"I want to see him get better as a man," Tomlin said. "Football and all the things associated with that are secondary."
Bryant's absence from the lineup strips Pittsburgh of an electrifying playmaker who piled up 17 total touchdowns over the past two seasons. The Steelers will miss his red-zone prowess, but Tomlin views the loss as an opportunity for someone else to emerge.
"Everybody's got a chance to compete for that job," Tomlin said.
"I'm excited about where he is," Tomlin said of Coates. "He worked hard last year, really saw improvement over the course of the season. I think it's reasonable to expect a guy in his second year to make a quantum leap. It's his second lap around the track and he knows what he's getting into and I look forward to watching the natural progression associated with that."
"We liked his skill set, we've (always) liked his skill set. We liked him when he came out of Louisiana at Lafayette," Tomlin said. "It's been fun to kind of see his progress from afar. We still believe that he's a guy that has some room for improvement -- and that's exciting. He's got a nice combination of youth and experience and we're excited about infusing that into our offense."