Hines Ward: AB Is 'Accountable' But Tomlin To Blame Too

'The Steelers have too much talent not to make the playoffs and that’s a reflection of the head coach'

The Cook & Joe Show
January 31, 2019 - 1:15 pm

© Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - While he won’t put all the blame on current receiving superstar Antonio Brown for his current situation with the Steelers, retired receiver Hines Ward says that he needs to be held “accountable”.

Speaking to Ron Cook and Joe Starkey on 93.7 The Fan, the Super Bowl LX MVP said, “When they pay you that type of money, it’s not just what you do on the field, it’s what you do off the field, it’s what you do in the community and I think for the Rooney family to invest so much in the player I think it’s kind of disrespectful that if Mr. Rooney calls and you don’t answer the phone, it’s disrespectful in itself.”

Ward adds he can’t imagine why Brown would not take owner Art Rooney II’s call.

“I got Mr. Rooney on speed-dial so if he ever calls me; I know that’s the one phone call that you might want to pick up.”

Ward says the other part of the blame needs to be put on head coach Mike Tomlin.

I just think for Coach Tomlin. The way he handles certain players and try to treat players differently and stuff . . . you’re opening up a can of worms in the sense because look at (Patriots Coach Bill) Belichick what (he) did to Malcom Butler, a guy who helped win the Super Bowl, late for one meeting (and) he sat him out in the biggest game in the world,” said Hines.

Butler, who is now with the Tennessee Titans, was benched during last year’s Super Bowl LII.

No matter Browns behavior, Ward says it ultimately comes down to Tomlin

“You look at AB, what he did with the Facebook Live and there was really no hard punishment for that and you have to set the tone early because players are only going to get away with what you get away with but once you start creeping into them and letting it get by, sweeping it under the rug and things don’t go well. The Steelers have too much talent not to make the playoffs and that’s a reflection of the head coach.”

Ward adds the current culture in the locker room is not Steelers football.

“I just think the culture that was set by Mike Tomlin I mean you know you walk around that building and ‘the standard is the standard’ that’s kind of the moto well the shenanigans, the circus is not conducive to winning football and that’s not the standard of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

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