Hey, you might not like Stephen A. Smithall the time, but you gotta give him this: He asked the questions people want answered.
Speaking with Mike Tomlin on ESPN Monday morning, Smith brought up three primary topics. First, there was Antonio Brown and the likelihood of a Steelers reunion. (Spoiler alert: It's not likely.)
Then he asked Tomlin all about the Mason Rudolph-Myles Garrett incident, and Tomlin passionately defended his quarterback for not just what happened on the field in that Week 11 melee but for everything that's happened in the aftermath.
“These accusations are serious,” Tomlin said. “Not only in terms of Mason Rudolph’s character, but his professional pursuits. Nobody on that field corroborated what Myles Garrett said.”
That left one burning topic: Ben Rothlisberger.
Roethlisberger went down midway through the Steelers' Week 2 loss to the Seahawks in 2019, requiring season-ending elbow surgery. Recently, Kevin Colbert went on the record saying everything was in order and everything looked good with his quarterback's recovery.
Monday, Tomlin echoed those sentiments.
"Man, he looks great, but he's not doing anything," Tomlin said with a laugh.
Smith chuckled and asked for a little more.
"No, he looks awesome, man," Tomlin continued. "But he hadn't been asked to do anything as it pertains to his rehabilitation. The process day to day is going great, but we're not at a significant crossroads, and it's going to be a number of days before we are."
OK, so nothing significant at the moment, but what everyone wants to know, coach, is this: Will Roethlisberger be ready to roll for Week 1 of the 2020 season?
"I have no hesitation," Tomlin said. "And I base that opinion on my experience and relationship with him and being around him for the number of years that I have. This guy is the ultimate competitor. He's dropped the gauntlet down. He's made a statement that he's coming back, and I look forward to watching him answer that challenge."
Watch Tomlin's full interview with ESPN right here: