Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin not only decided to play running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount Thursday night just one day after both were caught in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop in Ross Township, he played both of them a lot and deep into the game.
After the game, Tomlin was asked what his reaction to the reports were and why he decided to play both of his running backs in the third preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I have no reaction other the statement we released. We’re aware of it, obviously, that conduct is detrimental to our efforts” said Tomlin during his post game press conference. “They’ll be dealt with appropriately. From my perspective, in terms of their participation tonight, I didn’t view it as punishment to send them home, to be quite honest with you.
“To not play in this preseason game, I’d rather them play more than anticipated than to remove them from the game. So that’s why we took the stance that we took tonight. Obviously we’ve got some things to do in the matter of moving forward, but not a lot to say regarding it in this point in time.”
Tomlin was later asked if what happened off the field Wednesday was detrimental to how the team played Thursday night in 31-21 loss to the Eagles.
“No, we’re not going to make any excuses for that performance. We’re going to own that. Whatever happened yesterday had nothing to do with how we performed tonight,” Tomlin said.
Bell carried the football nine times for 23 yards in the loss while Blount was given seven carries that resulted in 32 yards. Both running backs also caught a few passes each in the game.