PHOENIX (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin is focused on the future after a turbulent start to the offseason.
KDKA’s Bob Pompeani spoke to Tomlin while in Phoenix for the NFL owners meetings.
It was the first time Tomlin has addressed the media since Antonio Brown was traded.
“How he departed was disappointing, but I don’t waste a lot of time worrying about that aspect of it. What I do focus on, obviously, is the new beginnings for us, the formulation of the team for 2019, while at the same time appreciating the contributions of those men that they provided us when they were members of our outfit,” Tomlin said.
When asked if he felt betrayed by how Brown left, Tomlin said “betrayed” wasn’t exactly the right way to put it.
“You know, I think disappointed is a more appropriate word, but again the semantics of it is less important than the acknowledgment that he is a former Steeler, as is Le’Veon [Bell] and what that means. I wish them the best moving forward, but our energies and our time is not looking back and, y’know, crying over spilled milk about guys that used to play for us, but focusing on the development of the guys that are in our plans that want to be here and the challenges that await us in 2019,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin says hopefully lessons have been learned from situations like this.
“I try to get better in all areas. There are obviously lessons to be learned, not only from negative consequences and experience but also positive ones, and we better learn from all the things that go on with us. And I know that we have a spirit that is geared toward that, certainly,” he said.
The Steelers organization has taken a lot of criticism in recent months, but Tomlin says he doesn’t let shots from national media bother him.
“You know, I don’t worry much about the shots, to be quite honest with you, we’re all highly compensated to absorb that. We understand what’s at stake, we understand the passion in which people follow us, and we don’t run away from that. We embrace that level of responsibility. I know I do,” Tomlin said.
The head coach went on to say that the team moves forward understanding that they were just not good enough last year.
“Nobody’s as disappointed about the outcome of 2018 as I am,” Tomlin said. “I’m not working to minimize it or to acknowledge that wholesale changes need to be made. I will acknowledge that we weren’t good enough in 2018. We were 9-6-1 team, that had us on the outside of the tournament, and those are unacceptable things for us and so we move forward with that understanding.”