Mike Tomlin: Antonio Brown was 'selfish' and 'inconsiderate,' will be punished
January 18, 2017 12:08 AM
Mike Tomlin says Antonio Brown will be punished.
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin had strong words for Antonio Brown, calling him “foolish,” “selfish” and “inconsiderate” and threatened swift punishment for his star receiver after a post-game video from the locker room in Kansas City was broadcast on Facebook.
In the video, Tomlin used profanities to refer to the New England Patriots. Tomlin said he regrets using the language and “sincerely” apologized “as a parent and member of the community” for the content of the video. He said Brown will be punished “swiftly” by the Steelers, in addition to any discipline or fine he receives from the National Football League, though he did not reveal what that punishment from the team might be.
“It was foolish of him to do that,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly televised news conference. “It was selfish of him to do that. It was inconsiderate of him to do that. Not only is it a violation of our policy, it’s a violation of league policy, both of which he knows.
“So there are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective. We will punish him. We won’t punish us. We will do so swiftly, and we will do so internally.”
“First, I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I'm sorry for my actions and behavior after Sunday's game. I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans,” Brown said. “It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.
“I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday.”
Brown posted a 17½ minute video on Facebook from the locker room following the victory in Kansas City. During the video, Tomlin was heard referring to the Patriots as “a*******” during his post-game speech to the players. Also, several players were seen undressing in the background during the video.
Brown could be fined for the video under the NFL’s social media policy that prohibits posts on places such as Facebook Live.
“The language in the video is regrettable, by me and by others,” Tomlin said. “This platform that we have is a precious and awesome thing. It’s not something we take very lightly. The responsibility associated with being in this thing, just from a role model standpoint, it’s something that I personally embrace. It’s something that we as a team and organization embraces. So that’s why the language, specifically, in terms of the content, is regrettable.”
During the video, Tomlin was heard complaining that the Patriots had an extra day and a half to prepare for the AFC championship because the Steelers’ game in Kansas City was moved from 1 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. because of weather issues.
“We spotted those a******* a day and a half,” Tomlin said in the locker room.
“They played [Saturday]. Our game was moved to tonight. We gonna touch down at 4 o’clock in the f****** morning. So be it. We’ll be ready for that a**.”
Regarding those comments, Tomlin said, “That’s why we go to great lengths to preserve certain moments and certain interactions between us, because we are very sensitive to the opportunity that we have as role models. So I apologize for the content of the video from that perspective. As a parent, as a member of the community, I take that very seriously. I sincerely issue an apology in that regard.”
Tomlin did not say if he was aware Brown posted live videos on Facebook. After the playoff victory against the Miami Dolphins, however, Tomlin made a cameo appearance and comment in Brown’s video.
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, Brown is among a handful of celebrities and athletes who are paid “significant sums” of money by Facebook — as much as $244,000 — to use its service for live videos.
“He’s got to grow from this, he has to,” Tomlin said. “He works extremely hard, he’s extremely talented. Those things get minimized with incidents such as this. You wear on your teammates when they routinely have to answer questions about things that aren’t preparation or football-related. He is a great player. He is respected, largely, in the locker room for those things. But incidents such as this don’t help him in that regard.”
Then, in almost something of a veiled warning, Tomlin said such instances can be the type of problem that cause teams to get rid of talented players.
"It’s a global thing in regards to professional sports. I think that’s why oftentimes you see great players move around from team-to-team. And I definitely don’t want that to be his story. I am sure he doesn’t want that to be his story."
Tomlin said he is not concerned his comments in the video will have any effect on Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
“I have absolutely no worries,” Tomlin said. “We’re in the AFC championship. You’re not going to creep in the back door in New England and win a football game and creep out of there with an AFC championship. I’m not worried about our team’s ability to deal with distractions.”
Tomlin is 2-0 in AFC championship games and was not around when the Steelers lost conference title games to the Patriots in the 2001 and 2004 seasons, both at Heinz Field.
And he doesn’t seem concerned the Steelers will have to try to beat them again to get to their ninth Super Bowl. Or that the Steelers have never beaten Tom Brady in New England (0-4).
“They haven’t had to go through us, either, since I’ve been here,” Tomlin said. “So stay tuned.”
Room to improve?
Not counting kneel-down possessions at the end of a half or game, the Steelers have scored on 14 of their past 21 possessions (seven touchdowns, seven field goals), dating to the fourth quarter of the regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns.
What’s more, in two postseason games, Jordan Berry has punted only three times.
But the Steelers failed to score a touchdown in Kansas City despite having two possessions inside the 6, another two inside the 21 and three others from the 25-, 25- and 27-yard lines.
“There’s a myriad of reasons and all of it boils down to execution, lack of taking advantage of opportunity or just acknowledging quality planning and execution by them,” Tomlin said. “I’m not ready to address the potential for that in New England. I don’t prepare for failure. I don’t anticipate us being 0-of-7 in New England.”
Bell chasing Harris
Le’Veon Bell needs just 7 yards to break Franco Harris’ team record for rushing yards in a postseason (343), set in three games in the 1974 season.
Bell’s 337 yards rushing are the most by any player in his first two career postseason games in NFL history.
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