First Call: Mike Tomlin likes that ‘Steeler Nation is (ticked) off’ | TribLIVE.com
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First Call: Mike Tomlin likes that ‘Steeler Nation is (ticked) off’

Tim Benz
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Chaz Palla
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks to defensive back Coty Sensabaugh (24) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Tampa, Fla.

Tuesday’s “First Call” features Mike Tomlin’s annual trip to Hampton Roads. Martavis Bryant may come back to the NFL. And the Pirates weren’t the only team in their system to have a rough night.


Tomlin talks

This is an annual tradition. Something to mark on the Steelers media calendar.

Every year, Mike Tomlin goes back to Virginia for the Hampton Roads Youth Foundation Camp. And he always speaks to hometown sports broadcaster Bruce Rader.

It’s one of the few offseason interviews Tomlin gives, so it’s always tracked back here in Pittsburgh.

And here’s one quote that stood out from Tomlin about the pressure he may be facing this year after a non-playoff campaign in 2019.

“I love that. To be honest with you, that’s what I love most about the job,” Tomlin said. “I embrace the high expectations associated with the job. I like the fact that Steeler Nation is (ticked) off, you know. As am I, and we are.”

Well, if he likes it when “Steeler Nation” is ticked off, he must’ve been a pretty happy camper ever since that defeat in Denver last year.

Because that’s when it turned for the fanbase. And I don’t think it’s turned back since.


Can’t stop clicking

The gift that keeps on giving is Antonio Brown’s Instagram account.

He posted this chart showing how much better he is than the 22 wide receivers drafted in front of him in 2010.

Impressive, sure. But why did he do that? He explains.

“I’m going through a lot of adversity right now and had some thoughts of giving up,” Brown posted. “Then I remembered I have a responsibility for God he sent me !!! I can of myself do nothing I rely solely on him he sent me ! Bigger than me.”

Wow. I’m just impressed Brown acknowledges that God is bigger than him. I bet that was a close call in his mind.

By the way, “adversity?” What adversity? He is the one who forced his way out of Pittsburgh to get more money in Oakland.

What’s he talking about? The speeding ticket? The Miami falling-furniture settlement? That haircut he wouldn’t give his kid? I’m confused.


More Martavis?

Another troubled former Steelers wide receiver is trying to get back in the league.

ESPN reports that Martavis Bryant has officially applied for reinstatement.

Suspended former Steelers and Raiders WR Martavis Bryant has formally applied to the NFL for reinstatement. Bryant has been working with the NFL and NFLPA on steps he needs to take to address his mental health issues with resources such as therapists and ADHD treatments.

— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) July 15, 2019

Bryant has been suspended three times in the past four years for violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

He last played for Oakland after being traded there by the Steelers on draft day 2018. Bryant caught 19 passes in eight games before he was placed on injured reserve in early December. His latest suspension was announced one week later.

Bryant is currently a free agent.

Any help coming?

After an awful night for the Pirates, I couldn’t blame you if you looked at the minor leagues for a little help to make yourself feel better.

If you did that, sorry.

The Pirates lost 7-0 Monday in St. Louis on an evening that featured bad pitching, worse hitting, terrible fielding and dreadful baserunning.

Aside from that, they were great.

Meanwhile at Triple-A Indianapolis, the Indians were getting pounded by Syracuse, 20-1.

The idea of changing J.B. Shuck into a pitcher took an unfortunate dent. He gave up three home runs and seven earned runs over one-third of an inning.

Also, Keone Kela gave up a homer and a double in one-third of an inning during his rehab appearance.

The only good news is that, of the 22 Syracuse hits, Tim Tebow didn’t get one as a pinch hitter.

He did, however, throw a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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