Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said this week that he doesn’t “think there’s any truth” behind claims that coach Mike Tomlin was the reason why Pittsburgh lost in the AFC Championship Game.
Defensive end Cameron Heyward co-signed that take at Pro Bowl practice on Friday. Heyward has heard the critiques centered on the Steelers lacking discipline under Tomlin and offered a strong rebuke.
“It’s a load of crap to me,” Heyward said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’re grown men. We’re not in Little League. We lost the game, and we overcame a lot. A lot of teams would have fallen by the wayside. ‘Coach T’ kept everyone focused and moving on to the next problem. Obviously, we had too many problems to deal with, but that’s not on him. … It falls on me and Ben. We’re leaders. As much as we talk about the drama and stuff, it wasn’t like guys were getting arrested or anything, or being caught with stuff. We’ll move past it. It’s nothing that will stick with this team.”
How successful Heyward, Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers are in making sure that happens will be a significant storyline for the Steelers in 2018. Multiple seasons that end with the feeling that the results haven’t met up with the talent will make it more difficult for the Steelers to keep things the same at the top with realistic expectations that the next year will be better.