On Monday night, Gruden, who served as a mentor to Tomlin, resigned from his post as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after emails were uncovered in which Gruden used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language.
Given how the two had worked together for several years, Tomlin was asked about the situation on Tuesday.
“I’m just saddened by it,” Tomlin said, via CBS Sports. “I’m saddened for the Raiders organization, I’m saddened for the people that were offended by it, I’m saddened for Coach Gruden. It’s a sad commentary. And that’s really the only opinion that I care to share at this juncture.”
Earlier in the year, before the Steelers faced the Raiders in Week 2, Tomlin praised his former boss for helping develop his positive outlook and mentality as a head coach.
“Gruden has no fear,” Tomlin said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He doesn’t. He looks at an issue or a problem, and he sees it as an opportunity. I worked for him for four years. You can’t fake that. It’s every day from him.
“I’ve probably always generally had that mentality, but he helped me hone it as a vocation, as a coach. His can-do approach, the positive energy that he consistently brings to whatever challenge that the job presents helped me grow in a big way as a coach when I worked for him as a young guy, for sure.”
Gruden, who posted a 22-31 record in his second stint with the Raiders, was in the fourth year of a 10-year, $100 million contract when he stepped down this week.
“I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction,” Gruden said in a statement Monday night. “Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
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