The Pittsburgh Steelers are no strangers to controversy and navigating through tough scenarios. Going back to the 1970’s era with Chuck Noll and “Shouldergate,” to the Ben Roethlisberger accident under Bill Cowher, to Head Coach Mike Tomlin managing the ego’s of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, each generation has seen its fair share of drama within the organization. But recently, Tomlin had to play ‘uncle’ towards a pair of locker mates who were involved with the same woman; and had no idea.
Recently, the Steelers had their own love triangle that Tomlin had to handle. Earlier this week, ex-Steelers offensive guard Ramon Foster sat down on the Raw Room podcast to talk about his time in the league. In typical Foster fashion, he was candid and honest about every aspect of his 11-year career with the Steelers. Included in this, was a subtle love triangle that took place in the Steelers locker room fairly recently where Tomlin was forced to play a part in the mediation.
Even though fans know Tomlin as a football coach, he also proved to Foster he is more than that to the members of the team. Foster considers this as being his craziest Tomlin story of his entire career:
“We had these two young guys, and this ain’t that long ago, we had two young guys on the team, it’s hilarious. One of them was dating this chick and on the other side of the room, there was another one who had just had a situation with her, an entanglement. And the locker room had kind of found out about it. Because we knew they were together, but on the other side of the locker room, they over there just talking about so-and-so, and it made its way to the practice field too. But the original guy who was with her didn’t know.”
I’ll stop there for a quick moment. To some, this may sound more like a gossip magazine article or something that doesn’t seem quite related to football; stick with me on this. How Foster describes Tomlin’s method of dealing with these crazy scenarios is brilliant. Foster went onto describe the situation:
“So, Coach T. is like your uncle you don’t want to piss off. He don’t want you to go talk to him about anything. He the one, ‘look, man I’m gone, don’t mess up nothing, don’t have the police in my house, you’re good.’ He’ll leave it alone. But his issue is to be the ‘uncle,’ ‘y’all fight it out, I’m gone.’ That’s him.”
Foster continued. “But with this situation, he went to the dude that acted secondly with the female and was like, ‘hey, listen to me, you go over there right now, and you let him know this is going on, however he processes this because you fouled, because I know you. It’s got to get handled, we ain’t going another day like this.’ I’ve never seen nobody put pressure on somebody to go do the right thing.”
As we’ve seen recently, Tomlin has attracted an increasing amount of respect and admiration from his NFL peers at every level. Amongst Tomlin’s elite handling and managing the likes of Brown and Bell, this is simply another lesson to add to Tomlin’s repertoire. Fans are all aware of Tomlin being considered as a “player’s coach” and with young, sometimes naïve athletes working in close proximity to one another, Tomlin has to be prepared to handle these ‘instances’ accordingly.
So, how did this story end? Foster concluded by saying:
“Buddy was in denial. He didn’t really want to believe, I think the embarrassment of it all just kind of made him play it a certain way,” he said. “We thought it was going to be a brawl. That situation was pretty wild, man.”
Let the speculation as to who the Steelers players were in this situation run free. But with that said, there were several reports released around the time Foster referenced discussing previous Steelers’ quarterback Josh Dobbs and current Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph being involved with former Bachelor contestant, Hannah Ann Sluss.
In March of 2020 while Dobbs was finishing his stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dobbs was caught by a fan with Sluss out at a local establishment one evening. Then just a month later, Rudolph and Sluss were caught out and about in Los Angeles holding hands. Later that year in September, Dobbs would find himself back in Pittsburgh playing behind Roethlisberger and Rudolph. Again, this is purely skepticism, but I’ll let you be the judge.
Do you remember this situation being made public? Who do you think the players were? Let us know in the comments below!