Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has sat down for another Q&A session with Steelers Digest. Here's a few excerpts I enjoyed:
Q. How much of a primary weapon has Santonio Holmes become for this offense?
Tomlin:That was the intention when he was drafted in the first round. He's a quality football player, he has great character traits as a player, he can stretch the field vertically, he can run the tough routes and catch the ball in traffic. He's just a very talented young man, and every week he's getting better. He understands the responsibility that comes with being Santonio. He understands he's a big part of what we do.
Q. What do you mean when you say Holmes "has great character traits as a player?"
Tomlin: He's got speed, he's got body control, he can re-direct, he can stick his foot in the ground. He has long arms, so it allows him to play bigger than he is. He has a bunch of physical talent.
Q. Do you have to catch yourself, or is your personality such that you're not someone who reacts and scolds somebody on the spot?
Tomlin:Football is an emotional game played by emotional men. I'm there to make sure they're able to play at their best. Everybody's intentions are to contribute and be successful and to work. I give them that credit going into stadiums, and really, I try to be a calming force if I can be on game day.
It's the last quote I find particular interesting and astute on the part of Tomlin. He keeps emphasizing that it is a given that his players will show up to work and give their 100 % best effort. If they're doing that, then there's no need to blow-up all the time over mistakes, right? I'm sure it's not all hugs and kisses all the time at the Steelers practice facility, but I'm becoming a believer of Tomlin's ability to keep players from playing overly tight on game-day with his calm sideline demeanor.