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Vince Williams Credits Mike Tomlin For Key Sideline Adjustments: ‘He Makes It So Simple And Effective’

The look from the sidelines is a familiar one for Mike Tomlin throughout games. One to rarely show his emotions during difficult times, there he stands stoic, a fire burning deep underneath while reflecting a calm, cool, collected presence outwardly.

Sometimes, that can be to his detriment from the perspective of the fanbase, as sometimes Tomlin can be viewed as complacent and immune to making adjustments. Of course, that’s a silly narrative to push, as nobody knows what’s being said through the headsets or to the players on the sidelines but the players and coaches themselves.

So, when you hear a player the stature of Vince Williams speak on Tomlin’s sideline presence and his ability to make simple and effective adjustments, you tend to listen.

Appearing on The Arthur Moats Experience Monday night with hosts Arthur Moats and Eric “Deke” Deklaven, Williams talked about his experience under Tomlin, stating that the Steelers and their fanbase are spoiled to have a coach the level of Tomlin.

“You guys have no clue how good Mike T is,” Williams said to Moats and Deklaven, according to video via The Arthur Moats Experience’s YouTube page. “So spoiled. When it comes to the man, the man is amazing. Like, I’ve talked to other coaches and been like, ‘yo, you’re a head coach? You’re an idiot.’ But I only feel that way because of the level of competence I’ve been around for the majority of my career. I pretty much have a Ph.D in football. At this point I had Dick LeBeau as a coach. I had Bobby Bowden as a coach. I had Mickey Andrews as a coach. I had Jimbo Fisher as a coach. I had Mike Tomlin as a coach.

“I’m just saying man, I know ball,” Williams added. “But it’s a lot of dudes who don’t really know football like that, but they get these jobs because they speak really well. And if you guys knew how many games Mike T coached us out of, but we’re not gonna say that we’re not gonna come to the media and just be like, ‘man, we suck. But Mike T saved our butts.'”

When Williams speaks about football, and especially the resume and the greatness of a coach like Mike Tomlin, one should probably listen, considering the coaches Williams has been around throughout his football life, as he listed. To be put in the same company with names like Bobby Bowden, Dick LeBeau, Mickey Andrews and more is quite impressive company for Tomlin.

He knows football, is a great coach and consistently gets results, even if those results don’t wind up in championships each season.

As Williams pointed out though, Tomlin coached the Steelers out of a lot of losses during his time in the black and gold, especially on defense, due to some slight adjustments in game. That might be tough to read for Tomlin detractors, but Williams even provided an example, dating back to October 19, 2015.

On that date the Steelers hosted the Arizona Cardinals, led by former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and longtime Steeler foe Carson Palmer. The Cardinals were 4-1 coming into the matchup and were looking like potential Super Bowl contenders at the time. The Steelers fell behind 10-3 at the half, but Tomlin never blinked, telling the defense on the sideline to not change anything, because Palmer was going to keep throwing the football and would make a mistake eventually.

“I don’t know the years on this, but I’ll give y’all one. We played Bruce Arians. He was coaching for the Arizona Cardinals. They had Carson Palmer. Carson Palmer hates the Pittsburgh Steelers. Obviously Bruce Arians hates us too,” Williams said to Moats and Deklaven, according to video via The Arthur Moats Experience’s YouTube page. “Bruce Arians comes out and they’re throwing the ball and they’re doing good stuff.

“But Mike Tomlin’s like, ‘nah, we’re not gonna make any adjustments. Carson’s gonna throw ’em out of this game. Cause they’re not gonna go conservative. They’re gonna keep throwing the ball,'” Williams added. “Bruce [Arians] likes to push the ball down the field and they kept throwing the ball. And I tipped one to the Law Dog [Lawrence Timmons] and Law Dog got a pick, put us in great field position. And we end up coming back winning that game.”

Williams remembers the play correctly, but the turnover happened late in the first quarter, so no real adjustment needed to be made at that point. That said, the point remains with Williams, as the Cardinals stayed aggressive in that 25-13 loss to the Steelers as Palmer threw an interception in the end zone to safety Mike Mitchell with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Steelers holding an 18-13 lead.

Two plays later Martavis Bryant took a swing pass 88 yards to the house from Landry Jones, sealing the 25-13 win in a game in which the Steelers didn’t make any defensive adjustments, according to Williams.

“And it’s just like…it’s little things like that,” Williams said of Tomlin. “It’s countless times though. I’m talking about like countless times he comes over and he’s like, ‘guys do this. We’re only doing this. This is what we gotta do right here. They’re all doing this. They’re only doing this.’

“He makes it so simple and effective.”

That’s largely Tomlin’s coaching style: simple and effective. It works time and time again, and to hear a defensive leader like Williams once was praise Tomlin for his coaching style in-game, it holds significant water overall.

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