PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin took issue with his backup quarterback Mason Rudolph being “accused” of using racial slurs during a game in Cleveland last season.
A physical altercation resulted in a melee between the Steelers and Browns during the 2019 season where Browns defensive end Myles Garrett forcibly removed Rudolph’s helmet and proceeded to hit him over the head with it. With 8-seconds left to play in the game, Garrett was ejected and suspended for the remaining 6 games of the season.
Coach Tomlin appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” to voice his opinion on the matter and to discuss the allegations against Mason Rudolph:
Steelers’ Head Coach Tomlin released the following statement:
I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on that field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game. I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organization – players and coaches. If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns’ organization. In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — I’m sick of all of the “Tomlin didn’t maximize his talent” arguments in Pittsburgh.
Let’s look at the record:
2007: 1st year as head coach, he wins the AFC North but loses momentum and playoff game at home with last-second FG. This was AFTER the NFL’s leading rusher broke his leg in week 15 or 16 (i.e., “Fast” Willie Parker, he of the SB rushing record for longest TD run back in SB XL). Also- his franchise QB throws a pick-6 #ugh.
2008: Won SB as 2nd year coach.
2009: Team collapsed at the end of the year to miss the playoffs. SB hangover. I’ll concede that point. BAD loss to the Raiders at home.
2010: Made it to the SB. Lost to Aaron Rodgers after a(nother) Big Ben pick-6 (no one brings that up) and a bad fumble by Mendenhall (sp). Still lost by 6. Also got to the SB with a banged-up Troy Polamalu, who was the NFL Defensive MVP that was hurt late in the season versus the Bengals (apparently on a pick-6 return).
2011: Lost the Tebow game when his team was VERY banged up. Ryan Clark (starting safety) couldn’t play in Denver after almost dying the last time up there (sickle cell trait). Mendenhall tore his ACL in the past game of the regular season. Multiple injuries everywhere during that game. That was still a 12-4 team.
2012: Big Ben was injured for 3-4 games that year. Missed the playoffs.
2013: Started the season 0-4, including a bad loss in London to MIN. Went 8-4 (67%) the rest of the way, was one missed FG away from making the playoffs by the Chiefs in week 17.
2014: Lost home playoff game after Le’Veon Bell was hurt in the last game of the regular season on a Sunday night (Cincy). This was the LeGarrette Blount season.
2015: Lost to the eventual SB champs (a team with a historic defensive) in the divisional round after Le’Veon Bell was lost for the year (knee vs Cincy again), AB was lost (Cincy concussion game), and Ben was playing with a bad shoulder (also hurt in the Cincy game). Oh, yeah: the backup RB (De’Angelo Williams) was out for the year as well, hurt in the last regular season game vs. Cleveland. Still was one bad fumble away from likely winning that game. Also: their all-Pro center was out for the year.
2016: Went to the AFC Champ game with a hurt Le’Veon Bell. Lost to eventual SB champs. Played the tail end of this season without one of his best defensive players – Cam Heyward (hurt late season).
(***By the way: anyone seeing a theme with some of these late-season IR-leading injuries to top-flight players?!?!
How does Tomlin get blame for that? His fault for foot fractures, tore ACLs, or broken legs?)
2017: With a 13-3 team, lost in divisional round after losing the heart of their defense one month prior (i.e., remember that the Shazier injury was 13 days BEFORE the NE game), causing their defensive to go from top 8 defense in the league to mediocre AT BEST. Gave up 45 points at home with a dude at MLB (Sean Spence) that sat roughly 12 games of the season on the couch. Still should NOT have been in that JAX game (i.e., should have been the #1 seed playing a BAD TEN team) if not for the “Jesse James” game and HORRIBLE Big Ben INT after the James reversal (again, no one talks about that HORRIBLE decision by a $100m QB…some of these “Tomlin losses” have been due to the QB being “a gunslinger” and losing winnable games much like Brett Favre…another QB who could easily have more rings if his style of play afforded better decisions)
BTW: lost that NE game at home without their best CB (Haden was hurt), best LB (Shazier) and the league’s best WR (Brown was hurt early in that game)…still lost because of James reversal and the bad QB decision afterwards.
2018: 9-6-1 after bad losses mid-season. I’ll give you that. Also will note that Conner was hurt and out for 3 games – when he was playing at a Pro Bowl-level. Bell was out (i.e., his own decision), and Brown was a huge headache all year long. That said: they went from possible #1 seed to missing the playoffs pretty fast.
2019: 8-8 with Duck Hodges (i.e., a 4th string QB to start training camp) and Mason Rudolph (i.e., 3rd string QB in 2018) at QB. JuJu missed 4 games. Conner missed 6 games and left during a 7th. Pouncey missed a game.
My point? I know…injuries happen to everyone. However, how many teams lose Pro Bowl-caliber talent late in the season and then do well (i.e., win multiple games) in the playoffs?
I have been a Steelers supporter as a native Pittsburgher. I wish that they won a few more SBs with this QB there. However, let’s be honest: things haven’t completely fallen into place with this team. This year showed us that there’s a drop-off from best WR or top-5 QB in the league to “next man up”, despite “…the standard is the standard…” Same is true for top-5 LB (Shazier in 2017), top-10 DL (Heyward), top-5 C (Pouncey), top-3 RB (Bell/Conner/Parker), and top-tier CB (Haden).
NE has never made it to the SB without a) playing in a division that was quite the opposite as the competitive AFC North (which often sent THREE teams to the playoffs between 2008-2015), having the 1st round bye, and not losing key components (minus not having Gronk in 2016) late in the season. Their “reign of terror” has so much to do with playing in that LOUSY division for 20 years (i.e., never more than 2 teams in the playoffs at one time – and usually only NE went) than anything else.
The AFC North has had (minus Cleveland) some of the most talented and competitive football (and vicious hitting as well) over the past 20 years. Tomlin has been here for the majority of it and has multiple championships (division, conference, and SB) despite it…and the ill-fated injuries that come with all of that to boot.
Can some of us please just stop it with the “Tomlin hasn’t done enough” rhetoric? If 2019 won’t shut you up, please take a look at this year – and the whole record – to get more of why you might not completely get it (i.e., know what you’re talking about/have a waning memory based on your Yinzerism)
…just seems like something some Pittsburghers and some of #SteelerNation should give up on as a New Year’s Resolution for 2020.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Informally known as, “The Chin,” former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers Bill Cowher was officially elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Donning a record of, 149–90–1 (161–99–1 including the postseason) and 1-1 in Super Bowl wins (Won Super Bowl XL), Cowher will forever be among football’s elite.
He was notified in a surprise appearance by David Baker, President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame during CBS’ “The NFL Today” where is a weekly analyst.
What a special honor to have David Baker visit me on the set of @NFLonCBS last night. I was totally surprised and taken aback. This honor is truly humbling, having been included with so many worthy candidates. The journey was shared with so many…(1 of 2) https://t.co/vMHjTqSbtI
Statement by Steelers President Art Rooney II on Bill Cowher: Congratulations to Bill Cowher on his election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One of our most successful coaches in team history, Bill’s energy and dedication for coaching was evident in every practice and every game. His Pittsburgh roots were perfect for our organization because he knew the history and passion of our fans, and he wanted to bring a Super Bowl back to his hometown. He accomplished that feat in dramatic fashion in Super Bowl XL. Bill was always a family man and made the tough decision to walk away from coaching at a young age to focus on them. I am so happy for his entire family, and I’m sure this summer in Canton will be a special time for Bill and all of Steelers Nation.
I am so happy for Bill Cowher. Bill had an incredible career and left his mark on the @steelers organization, Pittsburgh and the NFL. The @ProFootballHOF got themselves a great addition with @CowherCBS. Congrats Bill. You deserve this great honor.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Can I say it? Can I just go…ahead…and say it?
The very things that you “seemingly hate” about Tomlin and the “…a good coach like John Harbaugh would never do…” things, came out in full force Saturday night in the 28-12 loss to the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
For some examples (among many):
* Unlike Tomlin, a good coach like Harbaugh would NEVER lose a home playoff game after gaining home field advantage in the playoffs, much less after lording over a 14-2 football team that dominated the league all season,
* Unlike Tomlin, a good coach like Harbaugh would NEVER allow his obviously-more-talented football team to come out “flat” (e.g., go down 14-0 at home to a 9-7 #6 seed),
* or “uninspired” (e.g., how do you not get a 4th-and-1 or a 4th-and-inches while fighting for your playoff lives),
* or “undisciplined” (e.g., did you see Humpreys bite on that double move for the long TD pass that led to the 14-0 lead),
* nor would he make “unforgivable coaching decisions” (e.g., really? you go for it on a 4th-and-inches in YOUR OWN TERRITORY down 7-0 to a QB that barely threw for 100 yards the weekend before…with the #4 defense in the league AT HOME?!?!? Better still, why the heck would you kill what little momentum and hope you’d gain from FINALLY scoring a TD in the 4th Q by going for two, not getting it, then KICKING OFF DEEP while down by 2 TD’s?!?!?),
* or allow his team to “under-perform” or “play down to the competition” (e.g., Blake Bortles….I mean, Ryan Tannehill is a journeyman QB that has thrown for less than 250 yards in TWO NFL PLAYOFF GAMES) with a #4-ranked defense that KNEW that the ONLY REAL THREAT that the Titans had was the running game with Leonard Fournette….I mean, Derrick Henry,
I mean: you have the NFL MVP ON YOUR TEAM (Lamar Jackson) and the #4 defense in the NFL as well as home field advantage and facing a #6 seed that lost to the Panthers, Broncos and Jaguars this season, and you lose by 16?
Of course, I’m being a little sarcastic here — while pointing out only SOME of the items that happened last night in the Ravens’ horrendous loss.
At the same time, for all of you that love to point out “Tomlin’s flaws” yet put Harbaugh on a high pedestal over him as a “much better coach,” please check out what happened last night, as that loss was at least as bad as the 2017 Jags loss at Heinz Field.
Remember that Tomlin has never had 2 Hall of Fame players on his Defense at the same time (i.e., Harbaugh won with Ed Reed/Ray Lewis…”someone else’s players”) or a Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback in Joe Flacco.
Tomlin is 2-1 vs. Harbaugh in the playoffs, including a loss without MVP running back that was injured 6 days earlier.
Both guys are good coaches. The stats are there as to who has done better in the same division and almost with the same mirror-image teams of each other (especially earlier in the rivalry).
After watching that fiasco last night, I ask (some of) you not to let “other items” get in the way of your “analysis” of the Tomlin/Harbaugh debate. Not all of you do this, but some folks do – and we kinda all know what’s going on with those that do.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — As the new year begins and sounds of “Auld Lang Syne” slowly fades away, we take a look back on 2019 at a player that has earned his spot in high school football’s elite.
Standing at 6′ 3,” 250 pounds, Dayon Hayes has been a dominating force in ways that set him apart from the pack.
The Westinghouse Bulldogs’ standout defensive end has made a name for himself on the gridiron, raising the eyebrows of recruits across the nation. His stature, coupled with the ability to have an explosive break on the ball, has been second to none and his statistics show how dominating he has been throughout his high school career.
Hayes spoke exclusively to Golden Sky Media saying, “My Westinghouse experience is great and I wouldn’t want to be any other place than here, because the history is so great.”
Westinghouse Academy, which has a rich history of musicians, physicians, politicians, attorneys, scholars, members of the media and of course athletes, is a staple of not only Pittsburgh but has history that can rival institutions around the world.
As far as football goes, Hayes told us that he is thrilled to be named among the giants that have donned the halls of the Blue and Gold. “It’s been a long time since there has been something good happening at Westinghouse — like a football championship — and I’m just glad I’m a part of turning Westinghouse’s program around.”
For the past 23 years, Westinghouse has been fighting for the chance to hoist the trophy and stand alone as the kings of the city. For the first time since 1996, they accomplished that goal with the help of Hayes.
Bulldogs’ head coach Donta Green speaks on behalf of the entire coaching staff saying of Hayes, “He’s everything a coach wants in a player. He has amazing work ethic and is a joy to be around!”
Flanked by traditional chants by Westinghouse faithful, “There’s a House, up on a Hill, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go,” his team won the 2019 City League Championship over USO 12-2 at George K. Cupples Stadium on Pittsburgh’s Southside. Westinghouse had 36 active players on the roster and won its 36th championship in school history.
Green, a man that puts no one player above the team, took to social media after the win, praising his entire team’s performance in addition to their academic achievements, “These young people worked hard both in the classroom and the field to make this day happen! Coach loves you guys and I salute each and every one of you for your sacrifice and dedication.” –Donta Green, via Facebook.
DeWayne Brown is the founder of 2/10ths Speed and Agility, which is an extreme workout regimen, that trains athletes from youth football to the professional ranks who have interest in gaining physical and mental awareness in their respective sports. He has worked with Hayes in the past in the area of positional drills to increasing footwork.
Brown has seen many athletes grow within his program and when it comes to Hayes, Brown said his technique and ability to excel is one of the best he’s seen. “Dayon is an elite athlete with an elite 1st step that will translate on all levels of football,” Brown said of Hayes. “Once he puts everything together mentality — with all his physical components — he will be one of those special players.”
Brown, raving about Hayes’ ability says, if things line up the way they should, “He has all the tools to get to the NFL. He’s very teachable. You give him a directive and he’ll execute it. He’s also a fast learner.”
Hayes officially committed to the University of Pittsburgh and will be sure to find playing time with the Panthers. He will most likely see the field early in his college career.
COURTESY: PITT LIVEWIRE
Sean McCaskill is founder of Dream Chaser 5 (DC5) which develops middle and high school athletes dreaming about becoming the next 5-star defensive back. McCaskill trains those who aspire to become successful in the secondary but has “…never had the pleasure of working” with Hayes. However, as an ardent scout of talent, he has watched Hayes develop and shared favorable remarks about his character.
“So many athletes love the lifestyle, but [Hayes] learned to embrace the process to becoming great,” McCaskill said. “It’s extremely difficult to bet against a player like him, because he’s willing to do those things that everyone is not willing to do. He’s about to be coached by arguably the best D-Line coach in college football, Coach Charlie Partridge at Pitt.”
Hayes was “thrilled and pleasantly surprised” about becoming the 2019 Golden Sky Media “Golden Player of the Year,” saying, “I’m very happy about it! This is something new and I’m glad to be apart of this and happy to be the player of the year.”
Not making this accolade about himself, he has advice for younger players who are watching him and coming through the ranks themselves, “You can do anything you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter where you go to school because everyone told me I couldn’t do what I’m doing now,” Hayes said. “I just got on my grind and accomplished some of my goals and that was gettingscholarships to schools and my favorite one [Pitt], too.”
Hayes is an honor-roll student first, a blue-chip player second and now the recipient of the inaugural “Golden Player of the Year” award, granted by Golden Sky Media.