U mad, bro? Steelers’ Mike Tomlin not a ‘Pittsburgh guy’; James Harrison’s participation trophy |
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Steelers’ Mike Tomlin not a ‘Pittsburgh guy’; James Harrison’s participation trophy

Tim Benz
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks to defensive back Coty Sensabaugh (24) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

In this week’s “U bad, bro?” we examine why Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin “isn’t a Pittsburgh guy.” Also, I find the one person who likes the roughing-the passer rules. But no one seems to like James Harrison.

Marc emailed me about James Harrison’s suggestion to Le’Veon Bell that he should show up to work at the last possible minute, get his franchise tag signed then fake an injury.

Hey Tim,

(This comes) from a man who wouldn’t let his sons accept a participation trophy.


Marc, based on Harrison’s comments, he has no idea how the franchise tag works. And, as you point out, he also has no idea how irony works.

Adam used the Harrison story as a way to leverage hockey’s popularity.

No. Probably not. I can’t come up with an example to disprove that notion off the top of my head. But I hate that argument. Especially in this town. It’s so tired.

NFL players are animals, and hockey players are angels. Yeah. I’ve heard it a million times.

Look, hockey is a good enough sport, and the Penguins are a popular enough team that there is no need to advance the cause of your game by turning your nose up at football.

Tweets like this reek of a hockey inferiority complex. It’s unnecessary. Sometimes hockey fans make it seem as if appreciating both sports is somehow mutually exclusive. They don’t have to be.

But, since we are into comparisons, I do seem to remember a certain Penguin who pouted his way through his last year in Pittsburgh, only to have the fans clamor for his return. Then, he left the Pens at the altar to join a hated rival as Harrison did.

What was his name again?

Oh, right.

After the Steelers’ 30-27 win over the Bucs on Monday Night, I sent out this tweet.

I followed it up with a column expressing similar opinions.

Skip and Joe disagree.

Which of Tampa’s three second-half scoring drives should I rethink, exactly? The 14-play one, the 12-play one or the 92-yard one?

True, but isn’t it tough to score when the other team, you know, has the ball for 35 snaps on their first three drives of the half?

Mark sent me an email about Mike Tomlin.

My problem with Tomlin is the trend, the culture that exists. I don’t feel Tomlin is a Pittsburgh guy. This adds to the problem. I won’t even talk about the top picks littering the defense. A defense that just looks impotent at best. No way the organization whiffed on all. Where is the coaching?

….The Tomlin regime has wasted Ben’s prime

Mark, complaints about Tomlin’s lack of discipline, his drooping defense and a failure to maximize Ben Roethlisberger’s time here are all valid complaints to one degree or another.

But “not a Pittsburgh guy” reads like something you say when you try to specify a general dissatisfaction with him personally because you can’t define your dislike for him professionally.

Frankly, it sounds like code to me. It’s somewhere between passive racism and aggressive jingoism.

Or both.

Was he a “Pittsburgh guy” when he was on the parade route down the Boulevard of the Allies? If so, when did he have his “Pittsburgh guy” status revoked? When he drifted off the sidelines against the Ravens? Or when he drafted Limas Sweed? I just want to be sure.

Chuck Noll was from Cleveland and played for the Browns. Bill Cowher also played for the Browns and openly calls himself a “full-fledged” New Yorker now.

Should we consider them “Pittsburgh guys?” How about Mike Sullivan and Clint Hurdle? Do they count?

Brian tweets with some concerns about Chris Boswell.

The answer is $7.2 million is guaranteed. The other answer is that Woodley may be a better kicker right about now.

And, finally, leave it to my timeline to unearth the one guy who likes the NFL roughing-the-passer flags.

No offense means no fans? OK. But no contact means it’s a different sport.

I get protecting the quarterbacks. However, I don’t understand how the NFL thinks it is being fair in asking the pass rushers to do so in the manner required. It defies science.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter @TimBenzPGH. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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