Steelers have only themselves to blame for the broken relationship with Antonio Brown

AP

As the Steelers and receiver Antonio Brown careen toward a divorce, it’s becoming more clear how the relationship reached an apparent point of no return.

A new article from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, which strings together much of the popcorn that has been flying out of the metal kettle in recent weeks, paints a picture of a player who routinely lived by his own set of rules — and a team that allowed it.

The most stunning example comes from a previously-unknown double standard that has applied to Brown during training camp. While teammates were crammed into dorm rooms, Brown has had an off-campus rental house.

Per Fowler, Brown would be seen getting dropped off at training camp in the mornings, knowing full well he wasn’t sleeping in the dorm with the rest of the team.

“We even admired him for it, like, ‘How does he pull that off?'” a former Steelers teammates told Fowler.

Brown also pulled off the chronic ability to show up late for meetings, with only periodic fines from coach Mike Tomlin for it.

“Tomlin basically could have fined A.B. every day if he wanted to,” an ex-teammate told Fowler.

“He shows up late with a big smile on his face,” former teammate Doug Legursky told Fowler. “You’re not even mad.”

Another current teammate is mad that it’s an issue. “[W]ho gives a f–k if he’s 15 minutes late to a meeting?” the unnamed teammate told Fowler.

And the tardiness issue doesn’t apply only to meetings during the week. Consider this passage from Fowler’s article: “On game days, players marveled at Brown showing up uncomfortably close to kickoff, rocking a mink coat while other players were in full uniform, and then having 150 yards receiving by the fourth quarter.”

Beyond not regularly taking small amounts of money from Brown in an effort to express ongoing displeasure with his behavior, the Steelers on multiple occasions have given Brown large amounts of money which necessarily rewards it. From the first major contract he received in 2012 (after only two NFL seasons, since he was drafted before the minimum waiting period moved to three years) to multiple annual adjustments aimed at pushing future money forward to a major extension given to him only two years ago, which included a $19 million signing bonus in 2017 plus another lump sum of $12.96 million in 2018.

Adding his 2017 and 2018 salaries, that’s nearly $34 million handed to Brown in the aftermath of Brown crossed a bright line by broadcasting on Facebook Live from the locker room after a playoff win.

Balance against that are periodic taps of the hand and a private articulation by Tomlin of the standard that essentially applies to all players: When he’s no longer worth what we’re paying him, he’ll be gone.

He’s still worth it as a player. But the bridge has been burned because Brown, emboldened by years of enabling, reacted strongly when the team apparently (and belatedly) decided to try to rein him in.

Like Tom Brady, Brown entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick. Unlike Brady, the Steelers became so infatuated with Brown’s unexpected abilities that they allowed Brown to exercise liberties at a time when he would have reacted far less aggressively than he is now. Ultimately, then, the Steelers have only themselves to blame for the mess in which they now find themselves.

60 responses to “Steelers have only themselves to blame for the broken relationship with Antonio Brown

  1. Wrong. They have Mike Tomlin to blame. He has let Antonio Brown destroy the chemistry in the locker room. Tomlin is also the reason they were sitting home from the playoffs. He has no backbone to say anything to AB and AB knows which is why he does whatever he wants and Tomlin looks the other way. I’m sure the other players noticed that and have ZERO respect for a coach who is spineless and clueless about how to manage a game. They lost to two of the worst teams in the league this year. How does that happen on a team loaded with Pro-Bowlers?

  2. It all starts with Tomlin. If I’m a teammate I’m pissed. Time for Tomlin to go. These overpaid athletes need to see what the real working word is like. They wouldn’t make it. Your fired.

  3. Like Tom Brady, Brown entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick. Unlike Brady, the Steelers became so infatuated with Brown’s unexpected abilities that they allowed Brown to exercise liberties at a time when he would have reacted far less aggressively than he is now.

    —————————————————-

    Really? I seem to remember the Patriots not allowing Brady’s personal trainer to continue flying with the team. Not long after this Brady’s backup and heir apparent Jimmy Garappolo was shipped out for far less return than he was worth before the season started. Now once again Brady’s personal trainer is back flying with the team.

    Also Brady skipped out on voluntary workouts this year for the first time to work with his trainer. So Brady = Double Standard as well.

  4. The Steelers looked the other way at Brown because they all want to be like Brown. They want to act like three year olds and go on the radio and blame each other, they want to squeeze every last dollar out of Loony, and they want to bask in the adoring worship of their obnoxious, unruly fans. Yes, the Steelers are to blame for being the most toxic franchise ever.

  5. Brown spent ALL his money. He’s bern begging the Steelers to give him a bug contract. They refused to hence the incremental money. They are getting a better deal than this stiff wanted. Good luck with a new team.

  6. Tomlin certainly deserves much of the blame for enabling Brown, but Art Rooney II is really at the core of the problem. He’s signed off on the rewards showered on Brown … on the coddling of Big Ben refusing to reign in Ben’s histrionics and criticism of team mates … on mishandling Cheech and Chong – Bell and Blount. Art II trades off the respect and goodwill Dan Rooney engendered during his tenure as President of the Steelers. And what about Kevin Colbert, the General Manager? He had to know of Brown’s escalating juvenile misconduct while gifting him huge bonuses. How does Colbert escape censure? Most of all, Brown deserves the criticism for failing to grow into a responsible leader as the Steelers obviously expected. Replacing Tomlin with Bill Cowher would solve the mess but I doubt Cowher would want the thankless task of reestablishing the team culture he gifted to Tomlin, Colbert and Art II. Remember – Cowher’s teams went to the playoffs 10 of 15 years, won six AFC championships, went to two Super Bowls. Cowher left in 2007 and Tomlin won with the team he left behind in 2008 – a Switzer like victory. The Steelers now want to extend Roethlisberger perpetuating the “me first” privileged culture that has repeatedly failed. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result – a concept that seems to have eluded the Steelers.

  7. Mike Tomlin is so intent on keeping his tough-guy image, that he creates monsters like Brown.
    Tomlin is black and we all know it. But he seems to me like he is intent on making sure everyone — including his players — know it, too.
    I think he’s a good coach when it comes to firing guys up and with X’s and O’s. But I think if he just toned his tough guy punk image down a bit, he’d have more control over his players.
    The result is, all of this might cost him his job. And that’s too bad, because he had the potential to be so much greater than he is.

  8. star player always had a different set of rules. people upset by his behavior are jealous. please show me empirical evidence that the team suffered because he was late or partied. stop blaming tomlin, he’s not their dad and it’s not his job to scold players because you the fan are angry. it’s his job to win games not tuck the players in at night

  9. Weird thing is his teammates seem to love the guy. You’d think this behavior would create friction. Just odd.

  10. The blame falls squarely on Antonio Brown, and no one else.
    He acted up — again , and this time he quit on his team.

    The Fowler story says :
    ” While Brown is known for his antics on the field, he’s also known for his colorful
    commentary in the team facility. In one team meeting, a then-teammate overheard
    Brown asking why Tomlin was trying to “Martin Luther King me” over the fine coming
    his way.

    Tomlin sternly asked him to clarify, the ex-teammate said. Someone told Brown to
    chill, and a small group of players looked at each other, not knowing how to
    respond.. ”

    But sure, blame Tomlin who has kept Antonio in check for 8 yrs of unprecedented
    HOF type WR production. If you think more stern talks and $5,000 fines would have turned Antonio into a model player, then you are mistaken.

    Antonio doesn’t care about fines, he happily pays them to do ‘his thing’. Those are petty cash for him. He is a selfish hothead, who only cares about the amount of targets and his #’s. He marches to a different drummer. His beat is all about AB.

    Only benching his butt gets his attention, and that’s exactly what Tomlin did.
    He benched AB knowing it would hurt his team’s chances in a crucial game.
    How much stronger of a message can he possibly send?

    This is all on Antonio. Don’t try to deflect blame for his behavior on others.
    He is a 30 yo child who loves the adulation and goes off on every perceived slight.
    Tomlin is head coach of men, not a babysitter for an entitled, but talented child.

    Antonio needs to own it – apologize for his behavior.
    Still waiting for that revealing news conference, and for Ocho Cinco
    to tell us how Antonio was done wrong. You can’t make this stuff up.

  11. Back in the 80’s and 90’s the 49ers were winning five super howls and were the blueprint for how to run an NFL franchise. They had HOF owner, Eddie DeBartolo, and a HOF coach, Bill Walsh. They helped set the tone that continued through George Seifert’s and Steve Mariucci’s tenures. They brought in a kid named Terrell Owens who was kind of a quiet kid at first, and followed the winning ways of the franchise. Then something happened and he turned into a problem child for the team. Even though he was a pro bowler, and eventual HOFer, the 49ers had to let him go. He ended up bouncing from team to team, and at every stop wore out his welcome. He was pretty much a cancer that needed to be removed. In no way shape or form were the 49ers called out on the carpet for not putting up with the problems that Owens brought on to himself and his teammates. Fast forward to one of the model franchises of today, the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have a similar situation with Antonio Brown. He, like Owens is an eventual HOFer, but he’s become a cancer and more of a liability. The difference is the way the media has handled the two cases. Back then, there weren’t a bunch of blogs and websites competing for stories. Now it’s gotten to where the tabloid stuff has been mixed in with the mainstream journalism. We always had a little of that, but now it gone crazy. Antonio Brown is the problem. Not the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s a different era for sure. Mike Tomlin doesn’t have the clout that a guy like Bill Belichick or Andy Reid has. That’s not the way the Steelers are structured. Tomlin gets his marching orders from above. That’s the way the Steelers have always done things and they have 6 Lombardi trophies to justify their methods. You can’t change all that for one player who has decided to walk in the footsteps of Terrell Owens. The NFL changed the rules to allow the players to act like clowns after just about every play, and now some players think they’re bigger than the game. Like I said, it’s a new era. Good for the Steelers for the way they’ve handled these situations. The sad thing is the way Antonio decided to become the next Owens. Would Bill Belichick put up with that nonsense? Yeah, right.

  12. Tomlin’s mistake is that he tried treating AB like a man. AB proved that he couldn’t be treated as such. I still think he should be in protocol from the Burfict hit.

  13. It’s a toxic franchise. Dirty players. Players that whine incessantly about Burfict, officiating, the Patriots, etc. You have a QB that constantly calls out teammates publicly (which has always been a no-no…keep it in house). You have their coaches getting into fights on the field and pulling hair on the sidelines. Then you have Trippin Tomlin, who I feel took the “play on the edge” style of the Steelers and took it too far. If they want to clear out the toxicity, firing Tomlin would be a huge start, but as a Bengals fan, I’m glad they kept him.

  14. “Who gives a **** if he is 15 minutes late?”

    Exactly the problem. The “leader” sets the example that discipline doesn’t matter and the rest of the guys like this follow. Also why Pats and Spurs were so good for so long…the leader was the most committed to the program and put ego aside… allowed themselves to be disciplined.

  15. There’s been a problem with that organization for quite some time. Too many issues with too many players. At some point some of the blind loyalists will open their eyes and see what the rest if us outside the bubble see.

  16. Tomlin created a monster by letting Brown live by a different set of rules. That is not how you run an NFL team. It’s sure to cause locker room and on-field problems,besides the player in question expecting to be treated like royalty on a daily basis.

  17. Lets say a star player is coddled.
    The star player gets a big fat contract.
    That doesn’t men the player then wants out.
    I don’t see this as being Tomlins fault.

    This is AB being a moron and listening to other morons like TO.

    If I owned a team I would not trade AB. Nor would I have caved in to LeVeon bell.
    I’d hand tough and refuse to get in, even if it hurt the team in the short run, because it would show future malcontents that I wouldn’t cave in.

  18. Not that it will matter to people who want Tomlin gone for reasons that have nothing to do with football, but those reading the entire ESPN article also learned the players credit Tomlin–who has the fifth best winning percentage in the league–with having an uncanny knack for knowing how to rein in each player and being able to communicate well with each of the wildly different personalities on his team.

    The notion that Cowher–who retired from coaching and has been out of the locker room more than a decade–could magically wrangle an ego like Brown’s is ridiculous. Love Bill, but he, Dan Rooney, and Kevin Colbert let a young Roethlisberger run amok. They begged him not to ride his motorcycle without a helmet, but failed to make not riding a motorcycle a condition of his contract. Cowher has told how he repeatedly tried to rein in Roethlisberger to no avail. Fortunately, when the suspension hammer fell, Roethlisberger shaped up. But Cowher didn’t do it.

    Leveling $5000 fines won’t deter an adult multimillionare from behaving like a jackass. And if the Steelers hadn’t given Brown that big contract, when free agency rolled around, he’d have just gotten the same contract somewhere else. In the end, Tomlin did the only thing that he could–he sat the player. And here we are … with a lot of armchair coaches thinking they could do better.

  19. There’s blame enough to go around. Steelers conceded these issues to keep Brown with them and happy. Brown enjoyed these perks and used them to his personal gain.

    Had this balance been maintained, we wouldn’t care and no one would be the wiser. But, Brown pushed too far and the Steelers were less than happy to comply. Now, the Steelers will lose a great player and Brown is going to find out the hard way what other team rules are like.

    It’s like this, if I run a store and I have an employee who shows up 15 minutes late to work every day but crushes it when they are there, I might let that go and even give them pay raises as a reward for production as my business is booming because of said employee. Eventually, that employee starts to add to their tardiness and shows up 30 minutes late, still crushing it. We have a few conversations, dock pay a bit for those days, but we still move one. Finally, now not only are they late, but they start talking poorly about their coworkers and managers. Okay, enough is enough and we suspend them. Now, they’ve got a choice to go back to work and follow the rules, or find a new employer and follow their rules. Either way, that employee pushed too far and had it all fall on themselves. Our business will still continue, and while we may take a slight hit, we’re still in business.

    Life moves on, but that employees life dramatically changes either way.

  20. First, it’s silly to have the guys laying up on top of each other in cramp dorm room style living. The team has a responsibility to provide better accommodation. I would get an apartment as well. Why would I share a bathroom with a complete stranger like im in some kind of prison. Do other leagues do this? I better treatment from my company. You going to cut him over that?

  21. The Steelers are the absolute worst team in the league at dangling trade bait. They’ve been torpedoing Brown for years with these “sources.” I’m actually glad to see Brown almost calling their bluff.

  22. “Deric Gregory says:
    January 26, 2019 at 2:41 pm
    It’s a toxic franchise. Dirty players. Players that whine incessantly about Burfict, officiating, the Patriots, etc. You have a QB that constantly calls out teammates publicly (which has always been a no-no…keep it in house). You have their coaches getting into fights on the field and pulling hair on the sidelines. Then you have Trippin Tomlin, who I feel took the “play on the edge” style of the Steelers and took it too far. If they want to clear out the toxicity, firing Tomlin would be a huge start, but as a Bengals fan, I’m glad they kept him.”

    A Bengals fan claiming they’re happy the Steelers have kept Tomlin. Really? Let’s unpack this. During Tomlin’s time, the Steelers have more playoff appearances (8 to 7), more division titles (6 to 4), more playoff wins (8 to 0), 3 AFC Championship game appearances, 2 SB appearances and have won a SB. They also have a vastly superior regular season record (125-66-1 vs 96-93-3), and Tomlin’s head-to-head record against the Bengals is 20-5, including a playoff win. He’s won the last eight games in a row and has 11 wins in the last 12 against the Bengals.

    Yes, you should be sure glad they’ve kept him. Who Dey? Who cares. They’re irrelevant. First rule of throwing shade. Be on the right side of it.

  23. Deric Gregory says:
    ” … . Then you have Trippin Tomlin, who I feel took the “play on the edge” style of the Steelers and took it too far. If they want to clear out the toxicity, firing Tomlin would be a huge start, but as a Bengals fan, I’m glad they kept him. ”

    I’m so glad to hear a Bengals fan chime in and give his support for keeping Tomlin
    in Pittsburgh. We Sir are in full agreement. Tomlin has been toxic when it comes to the Bengals. He has regular season record of 19-5 against Cincinnati. Does that make it 20-5 if we include the playoff game?
    Why change a good thing.

    As crappy a year as the Steelers have had, they once again swept the hapless Bengals this year. That’s three years in a row, and have now won 8 consecutive games against their self-proclaimed rivals.

    In a disastrous year, the Steelers still went 9-6-1. The striped cats managed 6-10
    after a 4-1 start to the season. Finishing in the cellar of the division, behind the Browns and the Steelers.

    Really, Bengals only claim to being relevant is knocking Antonio Brown senseless with a dirty head shot, and breaking Le’Veon Bell’s knee — twice.

    But yeah, at least we do agree on keeping Tomlin, so the Bengals have a chance.

  24. charliecharger says:
    January 26, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    They brought in a kid named Terrell Owens who was kind of a quiet kid at first, and followed the winning ways of the franchise. Then something happened and he turned into a problem child for the team. Even though he was a pro bowler, and eventual HOFer, the 49ers had to let him go. He ended up bouncing from team to team, and at every stop wore out his welcome. He was pretty much a cancer that needed to be removed.

    ————————————

    Yet Owens went to the playoffs 3 different times (with 2 diff teams) and the Super Bowl once in the 7 years (2004-2010) after he left the 49ers. While the 49ers never sniffed the playoffs nor a winning record in any season during those same 7 years post TO.

  25. What’s with today’s culture that people parrot things like mind numb robots. “Toxic” a cute echo chamber word. We could play a drinking game with how many times that word has been used on such a trivial topic.

    Oh,and AB will find out what Mike Wallace did…that Big Ben maximized your total earnings and numbers.

  26. Brown will keep pushing the envelope as long as the Steelers have no backbone to treat him like the rest of the players on the team. Why should he follow team rules when he knows the team is too chicken-s___ to address his breaking of the rules?

  27. sigbouncer says:
    Yet Owens went to the playoffs 3 different times (with 2 diff teams) and the Super Bowl once in the 7 years (2004-2010) after he left the 49ers. While the 49ers never sniffed the playoffs nor a winning record in any season during those same 7 years post TO.

    ==
    Trying to make uncorrelated numbers say what you want them to is one of the reasons somebody invented the phrase “stats and damned lies.”
    At the time the 49ers jettisoned Terrell Owens they were at the end of a long string of successful seasons, and were falling into upheaval. Those teams very likely wouldn’t have sniffed the playoffs, even with Owens.
    Owens, meanwhile, took his services to two teams with playoff-caliber talent already on the roster. He certainly helped them get better, but neither won a championship with him on the roster.
    Most telling, the Eagles reached a Super Bowl by winning two playoff games in which an injured Owens didn’t even suit up.
    Mix in the turmoil that Owens brought to both teams and your premise falls apart like a house of cards. Great talent, yes. Team player and a winner, no.

  28. AB needs to go. Tomlin has another chance to get the problems straightened out, and he needs to look in the mirror for some of them. I have my doubts that he will accomplish the task, but we will see.

    LOL, at the toxic posers, I mean posters on here. Your anger is obviously misdirected. You should be venting at whatever cellar dweller you root for.

  29. 2 out of 3 “killer B’s” (Brown and Bell) are refusing to play for the Steelers. Bell decided to sit out the year to gain his freedom instead of playing and taking home $20+ million. Both Brown and Bell may be divas and surely deserve some blame, but there has to be some deeply rooted organizational culture issues driving/enabling their behavior.

  30. dregonspengler says:
    January 26, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    sigbouncer says:
    Yet Owens went to the playoffs 3 different times (with 2 diff teams) and the Super Bowl once in the 7 years (2004-2010) after he left the 49ers. While the 49ers never sniffed the playoffs nor a winning record in any season during those same 7 years post TO.

    ==

    Owens, meanwhile, took his services to two teams with playoff-caliber talent already on the roster. He certainly helped them get better

    ———————–

    I see you agree TO made those teams better. Left out the rest of your conjecture.

  31. sigbouncer says:
    January 26, 2019 at 12:47 pm
    Like Tom Brady, Brown entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick. Unlike Brady, the Steelers became so infatuated with Brown’s unexpected abilities that they allowed Brown to exercise liberties at a time when he would have reacted far less aggressively than he is now.

    —————————————————-

    Really? I seem to remember the Patriots not allowing Brady’s personal trainer to continue flying with the team. Not long after this Brady’s backup and heir apparent Jimmy Garappolo was shipped out for far less return than he was worth before the season started. Now once again Brady’s personal trainer is back flying with the team.

    Also Brady skipped out on voluntary workouts this year for the first time to work with his trainer. So Brady = Double Standard as well.

    There’s a big difference which you choose to overlook. Tom Brady doesn’t regularly show up late for team meetings, he doesn’t show up for games close to kick-off time wearing mink coats, etc., etc.

    Literally the only similarity between Brady and Brown is the sixth round selection. The difference is that one is a spoiled diva who hasn’t won anything of significance, the other is a consummate team mate who is widely regarded as one of the very best to ever play the game.

  32. Tomlin wanted to be the “cool dad” and when you play favorites you sometimes create a “spoiled brat” that’s what obviously happened. Not convinced the former and present players were ok with Brown getting preferential treatment that sounds like spin, AB is a great WR but i can’t imagine any team putting up with these kind of antics and rewarding them with the money that Pittsburgh has given him surely the Steelers FO should have done to AB what they did with other problem players, they got rid of them by either trading or flat out cutting them when they got out of control or disruptive to the team and did it sooner than later

  33. campcouch says:
    January 26, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Truth is, JuJu is turning into receiver A and Brown doesn’t like it.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Bingo. This is the entire issue.

  34. billymutt says:
    January 26, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    sigbouncer says:
    January 26, 2019 at 12:47 pm
    Like Tom Brady, Brown entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick. Unlike Brady, the Steelers became so infatuated with Brown’s unexpected abilities that they allowed Brown to exercise liberties at a time when he would have reacted far less aggressively than he is now.

    —————————————————-

    Really? I seem to remember the Patriots not allowing Brady’s personal trainer to continue flying with the team. Not long after this Brady’s backup and heir apparent Jimmy Garappolo was shipped out for far less return than he was worth before the season started. Now once again Brady’s personal trainer is back flying with the team.

    Also Brady skipped out on voluntary workouts this year for the first time to work with his trainer. So Brady = Double Standard as well.

    There’s a big difference which you choose to overlook. Tom Brady doesn’t regularly show up late for team meetings, he doesn’t show up for games close to kick-off time wearing mink coats, etc., etc.

    ————

    Show me where I wrote that their situations were identical? And what does wearing a mink coat have to do with anything? Joe Namath wore a mink coat.

    I simply showed that both Brady and AB have double standards in relation to what is expected of them vs their teammates.

  35. Wow I can NOT believe that no one thinks that Ben has any blame! He should have been gone when the second women claimed rape. They looked the other way then. He’s calling people out in the media? Seems like this has been going on for awhile. Why did they release the best LB they ever had? I seem to remember hearing that he was showing up late, sleeping in meetings and just being a total distraction. So to me it’s the people at the top! I will blame Tomlin! This BS started with his hiring! Maybe the Rooneys haven’t let him deal with it. Either way he didn’t stand up!

  36. sigbouncer says:
    January 26, 2019 at 8:05 pm
    …..

    Show me where I wrote that their situations were identical? And what does wearing a mink coat have to do with anything? Joe Namath wore a mink coat.

    I simply showed that both Brady and AB have double standards in relation to what is expected of them vs their teammates.

    —————————————————————————

    I would say that Brady has earned the right to the double standard. AB hasn’t.

  37. If this is all true and I’m sure it is..fix it. Fire the problem (Mike Tomlin) and do NOT reward AB84 with giving him what he wants. Hire a new and REAL coach who isn’t a friend or buddy with players don’t trade Brown and nake him do his job and he accountable for his actions..fines and even suspension. He’ll get the message or not play football anywhere until he does….

  38. sigbouncer says:
    January 26, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Brady’s backup and heir apparent Jimmy Garappolo was shipped out for far less return than he was worth before the season started.

    Also Brady skipped out on voluntary workouts this year for the first time to work with his trainer. So Brady = Double Standard as well.
    ————————————————————————————-
    First, Garappolo was traded mid-season since that was NE’s last chance to get anything for him before he walked in free agency the next season. Do you understand what that means? It means ANY team could sign him the next year without giving up any picks at all. Frankly, SF got fleeced by giving up the 2nd.

    As for Brady skipping voluntary OTAs – the guy ends up playing into February nearly every year, so of course he needs a frickin’ break in the offseason to recover.

  39. Brown transformed into a diva. I believe it was after that first major contract when things started to turn. That is not uncommon. Some of these guys equate money with power and once they get that big contract they stop doing actual work. Tomlin’s mistake was waiting. He could have benched him after the first incident and kept him off the field doing that until Brown shaped up or was traded. Now, Brown has escalated his stupidity at roughly the same time Bell escalated his. Some of the blame must fall on the HC. Yes, these particular divas are responsible for their own actions but Tomlin failed to adequately discipline either and now both are likely no longer Steelers as soon as actions can be taken.

  40. Broncos’ new HC Vic Fangio called this Death by Inches in his intro presser.

    Tomlin didn’t nip it in the bud and it grew beyond his control.

    Whoever AB’s next coach is will probably have some issues with getting him disciplined. Unless they do the same thing and then, well…

  41. It took a national writer to expose the story . The local Steeler honks that cover the team must of known this but they are to worried that the steeler would get mad an limit their access.

  42. This is a great article. Want to say that FIRST.

    Let’s not nit pick about whether the Steelers = Tomlin, Rooney, the players… Truth is they enabled the bad behavior. Comes back to what James Harrison said about the Steelers lacking discipline.

    It also should be AMAZINGLY clear but somehow not that the team’s success is not just because they have a bunch of expensive athletes. It’s BECAUSE of Tomlin and a bunch of intangible reasons related to how these guys stick together consistently as a team and back their coach and their QB when the press prys. And the fans are a bit … let’s say Loyal and Persistent and … numerous lol… because this is _exactly_ the kind of team you want to root for… for these reasons.

    No doubt- something has to happen. Tomlin has to make changes. But those aren’t just personnel changes. They are personal changes as well. Everyone up to the top has to learn from the mistakes that happened leading up to this. There are lots of great new players – no lack of talent to carry forward. They just need to adjust. And as good parents eventually find out, you ain’t doin your kids any favor by letting them get away with murder. This was just as much bad for Antonio as it was for the Steelers and now they have to learn and move on.

  43. Immature diva player doesn’t play by the rules, but let’s blame the coach. Right, got it.

  44. The Pittsburgh football team has at least learned you cannot pander to prima donna diva snowflakes. From day one you treat everyone the same and you won’t have problems and no one is more special than the other.

  45. carloswlassiter says:
    January 26, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    First, Garappolo was traded mid-season since that was NE’s last chance to get anything for him before he walked in free agency the next season. Do you understand what that means? It means ANY team could sign him the next year without giving up any picks at all. Frankly, SF got fleeced by giving up the 2nd.

    ——————————

    Although there aren’t too many people who have insight into Belichick’s thought process, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan did get to talk to the Patriots coach before the Garoppolo trade went down, and Shanahan is convinced that Belichick didn’t want to trade his backup quarterback. “I know New England wanted to keep him there and keep him on ice before Tom eventually retired,” Shanahan said.

    The trade of Garoppolo was definitely the most shocking move of the 2017 NFL season. The trade was shocking for multiple reasons: For one, the Patriots could’ve gotten more in return (the Browns reportedly offered a first-round pick for Garoppolo’s services). Another thing that made the move shocking is the fact that the Patriots basically spent their entire 2017 offseason insisting that they weren’t going to trade Garoppolo, only to turn around and trade him one day before the deadline.

    Belichick has never explained to anyone why he made the trade, including his own team, and as noted by Sports Illustrated, “even longtime players and staff members have no idea what went into the decision.”

  46. AB will be 31 in July, I just don’t how many teams would want to take on all AB’s baggage for a player that old. Plus pay him like that.

  47. I wonder how much Brown, Bell & Ben’s actions hurt this team last year. Or was it the coaching staff’s fault? Both? They should have won more games than 9 games. Something is rotten in the Steel city.

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