Bleier rips Steelers, questions Tomlin, Butler


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Rocky Bleier in October at Heinz Field. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

LOS ANGELES -- Rocky Bleier, a Vietnam War veteran wounded in combat only to recover into a four-time Super Bowl champion, has achieved as much as anyone in sports at the art of fighting back.

And it sure doesn't sound like he believes the current Steelers will do anything of the kind.

Ripping the team's fragility, its defense, its defensive coordinator, even its head coach in a Facebook video posted Monday night, Bleier became the first of the team's many still-celebrated alumni to speak publicly about the three-game losing streak that's suddenly put a playoff spot in peril. And, true to his public speaking history, he didn't exactly mince words:

• On the state of the team: "I'm done. They have ripped my heart out. With the talent they have, how can they lose three out of the last four games in the manner that they did? ... It's not about a referee or an injury. It's about overcoming obstacles. If you don't, then fingers need to be pointed."

On Chris Boswell: "The purpose of a kicker is to put his team in a position to win. If you can't do that, then maybe you need to go."

• On the defense: "If you have an offense that puts you in position to win, then, as a defense, you cannot let your opponent march down the field and strip you of your dignity. This season, that has happened too often.

On the coordinator: If you point a finger, well, maybe Keith Butler has to go."

On Mike Tomlin's status: "With three games remaining, the Steelers' destiny lies in their hands. But it's shaky, with the Patriots, Saints and Bengals on the horizon. How they fare will dictate the team's future ... and it may be without Tomlin."

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