Steelers’ Mike Tomlin declines to comment on locker room skirmish between Mitch Trubisky, Diontae Johnson

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Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin declined to comment on a report of a heated locker room exchange between quarterback Mitch Trubisky and wideout Diontae Johnson during their Week 5 matchup against the New York Jets.

But Tomlin did say it would be a “good” thing if it did happen because “it probably means there’s a couple guys that wanted to win.” 

Tomlin was asked Tuesday to confirm a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that alleged Trubisky was benched at halftime for rookie Kenny Pickett after Trubisky and Johnson got into a heated argument over the passing game.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky throws a pass during the second half of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Pittsburgh Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky throws a pass during the second half of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Pittsburgh Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022.
(AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

The Steelers head coach refused to validate the report but did say it wouldn’t be a bad thing if it did, in fact, happen.

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“If it were, do you think that I would share it with you in this environment? Probably not. Our business is our business,” Tomlin said. “I understand in today’s climate, oftentimes, there’s leaks. Our business gets in the street, but I’m not going to acknowledge it, or confirm it, or deny it in these settings. I’m just not. I ain’t got enough hours in my day for it.

Diontae Johnson (18) of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field Dec. 5, 2021, in Pittsburgh. 

Diontae Johnson (18) of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field Dec. 5, 2021, in Pittsburgh. 
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

“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 and sometimes that’s emotional.”

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Tomlin said Pickett will be the starting quarterback Sunday against the Miami Dolphins if he clears the NFL’s concussion protocols. 

Mitch Trubisky of the Pittsburgh Steelers heads off the field after losing to the Cleveland Browns 29-17 at FirstEnergy Stadium Sept. 22, 2022, in Cleveland. 

Mitch Trubisky of the Pittsburgh Steelers heads off the field after losing to the Cleveland Browns 29-17 at FirstEnergy Stadium Sept. 22, 2022, in Cleveland. 
(Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

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“We’re not going to blow in the wind,” Tomlin said of staying with the rookie. 

“We’re going to be somewhat steady. I’ve been consistent in my messaging regarding the decision-making at that position. I think it helps those that are playing. I think it helps the team in terms of who to follow. And we’re not going to flip the script now.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
 

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