Main takeaways from Mike Tomlin’s Wednesday Press Conference:
1. Tomlin, as expected, was on the defensive about the Antonio Brown fake knee injury, calling it a real injury to obviously protect the Steelers from league discipline, though, it became clear by Tomlin’s comments that even if he was telling the truth and the team thought Brown had an actual injury at one point, the team obviously became fully aware by Saturday morning that the injury was pretty much made up by Brown when Brown went AWOL and skipped the scheduled MRI on Friday.
2. As the press conference dragged on and by the time it ended, it became clear Tomlin and the Steelers have finally reached a breaking point with Brown and a trade is very much going to be in play as it should be.
3. The mystery remains we’re the Steelers really going to try to hide this story if they would have snuck in the playoffs? It sure seems that way. This only got out because of players in that room.
League Chatter: Steelers will trade Antonio Brown
As Brown is forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, the prevailing sense around the league is the Steelers indeed will trade Brown this off-season.Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
Trading Antonio Brown has to become a reality
Chemistry matters when you want to be in the Super Bowl discussion and the Steelers have none of it. Egos have brought this team down year after year and it continued in 2018.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) January 1, 2019
Football is the ultimate team game. Things have finally reached the point where the Steelers brass has to look in the mirror and come to the realization that superstar talent isn’t winning out against the drama and division in the room these certain individuals are creating.
That’s where Antonio Brown comes into play.
Mike Tomlin is getting a ton of heat for not being able to control Brown, but the reality is Kevin Colbert is the one who created this monster when it comes to Brown getting away in doing what he wants and knowing there would be no repercussions.
Word on the inside is that Colbert is notorious for cuddling Brown behind the scenes, dictating the organization’s message every time Brown acts up which is about every week, team sources say, and even tried to push in letting Brown play until Mike Tomlin finally won out in sitting him down after heated conversations between Tomlin/Colbert,
Things are said to have gotten so bad that Mike Tomlin late in the season didn’t even take the energy to confront Brown in front of the team or address the team about Brown’s antics when Brown skipped meetings during the Saints week because Tomlin’s hands have been so tied from those above him when it comes to dealing with Brown.
Players are widely aware of that being the case and it’s a reason so much talk is coming that managing the egos in the room — Antonio Brown — is on the players and nobody else.
— Antonio Brown quit on his teammates. He quit on the organization.
How can this team just turn a blind eye?
It’s reached the point where they just can’t but will the Steelers organization actually do something about it?
They think this group is so close to a Super Bowl when they’re not.
As difficult a trade might look on paper, there are General Manager’s chomping at the bit to potentially trade for Brown.
The $21 million dead money cap hit is obviously being looked at as a major detriment to a trade but saving $15 million in actual cash combined with a couple draft picks has it’s pros for the Steelers.
And don’t start this talk that Brown’s not replaceable.
THE STEELERS HAVE 3 PLAYOFFS WINS SINCE THE 2011 SEASON AND HAVE MISSED THE PLAYOFFS IN THREE OUT OF THE LAST SEVEN SEASONS, A PERIOD WHERE ANTONIO BROWN HAS BEEN PLAYING AT AN ALL-TIME GREAT LEVEL.
The Steelers haven’t exactly morphed into the Montana-Rice 49ers here during this great Antonio Brown era.
That is the problem with this organization during the last 5-6 year stretch. They think they’ve been much more successful than they’ve actually been.
—Sticking with the company Line?—
The message the Steelers decide to put out starting Wednesday with Mike Tomlin’s press conference will be fascinating to watch but it will likely be the same old boring company line……..
‘Antonio Brown isn’t being traded, we’ll work things out; Story has been overblown; We Want Antonio to retire a Steeler’……..
Whatever Tomlin says about Brown is going to be coming from the top.
Next week when Kevin Colbert speaks along with Art Rooney II, it will likely also be more of the same + few would be surprised if Colbert/Rooney leave the door open to tagging Le’Veon Bell again.
It figures to be like groundhog day again with the Steelers organization.
Let’s hope for some fireworks, though, because this group needs drastically changed than more of the same in 2019.
— The Fake Knee Injury —
The Steelers look really bad on the fake injury they tried to portray to the media. They even gave out bogus info to the top insiders out there like Adam Schefter who were reporting Sunday morning that Brown’s knee was feeling better and his chances of playing were improving.
What did they think, the true story wasn’t going to get out?
Here’s guessing they gambled if they got into the playoffs, Brown deciding to take a week off wouldn’t get out.
Especially with how many core players despise Brown still makes it stunning. It was eventually going to come out no matter what. Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
Ravens 26 – Browns 24 (F)
1st and 10 at the Ravens 39 yard line with a 1:20 left in the 4th quarter, the Cleveland Browns were driving and had the city of Pittsburgh on the edge of their seat in that Cleveland might actually get the Steelers to the playoffs…….
Three straight incompletions by Baker Mayfield, though, including missing a wide open Jarvis Landry on an 8 yard out on 2nd and 10, doomed Cleveland as Mayfield would be picked off by C.J. Mosley on 4th and 10 as Mosley delivered a 26-24 Ravens win and crushed the Steelers playoff chances.
Eliminated from winning the AFC North, Pittsburgh’s only chance at making the playoffs is for the Colts-Titans to tie tonight on SNF.
The Pittsburgh Steelers 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints was as crushing as it could get.
The Steelers backed themselves up against a wall with so many inexcusable losses to the likes of Oakland, Denver, the collapse against the Chargers to tying Hue Freaking Jacksons Cleveland Browns in week 1, that what the Steelers showed these last two weeks is what made the loss to New Orleans so devastating.
This team is good enough to win a Super Bowl, especially in this AFC. How could you not watch this team yesterday against the NFC favorite in their barn and not think that.
In a year where there is no dominant team in the AFC and each contender having a number of flaws, this is setting up as the biggest missed opportunity in the Tomlin/Colbert era.
We can debate for days whether the game stolen by the refs, but the Steelers should have never put themselves in this position where they had to rely on having to beat New England and New Orleans to likely get in.
Whether it’s coaching to the players, this team constantly found a way this season to trip over their own feet in pressure situations.
That’s the biggest thing that has to be evaluated after the season if ownership decides to make a deep evaluation of the organization.
This is such a fascinating season in how many missed opportunities they had.
You can list about 20 of them:
Just alone, Chris Boswell makes a couple short field goals/extra points, they’re easily two wins better. The turnovers in high pressure situations is more than just bad luck.
The coaching staff has surely been exposed in some of these high pressure situations that the Steelers are losing, 2-4 in their last six games (all one score games), but Mike Tomlin doesn’t fumble the ball, miss field goals or thrown in-excusable INTs in the end zone to lose a game you should never lose.
Tomlin’s job absolutely should be closely looked at this off-season, Kevin Colbert even more so with how poorly he’s drafted, lack of preparedness for the running back situation, ect, though, both of these are discussions for when the season is officially over.
This collapse is still more towards those on the field just crumbling late in games.
The 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers may have nine lives, though, and as bad as this team have underachieved, if they find a way to get in, they can do some damage.
Don’t rule out Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns upsetting the Ravens. Mayfield is on a mission every week to make Hue Jackson look like a joke and you got a Browns interim coaching staff coaching for a long-term job. Potential good news for the Steelers is that Cleveland is going into that game like it’s a playoff game for them.Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE: Steelers need help
1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)
The Chiefs blew a chance Sunday night to clinch homefield with a loss against Seattle but still control their destiny with a week 17 matchup over the Raiders. A Chiefs loss vs the Raiders + a Chargers win will Kansas City fall to the No. 5 seed.
2. New England Patriots (10-5)
Despite all signs of the Patriots being a team trending down, there’s no great team in the AFC that opens the door for New England to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl for the third straight year. The Patriots are still in great position to avoid playing on wild-card weekend for the ninth straight season. New England will clinch a first-round bye with a win vs the Jets and still have an outside chance at the first overall seed if the Chiefs and Chargers each lose.
3. Houston Texans (10-5)
A 32-30 loss to the Eagles saw the Texans still clinch a playoff spot due to the Steelers losing. The loss, though, was costly for Houston as New England jumped them for the No. 2 seed. A week 17 victory vs Jacksonville clinches the AFC South leaving the door open for a No. 2 or No. 3 seed, pending the outcome of Pats-Jets. A loss would plant them as the No 6 seed.
4. Baltimore Ravens (9-6)
The Ravens have taken control of the AFC North with one game to go. A win vs the Browns or just a Steelers loss against the Bengals makes the Ravens AFC North Champions. Baltimore is in position to finish with the three or four seed, though, a wild scenario still exists for Baltimore to finish with the two seed.
5. LA Chargers (11-4)
Barring a Kansas City collapse in week 17 against the Raiders, LA looks destined for the No. 5 seed.
6. Indianapolis Colts (9-6)
Win and in is the Colts playoff scenario. A week 17 win vs the Titans clinches either the No. 6 seed or the AFC South Division if the Texans lose.
7. Tennessee Titans (9-6)
Same as the Colts, the Titans playoff chances are simple:
Win and In. Like Indy, the Titans can still finish anywhere from sixth seed or win the AFC South if the Texans lose.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1)
Can Baker Mayfield save the Steelers season? As stunning as it seems after a 7-2-1 start, the Steelers have put themselves in position of being on the outside of the playoff field entering week 17.
The Steelers will need a win vs the Bengals and the Browns to beat the Ravens to make the postseason.
It’s basically AFC North or nothing for the Steelers as earning a wildcard spot has to result in the following happening:
Steelers Win + Ravens Loss + Colts/Titans Tie