s loss to the Broncos left the hard-boiled coach emotional, which his players had never seen.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tomlin broke down when addressing his team in the locker room.

“There was a lot of emotion. I never saw him cry like that,” wide receiver Martavis Bryant said. “I cried, too. It’s just a hurt feeling. It’s just really hard right now. Because of the adversity we faced. It’s a hurtful feeling.”

“I’m glad I have a coach like that,” defensive end Cam Heyward added. “It hurts even worse, because he’s right in the battle with us.”

Tomlin has every right to feel an emotional attachment to this team, is it had to overcome so much to even get to this point.

His quarterback had to get shot up to play, he was without his best wide receiver, his top two tailbacks and his left tackle and center, and their offense got them this far.

That’s the kind of resilience it’s easy to invest in, and care so much about that it can move you.

101 responses to “Steelers struggle and loss leaves Mike Tomlin in tears

  1. The fix is in. NFL wants NE vs Denver. Once Peyton retires hopefully it gets a little more fair…obviously assuming NE will continue to cheat but we’ve all come accustomed to that.

  2. That missing Left Tackle (Beach) was the OL’s second best player. And that missing Center (Pounce) was the OL’s best player – and the QB of our OL, who made all the line calls.

    That missing RB (LeVeon) may be the best, most complete, hardest running back in the league.

    That missing back-up RB (DeAngelo) may be the best, most complete, hardest running back-up running back in the league.

    That missing WR (A.B.) may be the best and most productive RB in the league.

    It’s tough to lose the best layers of every element of your offense: interior OL, exterior OL, RB and WR, and still make the run we made.

    On the plus side, it was nice to punch Cincinnati’s ticket though. A more classless NFL franchise you will never find.

    Tough to win that depleted in so many areas.

  3. What is it about the steelers crying when they lose??? I recall the first time they lost to brady in 2001 playoffs..with their qb on the sidelines in tears….grow a pair!!!

  4. Well now we have confirmation of who ACTUALLY cries when they lose. Pats fans have to read this about Beady very game.

    Steelers were lucky to be there, got screwed on the play where manning took a knee, played funny with the injury report (as if anyone believed it) and came a fumble away from a win.

    As a pats fan I’m no more nervous than usual.
    May the better team win without referee assistance. Perhaps the replay team can play fair as well. That WAS a td and that WAS a fumble.

  5. With their team reputation of taking cheap shots at opposing players, and a coaching staff willing to jump in and help, I was sort of relieved to see teams give them a taste of their own medicine this season. For too long I’ve watched my pathetic Browns sit back and take the concussions from Steeler head hunters without fighting back. Tomlin and the “Steeler way” have only themselves to blame. I can’t stand the bengals but I did love the way they fought back after the shazier hit. It cost them the playoffs, which I could care less about, and I think a message was sent.

  6. The arguably best team in football lost the game yesterday because of self-inflicted wounds and too many injuries. Penalties, one stinking turnover, sacks, dropped passes, decisions to not take points and go for it, etc, while in scoring range. They should have easily beat Denver by over 10 points, but that is the way the ball bounces. I am proud of how they overcame a lot of adversity this year, and so many young players stepped up and got important experience.

    The Steelers have won more than their fair share of championships and rebuild quicker than most teams to remain competitive most years. That is why so many people are jealous of the Steelers and their fans. Go ahead and thumbs down this post, who cares! Loyal Steeler fans will agree that this team is fun to watch even when they rip your heart out with a game like yesterday. And we’re on to next year!

  7. Oh Boo Hoo. That joke of a team shouldn’t have even been in the playoffs. Thank goodness the criminal behind center is about done and Tomlin is not a big time coach…. Looks like another playoff drought coming up….. Yeah baby!

  8. .
    Tomlin seems schizophrenic to me. He opened the season hearing voices in his headphones. Last week he’s standing with his toes on the 50 yardline, challenging the Bengals players to a steel cage match. Yesterday, he’s sobbing uncontrollably like a six year old girl with a skinned knee. Perhaps it’s time for the league to intervene?
    .

  9. I’d cry too if I called for a deep throw on 4th and 1 from the Denver 25 yard line and punted in the second half from the Denver 35 yard line.

  10. First it’s complaints about the Bengals hitting too hard, now it’s crying after a loss.

    Maybe a dose of real life is needed in the Steelers organization.

    I save my tears for kids with cancer.

  11. Well maybe Tomlin needs to spend a little more time preparing his team to focus on fundamentals. Small kids know the fundamentals of carrying a football in the proper hand. Apparently the concept was never explained to Toissaint? That’s on the coach(es).

  12. Cincinnati and not the Steelers should have played Denver thanks to the non calls by the officials. Joey Porter on the field and the Shazier brutal helmet hit not called.

  13. That missing Left Tackle (Beach) was the OL’s second best player. And that missing Center (Pounce) was the OL’s best player – and the QB of our OL, who made all the line calls.

    That missing RB (LeVeon) may be the best, most complete, hardest running back in the league.

    That missing back-up RB (DeAngelo) may be the best, most complete, hardest running back-up running back in the league.

    That missing WR (A.B.) may be the best and most productive RB in the league.

    It’s tough to lose the best layers of every element of your offense: interior OL, exterior OL, RB and WR, and still make the run we made.

    Tough to win that depleted in so many areas.

    On the plus side, it was nice to punch Cincinnati’s ticket though. A more classless NFL franchise you will never find.

  14. I’m confused. After every loss Steeler fan posts about how terrible Tomlin is and how he needs to be fired. They say he can’t make adjustments and gets out coached. Make up your minds

  15. Really …… Now we should feel sorry for a coach and team who has been called out by every team in the league for dirty play and questionable character?

    Every team in the league has players out and/or hurt.

    They ended up right where they deserve to be. Karma is sweet!

  16. I’m a cowboys fan and I will tell you it looked like the game was rigged from the start.

    Manning going down and allowed to get back up… when a QB goes down they normally end the play…

    I am starting to think these games are fixed… problem is most people don’t realize that it’s not illegal for them to do that… since 2010 the NFL was changed from a sporting venue to entertainment venue clearing the way for them to legally fix out comes of games if it increases revenue… this is legal. Why would the NFL tell you this? They wouldn’t … they’d lose a lot of fans… because it would just be the WWE 2… which is what it’s becoming with the story lines..

  17. Yeah, yeah…we had a lot of injuries. But how about we give props to the guys who stepped up. Cody Wallace did a good job at center, Alejandro did an excellent job at tackle especially since it’s not his native position. D-Will filled in like a boss and Todman/Fitz filled in respectively after D-Will got hurt (minus the fumble but, hey, that’s football). We have some great backups and they did a great job getting us to the divisional game. If we stay healthy next year, we have a real shot at the SB.

  18. Tough loss, but a lot to be proud of. I think next year if they can stay healthy, SB 51 is an attainable goal. The D played really well in the post-season in my opinion, and we already know about the offense. Show me another team that could have overcome all they did, and be a fumble away from reaching it’s conferences championship game. It should be Super Bowl or bust next year. Every thought, and conversation should be about making it to that game. And #92 is still BEAST!!! I believe he can play till he’s 50. Proud of the effort they gave in defeat.

  19. This fix was in, yet somehow the Steelers won last week because Hill fumbled and then Cinci behaved like children and got personal fowls to give the Steelers the game. #peoplearestupid

  20. Here is a bright side though for all the Steeler fans in the media who warned us for weeks that NOBODY wants to face the Steelers in the playoffs…now nobody has to!

  21. Not a Steelers fan but this is what I see Tomlinas : 1) coach tha his players love playing for and play hard, 2) coach who is outcoached strategy wise by better coaches, and 3) a team that makes a million dumb mistakes……so 2 & 3 is what kills Steelers every year…..same old song

  22. Roethlisberger should have been the one crying – how do you take a sack on 4th down?? He had time to at least throw a jump ball & he eats it instead? Not to mention short yardage situations where he went for long prayers. Toussaint can’t be blamed – there is a reason he is a practice squad player. The drops by Bryant Heath Wheaton – yeah partially to blame. I can’t wait til the jock-sniffing 93.7 The Fan guys fawn all over him when he’s on the Tuesday show. No playoff comebacks since SB 43 for the $100+Million supposed “franchise QB”

  23. I didn’t give the Steelers much of a chance in this game because of the injuries, etc., but they had the lead and control of the game. The Broncos offense was unbelievably feeble, but the Steelers just couldn’t seal the deal.

    You can’t really blame the season on injuries, though, when the team with the most players on IR in the NFL and that has lost starters at every position except QB/K/P for multiple games over the course of the season is in the AFCCG.

    The big question at this point is whether anybody can beat the Panthers.

  24. I feel bad to place the blame on Toussaint but lets face it, they were dominating and well on their way to winning the game when he fumbled.

  25. Go Broncos!! Good game Steelers. I hate to see a depleted team in the playoffs, but the only we win that game is with Antonio Brown on the sidelines. That guy is worth at least 10 points a game and should be the AFC offensive player of the year. The Steelers players and coaches only demonstrated class, tenacity, competitiveness, and sportsmanship yesterday.

    Mike Tomlin is a hella of a coach, and Antonio Brown is the most dynamic player in the NFL. Sorry ODB Jr., you’re only #2.

    I’d say good luck to NE next week, but since most of that team is healthy, we need all the luck on our side. Please help us out, God, and Bronco Nation, lots of prayers this week. We need the weather, the good fortune, the bad calls, we need everything to go our way next Sunday.

    On another note, Cincy and NE fans trolling this article, don’t you have anything better to do than be D-Bags?

  26. Unlike many here I can’t make fun of the Steelers on this. They poured their hearts and souls into a heck of a great season. They had huge adversity and injuries to overcome to get as far as they did. That they fell short of a championship is more a credit to their opponents than a knock on them. I can understand the emotional let down after putting so much of one’s self into something.

    Bengals fans that are high giving and celebrating (I saw some comments)….this is why you lose man! And really you should have been rooting for the steelers because now the ‘no lie only truth’ is that Denver beat the team that beat you. Make all the excuses you want but that’s still what it says on the scoreboard.

  27. I’m a life long loyal Pats fan, but I love football and watch as many games per season that I can, and I feel like the Steelers got screwed on a few things. There were a few times I was shocked that the Broncos didn’t get called on pass interference. I know that they said Manning just fell and got up immediately to throw, but it look like he surrendered himself instead of stumbling.

    Having a few of your key players out injured didn’t do the Steelers any favors either, and like I said, I’m a Pats fan so I feel your pain there.

    As much as I do have respect for Manning, it’s almost as if the refs/league will go to great lengths to make sure he goes out on top (and this is coming from someone who never buys into conspiracy theories).

  28. I have no problem with a grown man crying, but I think this shows just how on the edge Mike Tomlin is. You’ve seen him interfere with plays on the field, you’ve seen him get into shouting matches with opposing players both during and after a game. I guess we can see why he has no problem with his Defense taking unsportsman-like conduct penalties after EVERY SINGLE turnover. He can’t expect his players (or coaches) to control emotions when he can’t do it himself.

  29. I have to agree with Greenlargo on the Bengals thing. They shouldn’t be rubbing it in. The Bengals blew their chance, nobody stole it from them.

  30. At some point the Steeler offense has to be able to score 20 points in a playoff game.

    16 points against the Broncos, 18 points against the Bengals, and 15 points against the Ravens in a home playoff game last year.

  31. Lot of negative comments here toward the Steelers. Do all of you follow the teams into the locker room to see what is going on?Sure sounds like it. The Steelers will be back next year strong and healthy. Yes, I am a Steeler fan. Sure, I was disappointed but Denver played a clean game. It is important to accept loss with class as it is to accept a win with humility. Steeler fans are just that…win or lose, they stay steadfast in supporting the team. I am and will remain a Proud Member of the Steeler Nation. By the way, to you nay sayers, The Steeler Nation exists all over the world.

  32. I am a Steelers’ fan, and while Tomlin may be a great Defensive Coordinator, he is not Head Coach material.

    Play calling was horrible, 4th and 1 and you go for the end zone? Ben didn’t call that play. At the end of the game when Toussaint fumbled, that was Ben. Wish they’d let him make the play calls. Haley is horrible. Clock management is terrible. How you don’t go for the FG in the first half is incredible. Boswell has proven himself over and over again.

    No excuses due to injuries, because, truly, our next men up did the job.

    On the plus side, Tomlin is a great motivator for his team, and obviously the guys love him. Oh well, on to next year.

    Thanks for a season that was better than expected.

    Denver’s defense did an excellent job, covered all of our receivers on that last series.

  33. As a Ravens fan, I loathe the Steelers, but I respect the hell out of them. A group of warriors they are, led but a general – Tomlin could coach for me anytime.

  34. OK….When it gets to this point, it’s TIME for the amicable split. TOMLIN has taken this team as far as it’s going. They are NOT BETTER than NE or DENVER and it’s been that way for years. It’s NO COINCIDENCE they can’t BEAT neither team……..

  35. You Just have to Love Steeler fans/team for whining about “overcoming adversity” (AKA ….injuries) but at the same time bragging about barely beating a Bengals team that was playing with a back-up QB with only a handful of NFL starts under his belt. Not to mention the Safety Reggie Nelson was also out….who is a interception machine against Roethlisberger. I guess Injuries don’t count unless they apply to their team….and then they literally CRY about them. Poetic Justice.

  36. Denver did win hats off to them, but NOT without allot of help! Pittsburgh controlled the game 90% of it! You cannot be perused as a QB, go to the ground and be down,and get back up and continue the play! The refs blew that one,and the knew it,we also tried to challenge it and we could not! There were also not one but 2 passes to the end zone that were CLEARLY interference on Denver, the one in the first half, the defender had his back to our defender and ran into him prior to the ball being there,with no call.Again Denver won,but not without bad calls,calls that cost us 2 touchdowns and kept a scoring drive alive for Denver when your QB CLEARLY went to the ground to avoid a sack,and no there does not have to be contact,when QB is evading another player behind the line of scrimmage!

  37. So unfair for the Steelers to lose a playoff game b/c they had players hurt, that hasn’t ever happened to anyone else…….like 05′ when they beat the Bengals ONLY b/c they took out Palmer…..or last year when they concussed AJ Green so he was out when we played Indy.

    So brave and courageous, those Steelers are just angels……………

  38. Hey dabigh….really? “Denver did win hats off to them, but NOT without allot of help!”

    How about that “touchdown” the NFL came out and admitted wasn’t a touchdown against Cincy?…….or the HELP your Stealers needed to even get into the playoffs? The Stealers played over their heads enough to limp into the playoffs, definitely not the amazing marvel the media slobbers over every time they win. Be thankful you even got to the playoffs……and then got a second game after the Bengals in reality beat you with our back-up QB.

  39. Funny how steelers fans are crying about injuries and the refs but didn’t want to hear it last week from Bengals fans. Toussaints fumble was karma for all of the cheap, classless moves over the years. Can’t wait until next year to watch little ben find a way to come up small again.

  40. not true that whole game the second man got penalty. …and league official says porter should have been flag 4 even being on field… and for making contact with player…So please NFL GET IT RIGHT

  41. I’m also in tears… because Tomlin is young enough to be here in Pittsburgh for another 20, 25 years.
    God have mercy.

  42. lp0320 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 11:04 AM

    Play calling was horrible, 4th and 1 and you go for the end zone? Ben didn’t call that play.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Actually, that was Ben’s choice. The play was supposed to go underneath to Miller, who was side open. Ben took a shot on one on one on the outside because he trusts his guys to win. On that play he didn’t.

    I was banging on the fire Todd Haley drum when he first came in to replace Arians because Arians is such a great coach and Haley’s first season was pretty shaky. Since then he has evolved the Steelers offense into one of the league’s elite.

    You can’t win them all and there’s no sense in making silly excuses. If you fumble it away in scoring position in a one point game, you end up losing. That’s how it goes.

  43. clipper522 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 9:29 AM
    Crying so he keeps his job. Rooney has a soft spot for tears.
    ————————————————-
    Excellent point! Did anyone else catch Cowhers act after the game? He was right there with Tomlin, in tears. When Manning replaces Simms I wonder if he’ll blubber like a baby when the Colts, errr, Bronco’s, errrr whoever he signs for next loses a big game? Somehow I doubt it.

  44. Bills fan here tipping hat to Steelers.

    Had a strong season despite all the injuries. Hard to see you getting by NE anyhow. Pats going to demolish Manning and Broncos.

    Get healthy, position for next year imo.

    Go Bills.

  45. Wow, a lot of cowardly haters posting comments here. And then there are those comments that have little to do with coaching or football. Thinly disguised hate.

    Tomlin won 11 games with a makeshift offense. And a young defense. No one expected them to win 11 games with all the injuries that occurred. See the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens for teams that could not function when hit by major injuries. Heck of a coaching year for Tomlin under the circumstances.

  46. Are you telling me that there wasn’t 1 coach that would go onto the field to try and even things out. Steelers are slipping.

  47. sherry0565 says:
    Jan 18, 2016 11:36 AM
    You Just have to Love Steeler fans/team for whining about “overcoming adversity” (AKA ….injuries) but at the same time bragging about barely beating a Bengals team that was playing with a back-up QB with only a handful of NFL starts under his belt. Not to mention the Safety Reggie Nelson was also out….who is a interception machine against Roethlisberger. I guess Injuries don’t count unless they apply to their team….and then they literally CRY about them. Poetic Justice.

    ==================================

    Normally I’d say you’re right. But AJ actually scored 16 points. Daltons average if I’m not mistaking is 12.

  48. Jan 18, 2016 9:29 AM
    Crying so he keeps his job. Rooney has a soft spot for tears.
    ————————————————-
    Excellent point! Did anyone else catch Cowhers act after the game? He was right there with Tomlin, in tears. When Manning replaces Simms I wonder if he’ll blubber like a baby when the Colts, errr, Bronco’s, errrr whoever he signs for next loses a big game? Somehow I doubt it.

    You wouldn’t know a good unless it was on the tip of a spear. Both Tomlin and Cowher are sensitive emotional guys who actually care about someone other than themselves unlike you how’s main goal is write snarky comments to make you look smart. I ll take the coaches ant day…..and I am very proud of the Steelers and their coaches…a family is emerging again steel tough.

  49. Disappointing loss, of course. But expectations were low once Brown and D-Will were announced out of this one.

    The D played pretty well down the stretch. D-line and LB groups will be tough next year. And with the entire O coming back healthier, they should easily get here again next year. In fact, I don’t see how this team doesn’t finish 19-0.

  50. This team always cries when they lose. Big Ben cried like a baby when he let Green Bay clean his clock. Since then, no legit PO wins, whipped by Tebow, Flacco, and Manning. I’d be crying, too.

  51. Most fan bases mock fans of losing teams and decry their whining, until they lose, too. You will see the same thing next weekend.

  52. You could easily argue the Steelers overachieved and part of the credit for this success must go to the coaching staff. This team was decimated by injuries to key players. The subs filled in admirably. Denver was outplayed and they know it.

    I always find Tomlin’s coaching somewhat suspect and it reared it’s ugly head at times in Denver. Haley has no business on an NFL sideline with a headset on. He owes his job to the Rooney family who felt bad for him after he was fired in KC. Haley’s father, Dick Haley, was a former coach and scout for the Steelers. There is a big upside next year for Pittsburgh as long as Tomlin and Haley don’t mess it up. Not to rub salt in to the wound, but I sure wish Bruce Arians was still in Pittsburgh.

  53. Funny how Bengals fans are still hanging on to that recent playoff loss, seeing as there have been so many. I wonder how many fans on here were alive or old enough to remember their last playoff win?

    And those thinking Dalton would have made a big difference, he’s 0-4 in the playoffs and 3-7 vs. the Steelers.

    Plus it isn’t even a rivalry, except for in the minds of Bengals players, fans and media. The Steelers are 58-35 vs. the Bengals (30-16 in Pittsburgh and 28-19 in Cincy) including 2-0 in the playoffs. Not only is it one sided, but the Bengals haven’t ever won anything either. Not even a playoff game for 25yrs.

  54. @citizenstrange – good points. In fact of the 18 points stellars scored against Cincy steeler D had a pick 6.

  55. The Steelers lost ok we own that, we’re looking forward to next season and another shot at tha Super Bowl. All of you blathering idiots can bite it. We don’t live in our fears or the past

  56. “Toussaint Fumbles”.
    No surprise there … put a Michigan RB in a clutch situation late in the 4th Qtr, and a DB from Ohio State (Roby) will knock the ball loose every time.
    Coach Tomlin should know this guy was gonna choke. I did.

  57. It turns out that further investigation shows that Tomlin’s tearful speech was misquoted. What he actually said was, “I don’t understand what happened. ” Snif-Snif. “The refs didn’t give us any blatant missed calls, Ben’s overstated injury was figured out, and despite our best efforts, no one on our entire coaching staff was able to interfere with the other team” Whhhaaaaaaa-Whhhaaaaa!!!

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