Once again, it doesn’t seem like a Tuesday unless we are graced with words from Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin from his weekly press conference. Since we aren’t expected to hear from coach Tomlin until the NFL draft in April, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting quotes Tomlin has given us this past season.
We’ve experienced several “Throwback Tomlin Tuesday” quotes so far this off-season. So far we have re-lived the following:
A nose guard is like Blockbuster video
We weren’t ready for prime time tonight
So that’s how you lay an egg
We’ve got to make plays
I’m not a doctor
We’re excited infusing him into the fold
You have to work in concert as a football team
The competitor in all of us is a little bit pissed off
It feels really good to handle our business
Obviously, the night was not perfect
As we continue through the 2019 season, let’s go back to Coach Tomlin’s post game press conference following the Steelers Week 5 overtime loss at home to the Baltimore Ravens. When asked about the decision to kickoff to start overtime, Tomlin was very worked up with his response.
“Man, did you see our kickoff return in this football game?” Tomlin asked. “Did you see their kickoff team?”
To put what Coach Tomlin was talking about in context, the best return on a kickoff the Steelers had on the day was to the 24-yard line. Unfortunately, even that return got called back on a holding penalty and the Steelers ultimately started at their own 12.
Tomlin went on to explain exactly what the Ravens were doing for kickoffs.
“Every time they put the ball on about the 2 yard line and Tucker hung the ball at about 4.5 seconds and we couldn’t get back to the 15. Why would I sign up for that?”
While it wasn’t every time, the Steelers did start three of their five drives after a kickoff either at or inside the 15 yard line. The other two kick off‘s were touchbacks. Had the Steelers not run the opening kick off out of the end zone, the majority of the kickoffs would have actually been touchbacks. If taking away the penalty on the kickoff and the Steelers running the ball out of the end zone, there was only one kickoff in the game where the Steelers only reached the 15 yard line.
Rather than taking the chance of putting the offense in poor field conditions, Tomlin decided to not take the opening kickoff in overtime.
“I put the defense on the field in an effort to fight for field position and put the onus on them to get the stop. So when we got the ball, we got it on the 30-something which is dramatically different then when our kickoff return team took the field all afternoon.”
As much as people wanted to criticize the decision, Tomlin’s strategy worked exactly how he planned. Rather than put his young quarterback seeing his first regular-season action in a bad spot to start overtime, the defense made the stop and the Steelers received the ball at their 32-yard line. Unfortunately, a costly fumble surrendered both possession and the game to the Ravens.