Mike Tomlin crushes USC, LSU rumors were a major class

Earlier this week, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fell victim to what has become a media saturation in our sports scene. It led to some colorful dialogue.

With USC and LSU football coaching positions vacant, Tomlin’s name was floated as a possibility by former Bengals quarterback and USC alum Carson Palmer, and former Bills Billings General Manager Doug Whaley, who spent 10 years in the Steelers front office.

Palmer’s speculation came rather innocently when he appeared as a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show”. Palmer was only ignoring the names of the coaches he thought were right for his university. Palmer, who is out of the NFL, wasn’t presenting himself as some sort of insider.

However, his comments sparked a frenzy of interest, with Tomlin immediately asking questions about his interest in a college job. Tomlin then proceeded to conduct a clinic squashing rumors with a moving and angry response to reporters’ inquiry.

Tomlin left nothing vague about his intentions – as many coaches often do to cover their stumbles in case they change their minds.

Tomlin stoned her.

“Never say never, but never,” Tomlin said. “No booster with a blank check is big enough.”

I liked this response. What I wasn’t crazy about was what came next from Tomlin when he said, “Anyone asking Sean Payton about that? Anyone asking Andy Reed things about that?”

Tomlin seemed to think he was treated differently than other top coaches in the NFL, as if there was a double standard. But neither Payton, the Saints coach, nor Reed, the Chiefs coach, were mentioned as potential candidates for USC or LSU jobs. It was Tomlin – albeit in an informal way.

This is one of the many problems with the media spiraling out of control, producing wild and baseless rumours. Tomlin has fallen victim to this trend. His strong and direct response was perfect.

He’s staring at a critical division game on Sunday in rival Cleveland and has no time for outside distractions. The Steelers (3-3) are last in North Asia.

Mike Tomlin

Tomlin, with his patented intensity, always looks like he’s in the midst of a street fight no matter where his team ranks. And the last thing he wanted or needed this week while trying to prepare the Steelers for a tough game against Brown was dealing with flimsy rumors about where he might train next season.

Tomlin, who has been with the Steelers since 2007, has the third-longest tenure among NFL coaches, behind Patriots Bill Belichick (2000) and Peyton (2006). Tomlin became the youngest head coach to win a title at the age of 36 when the Steelers beat the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, and he has a 154-87-1 record and hasn’t lost a season since taking the job with the Steelers in 2007.

“Hey guys, I don’t have time for this speculation,” Tomlin said Tuesday at that theatrical press conference. “I mean, this is a joke to me. I got one of the best jobs in all of professional sports. Why would I have any interest in college football coaching? That would be the last time I spoke. Not just today, but moving forward.”


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