Pittsburgh Steelers HC Mie Tomlin made a guest appearance on Movin’ The Chains on SiriusXM NFL Radio: Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan Friday to speak to the show hosts about the topic of the team’s run defense, getting young guys acclimated to the team coming out of college, and being back in Latrobe after being away for two years due to the pandemic.
Tomlin was again Friday asked the big question everyone wants to know about the Steelers in 2022: the QB competition. When asked on how he is approaching this year differently than years past when Ben Roethlisberger was quarterbacking the team, Tomlin said that it doesn’t take a genius to come up with a game plan with the cards he’s been dealt.
“In terms of the process, I try to keep a simple formula,” Tomlin said on Movin’ The Chains. “We need to play to our strengths. We need to work to minimize our weaknesses, that increases our chances of winning. And so, whatever those strengths and weaknesses are. As you mentioned, we are going through a transition in some areas and we’re not running away from that. We’re running to that and the component of getting those guys better and raising that element of our game is the work that we do and how we do it.”
Tomlin stated the obvious here that the team needs to distinguish what their strengths and weaknesses are and play accordingly. Given the fact that Pittsburgh will field a new starting QB for the first time in 18 years, its apparent that the team doesn’t necessarily see the position as a strength as we sit here today given the fact that they are coming off a future first ballot Hall of Famer. Still, while Ben wasn’t his prime self in his final seasons, he still managed to command the offense in such a way to keep Pittsburgh in close games, coming out on top more often than not.
Tomlin sees this as an evaluation period at the QB position to see what exactly the team has at the position. In order to not too much on the plate of whoever wins the starting job, Tomlin wants his team to play to the strengths he knows the team has which he has distinguished as Najee Harris being the workhorse of the offense supported by T.J. Watt, Cam Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and the rest of the defense. Granted, Pittsburgh needs to prove that they can be more efficient running the football and rebound after a dreadful year at stopping the run, but the pieces are in place for Pittsburgh to utilize these components as their strengths.
The big thing Tomlin wants to accomplish in this training camp and preseason is to distinguish which QB in the room is best suited to lead the charge. He has stated multiple times that it will be an open and fair competition were each passer won’t have to feel the pressure on every snap and throw in terms of winning or losing the starting job. Tomlin wants all three guys to go out and play free, allowing them to take command and show the team they are ready to lead the Steelers in 2022.
“We’re not going to be blowing in the wind and I made that point to ’em early on,” Tomlin said on the QBs “The depth chart is not riding on each and every throw. I just don’t believe you develop men and teams that way. Right? I think it circumvents their leadership. I think there’s certain natural leadership that comes with the position and I’m evaluating that component of it too. The ability to interact with their teammates and direct them formally and informally and do the things that come with the position it’s been fun.”