The Steelers are your AFC North Champions and will have a warm-up game against the Browns before the playoffs begin next weekend.
Before the playoff opponents are set coach Mike Tomlin resumes his Tuesday spot behind the microphone to wrap up the previous game, update any injury statuses, breakdown the upcoming game and answer questions.
Tomlin described the Christmas win over Baltimore pretty accurately as “awesome.” He described the pride he felt in realizing how the win created memories for Steeler fans attending the game on a holiday like that.
His first praise after that went to the young guys like Sean Davis and Artie Burns. He lauded the defense for the sprit in which they took the field after the turnovers as well as the spirit in which with offense took the field for that last 40 seconds or so.
The injuries leaving the Ravens game were minimal with only Robert Golden with an ankle injury possibly limiting his availability for the game against the Browns. Tomlin noted additional bumps and bruises are common following games against Baltimore.
Tomlin acknowledged that the Browns game is the fan appreciation game and wants to appreciate the fans but also wants to head into the playoffs with healthy stars. He reminds everyone that they’ve played playoff games without the likes of Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Maurkice Pouncey and he’d much more prefer to play with them rather than without them.
Also under consideration for rest would be obviously Ben Roethlisberger. He expects the rest of the guys dressed for the game to play “business as usual” and not overlook a team like the Browns.
Breaking down the Browns
There’s no need to preview the Browns. They’re the Browns. At this point the only thing left they have to lose is the No. 1 overall draft pick so there’s that. Not that draft picks are all that helpful to a team that has been drafting in the top ten for like a century and still can’t put a winning season together.
But hey, it’s football and Mike Tomlin breaking it down so he’s going to go through the team and talk them up as if they’re actual competition.
Tomlin was asked what adjustments the team has made to get them on this current six-game win streak and naturally Tomlin noted that it was more of the team embracing their roles and doing what they’re supposed to do.
It’s funny how the questions are sometimes posed to him as if he’s supposed to open up the playbook to the press when in reality a head football coach would rather give out his kid’s social security numbers than reveal game plan information.
Tomlin was asked over and over about the play-call that led to Antonio Brown’s game-winning touchdown with nine seconds left on the clock. Tomlin said that the plan called for Brown to score and that’s what he did.
In that answer Tomlin gave us a new Tomlinism in that he appeared to not be able to recall the word “water cooler” and said that Brown’s play provided good “water machine” talk. – Tomlinism
To wrap up the presser Tomlin provided a mic drop to end all mic drops on former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who had previously criticized Tomlin saying that he didn’t think he was a great coach and called him more of a “cheerleader”.
Tomlin provided a perfect response that was both humble and provided a zing to Bradshaw forty years in the making.
"“I appreciate the support, but criticism and critique are very much a part of our business and it’s an element of our business that as a competitor, I embrace. The term ‘great’ is something that I have a great deal of respect for. I certainly don’t think that my resume to this point reads as great but very few coaches resumes read that at this point. Guys like Bill (Belichick) in New England can probably say that or Pop (Greg Popovich) down in San Antonio but I think the rest of us our just working stiffs, to be quite honest with you.Now that being said, terms like ‘cheerleader guy,’ to me, maybe fall outside the bounds of critique or criticism. They fall probably more into the area of disrespect or unprofessional. But what do I know? I grew up a Dallas fan, particularly a Hollywood Henderson fan.” – Mike Tomlin"
For those kids who don’t get the reference Henderson once said of Bradshaw that he was so dumb that he couldn’t spell C-A-T if you spotted him the “C” and the “A”.
Mike Tomlin, ladies and gentlemen.
We had quite a few Obviously’s this week, clearly he’s in playoff form with 7 today.
Bring on the Browns! Here we go Steelers! Here we go!