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Tomlin, Brown Have a Failure to Communicate

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Antonio Brown -- JEFFREY BEALL | CC BY-SA 3.0

PITTSBURGH — It wasn’t a normal Wednesday afternoon around the Steelers facility in the South Side. Mike Tomlin was not concerned with an opponent. He was not strategizing on how to stop anyone’s offense. Instead, Mike Tomlin was concerned with one of his own, his super-star receiver Antonio Brown. And the only offense he had to deal with was the offensive media, wanting to know everything possible about the latest drama surrounding AB.

Tomlin attempted to explain the bizarre series of events that led to Brown not playing in the Steelers must-win week 17 game against Cincinnati. According to Tomlin, Brown, who caught 104 balls for 1,297 yards with 15 touchdowns throughout the season, did complain about a knee injury and was scheduled to have an MRI. The key is scheduled because Brown never actually went to have the test done.

Tomlin also opened up about the fact that Brown failed to communicate with him throughout the week. In fact, Tomlin made it clear he has not heard from the star receiver since Sunday’s game either. Brown’s failure to communicate with the Steelers was the main determining factor in him not playing versus the Bengals.

While the media were packed into a room waiting to hear the head coach speak on the latest drama involving his team, former Steeler James Harrison had a scoop of his own, recording an interview with Brown. The two former teammates and current friends in animosity towards one of the NFL’s most storied franchises were listening to Tomlin while hanging out together. It turns out one of the surprise winners in this whole mess is actually Harrison with his new career as an analyst (or whatever label you want to give him for his constant national appearances).

 

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Happy New Year. Be great.

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Despite the drama, and even Brown’s reported request to be traded, Tomlin would not speculate on if the relationship can be mended.

As always, when it comes to the Steelers, stay tuned…

Mike Asti is an experienced media personality and journalist with a vast résumé and skillset, most notably with TribLIVE Radio, WPXI and 93.7 The Fan. Asti manages both Steelers Now and Pittsburgh Sports Live, as well as, contributing to WVSportsNow and West Virginia's Metro News.

NFL

NFL Announces Coaches can Return to Team Facilities

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NFL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced that coaching staffs may return to team facilities Friday, June 5 in a memo issued to teams Thursday morning.

Staying consistent with their message throughout the reopening process, coaches may return only if clubs have “received necessary permission from state and local governments.”

Clubs were informed last week that coaches will count towards the maximum number of employees permitted in facilities, but the total number allowed will increase from 75 to 100 tomorrow as well.

While Goodell has not yet announced when all players will be cleared to return, he did add that the league is still working “with clubs medical staffs to implement a program of COVID-19 testing” prior to players coming back.

Injured and rehabbing players were some of the first who received the green light to return to team facilities, and have been back for a few weeks now.

Club facilities were initially closed by the league back on March 25 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While coaches are likely eager to return to their team facilities, they should make themselves comfortable for the long haul.

Goodell’s memo comes a day after multiple reports that the league informed franchises they must conduct training camp from their practice facilities this August.

This would mean the Steelers will be prepping for the season on the South Side, instead of making a 55th-consecutive trip to St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

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Steelers

Art Rooney II, Steelers Issue Statements on Killing of George Floyd, Protests

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Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II released a statement Wednesday on the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and the ensuing protests seen across the nation.

“Over the last week, we have witnessed the anger and frustration in our city and around the country relating to the killing of George Floyd and the recent deaths of African-American men and women. We have also witnessed the good in so many people who have peacefully expressed their concerns.”

“I am proud to hear the voices of many of our players who have spoken out against racism and injustice and called for unity. As an organization, we will continue to listen to our players, coaches, alumni and leaders in our community and work together to bring awareness and change in the effort to create a more fair and equal community.”

A number of prominent Steelers players also shared statements and comments regarding Floyd’s death and the nationwide protests, including Cam Heyward, Ben Roethlisberger, James Conner, Vince Williams, JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.J. Watt.

Defensive end Cam Heyward:

“A friend, a brother, a father, a son, just someone you meet, these are different ways people might know George Floyd. To know that the color of my skin could be at the discretion of someone who is supposed to protect is truly disheartening. I’m praying for the Floyd family.”

“To know a brother, a friend or someone I care about could be gone due to this just hurts. It’s not acceptable. Thank you for the people who do serve the right way and continue to protect our freedoms. I wish all held up his end and cared for all.”

“We all have people we care about and the fact that we can’t believe in everyone who is in the position of power to keep all safe angers me and tears me up. Change must happen. Our children are inheriting a world that is not improving. Life should be precious.”

“I still can’t find my words to make sense of it all. Too many have died, and not enough has changed.”

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger:

“The cruelty and injustice must stop, racism must end, and love must find a way to prevail. We are all children of God, equal in his eyes, and must hold one another accountable to fair and just standards.”

Running back James Conner:

“If we keep showing hate and violence, we will continue to have hate and violence. If we keep showing peace and love, we will have peace and love. I’ve retweeted disturbing and negative videos to HOPE they understand, but I will only be posting love from here on out. We know what’s been done and know it’s wrong.

“Make the Twitter timeline full of positivity. Like I said, I’ve been guilty of retweeting negative content, but that’s not it. They want the sickening and shameless videos at 100,000+ retweets to keep us divided. Make unity and togetherness the only content we see.”

Inside linebacker Vince Williams:

“Send me the GoFundMe of businesses that have been destroyed by the riots. I’ve done independent searches, but hopefully this helps me to be more thorough.”

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster:

“Our country is in pain right now, and coming together is the only way to heal each other. No more injustice!”

Outside linebacker T.J. Watt:

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Steelers

JuJu Smith-Schuster Delivers Pizzas to Steelers Fans

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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is bringing some joy to fans during tough times.

Smith-Schuster spent his Tuesday afternoon delivering pizzas for PizzaHut, and even took the time to snap a pic with a young fan, courtesy of JimStamm22 on Twitter.

A fan favorite, Smith-Schuster is entering his fourth season in Pittsburgh.

After an explosive sophomore season in 2018, Smith-Schuster battled injuries and inconsistent quarterback play that combined for a lackluster 2019.

With the return of franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Smith-Schuster appears primed to deliver more than pizzas this upcoming season.

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