PHOENIX (KDKA) — Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says he considers the 2018 season a “failure,” and he’s reflecting on how the team operates heading into the 2019 season.

Every NFL season has its own set of challenges, but 2018 had more than most for the Steelers.

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This, however, will always be remembered as a season of change.

Tomlin says there is disappointment that he couldn’t make it work with two star players.

“But that’s life and that’s business,” he said.

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Tomlin also defended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been the target of attacks by former teammates this offseason.

“I have no problem with his play or his leadership. I’ve heard some of the scuttlebutt … I’m focused on the guys within our group and on our team. I think that’s what’s appropriate for me. I have no reaction to former Steelers and things of that nature,” Tomlin said.

Criticism is always a big part of the coaching business and after Tomlin referring to 2018 as a failure, he has begun his own self-scouting.

“We were a 9-6-1 football team last year. We all need to look in the mirror in terms of what we do and how we do it, starting with me. And so that’s the approach that I’m taking, that’s the approach that I’ll ask them to take, and not in response to any criticism from the outside or anything of that nature, just doing what’s appropriate in terms of us being as good as we need to be,” Tomlin said. “Reflection is a part of this, man, particularly when you have failure, and I consider last year a failure, so the reflection and the analysis of how we operate and how I function within that is just a natural part of procedure.”

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Meanwhile, there is a player Tomlin is not happy with: cornerback first-round pick Artie Burns. Tomlin described Burns as “very disappointing” and one of the reasons the team spent money on Steven Nelson.