Mike Tomlin was asked several times to comment on the post-play actions or referee decisions from a Denver Broncos’ game that was full of them.
But he was even more terse than usual, making it very clear he spent no time worrying about anything other than the game and now, how to win the next one.
At his usual Tuesday press conference, he was first asked if he had any reaction to Broncos’ safety David Bruton Jr. not being taken out of the game after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Cody Wallace.
“I hadn’t looked at it in that perspective. I got my coaching hat on right now. The play was penalized and appropriately so. So I’ve moved on.”
Expect Wallace to be heavily fined for his hit, as Dave Bryan outlined Monday. It was also later found out that Bruton Jr. wound up playing through the game with a fractured fibula, though that is unrelated to Wallace’s collision.
He gave a similar answer to if he received clarification over why Antonio Brown’s 3rd and 7 catch mid-way through the 4th quarter was nullified by the Broncos’ neutral zone infraction.
“I did not. I didn’t spend a lot of time analyzing it, to be honest with you. We won the game. It’s getting to the latter part of this journey. I just focus my energy on moving forward to this week challenge.”
For what it’s worth, the Steelers would wind up converting the 3rd and 2 after the penalty.
Part of what makes Tomlin so frustrating is what makes him such a good leader. He’s stubborn and single-minded, sometimes to a fault. But the outside world, events that unfold after the whistle, will never drive or motivate him. It’s that “next play, next game” message he’s gotten the Steelers to buy into so well. None of the extraneous matters are going to act as a distraction.
Mike Tomlin has a swagger. Bill Belichick has a swagger. Rex Ryan has bravado. There’s a subtle, yet clear difference between the two. Both include a level of confidence. But Ryan’s boils over into arrogance. Swept up in the frivilous parts of the game: entertaining press conferences, deciding what captains to pick that week to “stick it” to the other man. It’s worthless and the results show it.
Tomlin is on track to make another playoff appearance and his team is considered to have the best chance to beat Belichick’s Patriots, who are flying high for another season despite a laundry list of injuries. Ryan’s Bills have been eliminated from the playoffs – again. His players will be setting up their vacation plans the next two weeks. Tomlin’s will be gearing up for the playoffs.