The Pittsburgh Steelers have been known for a lot of things since they started the franchise in 1933. In the recent history of the franchise, the Steelers have been synonymous with Mike Tomlin. Since being named the head coach of the team in 2007, Tomlin has been through it all with the Steelers.
Through it all, Tomlin has been known to have a way with words. Whether it being in his weekly press conferences, or his rare occasion on an outside media source. Many fans might feel as it they’ve heard it all from Tomlin since being hired in 2007, but when he recently joined The Pivot Podcast, co-hosted by Ryan Clark, Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder, fans saw a different side of Tomlin.
An openness and willingness to share stories and wisdom never heard from other media outlets. It took a former player, and former NFL players, to bring it out of Tomlin. Throughout the entire hour-and-a-half podcast, which can be viewed at the bottom of the article, you can hear Tomlin talk about a myriad of topics. Hear him talk about his early years of coaching, stories about his time in Tampa Bay and even about what it will be like without having Ben Roethlisberger at the helm in 2022.
Tomlin’s answer to that question, was telling.
“First of all, the dude’s [Roethlisberger] talent. When you watch someone do something at a certain level for so long, it messes up your perception of what’s regular and what’s not” Tomlin said. “The dude’s arm talent was so special for so long. When you see special stuff every day, you get used to it. I’ve enjoyed that comfort, we’ve all enjoyed that comfort, I’m excited about being uncomfortable.”
Of course Roethlisberger’s talent was evident and on display for 18 seasons, but what about moving forward? How will Tomlin approach the next quarterback, whoever that may be.
“Yeah, we might not have the same type of quarterback play we’ve had, we might not have the special talent we’ve had, but we have capable dudes. And we’ve got a team.” said Tomlin.
One facet of the quarterback discussion which often times gets lost in the shuffle was brought up by Tomlin, and that would be the financial obligation to a franchise quarterback. Every team needs one, but it also comes at a cost. And heading into 2022 the Steelers don’t have that cost for the first time in a long time.
“We’re also not allocating the damn money that we’ve allocated at the position in the past.” Tomlin said. “So there’s a redistribution of the money, so there better be a redistribution of the playmaking.”
Nonetheless, Tomlin knows moving forward without Roethlisberger isn’t as easy as a few catchy phrases. It’s going to be difficult.
“I just view the challenges of what lies ahead in that way. First of all, I’m looking forward to the anxiety associated with that uncertainty. To have to stand and deliver, to live out what we believe in — the standard is the standard.
“It’s like McDonald’s. You know what a No. 1 is. It doesn’t matter what corner of the globe, a No. 1 is a No. 1, and that’s what I want Pittsburgh Steelers football to be. So it doesn’t matter who puts their hands underneath the center, as far as I’m concerned.
“But, with all that cool stuff being said, it’s scary. But exciting.” added Tomlin.
It isn’t as if Tomlin hasn’t spoken about life without Roethlisberger before, but he sheds a new light, and honesty, on the organization moving on from the franchise quarterback they called their own since 2004.
For more of this outstanding interview, and to see/hear the entire podcast, check out the video below:
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA on July 26th.