FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers speaks to an official in the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Mike Tomlin shreds Terry Bradshaw over disrespectful "cheerleader" comment

Mike Tomlin shows Terry Bradshaw he can't win a battle of wits between the two

Pittsburgh Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw appears to have gotten himself into a war of words with Mike Tomlin, and he's outmanned.

After Bradshaw went on Fox Sports 1's Speak for Yourself program last week and made a few denigrating remarks about the Steelers' head coach, calling him a "great cheerleader" and not "a great coach at all," Tomlin fired back and proved that the Hall of Fame quarterback might be ill-suited for a battle of wits between the two.

"Terms like 'cheerleader guy,' to me, maybe fall outside of bounds of critique or criticism," Tomlin said during a news conference Tuesday. "They probably fall more toward the area of disrespect and unprofessional. But what do I know? I grew up a Dallas fan. Particularly a [Thomas] 'Hollywood' Henderson fan."

That response is so witty, it begs for clarification. Back in 1979 when the Cowboys and the Steelers were the NFL's biggest rivals, Henderson was quoted as saying that Bradshaw "is so dumb he couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the C and the A," a reference to the country bumpkin persona that defined Bradshaw at the time.

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Despite being taken aback by Bradshaw's disapproving words, Tomlin calls it an occupational hazard, one that he hasn't risen above just yet.

"...Criticism and critique are very much a part of our business," Tomlin said. "It's an element of our business that as a competitor I embrace. The term 'great,' that's something I have a great deal of respect for. I certainly don't think that my résumé to this point reads as great. But very few coaches' résumés read as that at this point. Guys like Bill [Belichick] in New England probably can say that, Pop [Gregg Popovich] down in San Antonio. I think the rest of us are just working stiffs, to be quite honest with you."