Steelers head coach and football philosopher, Mike Tomlin, is never hesitant to quip and use confusing catch phrases while talking football to the press. I’ve come to equate it as something like what an octopus does when threatened – it ejects ink into the water to confuse and disorient the potential predator. Tomlin continued that survival tactic on Tuesday during the coaches breakfast that took place in Phoenix Arizona.
Tomlin was questioned about the team’s chances of being a playoff team in 2013 after suffering some key losses with players released and those who went to other teams via free agency. And, in Tomlin fashion he replied,
That’s March talk. I’ll see you at stadiums in the fall.
Oh like ever the master, Tomlin easily crafts a playground type response that shuts the door and wipes the slate clean for the next question before anyone in the room has a chance to follow up with a more prodding query. What is this ‘March talk?’ Do you mean legitimate questions of how the team plans on getting better after a disappointing 8-8 season? Or better yet, how the team has been on the decline for the last several seasons with disappointing draft picks, poor development, and an inflated team salary that is compounding upon itself every year due to restructuring of contracts? When do we talk about those things, Mike?
I’ve never been a fan of the double talk that comes from Tomlin. I at one time respected such statements as ‘The standard is the standard,.’ But, as I see what that ‘standard’ is becoming, I’ve just about had my fill of Tomlinisms recently. To his credit, he did admit that the Steelers weren’t very good in 2012 when he said,
I acknowledge we got a ways to go. [We lost close games] because we weren’t good enough. Good teams win close games. Teams that are not lose those games.
There’s a start at least in some straight answers and shouldering of responsibility (and a far cry from ‘raising hell’). But, that’s about where it ended. He danced around the relationship between Haley and Roethlisberger like it had been just announced on Facebook or something. He also (as per usual) did not go into much depth on how the team plans on approaching using a new zone blocking scheme.
I guess it will be a mystery to us all what the Steelers plan on doing to
rebuild retool rehash restructure play football in 2013. We’ll just see him at the stadiums still making questionable coaching decisions. Don’t worry, when asked again why his team is sitting at 5-6 by Week 12 I’m sure he’ll come up with a doozy of a zinger like,
‘I’ve got the AFC right where I want them.’
‘The team is playing sound minded good solid physical mental hard tough football. We just lose some of those games.’
‘It may seem we are a team on the ropes. But then Rocky loses.’
‘Bleep bloop blerp blong….’
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