Mike Tomlin rips ESPN (while on ESPN) for its Mason Rudolph coverage

By the numbers The cost of Myles Garrett’s suspension

Previously covered the Kansas City Chiefs for the Kansas City Star and Oklahoma University for the Oklahoman.

Mike Tomlin appeared on ESPN's First Take on Monday morning to discuss Myles Garrett's allegation against his quarterback, Mason Rudolph, and he was piping hot mad. So I fully support Mason Rudolph, we as an organization fully support Mason Rudolph. And to be quite honest with you, we were a little hacked off by what we saw this weekend.

On his reasoning about his rare television appearance, Tomlin simply said, "When these allegations returned this past weekend, I thought it was appropriate that Mason was properly defended".

Tomlin released a statement defending Rudolph on Saturday, but his appearance on First Take was his first TV interview after Garrett doubled down on the remarks. As he did the first time the allegation surfaced, Rudolph vehemently denied using the term and said Garrett is trying to assassinate his character. "Nobody on that field corroborated what Myles Garrett said".

"In my conversations (with the Browns), I had a lot of sorrow for what transpired, " Tomlin said in a statement. "I think the National Football League office was very clear that they launched a thorough investigation among all parties involved including interviewing the people and the analysis of technology that was on that field and found no evidence of Myles' allegation, and I think that should be stated". He somehow lost his helmet and had to get another one without a mic, " Garrett told ESPN.

During an interview with ESPN, his first since being hit with a suspension after slugging Rudolph in the head with Rudolph's own helmet in the final seconds of a Browns win on November 14, Garrett said Rudolph called the defensive end "the N-word".

Garrett was suspended indefinitely after ripping off Rudolph's helmet and hitting the quarterback in the head with it near the end of the Week 11 contest. I've got a lot of personal relationships within that organization over there in Cleveland. "I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions".

"When he said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away".

At the time, an NFL spokesman said the league "found no such evidence" that Rudolph used the slur.

Tomlin expanded on why he felt the ESPN discussion surrounding the Garrett interview was unfair to Rudolph. "It's over with for me and I am pretty sure it's over with for Mason, so we just move past that and keep on playing football". And from what I've heard, there have been audio during that game that could have heard something or could not have heard something, but they don't want to say. As with every game, there were microphones on the center or interior linemen that help amplify the ambient sound as the quarterbacks were calling signals at the line of scrimmage. At no point did anyone within that organization come forward and say, 'Mike, heads up.

Tomlin reiterated his support Monday.

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