Antonio Brown, Dirk Koetter & Fake News

January 18th, 2017



A little perspective, people.

I’m not defending Antonio Brown’s dumb decision to film the proceedings in the Steelers’ locker room for the world to see after Sunday night’s emotional playoff win at Kansas City.

The NFL’s premier wide receiver simply dropped the ball, undermining head coach Mike Tomlin and the sanctity of what goes on behind closed doors.

But any suggestion that Tomlin’s salty comments are going to fire up the Patriots for Sunday’s matchup is ludicrous.

This topic is made for sports-talk radio. Barking dogs like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith have had a ball parsing Tomlin’s words while gauging their potential impact.

It gives them something to rail against, as if Tomlin’s post-game speech is going to have a galvanizing effect on the league’s gold standard franchise.

Are you kidding me?

This is the conference title game, with the winner going to Houston to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. If that’s not enough motivation, you don’t deserve to play for Bill Belichick.

This bulletin-board stuff is vastly overhyped.

Whether it’s a playoff game against Pittsburgh or an October matchup in Jacksonville, Tom Brady takes the same approach. Even if Belichick and Brady believe Tomlin comes off as a whiner, that will have no bearing on the game.

Zero. Nada. Niente.

Conjuring Koetter’s Stick

Tomlin was merely trying to stir up an us-against-the-world mentality for an underdog.

He saw the weather reports of an impending ice storm at Arrowhead. He doesn’t truly believe the league deliberately screwed the Steelers by moving back the Chiefs game from an early-afternoon start to an evening matchup.

Tomlin saw an opportunity to rile up his guys and he took the bait.

It’s called using everything at your disposal — and don’t think for a moment that Dirk Koetter hasn’t employed the same tactic. Coaches look for every edge they can get in setting a tone, manufactured or not.

The difference is that no Buccaneer had the audacity of taping a Koetter speech this season and posting it to the web.

Shame on the NFL for breaking down that locker room barrier, piece by piece. It’s now common for the league to show postgame speeches as game balls are handed out.

And while it makes for good theater, coaches should have the right to speak freely to their team without seeing the video posted on YouTube within minutes.

Remember when Koetter urged the Bucs to “speak softly and carry a big Mother-F$%&*@g stick” after the win in San Diego? You think that was the first time Koetter tried to rally his guys with an emotional talk?

What happens in the locker room should stay in the locker room.


Now back to Brady, Belichick and Tomlin for a moment.

This is the football equivalent of fake news. Brady doesn’t need extra motivation to cut your heart out. He’s ruthless in the best sense — like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or Serena Williams.

This a non-story, just like the September speculation that Brady’s four-game suspension would provide him with more incentive when he returned.


Like Jordan, Brady hates to lose … period. It doesn’t matter if it’s table tennis, chess or charades, losing is not an option.

Nothing Tomlin said in that video is going to matter once the ball is kicked off at Gillette Stadium. It’s not going to help Rob Ninkovich bring down Le’Veon Bell and it’s not going to help Nate Solder block James Harrison.

Forget all this chatter about the bulletin board. Keep your focus where it belongs.


12 Responses to “Antonio Brown, Dirk Koetter & Fake News”

  1. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    I think “reality TV” has gone far enough…in every walk of life.

    WTF ever happened to a little privacy and discretion? We have become the nosiet society in the history of mankind…TMZ…now the NFL…

    I agree with Ira completely that this is basically a non story especially in terms of the Pats…they could care less.

    But in terms of the Steelers I think Roethlisberger got it right…there are times in a locker room…with the FAMILY as #3 would say…that stuff should stay in house.

    I do not know NFL rules…perhaps Joe can help. How long are NFL coaches permitted to keep their locker rooms sealed after a game before they are mandated to open them up?

    I think what Antonio Brown did was wrong but not evil just a stupid mistake.

    Now I gotta be honest. If he had sold that video and make some $$$ then I would actually gauge interest in moving him.

  2. DB55 Says:

    I’m sure it matters to the steelers.

  3. Buccfan37 Says:

    Brown is a loose cannon, but you can’t beat his receiving ability. Like the Pats needed extra motivation. I agree with what Tomlin said about the Pats. F the Pats! I hope the Steelers beat their ass.

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    @Ira … “What happens in the locker room should stay in the locker room.” Ding, ding, ding … we have a winner.

  5. shouldhavedraftedefiert Says:

    If you think of the NFL as the WWE then Antonio Brown’s “mistake” will seem more like a marketing ploy. It’s a great matchup and Brown was doing his job by posting that video to create more buzz for the game and of course more eyeballs for the advertisers.

  6. ElioT Says:

    While I don’t think this gives the Pats any extra motivation to win the game, I do think it will give them plenty of motivation to run up the score and embarrass the Steelers.

    Stupid move by Antonio.

    Go Bucs!

  7. OAR Says:

    As much as reality TV has gotten to the point of ad nauseam, this is the wonderful world social media…..look at me… see what I’m doing!

  8. OAR Says:

    This match up needs no extra advertising or drumming up. Stupid move.

  9. Jimmy Says:

    Ira, you are naive!

    Perhaps quit grubbing out with Tony Dungy and watch the NFL Network. Many times that place has run a show with video of Bill Belichick the night before playing the Eagles in Super Bowl of him telling his team Eagles already had their victory parade planned.

    Of course Belichick is going to use this to fire up the Patriots!

  10. '74 Bucs Fan Says:

    I remember when the Bucs played Brady at home during a preseason game. Brady kicked are a$$, but Brady didn’t appear happy with some aspect of his performance and was seen standing alone at the end of the sideline looking pissed. That dude will shenk you for a win!

  11. cmurda Says:

    I wonder if the Joes pinch themselves at times that Ira is now a key figure on JBF. I know I do. How awesome to have a Hall of Fame voter who also happens to really understand NFL football.

    It’s absolutely insane to think that Tomlin’s speech means anything more than pumping his team up and celebrating a big win. The Patriots, and the Steelers for that matter, will play the same way had that speech never been known. It’s the freaking AFC Championship game. It’s nothing short of ridiculous to think that both teams won’t be attempting to bring their “A” game simply for the right to play in the Superbowl.

  12. Joe Says:

    I wonder if the Joes pinch themselves at times that Ira is now a key figure on JBF.