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Steelers' Mike Tomlin Sidesteps Questions About Reported Trubisky-Johnson Argument

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVOctober 18, 2022

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 09:Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers  looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Highmark Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had no interest in confirming or denying whether there was an altercation between quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and wide receiver Diontae Johnson during halftime of the team's Week 4 game against the New York Jets.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that confrontation led to Trubisky's benching and rookie Kenny Pickett making his first appearance, and ESPN's Brooke Pryor asked a non-committal Tomlin about it:

"If it were, do you think that I would share it with you in this environment? Probably not. Our business is our business and I understand it today's climate, oftentimes there's leaks, our business getting the street. But I'm not gonna acknowledge it or confirm it or deny it in these settings. I'm just not, I ain't got enough hours of my day for it.

"The things that happen among competitors from time to time is normal business. Everyone wants to win. If it transpired, it's good. It probably means there's a couple guys that wanted to win. If it didn't transpire, it probably means that it should have because we are aggressively pursuing victory. Sometimes that's emotional."

According to Dulac, Johnson yelled at Trubisky during halftime of that game to throw to him more often. The quarterback reportedly responded by engaging in a "heated exchange," which was when Pickett was informed he would be under center for the second half.

While the Steelers lost that game 24-20, it seemed like the move to the rookie was solidified when he scored two touchdowns on the ground and started the next two contests.

Yet Pickett suffered a concussion during the Week 6 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Trubisky came in and excelled while going 9-of-12 for 144 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions.

His touchdown pass to Chase Claypool in the fourth quarter pushed the lead to eight, and Pittsburgh's defense stood strong on the two-point conversion after Tampa Bay scored a touchdown in the final five minutes.

That was just enough to escape with a 20-18 victory.

Perhaps Trubisky will remain under center for the upcoming game against the Miami Dolphins with Pickett's status still up in the air, and he played like someone who could be deserving of a second shot in the win over Tampa Bay.

But don't expect Tomlin to reveal what goes on in the locker room regardless of who is under center.

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