By Michael K. Reynolds
Obviously the performance of Pittsburgh Steelers players and coaches was below the line against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Because of this, head coach Mike Tomlin, who until this week was known as a “players coach” is pulling off the gloves.
During this week’s press conference Tomlin announced his strategies for fixing what’s broken. Here are a few brief excerpts of the “extreme measures” to be implemented this week.
Tomlin was so upset with Antonio Brown’s 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration that he is ordering all of his players to go through a mandatory training regimen. The irate head coach explained that half of practice time this week will be dedicated to rehearsing post-touchdown celebrations. “My problem with 84’s penalty was not primarily that it was flagged, but that it was lacking imagination. If it’s going to cost us fifteen, it had better be spectacular. We demand more from our leaders.” It’s been rumored that Hines Ward and the Dancing With The Stars team will be on hand to direct the drills.
Referees At Practice
NFL officials will also be at the Steelers practice facility this week. Cameron Heyward and a select group of players will get individualized instruction on how to yell at the referees “within the lines of the rules”. Heyward was noticeably upset with the missed holding call on teammate Sean Spence during the loss against the Buccaneers and expressed his disappointment in many different languages. However; as reported by Ian Rapoport, what ultimately got him the penalty (and suspension from ESPN broadcasts) was hollering, “Goodell is a liar!”
Two- Minute Drill
At the press conference Tomlin was pressured about clock management during the Steelers late drive at the end of the first half where precious points were squandered. Rather than generating a touchdown, the drive sputtered and the result was a missed 50-yeard field goal attempt by distance-challenged kicker Shaun Suisham. In particular the Steelers decision to spike the ball on 2nd and 6 was questioned by the press. Tomlin was adamant in his defense. “The problem wasn’t the call. It was execution. We’ll be addressing that.” Tomlin said that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be working on his technique and if necessary, Antonio Brown will show him how to spin the ball more effectively.
Youth Movement Cancelled
As it’s obvious all of the blame can be placed on the new kids on the block Tomlin announced the “Youth movement will be cancelled until further notice.” No player with less than 10 years of experience will allowed on the field. Reports are surfacing that the agents of Aaron Smith, Greg Lloyd and Bubby Brister have already been contacted.
Assistant Offensive Coach Hired
Tomlin said he was ultimately responsible for the unpopular draw play ending the Steelers final offensive series of the game and offered his “unwavering support of Todd Haley”. But in a seeming contradiction to this statement he went on to announce the hiring of Snoop Dogg as an “special offensive consultant”. Tomlin added, “We are in no way ready to flush down the season.”