Guess what nobody wants to hear about today? Well, the list is never a short one, but when it comes to Pittsburgh Steelers fans, head coach Mike Tomlin being a ‘player’s coach’ is probably high up the list coming off of two losses in one week, with the team’s divisional rivals set to play today and possibly tie or surpass them in the standings.
But we’re going to talk about Tomlin the player’s coach anyway for a moment here, because Steelers running back Najee Harris recently talked about his relationship with Tomlin in an interview with Jenna Harner of WPXI.
“I go over there to his house a lot”, the back said of his head coach. “Thanksgiving, anytime he’s cooking he always invites me over there. Mike T, he wants to build a relationship, and you should know that it’s more than football here”.
“I think he really takes his time out of the day to even do that”, he added, “do small things like come down and talk to the players in the locker room, joke around. You see him on [Instagram] Live dancing a lot. Just talking to us on the field, before stretches, after stretching, all types of stuff like that. I think that plays a big role”.
Now, not everybody is going to be a fan of Tomlin’s methods of connecting with his younger players, such as jumping into their Instagram videos to bust a move after a win and things like that, but it certainly appears to work for the locker room, and that’s what matters.
And I think the fact that it goes far beyond the locker room says a lot, as well. How many meals has Najee had over at the Tomlins’ house by now? Not to mention other players, and coaches, so I’m sure get similar invitations when appropriate. I think there’s value in knowing that your boss genuinely cares about you as a human being.
Yet it might not have seemed that way initially. Harris relayed a story about his Alabama Pro Day and how Tomlin was keeping away from the crowd where the back was. “He was just hella distant. All the coaches from the staff were talking to me but him. It was funny”, he said.
“I’m right here and all the coaches are talking to me and he’s just like, over there. So I’m right here and he’s just over there just staring at me. It’s funny because he’s was like, ‘I don’t want to make it seem like I’m interested in you’”.
As it anybody didn’t know that the Steelers were extremely interested in him, which Steelers owner Art Rooney II fully copped to after the draft, even going so far as to say that their only concern about Harris was that they may have too obviously tipped their hand that they were going to draft him.