Head coach Mike Tomlin can have a jovial and joking personality. He rarely displays this, however, when he is in front of the cameras taking questions from members of the media—and it doesn’t matter if that’s members of the Pittsburgh Steelers beat team or if it’s the local media from their upcoming opponents, as the Cleveland Browns’ press found out yesterday.
Truth be told, of course, they already know that, because they’ve been seeing him twice a year for approaching a decade and a half at this point. But this chill and abruptness of some of his answers is still something that I find striking.
Tomlin is not in a great mood with the media, and it shows. He knows it’s just an obligation, and he wants to get it over with. He wants simple and direct answers and doesn’t want to entertain hypotheticals or ‘ponder’ things or basically provide any information that isn’t necessary.
We saw that a couple of times in his responses with the Browns’ media yesterday. He repeatedly deflected questions about the Steelers’ pass rush and about the deep passing game, qualities regarding the team that were being framed in a positive manner, by simply saying it’s something that they work hard on.
“I am not describing it as ‘special’”, he told a reporter when asked about the team’s ‘special’ pass rush, regardless of who was in the lineup. “We are hard working. We have to apply pressure to the quarterback. We work continually at it, and our agenda does not change, regardless of who is playing”.
His remarks were similar when he was asked about what appeared to be an improvement in the success rate of the deep passing game over the course of the final game and a half of the regular season. “I am not anticipating anything or seeking comfort in any area”, he said.
“We are just working hard, and we understand at the end of the week, the talk is going to stop”, Tomlin continued. “We are working hard for that, but I do not have any level of anticipation based on what has transpired thus far”.
While it might not be fun for the media to receive these answers, it reflects the frame of mind in which Tomlin is operating, which is directly at the task at hand. I like the fact that he talked about working hard multiple times. But that has tot show on the field on Sunday.