Steelers' Kevin Colbert comfortable with coach Mike Tomlin's handling of team

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert is putting the whole team-turmoil theme to bed.

Despite the Steelers' flat playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and former players criticizing the head coach, Mike Tomlin has full control of locker room and the organization is going strong, Colbert told reporters at Saint Vincent College, home of the team's training camp.

"I had no question about our mental preparation, our internal organization and how our team is run," Colbert said on Friday. "No concern whatsoever about our team's attitude, discipline and all that other stuff that's talked about. Absolutely no concern."

Steelers all-time sacks leader James Harrison made headlines last week when he said on FS1's 'Undisputed' that Tomlin is a "player's coach" who needs to dole out more discipline. The Steelers cut Harrison in December, in part because he wanted out because of a lack of playing time.

Tomlin also took heat for hyping up last year's Week 15 matchup -- and potential playoff rematch -- with the New England Patriots weeks before the game during an interview with NBC's Tony Dungy.

The Steelers never saw the Patriots in January. The Jaguars put up 45 points in a divisional-round playoff win at Heinz Field. Guard David DeCastro was among Steelers who bemoaned teammates discussing future opponents and possibly overlooking Jacksonville.

Colbert, however, said Tomlin has a unique ability to command a roster and relate to the "generational" player in the social media era, caring about individuals as people as well as players.

Tomlin owns a 116-60 regular-season record, one of the best clips for a coach's first 11 seasons.

"[People] don't see the coach Tomlin in a meeting room; they don't hear a coach Tomlin talk to his team and watch them pay attention," Colbert said. "They don't see him in a one-on-one meeting with a player whether a player is doing something good or bad."

The next challenge for Tomlin and Colbert is managing Le'Veon Bell upon his return, which likely won't be until September. Bell is playing on a second consecutive franchise tag but hasn't signed his tag yet, which clears him from any fines for missing training camp. Both sides failed to reach a long-term contract over back-to-back summers.

Colbert doesn't anticipate any bad blood with Bell.

"[When he gets here], he will be in top physical condition. He won't be in top football condition," Colbert said. "When he gets on the field, I never worry about Bell's competitiveness. He wants to prove that he believes he is the best. So I don't worry about that at all. He's gonna put the team above individual goals."

Colbert's biggest concern is Bell's lack of football reps. Bell started slow last year with 3.46 yards per carry through the first three weeks. He showed up for work Week 1 and completed an All-Pro and Pro Bowl season with nearly 2,000 total yards.

"Did him missing training camp hurt him? He was a Pro Bowler," Colbert said. "Did it hurt us, could he have been a better Pro Bowler? Yes, I believe so. Because I think anybody that misses training camp, be it through injury or not being here, they are not going to be as good. Was he still a Pro Bowler? Yes, he was, but from a team standpoint, which is our main focus right now, sure, to have everybody here is important. But he's not here, so we can't dwell on it, and all we can do is try to get better with what we've got."

James Conner entered training camp as a leading candidate to start preseason games in Bell's place. Colbert said the position is an "unknown" without Bell, but the team is counting on Conner showing he can play a full season after injuries, conditioning and pass protection plagued his rookie campaign.