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Mike Tomlin downplays concerns about 2013 Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to reach the playoffs in 2012 and then lost Mike Wallace to free agency and released former defensive player of the year James Harrison.

Rashard Mendenhall and Keenan Lewis signed elsewhere, and Willie Colon was cut. Casey Hampton and Max Starks also are expected to leave as unrestricted free agents.

Coach Mike Tomlinhas an answer for those who think the Steelers are trending down.

"That's March talk," Tomlin told Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Gerry Dulac on Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix. "I'll see you at stadiums in the fall."

That's why we listen when Tomlin speaks. He doesn't exactly mince words.

Tomlin even gave us this gem about the read-option Tuesday morning.

"I think it's the flavor of the day. We will see if it's the flavor of the year," Tomlin said. "See if guys are committed to getting their guys hit."

The Steelers haven't commanded much attention this offseason, but haven't missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 1999 and 2000. That consistency plus Tomlin's 63-33 record, which doesn't include a single losing season, has earned him the benefit of the doubt.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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