Joe Haden: Mike Tomlin Has 'Complete Control' of Steelers Despite Recent Drama

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2019

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) celebrates as he walks off the field following a 17-10 win over the New England Patriots in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Don Wright/Associated Press

Some have questioned Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin for his role in the chaos surrounding the team over the past year, but veteran cornerback Joe Haden came to his coach's defense.

"He has complete control of the team," Haden said of Tomlin Thursday on NFL Total Access (via Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com). "You have two totally different situations with Le'Veon [Bell] and with Antonio [Brown]. It is what is. It's a business. You can't blame coach T for that."  

Le'Veon Bell sat out last season instead of signing the franchise tag and signed with the New York Jets this offseason, while Antonio Brown requested a trade and is now with the Oakland Raiders

While those were different situations, the end result is the same: Two All-Pro offensive playmakers are no longer on the roster.

Still, Haden doesn't believe the coach is to blame.

"He's one of the best coaches I've ever played for," the cornerback added. "You can only ask for honesty. He keeps it real with you. He lets you know exactly where you stand. He lets you know exactly how he feels about you, if you're productive, if you're not. He treats everyone fairly, but I'm gonna say not everybody gets treated the same."

The 29-year-old has spent the past two years with Pittsburgh after playing for the Cleveland Browns during his first seven NFL seasons. He finally suited up in the first playoff game of his career at the end of his inaugural go-round with the Steelers, although the 2018 squad disappointed with a 9-6-1 finish that left it outside the postseason picture.

Tomlin has spent 12 years with the organization and won a Super Bowl in 2008. He's never finished with a losing record. However, he's suddenly on the hot seat after one relatively bad year and the departure of two stars.

At least it seems some of his players have his back.