Mike Tomlin: We can’t do this with hostages; we need volunteers

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The Steelers traded Antonio Brown, and they lost Le'Veon Bell in free agency. Neither divorce was amicable.

Whether the Steelers are “better off” is yet to be determined, but at least one fact is undeniable: The two playmakers contributed a combined 2,409 touches for 19,322 yards and 116 touchdowns in their years in Pittsburgh.

“I think it has been highly chronicled, and I think it has been too chronicled,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Monday, via Mark Kaboly of TheAthletic.com. “Some things have been said that may or may not have been true. All I know is neither one of those guys are members of our team anymore.

“Relationships run their course, and the fact that neither one of them are here speaks to that.”

Tomlin said “there’s too much talk” about the players’ departures but understands winning football games is the only way to end that.

On March 10, the Steelers agreed to send Brown to the Raiders for third- and fifth-round picks. That seems hardly enough for one of the best players in football as the Pro Bowl receiver contributed 11,207 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns in his nine seasons in Pittsburgh.

But all good things must end, and after last season, Brown was ready for a new employer, and the Steelers were ready to be rid of the drama.

“We can’t do this with hostages, man. We need volunteers,” Tomlin said. “We need good players, good guys who want to be here and if guys can’t check those boxes, it’s probably best for all parties involved to go our separate ways.”

Brown complained often and loudly in the offseason about a lack of respect from the Steelers. Tomlin was asked about the belief that he treated Brown differently, which led to at least part of the fissure.

“I don’t know in what ways you are referring, but certainly I treat people fairly,” Tomlin said. “I don’t aspire to treat everybody exactly the same. That’s just the reality of how I function.”

62 responses to “Mike Tomlin: We can’t do this with hostages; we need volunteers

  1. “We can’t do this with hostages, man. We need volunteers,” Tomlin said.
    ================================================

    You need leadership. Currently there is none on any level.

  2. Tomlin says he wants drama to end, but continues to talk about the drama and stir things up.

  3. Neither one of those two players were on the Steelers when Ben Roethlisberger won his two super bowls. So the important piece is still there. Mike Tomlin has won a super bowl and he’s still there. I have nothing against Antonio Brown. I think a change of scenery was exactly what he needed. But Tomlin is right. If guys don’t want to be there, or if they want to hold you hostage for more money, release them. The Steelers have won six super bowls. They know how to run a franchise.

  4. “That seems hardly enough for one of the best players in football as the Pro Bowl receiver contributed 11,207 receiving yards and 74 touchdowns in his nine seasons in Pittsburgh.”
    =====================

    He’s 31. Pittsburgh got his prime years and traded away someone heading into the back end of his career. How many 30+ year old WRs have put up Pro Bowl numbers again or was better than his 20’s?

    His value is what he will do next few seasons, not what he’s already done. A 3rd and a 5th is great for a 2-yr rental.

  5. Michael E says: “You need leadership. Currently there is none on any level.”
    ========================

    Tomlin is 125-66-1 (.654) as head coach, second only to the GOAT Belichick. Has a Super Bowl ring.

    The HORROR!!!! Off with his head!!!

  6. We already have one year without Bell. The running game improved by every statistical measure and the offense improved by every statistical measure with a cheaper, younger RB core. It’s not a guess.
    It’s to be determined with AB in 2019.
    At least try to be factual when you can…

  7. akira1971 says:
    March 25, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Tomlin is 125-66-1 (.654) as head coach, second only to the GOAT Belichick. Has a Super Bowl ring.

    The HORROR!!!! Off with his head!!!

    ——————

    They’re 5-6 in the playoffs since the 2009 season, and that ring is past a decade old. Kind of the only stat that matters if you’re the Steelers.

  8. They still have the best coach and QB in their division. I wouldn’t count the Steelers out just yet.

  9. One said he was disrespected, and the other complained about not being allowed to play video games and music. Neither wants to be in Steel town but neither has a Super Bowl ring. Big Ben has 2 rings, only one of 12 quarterbacks who have more than 1. Big Ben is more likely to have another ring than either Brown or Bell getting their first one ever before they are done with football.

  10. The quarterback makes the coach. Tomlin has shown he can not motivate and if he does not make the playoffs his time will be up in Pittsburgh.

  11. akira1971 says:
    March 25, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Tomlin is 125-66-1 (.654) as head coach, second only to the GOAT Belichick. Has a Super Bowl ring.

    The HORROR!!!! Off with his head!!!

    ——————

    They’re 5-6 in the playoffs since the 2009 season, and that ring is past a decade old. Kind of the only stat that matters if you’re the Steelers.

    ———————————–
    Winning championships matters to every team, not just the Steelers. But if it were all that mattered, I think some other teams would be a little upset as well. After all, the Cowboys haven’t won a championship since 1996, the 49ers since 1995, the Redskins since 1992–all have multiple Lombardi trophies but haven’t whiffed a championship in far longer than a decade. Meanwhile, Tomlin has won two AFC championships and one Super Bowl–all without Brown or Bell. We’re doing just fine.

  12. Coach cliché strikes again. Tomlin’s first super was with Jaws team. The game plan was simple. Hand off to the bus and let the D do their job. For all of you that praise Ben he set a Super Bowl record for lowest Q.B.R. rating at 22.6 %. How does that feel?

  13. Tomlin has a decent regular season record, however when it comes to playoffs, winning big games, winning must win games, winning at home, well hes OK, just ok.

    Its inside the 3 minutes of a close game that Tomlin gets all soft in his decision making, clock management and to some extent bad play calling. He with Ben can often be the steelers worse enemy.

    Steelers were a favorite for gettig deep into the playoffs, instead they puke on their shoes. They were one win above the browns last year. This year we will see just how good Tomlin is as a coach. I predict the Ravens and Browns will make the play offs and the steelers won’t.

  14. Volunteers??? I sort of get what he means but that’s just bad. How about a coach who can control a star (diva) WR? A coach who can control the franchise QB? How about a GM who understands the salary cap? What if together they planned things in advance for the salary
    cap purposes? Jettisoned guys in advance of them costing too much and causing locker-room or on field tantrums? It’s called planning ahead, it’s called controlling your guys, as best you can.

  15. too bad it took you 18 months to learn that lesson. Using LB the way you did then franchising him so you don’t have to contract was total BS.

  16. Neither one of those two players were on the Steelers when Ben Roethlisberger won his two super bowls. So the important piece is still there.

    Lol really? You still think he has any shot at winning a SB?

  17. Awwww, deb and Akira…that’s sooooo cute!!!!

    Guess his playoff record since he stopped letting Arians run the show?

    Even better…guess how many “AFC Championships” his incompetent ass has won!

  18. Brown complained often and loudly in the offseason about a lack of respect from the Steelers.

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

    I have yet to heat a team say, “ooh you are right Mr. Underappreciated Player! We will fix that right away!”

    You are a professional. You do the job for the money, not appreciation. That’s just a nice to have.

  19. Winning championships matters to every team, not just the Steelers. But if it were all that mattered, I think some other teams would be a little upset as well. After all, the Cowboys haven’t won a championship since 1996, the 49ers since 1995, the Redskins since 1992–all have multiple Lombardi trophies but haven’t whiffed a championship in far longer than a decade. Meanwhile, Tomlin has won two AFC championships and one Super Bowl–all without Brown or Bell. We’re doing just fine.

    ————————–

    You guys had a top 3 wide out, a top 3 RB and a top 5 QB for years. How many SBs did you win? How many SBs did you make it to? The Cowboys, 49ers and Redskins all have bad owners. What do you think Belly-Check would have done with the “Killer-Bs”?

    The Steelers have been good, but they could have been more than just the foil for the Patriots in the playoffs.

  20. Bell and Brown chased dollars, period. Save the them wanting to win or be respected garbage. The only cared about getting paid. Proof is in both securing fat paychecks with garbage organizations.

  21. Clearly, Tomlin couldn’t win over Bell or Brown. He’s not a good leader. No one will question if Gruden can handle Broan. Time to fire Tomlin, otherwise there will be more Bells n Browns.

  22. This team drafts pretty much 99% but some reason they cant put it together. Along with Patriots being their crypternite. I wish my team could draft almost perfect

  23. ““We can’t do this with hostages, man. We need volunteers,” Tomlin said. “We need good players, good guys who want to be here and if guys can’t check those boxes, it’s probably best for all parties involved to go our separate ways.””

    —-

    What if the good players think you are a clown and hate your quarterback?

  24. tylawspick6 says:

    March 25, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    most overrated coach since dungy
    —————————-
    What have the Colts done before Dungy got there and after Dungy left? Also Dungy helped build the Tampa Bay team. Get a clue dude.

  25. akira1971 says:

    March 25, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Michael E says: “You need leadership. Currently there is none on any level.”
    ========================

    Tomlin is 125-66-1 (.654) as head coach, second only to the GOAT Belichick. Has a Super Bowl ring.

    The HORROR!!!! Off with his head!!!
    ———————–
    Exactly. I would love to see how the Steelers look when Tomlin is gone. I’m sure it will be a dumpster fire.

  26. Tomlin is great for quotes…not so much head coaching

    259

    I guess Jimmy doesn’t like facts….check Tomlins record……it will be the brightest thing you have ever done. Facts are really amazing things if you don’t ignor them.

  27. Those two guys weren’t the problem. Tomlin is the problem.
    He’s so busy being everybody’s buddy that he lacks the will to exercise any kind of discipline.
    He’s the reason why the Bell/Brown situations escalated into circuses in the first place.
    Whether you love or hate the Patriots, can you imagine a locker room situation getting this out of hand in NE? Neither can I.

  28. The gig is up for Tomlin. He enabled this band of “me first” guys to run roughshod over the organization. It finally caught up to him. The coach needs to go next.

  29. This is Tomlin’s last chance. If he can salvage this and put together a great season the problem will be seen as Brown and Bell. If he loses the division to Cleveland or Balt and misses the playoffs he’s done.

  30. This is Tomlin’s last chance. If he can salvage this and put together a great season the problem will be seen as Brown and Bell. If he loses the division to Cleveland or Balt and misses the playoffs he’s done.

    0
    So you have the power to fire him.? Who do you suggest is better to replace him? Tomlin has accomplished a lot at a very young age and is still learning so he has a tremendous upside. His players love playing for him and respect him for the most part. I can hear the trolls say what about Bell and Brown. Well about them? There are 53 men on the team times 12 years as head coach….about 800 players right? So two divas don’t make him a bad coach unless you cant figure how I got to 600, which a lot of you wont.

  31. Facts are facts. Tomlin has the 27th most wins by an NFL head coach and the 15th best winning percentage in NFL history, to go along with his multiple super bowl appearances and super bowl victory. He’s also never had a losing record in his career, something not even Belichick can claim. He and the Steelers will keep winning like they always do.

  32. The Steelers already moved on from Bell a year ago and did better last season with Conner. As far as AB leaving, need i remind you…

    Plaxico Burress left, replaced by Santonio Holmes. Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes traded away…(Oh no! what will Pitt do?) …enter Mike Wallace. Wallace wants out from the Steelers for a pay day, Antonio Brown is the next man up. AB forces his way out of Pittsburgh…they already have Ju-Ju on the team.

    The Steelers are “imploding” right now according to lots of haters… but in reality Bell’s absence was already accounted for long ago, and Pittsburgh replaces receivers better than anyone in the league. They’ve done it countless times and they will do it again.

  33. jman967 says:
    March 25, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    We already have one year without Bell. The running game improved by every statistical measure and the offense improved by every statistical measure with a cheaper, younger RB core. It’s not a guess.
    It’s to be determined with AB in 2019.
    At least try to be factual when you can…

    ——————————————

    Every statistical measure?

    -Pitt ran for about 100 less yards as a team last year vs 2017.
    -James Conner didn’t break 1,000 yards, Leveon has never had a full season with less than 1,000 yards.
    -Leveon had 74 FD runs alone 2017, Samuels and Conner had 69 combined 2018.

    I mean, aside from team yards per attempt (which was a difference of .4 yards) I’d say that Pittsburgh rushing was worse by every statistical measure.

  34. Nofoolnodrool says:
    March 26, 2019 at 10:00 am
    This is Tomlin’s last chance. If he can salvage this and put together a great season the problem will be seen as Brown and Bell. If he loses the division to Cleveland or Balt and misses the playoffs he’s done.
    0
    So you have the power to fire him.? Who do you suggest is better to replace him? Tomlin has accomplished a lot at a very young age and is still learning so he has a tremendous upside. His players love playing for him and respect him for the most part. I can hear the trolls say what about Bell and Brown. Well about them? There are 53 men on the team times 12 years as head coach….about 800 players right? So two divas don’t make him a bad coach unless you cant figure how I got to 600, which a lot of you wont.
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    Well to be honest I was trying to figure out how you came up with 800 in the first place. In your hurry to belittle people you don’t know and will never meet face to face you made a typo. I know, shocking! Mr.Perfect, Mr.Know-it-All made a mistake.

  35. Well to be honest I was trying to figure out how you came up with 800 in the first place. In your hurry to belittle people you don’t know and will never meet face to face you made a typo. I know, shocking! Mr.Perfect, Mr.Know-it-All made a mistake.

    0
    Well not really. 800 would be close ousting all the players including those in training camp, and 600 or so for regular season. But thanks for nitpicking the truth. Who is belittling people? If you say something stupid and unsupported with fats you should expect some honest feedback which you may not like. Ice up Francis its a tough world out there.

  36. This team went down the crapper when they threw Villanueva under the bus for wanting to see the anthem. It really showed the lack of leadership at any level of the team. Since it seems Ben is calling all the shots and Tomlin and Gilbert are his puppets (Like Jerry does with his coach clappy) the best and only thing the Rooney’s could do to start winning again is to get rid of all three. It is really going to suck in Pittsburgh when the Browns and Ravens are fighting to win the division and they are fighting with Cincinnati for who is the worse.

  37. Tomlin really equated highly compensated mercenaries with volunteers and doesn’t understand all contracted employees (including him) are essentially hostages? The fact that most are willing hostages doesn’t change that.

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