Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has never been one to publicly take a shot at another player or coach, or even a former member of the organization.
But when it came to recent comments by former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who criticized Tomlin’s coaching ability and referred to him as nothing more a “cheerleader guy,” Tomlin fired back. And he did so with a shot that was both subtle and cutting.
“Criticism and critique are very much a part of our business, and it’s an element of our business that as a competitor, I embrace,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “The term ‘great’ is something that I have a great deal of respect for. I certainly don’t think that my resume to this point reads as, ‘great.’ But very few coaches’ resumes read as that at this point. Guys like Bill [Belichick] in New England, probably, can say that, or Pop [Gregg Popovich] down in San Antonio,” referring to the coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.
“But I think the rest of us are just working stiffs, to be quite honest with you. Now that being said, terms like ‘cheerleader guy,’ to me, maybe fall outside the bounds of critique or criticism. They probably fall more toward the area of disrespect and unprofessional. But what do I know? I grew up a Dallas [Cowboys] fan. Particularly, a Hollywood Henderson fan.”