"This Is The Worst I've Seen It Under Mike Tomlin"

From Le'Veon Bell holding out to Antonio Brown not showing up for work, the Steelers are in bad shape

September 19, 2018 - 9:28 am

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Le’Veon Bell hasn’t reported to the Steelers, Antonio Brown didn't show up for work Monday, and Pittsburgh (0-1-1) hasn’t won a game.

All in all, it’s been an awful 2018 season for the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook dropped by CBS Sports Radio to break it all down, including Brown’s curious “Trade me” tweet, which his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said wasn’t serious.

“I don’t think he wants traded,” said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I really don’t. But what do you expect an agent to say? First of all, (Brown’s) body language was terrible (Sunday). They scored a touchdown late to get close in the game. He kind of sulked off the field by himself because he wasn’t involved in that touchdown that brought them close. He left the locker room before any of the media got in, which he never does. He went after a coach on the sideline. I was told he ran patterns wrong. He lost focus a little bit during the game.”

Brown finished with nine catches for 67 yards in a 42-37 loss to the Chiefs. JuJu Smith-Schuster, though, had 13 catches for 121 yards and a score, while tight end Jesse James had five catches for 138 yards and a score.

Brown wasn’t happy. Which might be why he took the bait from someone arguing that Brown’s success had less to do with Brown and more to do with Ben Roethlisberger. 

Either way, Cook does not think Brown wants to be traded.

“I’ll buy that,” he said. “That was more of a response to one guy than asking for a trade, but then he doesn’t show up for work on Monday. That’s where he lost with me. . . . All Mike Tomlin had to do was say, ‘He was absent yesterday, he had an excuse, I gave him my permission to miss.’ Tomlin didn’t say that. I think the rest of the guys on the team are looking at this. They want to see what’s going to happen here. It’s the toughest issue that Tomlin has had for as long as he’s been here. I think it’s a real delicate issue for him.”

Bell, meanwhile, continues to hold out.

“I look at it as a business decision,” Cook said, “but why does he rub his teammates’ nose in it? They lose the game on Sunday. The next day he’s out jet-skiing. They're at training camp sweating in Latrobe. He’s a strip club. It seems like, to me, he’s rubbing his teammates’ face in it. He will be here this year. He’s going to come in after the tenth week to get his year of service time. They’ll take him back. He’s going to be gone next year. I think he can still help them win, but they may be 3-6-1 when he comes in here and it might mean nothing when he comes here. This is the worst I’ve seen it under Mike Tomlin.”

The Steelers play the Buccaneers (2-0) in Tampa Bay on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. ET.