Ex-Steelers Rival Defends Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin got some support from an unlikely place.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin roams the sidelines during player introductions prior to
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin roams the sidelines during player introductions prior to / Michael Longo/For USA Today Network /
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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't been able to break through for a playoff win since 2016 and that has left some fans and media restless. They've channeled some of their frustrations into calls for the franchise to move on from long-time head coach Mike Tomlin.

Willie Colon, a former NFL offensive lineman turned commentator on Fox Sports 1's The Carton Show, said that he believed Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was on the hot seat. But Tomlin got some support from the unlikeliest of places - former Bengals wideout Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson.

“For one, the only Willie Colon I know is the Spanish singer,” Johnson said on the NightCap Show. “Let’s start there, okay, so, I’m trying to understand, Mr. Willie Colon, why his words and how he feels and what he’s saying hold any weight, why it holds any weight. Tell Willie, go sit down somewhere, man. Tell Willie to go sit. I know Willie Parker. I don’t know no Willie Colon. Listen, his name holds no weight, no disrespect. Listen, I’m a Bengal. I’m a Bengal fan at heart talking for the Steelers organization because I don’t know who the hell this Willie Colon is.”

Colon highlighted Tomlin's recent playoff record and said he hasn't elevated the rosters he's led beyond their talents, going as far to say they look like "dweebs."

“I love Mike Tomlin, but this is, I have to officially say, he’s on the hot seat. And when you talk about his overall record, you talk about in 17 seasons, he has an eight and 10 playoff record, only four seasons with playoff wins and he’s had some bona fide teams even with Ben Roethlisberger.  The issue with Mike Tomlin right now is he wins games he’s supposed to win, but loses games he shouldn’t lose,”Colon said on the Craig Carton Show.“I’m saying to myself, well, who are the Pittsburgh Steelers? Are they the bullies, or are they the dweebs right now? If you lost to the Patriots and the Cardinals, you look like the dweebs.”

Tomlin has got nothing but unwavering support from team president Art Rooney and general manager Omar Khan this offseason. And while there is pressure for them to push past simply making the playoffs, the Steelers have faith in their Super Bowl champion head coach to get them back to the summit.

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Stephen Thompson


Stephen Thompson graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Pitt in April 2022 after spending four years as a sports writer and editor at The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's independent, student-run newspaper. He primarily worked the Pitt men's basketball beat, and filled in on coverage of football, volleyball, softball, gymnastics and lacrosse, in addition to other sports as needed. His work at The Pitt News has won awards from the Pennsylvania News Media Association and Associated College Press. During the spring and summer of 2021, Stephen interned for Pittsburgh Sports Now, covering baseball in western Pennsylvania. Hailing from Washington D.C., family ties have cultivated a love of Boston's professional teams and Pitt athletics, and a fascination with sports in general.