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Tomlin: I could have handled contract question better

Mike Tomlin Mike Tomlin - The Canadian Press

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin admits he could have handled a question about his contract status following the team's season-ending loss to the Buffalo Bills a little better.

Tomlin, 51, abruptly ended his availability on Monday and left the dais when ESPN's Brooke Pryor began to ask about his contract status. Tomlin is only contracted through the 2024 season.

At Thursday's end-of-season availability, Tomlin admitted he reacted poorly, but maintains the question wasn't pertinent to the team's 31-17 loss in the AFC wild-card round.

"I could have handled that situation better than I did," Tomlin said. "I believe there's a time and place for everything and postgame press conferences aren't the time and place to address contract issues."

"What's required to do what it is that we do, the amount of focus poured into a collective," Tomlin continued, "I'm just not in that mind state and I don't believe that's the appropriate venue to talk about things of that nature. I'm certainly open and willing to do it today in this venue."

Addressing an extension, Tomlin said that while he believes one will be done, it's not at the top of mind for him right now.

 "It'll get done when it gets done," he said. "It's not a top priority, as far as the timing of it."

A native of Hampton, VA, Tomlin just wrapped up his 17 season as Steelers head coach. The team has reached the postseason on 11 occasions under Tomlin, who holds a playoff record of 8-10. Tomlin's Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII in 2009 in his second season on the job.

Tomlin's 173 regular-season victories are 11th-most all-time and third among active coaches behind Bill Belichick (302) and Andy Reid (258). Tomlin trails Chuck Noll by 20 wins for the franchise record.