The 2-1 Steelers have a very important AFC North game on Sunday in Baltimore against a Ravens team that they always seem to have a tough time with – even more so on the road.
Tuesday instead of the ability to chat about the keys to the game and what the Steelers have to do in order to get back on track after Sunday’s stunning loss to the Bears, coach Mike Tomlin had to spend time during his presser to talk yet again about Sunday’s pregame National Anthem situation which is getting so much attention around the league.
Tomlin went out of his way to absolve left tackle Alejandro Villanueva for standing alone for the national anthem with his teammates behind him in the tunnell.
The coach also went stated that he felt it was the right thing to be on the field with three assistant coaches while his team didn’t take the field, but was in the tunnel.
There’s been so much chatter on this team about a ‘united’ front and not making a political statement, but at the same time that seemed to be exactly what they were doing before the loss on Sunday.
One thing that Tomlin is correct on is the way that Villanueva has been treated since the incident, and he said on Tuesday that the offensive lineman has nothing to be sorry for despite him coming out on and in a presser on Monday stating as much.
“He has nothing to apologize for,” Tomlin said.
Now it’s five days away from the team taking the field again in Baltimore, and again there’s going to be far too much focus on what players do before the game instead of during it.
While it’s about to be four games into the season, Tomlin needs to get this situation under control – and in a hurry – before this topic becomes a huge distraction week after week.