Coach Tomlin Defends Mason Rudolph on ESPN’s First Take

Photo courtesy of ESPN YouTube

By Beth Ruzanic

Monday, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin appeared on ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A. Smith. This was an uncharacteristic move for Tomlin who is known for keeping quiet and remaining as drama free as possible. For the second time in just a few days, Tomlin felt the need to defend his quarterback, Mason Rudolph, against charges of using a racial slur during a melee at the end a regular season game against the Cleveland Browns last November. Browns player, Myles Garrett, had been on ESPN the day before repeating his accusation against Rudolph. Garrett, who hit Rudolph on the head with his own helmet, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL following the game (that suspension was recently lifted). Other players on both teams also faced suspensions and fines. The Steelers and the NFL both conducted investigations into Garrett’s allegations but could find no corroborating evidence from anyone on either team or the officials on the field at the time. None of this was mentioned during ESPN’s interview with Garrett – which is what prompted Tomlin to go on the network himself.


Tomlin calls out ESPN for not providing viewers with all of the available information and he flexed his Pittsburgh bona fides by using a Yinzer favorite, “hacked off.” It seems like Tomlin is trying to protect Rudolph’s reputation around the league, knowing he isn’t a long term solution for the Steelers at QB. It’s nice to see the Coach getting fired up about his guys!

What do you think of Coach Tomlin’s ESPN rant? Let us know in the comments below!


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