Tomlin has been called nothing more than a fancy cheerleader by the likes of Terry Bradshaw but has also received support and recognition from the likes of ex-Steeler head coach and Hall of Famer, Bill Cowher.
Beyond that, his players love him and would run through walls for him. They insist he’s a football geek who spends every waking hour looking for that one small detail that might give his team the winning edge. I want to see how it works inside the walls of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
For the first three years on the job, defensive coordinator Keith Butler was viewed either as an abject failure or as a puppet for Tomlin’s failed defensive schemes. Then last year happened. The Steelers added All-Pro free safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick, rookie inside linebacker, Devin Bush, and suddenly the defense presented opponents serious problems at all three levels.
I’d like to know what influence Butler has on the players and the defensive scheme. I’d also like to see offensive line coach, Shaun Sarrett in action as he attempts to crawl out of the shadow of Hall of Famer Mike Munchak. And then there’s Randy Fichtner. Is he a victim of missing key personnel as has apparently occurred with Butler, or does he simply lack the creativity and critical thinking skills needed to deploy modern NFL gameplans?