Ever done something for 15 years? I’m talking about 15 years continuously, not a cumulative number?
Mike Tomlin has as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he doesn’t seem to be growing tired of the “same old, same old”.
If you are someone who has had a job/occupation for that duration of time, there are certainly aspects of your job which you have grown not to like. Things which maybe once brought you joy, but now bring you nothing but agony. I feel that comes with the territory after 15 years of doing anything.
While Tomlin might feel this way about some aspects of being an NFL head coach, putting his team through offseason workouts isn’t one of them.
Sure, we’re talking about football in shorts, but when the Steelers wrapped up their rookie minicamp this past Sunday at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex Tomlin talked about how he still gets up for these workouts after all this time.
“Man, it’s the beginning.” Tomlin said of the rookies’ journeys. “It’s the beginning for them. It’s the beginning for us. It’s the first exposure for them. It’s a dry run for us. From a coach’s perspective, we got a finite amount of material and given a finite amount of time to present it, just the vocational component of lesson planning and so forth. We’re all here to get better and it’s at the very beginning stages of team development. So, there is some excitement, some anxiety, an edge with the beginning process.”
Many of you reading this might be thinking, “But Jeff, it’s football in shorts. This isn’t real football. What can possibly be gleaned from these glorified walk-throughs?” Well, Tomlin spoke about many aspects where talent can be evaluated and assessed, but mainly at one position — wide receiver.
“Particularly at the wide receiver position, you glean a lot of that stuff on video, in some other positions, it’s more difficult, but at the wide receiver position, you have a pretty good understanding I think of those type of capabilities.” Tomlin said. “But make no mistake about it. Laying a first-hand eye on them in a venue like this confirms some of those things, but so does pro day travel. And that’s why getting out for pro days and seeing them in person and working at their universities prior to the draft is an important component for us.”
For the Steelers’ top draft pick, Kenny Pickett, the team got more than just a pro day glimpse of their new quarterback. Sharing a facility gave the Steelers an invaluable amount of access to the Pitt quarterback, but that doesn’t mean the coaching staff hasn’t gotten a new sense of what Pickett brings to the team over the course of the three-day minicamp.
“Not particularly with him, but obviously I got a heck of a lot more exposure to him.” Tomlin said about his first practices with Pickett in a Steelers practice uniform. “Particularly from a personal standpoint, the man, relative to some of his teammates.”
This is a new era of Steelers football in many ways. The post-Ben Roethlisberger era, and even the post-Kevin Colbert era, once the team announces their new General Manager (GM). But one thing is for certain, if you think for a second Mike Tomlin is sick and tired of his job after all these years, you’re dead wrong.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp.