Kaboly’s Wrong; Willie Parker’s ’08 Comments, Brown’s Record Not Analogous

Let’s begin with some clarifications. Steel Curtain Rising isn’t crazy about Mike Tomlin’s agreeing with Ben Roethlisberger’s request to keep Antonio Brown’s record. But the play worked. The Steelers beat the Jaguars. And there’s whole hearted agreement with Terry Fletcher that it’s time to move on.

  • But Mark Kaboly’s argument is flawed, and that must be discussed.

Writing on the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Steel Mill Blog, Kabloy commends Ben for sticking up for his teammate and criticizes Tomlin for agreeing. Kaboly makes all of the relvant arguments – that winning should be enough, the team doesn’t need distractions, and suggests Tomlin undermines his trademark  “style points don’t matter.”

That’s all fine and fair game. Even if one feels this has become “much to do about nothing” Kabloy’s on solid ground so far. But then he makes this argument:

The year was 2008 and running back Willie Parker told the media on a Wednesday that he thought the team was getting away from Steelers football by throwing the ball too much.
The next day, Tomlin called a press conference.
Now, Tomlin never called an impromptu press conference before that day and he never called one since.
Full disclosure – the quote which appears next actually came before the two paragraphs above]
I especially remember “every day I walk by five Lombardi Trophies, not five rushing titles.  Willie (Parker’s) comments could be construed as selfish …”

Kaboly’s essential point is that Tomlin missed a chance to send the message home that team comes first. And on the surface he’s picked a pretty powerful quote out of the past.

But Kabloy’s also taking the quote out of context (he might actually be misquoting Tomlin, but we’ll leave that for the Watch Tower) on a number of counts. First, Willie Parker’s comments came in mid-December a week after the Steelers had beaten Dallas and right before an all important show down with Baltimore.

  • Willie Parker’s comments were ill-timed, to say the least.

Parker was making some pretty pointed comments about Bruce Arians’ offense, and doing so in a season when his health and production had greatly declined. (Thank God for Mewelde Moore – the unsung hero of the ’08 Super Bowl team.) What he said then was clearly premeditated, whereas Tomlin’s decision was made spontaneously during a game.

Kabloy’s making a valid point by indicating that Tomlin has potentially jeopardized the “team first mentality.” But he’s mixing apples and oranges in trying to compare it to Willie Parker’s comments of Decmeber 2008.

‘Nuff said. Time for Steelers Nation to move on.

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