The end of the 2018 season was not a good one for the Steelers as they missed the playoffs and saw dysfunction take center stage thanks to wide receiver Antonio Brown skipping out on practice during the final week of the year.
Brown is gone in a trade to the Raiders and running back Le'Veon Bell has also moved on after sitting out all of last season, which has led plenty of players to weigh in about how much clearer the air around the team has been this offseason. Head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t join in that chorus, however.
Tomlin said last month that any change in “chemistry or culture” won’t reveal itself until the team faces adversity. In a recent interview with Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, Tomlin said he’s not going to make any pronouncements about how that will play out.
“I acknowledge that there are some significant changes, but talking about it is not going to dictate the outcome,” Tomlin said. “You won’t hear a lot of bold predictions from us. That is not our style; that is not appropriate. We know that we are judged based on performance anyway.”
Should that performance fail to reach expectations, it wouldn’t reflect well on Tomlin and could impact his job security. The coach insists that’s not changing his approach in response to that state of affairs.
“I shaped my reputation in this business and this outlook in this business being singularly focused on the task at hand,” Tomlin said. “So I’d be kidding you if I told you I had a certain edge because of what happened in 2018. I just have a certain edge because I better have a certain edge.”
That edge has worked well for Tomlin in the past and he’ll need it to work well for him again this year to avoid any “bold predictions” about what the Steelers might do in an effort to rediscover their footing.