The questions were sitting on a tee waiting for Mike Tomlin. As the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach sat down to discuss the previous game against the Cincinnati Bengals and the upcoming game against the Denver Broncos, he knew he would be peppered with questions about the Wild Card playoff game.
"Where you aware Joey Porter was on the field?"
"Do you instruct your coaches to stay back during injury injury timeouts?"
"Was Joey Porter given a game ball after the game?"
"What did you think of the environment Saturday night?"
All of these questions, and more, flew at Tomlin, and the coach batted them away with ease, but the questions persisted. This time more directed towards the comments made from players like Andrew Whitworth and Adam Jones, but the coach took the high road by quickly stopping any questions surrounding the previous game.
Tomlin spoke of respect towards the Bengals, their team, their coaches and their organization. Certainly a change in pace compared to the ongoing banter coming from both the Bengals and Steelers players. However, you have to give Tomlin credit for taking the high road and not stooping down to the level of others, but also by helping to focus his team on the upcoming game, and not looking in the rear view mirror.
Tomlin often speaks to his players and team through his press conferences. Last week he boasted about the work ethic and how Steelers Nation will love Fitzgerald Toussaint. Tomlin knew he would need the young running back brimming with confidence heading into his first NFL playoff game, and it looked to pay dividends for the team.
Tomlin respectfully refusing to answer questions about the Cincinnati game further emphasizes to his team it is time to move on. No need to re-hash all which transpired Saturday night, not when the team has another game to prepare for this Sunday in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Nonetheless, he did indirectly throw a small zinger towards Cincinnati by stating they have time to re-live the previous game, while the Steelers have game preparation to worry about.
The Steelers and Broncos will be played Sunday January 17th at 4:45 p.m. EDT.