In order to make the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers need to beat the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and at the same time hope the Buffalo Bills can somehow manage to upset the New York Jets. With that said, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin won’t be contacting Bills head coach Rex Ryan this week to let him know how much Pittsburgh will be pulling for Buffalo.
“Oh, certainly,” said Tomlin when asked if he has any kind of relationship with Ryan, whose Bills enter Week 17 with a 7-8 record and already eliminated from the playoffs. “Rex is a guy that I consider a friend and obviously a coach who I have a great deal of respect for. But I won’t be calling him, or anything of that nature, this week if that’s your next question.”
Ryan, who was hired by the Bills this year, probably doesn’t need any extra motivation from Tomlin to beat the Jets being as they fired him at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Ryan, as you can probably imagine, would probably love nothing more than to eliminate the Jets from the playoffs on the final week of the season. While it has been several weeks ago, the Bills already beat the Jets in the first meeting between the two teams, so at least there’s a small glimmer of hope for the Steelers, assuming they can beat the Browns on Sunday.
In addition to him not planning to contact Ryan this week, Tomlin indicated Tuesday that he has no issues with any of his players taking a peek at the out of town scoreboard during Sunday’s game against the Browns, if they choose to do so.
“I don’t care,” said Tomlin. “If the Jets are winning the game, it’s going to be up quite a bit because we’ll be in Cleveland’s stadium. That’s really irrelevant in terms of what we need to do in terms of performing in the stadium. So, it’s part of life at this level. I’d imagine that there’s going to be information regarding the game, but that information has no bearing on how, or what it is, that we need to do in terms of our play. I’m not overly concerned about that element of it.”