Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin essentially calls Terry Bradshaw dumb after ‘cheerleader guy’ comment

Tomlin, 44, is in his 10th year as the head coach of the Steelers. (Dec. 28, 2016)


Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin usually isn’t one to get too fired up about something, at least in public. Most of his interviews and news conferences are filled with a lot of canned phrases or football cliches.

But after team legend Terry Bradshaw said Tomlin is a “great cheerleader guy” rather than a great coach, the 10-year Steelers leader gave a very thoughtful response, and even added a subtle dig toward the former quarterback at the end.

“Criticism and critique are very much a part of our business,” Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s an element of our business that as a competitor I embrace. The term ‘great,’ that’s something I have a great deal of respect for. I certainly don’t think that my resume to this point reads as great. But very few coaches’ resumes read as that at this point.


“Guys like Bill [Belichick] in New England probably can say that, Pop [Gregg Popovich] down in San Antonio. I think the rest of us are just working stiffs to be quite honest with you.

“Now that being said, terms like ‘cheerleader guy,’ to me, maybe fall outside the bounds of critique or criticism. They probably fall more toward the area of disrespect and unprofessional. But what do I know? I grew up a Dallas fan. Particularly, a Hollywood Henderson fan.”

Former Cowboys linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson once famously said, “Bradshaw’s so dumb he couldn’t spell cat if you spotted him the ‘c’ and the ‘a.’ ”

That was before Super Bowl XIII back in 1979, when Bradshaw led the Steelers past the Cowboys, 35-31, and was the game’s MVP. These days Bradshaw is an NFL analyst for Fox and had this to say about Tomlin last weekend on Fox Sports 1’s “All Takes Matter”:

“I don’t think he’s a great coach at all. He’s a nice coach. To me, I’ve said this, he’s really a great cheerleader guy. I don’t know what he does. I don’t think he is a great coach at all. His name never even pops in my mind when we think about great coaches in the NFL.”

In his 10th season with the Steelers, Tomlin has led the team to five AFC North titles, including this year, and two Super Bowl appearances, including one victory.

Twitter: @chewkiii


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