Mike Tomlin is a known wordsmith. His press conferences are pure hilarity in terms of how he weaves his way in and around difficult questions, always using verbage only he would use to construct an intricate web of deception and distraction.
So, when Tomlin declares to the media at the owners' meeting earlier this week that he "believes" in the current crop of cornerbacks on the Steelers' 2015 roster, pardon me for call B.S. and Tomlin doing his usual song and dance which equates to nothing but blowing smoke.
See Tomlin's response to the simple question of whether the team is concerned about the cornerback situation:
"We believe in the process that we go through, and we also believe in the men that we have. I know that some of the guys that we have on our roster at the position right now don't have extended resumes. But that's always the case. How do you gain experience without going through the process of gaining experience. These guys are driven, and they want to be positive contributors to our efforts and reasons why we are successful. Some of those guys played key roles down the stretch last year. Antwon Blake made a few significant plays for us in big moments, stripping the ball from A.J. Green late in December to kind of secure the AFC North title for us, being an example. I expect the guys that we have continue to grow and get better. I expect to add credible and competent men to that mix to provide competition, and put them in a competitive environment to see who comes out on top. And I am completely comfortable that at the end of that we are going to have above the line cornerback play."
Let's call a spade a spade here, what is Tomlin supposed to say in response to that question? "Well, I'm not sure if William Gay, Cortez Allen, Antwon Blake and B.W. Webb could cover anyone?" No. As stated before, the coach knows how to manipulate the media, and he knows how to get his players' attention through those media members.
It pains me to think this, but Tomlin might actually be right about the men he currently has in the room. Sure, the team will look to address cornerback in the upcoming NFL Draft, but take a look at the list of players again. Gay has been nothing more than extraordinary the past few seasons, being hands down the team's best cornerback. Cortez Allen followed a great 2013 up with a dud in 2014. Who am I to say he can't resurrect his career with another strong season in 2015? Last year, the team was slaughtered for bringing in Brice McCain, but when McCain was thrust into the starting lineup, he produced. Antwon Blake could follow the same role as McCain did in 2014. Webb continues to be the outlier in this equation, but as Tomlin referenced in his quote, he doesn't have much of an expanded resume.
The Steelers' secondary needs help, but Tomlin believing in his players shouldn't shock anyone. He is a good coach and understands his words carry extra connotation in some instances, this being one of those times. Regardless of what fans think, a big-name free agent isn't walking into the South Side facility looking for a job. Sometimes all you have to do is believe.