Raiders Named Mike Tomlin As New Head Coach…

Raiders Named Mike Tomlin As New Head Coach...

Can Steelers HC Mike Tomlin keep Russell Wilson in check?

Quarterback Russell Wilson came to the Pittsburgh Steelers last month with some baggage. He was no longer the team-first kind of guy that the Seattle Seahawks drafted a dozen years ago.

Wilson changed after his marriage to pop star Ciara, as evidenced by his contractural demand for a personal office (on the second floor with coaches and executives) and the use of his own private quarterbacks coach. There was even a report, which Wilson has denied, that he tried to get future Hall of Fame head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider fired in 2022.

All of this is old news but perhaps new to Steelers fans, who are exclusive to their team and were unaware of Wilson’s diva-like tendencies.

“There’s a lot to Russ,” Ian Furness of KJR Radio and Fox-13 in Seattle told TribLive’s Tim Benz in March. Furness covered Wilson for his decade-long career with the Seahawks.

“A lot of things started to change when that happened,” Furness said when referencing Wilson’s 2016 marriage to Ciara. “He kind of became a ‘Look at me guy.’ We used to joke out here, it used to be their saying was, ‘Why not us?’ Then it became ‘Look at me,’ for Russ. He just changed, and he became a problem inside the facility, with the front office and with the staff. It just snowballed from there before they traded him.”

“He operated on his own agenda. And it was about Russ. In the ultimate team sport, it was all about Russ — to the point the ‘diva quarterback’ moniker was placed on him. And for good reason.”

Perhaps his ill-fated seasons in Denver humbled him, and it’ll be new city, new Russell. If not, though, how will Mike Tomlin handle him? Can Tomlin keep him in check?

Tomlin has juggled his fair share of strong personalities in Pittsburgh. While they are different scenarios, he somehow kept Antonio Brown‘s extreme ways under wraps until it all came crashing to the surface. Most recently, George Pickens‘ character issues have come into question.

Tomlin has an innate ability to connect with his players and that process has begun with Wilson. Let’s hope, for the sake of the Steelers, that he doesn’t become a bigger-than-the-team nuisance.

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