On Friday, Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, who won four Super Bowls as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, made headlines when he disparagingly called current Steelers coach Mike Tomlin “a great cheerleader guy.”
As a guest on Fox Sports 1’s “Speak for Yourself,” Bradshaw was asked if Tomlin is an elite NFL head coach and Bradshaw responded, “I don’t think he’s a great coach at all. He’s a nice coach. To me, I’ve said this, I think he’s a great cheerleader guy.”
On Sunday, the Steelers beat their AFC North rivals, Baltimore, in thrilling fashion, to win the division. It is the seventh time in Tomlin’s 10 seasons as coach that he has led Pittsburgh to the postseason (he’s 102-57, or .651 in the regular season); he has two AFC championships and one Super Bowl win, and has never had a sub-.500 season.
Word of what Bradshaw said naturally got back to the Steelers players, and even though Bradshaw is a Pittsburgh legend, they stood up for their coach.
“We weren’t happy about it,” veteran guard David DeCastro said. “Hopefully it will fire us up the rest of the way.
“I pulled up ESPN around 10 p.m. [Friday] and was like, ‘What the hell is this? I don’t get what the motivation is. Is this to get your name out there more or something? What are you doing?”
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger quoted a classic song: “What did Kansas say? Dust in the wind.”
And fourth-year inside linebacker Vince WIlliams took to Twitter to throw a little shade at Bradshaw:
Not bad for a cheerleader. ????
— Vincenzo Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) December 26, 2016
Bradshaw might not have Tomlin’s back, but his players do.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated Tomlin’s recent postseason record. We apologize for the error.