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
Why would I sign up for that?
As we continue through the 2019 season, let’s go back to Coach Tomlin’s weekly press conference leading into the Steelers Week 6 game in Los Angeles against the Chargers on Sunday Night Football. With Devlin Hodges seeing his first regular-season NFL action the previous game and a high possibility of starting the upcoming week, questions about the young quarterback dominated the press conference.
The first question Tomlin fielded about Hodges what about his overall impressions after seeing him in action.
“Really, no different than my impressions that I have had throughout this process,” Tomlin replied. “Most of which I have expressed to you guys. He has an awareness and savvy, or moxie, about him that is beyond his experience. It was evident in Latrobe, he carried it in the preseason stadiums and now he has given us a little insight that he is capable of carrying it in the regular season stadiums. It is all positive. Obviously, he lacks a lot of experience in the things that go with experience, but I like his demeanor. I like his steady eddy attitude and approach to it. I think that is an asset to him and us in the present circumstance.”
While Hodges’ “moxie” did help him in his first start and in other circumstances for the Steelers in 2019, it was only able to carry him so far as he was replaced in Week 16 by Mason Rudolph. Unfortunately, Rudolph suffered a season-ending injury which brought Hodges back into the game where he finished up the rest of the season.
Tomlin was also asked about if he had any past circumstances to help him in dealing with an inexperienced quarterback making his first start.
“I have been in this thing long enough that it is all pretty much a re-run to me. The last time we were out to play the Chargers, they were in San Diego and I think we were with our fourth quarterback that Monday night game. If you are thankful enough to do this job long enough, it all becomes a re-run in some form or fashion.”
The game to which Coach Tomlin was referring to was Week 5 of 2015 when the Steelers defeated the chargers 24-20 with Michael Vick at quarterback. For those who may not recall, it is the game where Le’Veon Bell scored a touchdown as time expired for the victory. Even though Vick was not even in camp to start the 2015 season, he did bring a lot of experience to the table as a former first overall draft pick.
Another question posed to Tomlin was if he possibly imagined having to start a quarterback who was in camp who didn’t initially make the 53-man roster. For this response, Tomlin was very brief.
“I am not into the hypotheticals.”
As much as Tomlin downplayed having to go so low on the depth chart at the quarterback position, he was able to bring it back to close the press conference. At a time when it was rumored the Washington Redskins were interested in Tomlin to fill their head-coaching position, one reporter dared ask him about his thoughts on the process.
“Guys, I am the head coach of a 1-4 football team that is going on the road to play a hall of fame caliber quarterback with my third quarterback. You think I am worried about anything this week other than that?”
The Steelers had a lot stacked against them going into Week 6. Starting to season 1-4 and having to go with a player at quarterback who didn’t even make the roster to begin the year, to say they faced a tough situation would be an understatement. Hoping to gain some momentum for their bye week, the entire team stepped up in order to help secure the victory.