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Mike Tomlin: Outside criticism is 'elevator music'

The Steelersdon't usually lose to the current iteration of the Browns. And when they do, it's never been as decisive as Sunday's 31-10 pasting in Cleveland.

In the wake of that loss, which dropped Mike Tomlin's team to a middling 3-3, former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and wide receiver Hines Ward spoke out. Cowher, who coached the team from 1992 to 2006, said his former team had "gotten soft." Ward spoke with disbelief about how the once-bruising Steelers had become a "finesse offense."

As you might expect, these comments made their way back to Tomlin on Tuesday.

"I don't worry about that; that's elevator music," Tomlin said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Love those guys, but those guys are on the outside looking in."

Tomlin took a different approach to his Tuesday news conference, naming several players he believed had to step up their game after the humbling Cleveland defeat. Markus Wheaton, Cortez Allen, Jason Worilds and even Ben Roethlisberger were all mentioned by name with specific criticism.

"Hopefully, we carry the baggage or the stench of that one for some time and use it as positive fuel," Tomlin said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Ward believes the Steelers are "very close to hitting that panic button." We're not sure Ward remains close enough to the organization to know that to be true, but Tomlin's comments on Tuesday tell us he's shifting into a different mode with his players. Start winning, or start facing the consequences.

We recap all the Week 6 action on a jaunty edition of the "Around the NFL Podcast." Find more Around The NFL content on NFL Now.

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