On Friday, OLB T.J. Watt spoke to the media and talked about the upcoming retirement of his older brother J.J. as well as the team’s week of prep prior to their Sunday night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.
When Watt was asked about HC Mike Tomlin and his ability to keep this team playing in meaningful games late in the season on a yearly basis, Watt answered that it’s Tomlin’s steadiness as a coach and as a person that sets the example for him and the rest of the team.
“I think it’s just consistency,” Watt said to the media on Friday on video from Steelers.com. “I mean, that’s the big thing about the NFL and I’ve been saying it my whole career is anybody can have a good season, a good play, a good game. It’s about how you do it day-in and day-out. And I think Coach Tomlin has been the same person since I’ve got here. And it doesn’t matter if we’re in a slump or we’re on a four-game stretch where we’re winning games. He’s the same person. Very consistent. Always clocking in, always clocking out. And I think that’s very crucial and important.”
Former Steelers safety and current TV analyst Ryan Clark mentioned Tomlin’s consistency earlier today on ESPN’s Get Up, crediting Tomlin’s unwavering belief in who he is as a person and his ability to communicate well with his football team what the expectations are for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It appears as if Watt saw the ESPN episode that aired earlier in the day and answered nearly verbatim what Clark mentioned earlier. For a current player like Watt and a former player like Clark to give similar answers regarding Coach Tomlin and the team’s success over the years, it truly speaks to the point Clark drove home stating Tomlin’s message never changes.
A steady ship sails all tides, and Mike Tomlin has been the same coach today that he has been since he got here back in 2007 as Watt mentioned above. Sure, the players have changed, and the schemes have evolved for the last decade, but Tomlin the man hasn’t changed who he is. He’s not someone to panic when things aren’t going well or promote a tanking culture when the team starts 2-6 like they did this season. He preaches playing to win football games, regardless of if his team lacks talent on the roster.
The standard is the standard in Pittsburgh. This storied franchise has won 6 Super Bowls and is one of the winningest franchises in NFL history. While Tomlin’s methods may be questioned, He has kept the winning tradition afloat during his tenure as head coach, even if that hasn’t resulted in Super Bowls since 2008. Players like Watt appreciate that consistency as the head coach sets the example for the rest of the team to do the same.