Mike Tomlin quotes as Steelers head coach

Mike Tomlin Quotes

In his second season as head coach, Mike Tomlin took his five-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl XLIII (victory parade) and defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23, winning an unprecedented 6th Lombardi Trophy for the Rooney’s and Steeler Nation.

Mike-Tomlin-Quote

Head coach Mike Tomlin at Steelers Training Camp in Latrobe

At age 36, Mike Tomlin became the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl game. In his first 14 years as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Coach Tomlin led the Steelers to the playoffs nine times, winning seven AFC North titles, and two trips to the Super Bowl (XLIII and XLV). His 145-78-1 regular-season record (.650) is the best start in franchise history and the second-best record in the NFL during that time span.

One of Coach Tomlin’s talents is being a wordsmith, applying the right quote to the right football or ‘life moment.’ Some of his quotes are new, and others are worth repeating here. (Mike Tomlin Press Conferences on YouTube)

  Video of Steelers players at 2022 training camp

2022 QUOTES

“There’s always going to be things to work on after games, I’d prefer to do that with a W as opposed to an L.”
Re: Areas of the Steelers game that still need improvement, following a 19-16 win over the Falcons

Postgame Press Conference 12-4-22: 

“We’re not paid by the hour.” 
Re: Short week leading up to the Falcons game

Press Conference 11-29-22:

“Sometimes you get battlefield promoted.” 
Re: Benny Snell playing in Steelers 24-17 win over Colts

Postgame Press Conference 11-28-22: 

“This is not checkers, this is chess.” 
Re: Evaluating punting on distance, hangtime and placement

“This is not a patient man’s business.” 
Re: Gradual progress of rookies: “You work while you wait.” 

“We remember our days as football lovers when we weren’t direct participants, and how significant weeks like this were for young people and for families, and it’s an honor to be a component of it.” 
Re: Thanksgiving Day NFL games

“We will always be trying to put that 8 pounds in a 5 pound bag, that work is never done.” 
Re: Good execution

“We’re gonna leave the light on for these guys.” 
Re: Injured players who may be able to play vs Colts

Press Conference 11-22-22:

“That is what they say when they’re having success, and they don’t say it when they are not. So I don’t worry much about that, I focus on things that are in our control.” 
Re: Bengals linebacker postgame comment “We knew what they were going to do” in 37-30 Bengals definitive win over Steelers

Postgame Press Conference 11-20-22:

“Cool to be in some AFC ball at our place.” 
Re: Upcoming Bengals game Sunday

“We keep turning the stones over until we find the rhythm we desire.” 
Re: Ongoing team improvement

“There’s a lot of meat on the bone in all areas of his game.” 
Re: QB Kenny Pickett

Press Conference 11-15-22: 

“We’re continually sharpening our sword.” 
Re: Skill development

“We don’t take it for granted, we appreciate it, but we also understand it’s not anything mystical.” 
Re: The key to winning games following 20-10 win over Saints

Postgame Press Conference 11-13-22:

“The windshield component is the big picture for us as opposed to the rearview mirror.” 
Re: Improving from a 2-6 season record following the Steelers bye week

Press Conference 11-8-22

“It was about draft capital and value for us. The Bears’ second-round pick is something we value. We’re excited about what that brings us.”
Re: Trading Chase Claypool to the Bears

Press Conference 11-2-22

“I’m open to doing whatever is required for us to get better.” 
Re: Would he consider any coaching changes headed into the Bye week

“Words are not going to get it done, actions are, and so we’re going to work very hard and say very little.” 
Re: Going forward with a 2-6 season record

“The dam broke, because time became of the essence, and we were down by multiple scores.” 
Re: Steelers turnover late in the game

“That’s the minutiae, that’s the playmaking, that’s the difference.” 
Re: Steelers not making the plays in 35-13 loss while the Eagles were

“We gotta keep a lid on it.” 
Re: Falling behind with the loss leading to a 2-6 season record

Postgame Press Conference 10-30-22:

“He’s a fish in water. It’s natural for him. He’s a competitor. He’s got a thirst for it. It’s been fun being in those circumstances.” 
Re: Competitive spirit Kenny Pickett displayed vs Dolphins in final two drives

“Obviously, we want the outcomes to be different, but to communicate with him professionally and to watch him operate, to watch his demeanor and to watch his approach to those circumstances is exciting and refreshing.” 
Re: Pickett’s failed drives vs Dolphins

“He’s always allowed to run. You have to give the quarterback latitude to do what comes naturally, particularly those with mobility. The only framework I put on it is prudent use of mobility because with quarterback mobility comes exposure and risk. We need to proceed prudently.” 
Re: Pickett scrambling

Press Conference 10-25-22

“The way that game developed, it’s about who catches interception opportunities and who doesn’t. That’s the lens in which I see it. The Dolphins caught theirs and we didn’t catch ours. That was probably the difference in the game.” 
Re: Steelers dropped 4 or 5 possible interceptions in a 16-10 loss to the Dolphins, yielding a 2-5 season record

Postgame Press Conference 10-23-22:

“We’ll be working some time to get the stench off us.” 
Re: Long ways to go after that 4 game losing streak and now being 2-4

“We’re aggressively pursuing victory.” 
Re: Game plan

Press Conference 10-18-22:

“It’s more than one day, one good plan, one winning performance, as we work back to respectability.” 
Re: Getting the 20-18 win over the Buccaneers today, nothing more than that

“We are a collective, man.” 
Re: Participation of everyone on the Steelers team

“Hopefully man, we learn and grow in the right ways through this success and this experience, because that’s what the journey’s about.” 
Re: New players in the defensive secondary

“We’re appreciative of the day, but we still understand exactly where we are.” 
Re: Win over the Buccaneers moves the Steelers to a 2-4 record

Postgame Press Conference 10-16-22:

“That state we’re in we have to put our heads down and work hard and diligently and stay together for an extended period of time as we grind our way back to respectability. It’s a mindset we all need to have, understanding where we are. There are no quick fixes.” 
Re: Being 1-4

“We got smashed. And that’s the only perspective that I have.” 
Re: Steelers defense gave up 552 net yards, offense had zero touchdowns and two missed field goals

“Everyone understands where we are and what transpired today, and it is not cool.” 
Re: 38-3 loss to the Bills dropping the Steelers to 1-4

“Although today is miserable, we won’t reinvent the wheel.” 
Re: Biggest Steelers loss since the 51-0 season opener with Cleveland in 1989

“No need to sugar coat it. We got handled by a very good football team.” 
Re: After Bills loss the Steelers are now the worst team in the AFC at 0.200

“We aren’t graded on improvement, we’re graded on results.” 
Re: What really counts following loss to Jets

“Attrition is a component of ball.” 
Re: Playing with the players who are available

“Our business is winning.” 
Re: Primary focus and shortcomings this season

“Some guys are aliens visiting from another planet.” 
Re: Tip of the hat to Bills’ OLB Von Miller

“In an effort to move the ball more fluently, we’re going to Kenny.”
Re: Decision to give QB Kenny Pickett his first NFL start vs Bills

“We have to absorb the negativity of our poor position and roll our sleeves up and keep working.”
Re: 24-20 loss to Jets

“We just thought we needed a spark.” 
Re: Pulling Trubisky and putting in Pickett as QB in the second half

“It’s our job to tune out the noise and remain committed to the path we’re on.”
Re: Sticking with Mitch Trubisky at QB even against home field chants of ‘Kenny, Kenny’ for rookie Pitt QB Kenny Pickett #8

Kenny Pickett at 2022 training camp in Latrobe

“We love our fans and the enthusiasm they bring!” 
Re: Home field Steeler fans being vocal

“I just think all areas are pointing to improvement. That’s why we got to keep our heads down and keep working.” 
Re: Steelers are 19th in the league in scoring

“We’re not going to blow in the wind. That’s the sentiment I want to relay to you guys — that the last couple games hadn’t unfolded the way we would’ve liked, but we’re in the no-blink business, particularly if we believe in what we do and the people we’re doing it with. Sometimes, you’ve just got to show steely resolve and smile in the face of adversity. We roll up our sleeves and get back to work and wait for our next opportunity. I have to display that as a leader, and I intend to.” 
Re: Staying the course after some offensive improvements vs the Browns

“There are a lot of things we need to do better. I know we’re hacked off we haven’t won the last two games.” 
Re: Steelers rank 23rd in rush offense and 28th in pass offense

“We’ve been better with every outing. It’s reasonable to conclude that will continue. Largely, I’ve seen improvement in all areas, whether it’s individuals or whether it’s the collective.” 
Re: Comments at his 9-27-22 Press Conference leading up to Sunday’s game with the Jets

“I’m not in that mindset. I’m interested in reviewing this tape and evaluating the totality of it and figuring out how we collectively get better. To answer that question definitively, no.” 
Re: Replacing QB Mitch Trubisky with 1st round draft pick Kenny Pickett following a 29-17 loss to the Browns

“I thought they controlled the game. They possessed the ball. Nick Chubb controlled the game. If you can’t slow down Chubb, you can’t beat this team. We kind of knew that. We didn’t get it done.” 
Re: Nick Chubb ran for 113 of the Browns’ 171 yards with the team averaging 4.5 yards a carry

“We own our mistakes and realize we have to get better.” 
Re: Loss to Patriots in tight game

“He didn’t urinate down his leg, man, that’s a great place to begin.” 
Re: Rookie running back Jaylen Warren’s performance in the season opener vs the Bengals

“It’s no secret we’re transitioning and gaining cohesion in that group.” 
Re: Steelers offensive unit

“It’s good to be young.” 
Re: Najee Harris’ optimism about his foot injury

“With downfield throwing comes the potential of negativity and turning the ball over. We did what we thought was appropriate to win the game last week. That has no bearing on how we’ll function this week.” 
Re: Opener vs Bengals; this week vs Patriots

“They fight for every blade of grass.” 
Re: Patriots

“There will be two trains on that track.” 
Re: Steelers ’22 home opener vs Patriots

“He did not blink. He made the necessary plays in the waning moments.” 
Re: QB Mitch Trubisky in win over Bengals in season opener

“But just the trajectory from an expectation standpoint, we’re trying to be a world championship-caliber team. It’s going to require us to be special in all three phases, and those are our intentions.” 
Re: Looking ahead to the 2022 regular season

“I’m fighting to get there every year, and every year it’s an absolute fight. There’s 32 that embark on it every year and two get there. It’s a tough fight. This is a competitive business. This is a competitor’s business. I absolutely love it.” 
Re: Reaching the Super Bowl

“It was a clerical error. That’s how the depth chart was listed at the start of training camp. So the cut-and-paste component was the cut-and-paste component. I know you were hoping for a little bit more colorful explanation, but it is what it is. That’s what happened.” 
Re: Steelers tweet Monday 9-5-22 showed Mason Rudolph as Mitch Trubisky’s top QB backup instead of Kenny Pickett. Corrected Tuesday.

“(good at) Open grass tackling” 
Re: Attribute of an opposing defensive player

“Possession of the ball is a major component of being competitive.” 
Re: Poor ball control in the two games vs. Bengals last year

“It’s good to come to a decision based on what people are doing as opposed to what people are not doing.” 
Re: Mitch Trubisky being named starting QB and Captain

“Much of the discussion this time of year for us is man vs. himself.” 
Re: Final prep for 1st regular season game

“The totality of my career tells me that. That early on, man, you’ve got to focus on yourself and what it is that you’re doing, and the quality of which you do it, because games are going to be determined by that more than anything else. As the road gets increasingly narrow and we all hone our skills and gain an understanding of the personalities of those that we compete against, and our own personalities, that conversation gets more complex.” 
Re: Comments leading up to the Steelers 1st regular season game vs. the Bengals

“The road is getting narrower.” 
Re: On Steelers journey through final preseason game

“I try to maintain a perspective, the tape is our talking, walking, reading resume. There things that we say, there things that we aspire to be, but all you gotta do is turn the tape on and see what you are.” 
Re: Player performance

“I didn’t chart it in that spirit.” 
Re: Increasing number of snaps Kenny Pickett is getting in practice with the starters

“They didn’t play with enough of an edge, individually and collectively.” 
Re: Steelers offensive line play vs Jaguars

“You’ve got to be able to see all 22 players on the field in an instant. You’ve got to have a feel for the contour defenses and how offenses come together and be able to take a global picture and digest what happened.” 
Re: Defensive coordinator up in the booth

“There are some challenges environmentally that I think are a big component of collective development that we get to address and answer with this outing.” 
Re: Offensive line changes headed into the 2nd preseason game with Jaguars

“The play provides the clarity.” 
Re: Competition between players for various positions

“The sand is starting to run through the hourglass, but so many stories are going to be told over the course of the next couple of weeks.” 
Re: When asked if any of the boxes have been checked

“I just love how all three have handled it, how they’ve supported one another and been stand-up dudes, been good teammates throughout the process.” 
Re: The competition between 3 quarterbacks

“That’s above my pay-grade, but I’m all for destination camping for sure.” 
Re: When asked if Steelers would return to St Vincent for training camp next year

“I’m just such an appreciator of the atmosphere and the environment and what it does for us from a team development standpoint. The informal time, the togetherness, the opportunities that guys get to know one another and gain an understanding and appreciation for one another is worth its weight in gold. You can’t measure it, but we all acknowledge that good teams have it, and it’s a component of getting out of stadiums, and that’s why we pour into it.” 
Re: Reflecting back on St Vincent training camp at its conclusion

“He’s going to get some reps in more varsity-like action in this game in an effort to get to know him and see how he fares.” 
Re: Rookie QB Kenny Pickett got all of the reps with the 2nd-team offense in practice this week

“I think that’s what you do during team development. You have a hardcore plan, but you also remain light on your feet for the unforeseen, for what the group might need in an effort to keep the train moving.” 
Re: Two-minute drill inserted at the end of practice Monday

“I think we’re still growing from a cohesion perspective. I thought we gave up too many hits on the quarterback. Some of it is cohesion. Some of it is guys physically getting beat. I want a cleaner pocket for our quarterbacks than what I saw.” 
Re: Steelers allowed 14 pressures, 7 quarterback hits and 3 sacks in their 1st preseason game vs. Seahawks. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked 38 times last year in his highest total since 2013.

“I would imagine both guys are varsity in their abilities, so there will be a role for them. But make no mistake, there is a competition component to what’s transpiring here in terms of dividing the labor up for sure.” 
Re: Linebackers Devin Bush and Robert Spillane

“I’d just like to thank the fans. They were really into it’ and we appreciate their presence, creating the type of atmosphere that we desire here. That was good to get back in front of them.” 
Re: First home game of the 2022 season at Acrisure Stadium

“A lot of awesome efforts. We’ll comb through this. It’s big. A lot of good effort. Some things to learn from, some positive things, some negative things. That’s probably the nature of the first week out. It’s good to learn those lessons and explore those things with a win.” 
Re: Steelers first preseason game 32-25 win over the Seahawks

“I’m not ready to anoint him just yet.” 
Re: Good plays being made by Connor Heyward

“A proven NFL dude.” 
Re: Arthur Maulet (“A guy who can play multiple positions and be effective for the team”)

“Technology is an asset to us today – Doppler and people that have it on phones and so forth. It paints a pretty clear picture, not only in terms of what the structure of the storms looks like, how big they are, but how far they are away. It’s a big-time tool for us.” (2016)
Re: Staying ahead of the Doppler during practices

“Two dogs, one bone.” 
Re: Seeing who will be the starting left guard between Kendrick Green and Kevin Dotson

“I love it because it’s a yellow bus ride. It’s nostalgic for the players. It’s a cool way to stay connected to the local fans, and the proximity of the fans makes it a cool and unique experience, and it’s just awesome. If you’re a football lover, you love Friday night lights.” 
Re: Friday night’s practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium

“Man, I was really pleased with today’s work. I thought the competition and level of urgency was improved. I think that’s a natural thing when you’re in pads.”
Re: Increased intensity level among players during their 2nd day in pads

“It’s so awesome to be back in this environment, to see Steeler Nation as we work to be the team we all want to be this year. We want to thank all of you who put so much energy and passion into supporting us. You are a driving force for us.”  (Bobscaping: “You’re welcome Coach!”)
Re: Addressing the crowd of training camp fans at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe on Saturday

“T.J.’s being T.J., man. We appreciate that. He loves football. He loves to work. He loves to compete. It’s guys like that you really want the young guys to pay close attention to.” 
Re: Watt interception of a throw from Trubisky that he returned for a virtual “pick-six”

T.J. Watt in his 6th season out of Wisconsin at Steelers training camp in Latrobe – July 2022

“I just love it. I always have. Since I was 7 years old, I’ve been a part of a football team, and this time of year means something. Those of us who have been in this thing in any capacity, in any role, we like that feeling. We understand what that feeling is. When I lack that excitement, that’s probably when it’s time for me to move on to something else. I didn’t boil a mouthpiece today, but I’m ready nonetheless.” 
Re: Being back at training camp for the upcoming season

“It didn’t hit me until I got back here, and I sat down here in this basement, and I started thinking about the ramifications of losing that game. Careers. Gold jackets. Because that’s what we were hunting. That’s what we were talking about. That was the third [Super Bowl] this collective had been to in about five years. So we were on that type of tip, that legacy, that football immortality.” 
Re: 31-25 Super Bowl XLV loss on February 6, 2011

“The game of football is about the men that play.” 
Re: His Steelers legacy

“I create comforts for my wife and kids. I resist comfort. Don’t seek comfort. Seeking comfort is a natural human condition. We all want to be comfortable. I realize to achieve special outcomes you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Appreciating my resume is seeking comfort. I get my *ss kicked, but my resume is still such and such? It stings my ears. I’ve trained myself to hate it. Hating it keeps me upright. Hating it keeps our program upright. That’s the mode of operation I’m comfortable with. If I talk about it, damn, I’ve got to live it.” 
Re: Seeking comfort

“I had an opportunity to get a quality dude who is more than a capable coach at a discount. I understand the other variables. But when he filed that lawsuit, I just imagined that people were moving away from this dude. I wanted him to know that I’m not moving away from him. This dude is an incredible football coach and a solid dude. I’m not going to let him sit out.” 
Re: Hiring Brian Flores despite Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL

“As a leader, I better let it be known that I’m open because you can’t do ordinary stuff and expect unique results. Sharp dudes don’t care what you say. They just watch you. People kill me for catchphrases. I’m trying to capture a thought succinctly without talking too much because I hate talking. I’d rather do.” 
Re: Player-coach relationships

“The Number 1 thing you have to do is create an environment where good deeds are rewarded and bad [stuff] has consequences. Helplessness is the worst component a team can have. Dudes have to believe they can rise up in the environment and become what they desire to be. I desire to create a culture where, first and foremost, people can be themselves. We’ve got a job to do. Football is our game; our business is winning. We waste a lot of damn energy trying to be appropriate. If you give people latitude to be their authentic selves, the collective is going to come together better.” 
Re: Creating a winning culture

“I did not want to let them dudes down. I came in every day with kind of an edge. I had no resume they could appreciate. I had no reputation they could appreciate. I came into this thing fighting every day to prove I belong, to help them dudes eat. As I established a resume, I didn’t change that work pattern. I didn’t change that mentality. Coaching is real simple to me. You help players realize their dreams. You help them feed their families. Then, in turn, you eat. How do I stay motivated? The men I’m working with change every year. I’m a competition junkie. I need it. I love it. I love being around it. That’s what makes this game special.”  
Re: His first NFL job at 28 years old with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

“My failure as a player, I could never live with. I wanted to be a great player, and I wasn’t. I never got over that. I take that same energy into coaching. I think that’s why we all coach. We don’t want to admit it, but we coach because we can’t play, we could never play or we can no longer play.” 
Re: Quote from a June 2022 podcast interview

“It’s a new rule. It’s for their safety. We don’t run away from those things. We run to those things. We’re going to make it a non-issue for us. It’s about the work that we do.”
Re: ‘Guardian Cap’ that linebackers, tight ends and linemen will wear beginning in training camp and continuing until the 2nd preseason game to reduce the chance of head injuries.

“We circled the globe… and ended up with the guy next door.” 
Re: Drafting QB Kenny Pickett who played for the University of Pittsburgh in the same stadium as the Steelers

“We’re about to make you a Pittsburgh Steeler brother. Congratulations to you and your family. We’re excited to have you man, this is awesome!”
Re: Phone call to the Steelers’ 1st round draft pick QB Kenny Pickett, where during his final season at Pitt, he threw for a school record 4,319 yards while completing 67.2% of his passes. In 2021, Pickett won ACC Offensive Player of the Year, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and finished 3rd in Heisman Trophy voting.

2022 TRAINING CAMP: THE STEELERS RETURN TO SAINT VINCENT COLLEGE IN LATROBE FOR TRAINING CAMP THIS SUMMER.

“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins. He quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community. Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many. I am truly heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya, and his entire family during this difficult time.”
Re: Statement issued on the passing of Haskins

“I haven’t been in any discussions and no, I don’t have a level of confidence that would lead me to believe that things are going to be better. I’m more of a show me guy as opposed to a guy that sits around and talks about things. I think that we’ve pecked around the entire discussion and subject and we’ve done a lot of beneficial things. But we’ve got to land the plane. We’ve got to hire capable candidates.” 
Re: Adjustments to the Rooney Rule adopted in 2003 to enhance job opportunities for minorities

“We’ve got capable guys that are the good guys. We’re really transparent in terms of how we do business and so it’s not something that’s a worrisome proposition for me to be honest with you. It’s something that I’m excited about watching develop; those guys compete and sort themselves out. Like I am in any other position where we have capable guys vying for reps.” 
Re: Quarterback competition for the upcoming NFL season post-Ben Roethlisberger

“It wasn’t because teams are running the ball more effectively, it’s because they are utilizing the quarterback as a runner. Now you’re playing 11-on-11 football, so do the math. Guys have to defeat blocks to make tackles in today’s game to be effective at stopping the run.” 
Re: Yards per rushing attempt last season was the third highest in NFL history (4.3 yards)

“I’m not blaming it on anyone or anything. I just think particularly in today’s game, when you talk about stopping the run, you better acknowledge the defeating of blocks and making tackles. Quarterback mobility is a more significant part of the game than it’s ever been in today’s game.”
Re: Steelers ranking dead last in run defense last season

“I’m excited about it, I’m energized by it. I love the anxiety associated with professional uncertainty. I think it brings the best out in me, and I think it is going to bring out the best in us.” 
Re: Going through his first major quarterback change on the heels of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement

“Absolutely not. I love coaching football. I’m a singularly focused type of guy.” 
Re: When asked it he would like the dual role of general manager and coach

“I have no idea. I’m excited about 2022. My wife probably has a better understanding of that than I do.” 
Re: When asked how much longer he plans to coach

“I’m a sudden-death advocate; I’m a traditionalist,” he said. “I don’t fear sudden death. I never have. I’m one of the few sudden-death advocates, I would imagine. I just think in 60 minutes, everybody has had a fair opportunity to win the game. When you’re talking about changes as it pertains to competitive fairness, I speak to the first 60 minutes that we all had. So, win the game.”
Re: Comments made at the NFL owners meetings regarding changing the OT rules

“Congrats to my guy T.J. Watt. You are proof that preparation and hard work pay off. Defensive Player of the Year looks good on you.” 
Re: Congratulations to linebacker T.J. Watt on winning the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award

“The Pittsburgh Steelers’ agenda is the agenda.” 
Re: Post season work on player personnel

MIKE TOMLIN PRESS CONFERENCE – Tuesday January 18, 2022

“Don’t blink. If you’re a blinker, cut your eyelids off. This is not going to be for the faint of heart. We understand what type of game we’re in. It’s going to take a ridiculous effort, and 60 minutes of it. And we’re excited about it.” 
Re: Famous last words before getting spanked by the Chiefs 42-21 in the Steelers’ wildcard playoff game in KC

“He was 7. It’s been an honor and a pleasure. I don’t have the words.” 
Re: Following the loss to the Chiefs and what most believe was Ben Roethlisberger’s final game of his career

“Man, we’ve got a lot of warts, but we’re here. And that’s been our position since September.” 
Re: Steelers making the playoffs despite of their imperfections

“Experience is good whether it’s positive or negative, the knowing.” 
Re: Young Steelers team with 4 rookie starters on offense facing the Chiefs on Sunday in their first playoff game

“It hasn’t been an easy journey for us, and I think we’re getting comfortable with being in that scenario.” 
Re: Steeler players being hardened by the season ending process

AUDIO: Mike Tomlin press conference Sunday 1-9-22 following Steelers 16-13 OT win over the Ravens in Week 18: 

“Not as I sit here today, and I say that humbly. You know, our agenda, this year, is to get into a single elimination tournament, and then to pit our skills against others in that single elimination tournament, in an effort to win the world championship. That’s our mentality every year.” 
Re: Is it special or meaningful to you, having coached 15 straight non-losing seasons, setting an NFL record?

“It’s Pittsburgh and the Ravens. I think anybody that follows professional sport knows what that means. We’re going into their venue, a hostile environment in a big-time circumstance. Our guys will be inspired by that. The Ravens bring out the best in us.” 
Re: Week 18 away game Sunday at 1:00pm in Baltimore

“I’m capable of talking myself into anything.” 
Re: Steelers long shot of making the playoffs with multiple variables required

“Make no mistake, this series is special because of the men that have played in it. Ben’s contributions have been significant. I often tell the young guys a story about the time he got his nose broken in Baltimore, and he came to the sideline during the timeout and said how do I look?” 
Re: Smash mouth Steelers-Ravens football games

“It’s the story of the men. Those Gold Jacket guys, those guys that have unique talent, but it goes beyond their unique talent. They have unique will, and those wills were on display with the likes of Ray Lewis and Alan Faneca and others. The list just goes on and on. The quality men that have been a part of both organizations that have pit their skills against one another in significant games, makes this series what it is.” 
Re: Steelers-Raven legacy

“His pressure rate relative to sack, to rush opportunities, is what screams at you.” 
Re: T.J. Watt’s 4 sacks vs the Browns and 21.5 sacks on the season, just one sack shy of tying Hall of Famer Michael Strahan’s NFL single-season record of 22.5 sacks


T.J. Watt in his rookie season at Steelers training camp in Latrobe – August 2017

“He got on a moving train and so there was a learning process that had to occur. He really helped with that. He is a savvy, cerebral guy who has a very good above the neck game. And so that component of the process ran with pretty good fluidity.” 
Re: Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon acquired from the Seahawks in September with 3 interceptions

“We’re appreciative of 7 and his body of work, and had an awesome opportunity to share this moment with him, he shared some words with his teammates, just a beautiful thing.” 
Re: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) playing his last home game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. (Video: Big Ben press conference)

“The pile fell forward and we did what we needed to do in the run game.” 
Re: Steelers 26-14 victory over the Browns featuring Najee Harris rushing for 188 yards, with 9 sacks by the Steelers defense.

“It was just a tip of the cap to a guy who has done it, and done it at an extreme level for a long time… an awesome thing. We’ve been through a lot, we’ve seen a lot, it’s been a heck of a ride, it’s one that’s been an honor to be part of and enjoy.” 
Re: Recognition of ‘Big Ben’ in the final moments of the win over the Browns in Week 17

“It’s always a 60-minute fight in the North, we respect our opponents in this division.” 
Re: AFC North division featuring 4 teams that played at or above .500 for most of the 2021 season

“We gotta play with passion and energy, and we can’t carry the baggage of past failures.” 
Re: Vying for a playoff spot and not being on secure footing facing the Browns

“We gotta step into the stadium with a can-do attitude, we gotta play fast and free, we can’t live in our fears, we gotta make our hopes and dreams happen.” 
Re: Monday Night Football game vs. the Browns in Week 17 with final game vs. the Ravens

“Challenges of… these pandemic times… the division of labor and putting the best product out there for the fans as well.” 
Re: Rise in Covid cases, especially around the holidays

“The road is getting narrow and this is a big game.” 
Re: Two games left in the regular season with an outside chance to make the playoffs

“The landscape that is the coaching profession is ever-changing.” 
Re: Steelers’ offensive line coach Adrian Klemm leaving before the end of the season

“Turnover component of play had to be in our favor, and in that game it was the exact opposite.” 
Re: 36-10 loss to the Chiefs resulting in the the Steelers season record now being 7-7-1

2021 QUOTES

“Obviously, the games write themselves, but we’d better come in being prepared to score points.” 
Re: Need to score 30 points or more to beat the Chiefs

“He and we smile in the face of adversity and we send him back out there.” 
Re: Poor performance of Steelers rookie punter

“Field position in a game like that is real.”
Re: Good field position following 2nd half turnovers by the Titans

“Still lapses in gap control.” 
Re: Lower yardage gains compared to Vikings game

“That was expected and needed.” 
Re: Steelers 19-13 win over Titans

“Largely, globally, we had the momentum.” 
Re: Field goals vs. touchdowns not an issue

“Tangible and intangible qualities in his presence today.”
Re: Joe Haden’s great plays

“We just need to focus on the stadiums we’re in, that’s the message.” 
Re: Looking ahead

“LET’S GO!” 
Re: Motivational encouragement leading up to Titans game

“Just to be blunt man, we’re getting handled up front on both sides of the ball and that makes it difficult. There’s going to be tough sledding for us until we until we get better in that area. We were J.V. again in that area tonight and I’m talking up front.” 
Re: 36-28 Steelers (6-6-1) loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football just 4 nights after their Ravens game on SNF

“Football is a complex yet simple game. You got to whip blocks, you got to make tackles, you got to sustain blocks. You got to make sure your pile is falling in the right direction.” 
Re: First half where the Vikings went up 23-0 with 176 yards rushing through gaping holes as Roethlisberger got sacked 5 times — hard. Vikings RB Dalvin Cook finished the game with 205 yards — most in the NFL this season.

“We will not be bashful about turning the stones over.” 
Re: Vikings 23-0 halftime lead grew to 29-0 before the Steelers’ 2nd half comeback scoring 28 points. The Vikings finished with 458 yards of offense, 300 of that in the first half.

“I just can’t say enough about the contributions we got from new Steelers and Steelers that are getting an opportunity to get their train out of the station in terms of their careers.” 
Re: Impressive play vs the Ravens by multiple players

“Last week was last week, this week was this week, next week is next week.” 
Re: Keeping the team’s competitive edge

“They do the things that you need them to do when that air gets thick.” 
Re: Using repetition to prepare the Steelers team to play

“It takes two to tango. They bring the best out in us.” 
Re: Beating the division leading Ravens in a nip-and-tuck 20-19 game

“It’s put up and shut up for us.” 
Re: The state the Steelers are in with their 6-5-1 record

“When you have red paint you paint your barn red.”
Re: Cliche about being open to change

“It’s gonna be rock em, sock em robots from that perspective.” 
Re: Ravens perimeter game

“I don’t know that you get over it, you move on from it.” 
Re: Moving forward to Ravens game

“You don’t get that stench off you in a number of days, it will be some time, as we work our way back to respectability.” 
Re: Humbling defeat at the hands of the Bengals

“Man, we stunk it up today!” 
Re: 41-10 mauling the Steelers got from the Bengals

“They won that mano a mano component of play.” 
Re: Steelers lost the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball

“It’s alarming, we’re not trying to play it cool by any stretch.” 
Re: Large number of points (82) given up by the Steelers defense in the past 2 games

“We needed to play Canadian football. We needed 12… 7 in coverage plus a 5-man rush, but you don’t get that south of the border.” 
Re: Loss to Chargers on SNF

“Drawing inside the lines when you’ve got significant people missing at every level, we weren’t able to be as good as we desired to win those moments versus a well-balanced group like that.” 
Re: 41-37 loss to Chargers

“We’ve got to get back to the drawing board.” 
Re: Steelers late comeback loss to the Chargers on SNF

“Just really appreciate of the efforts of all the people involved.” 
Re: 27-point 4th quarter comeback vs. the Chargers

“Cam is Cam. He gives everything he’s got and that’s why we love him and respect him. That’s why we elected him captain and that’s why he represents us in that way.” 
Re: Herculean efforts by Cam Heyward in the Chargers game

“We don’t worry about the Jones’s, we take care of the Pittsburgh Steelers.” 
Re: Parity of the large number of teams in the standings

“As the sand runs through the hour glass and we get closer to kickoff.” 
Re: Decisions that will be made while “pondering the hypotheticals” of who will play Sunday night

“This is not the first rodeo for him, it’s not the first rodeo for him with us, so I don’t think any of us were surprised by the things he was able to do for us.” 
Re: QB Mason Rudolph’s 10th start vs. the Bears on short notice

“I’ll always leave the light on for T.J. Watt. The things he does routinely are not things that are done routinely by others, so we’ll see where his participation leads us this week.” 
Re: Whether knee/hip injuries will prevent T.J. Watt from playing vs. the Chargers

“He’s been injured and had personal discomfort in the past over the course of the 15 years that we’ve worked together. He always answers that bell. We’ll definitely leave the light on for him.” 
Re: Whether QB Ben Roethlisberger will be able to play in the away game vs. the Chargers on Sunday night

“He did what we expected him to do, he gave us a chance to win.” 
Re: QB Mason Rudolph in a 16-16 overtime tie at home with the Lions

“I acknowledged the fight, but I didn’t congratulate them for it. That’s going to be required when you are trying to do and be what we’re trying to do and be.” 
Re: After the Steelers tightened-up their run defense early in the 3rd quarter, after the winless Lions had gained 199 yards rushing on 21 carries

“I’m sure this will be a hungry group coming in here searching for their first win.” 
Re: Steelers home game Sunday at 1:00pm vs. Lions

“I understand they are an 0-8 football team and has faced a lot of adversity, but this is the National Football League. There are no FCS games. There are no Group of 5 games. There are no homecomings. Each and every week you are up against it against paid professionals.” 
Re: Upcoming game vs. the Lions

“We embrace the responsibility that comes with being the role models that we are.” 
Re: Taunting

“Largely as a league, and the competition committee specifically, there was a desire to improve in that area. That has been expressed to our guys. We’ve been shown examples of that through team development, and we continue to reinforce that as examples in a negative way turn up during the course of this journey for us and for others.” 
Re: The taunting call against Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh was the 27th such infraction in the NFL this season. Referees called 11 taunting penalties in the first two weeks — more than the entire 2020 season.

“Had it all the way, right?” 
Re: Tongue-in-cheek remark about a topsy-turvy 29-27 win over the Bears, his 150th career regular-season win, breaking a tie with predecessor Bill Cowher for the second-most regular-season wins in franchise history, and moving into 20th place on the all-time NFL coaches’ wins list

“You’re going to be in battles. The most important thing is to be able to smile in the face of adversity and make the necessary plays to win the game. The cool thing is we made the necessary plays.” 
Re: Nail-biting finish in win over Bears on Monday Night Football

“Man, I’m just appreciative of the standards set by those that have come before me. All of us are here. That standard, man, is inspirational for us. It inspires us, challenges us. I’m just thankful to be part of this thing that is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I work to do my job to uphold the standard.” 
Re: Tomlin’s .649 winning percentage is 9th best in league history among those who coached at least 100 games. Only three coaches reached 150 victories faster than Tomlin — George Halas, Curly Lambeau and Don Shula. Tomlin has never had a losing season, and has 7 division titles through 14 seasons

“The penalty component of play is putting us behind the chains and stopping drives. We’ve got to be better there.” 
Re: Steelers’ offense being called for holding five times

“We’re always trying to get eight pounds in a five-pound bag.” 
Re: Extra day of rest for veteran players leading up to Monday Night Football vs the Bears

“From a team perspective, it’s better to have volunteers as opposed to hostages.” 
Re: Granting Melvin Ingram’s request to be traded

“He’s an Ohio boy. He is the ultimate competitor. I think we all kind of mirror him in that regard.” 
Re: Ben Roethlisberger’s 15-10 win over the Browns and his 12-2-1 record playing in Cleveland

“Quarterback mobility, while attractive, comes at a cost, and the cost is injury.”  
Re: If the NFL is moving away from pure pocket passers

“I’ve just been around him enough to know that playmakers make plays, and it’s only a matter of time before we realize his fortunes because there’s not anything mystical about it. He creates his fortune with quality detail and play-instincts and intuition. And that’s not something you lose.” 
Re: Minkah Fitzpatrick’s lack of takeaways

“Hey guys, I don’t have time for that speculation. I mean, that’s a joke to me. I’ve got one of the best jobs in all of professional sport. Why would I have any interest in coaching college football? That’ll be the last time I address it. And not only today, but moving forward. Never say never, but, never. OK? Anybody else got any questions about any college jobs? There’s not a booster with a big enough blank check.” 
Re: When asked if he was considering a college level head coaching job at LSU or USC. The Steelers and Mike Tomlin agreed to a 3-year contract extension in April, keeping him in Pittsburgh through 2024

“The game was stopped by the replay guy to find confirmation of a component of the play on the field, and I didn’t agree with that in this most significant moment. I expressed it, and I had some conversations with New York regarding it. Got an explanation. I wouldn’t necessarily say I got clarity, but I’m not going to discuss it any further. It’s in our rearview.” 
Re: Clock stoppage that enabled the Seahawks to kick a tying field goal with the 4th quarter very close to expiring

“It doesn’t benefit me or us in any way to continue to hash it, rehash it. So that is my position. Oftentimes after games, particularly hot, contested games like that, I acknowledge things that transpire in the bowl, particularly things that I think are significant. But on a Tuesday, as we and everyone else is moving forward, it’s fruitless for me to continue to expand upon it in my position and what was said and who said what, and what I expect to happen in reaction to it. I understand that you guys are interested, but pardon me if I don’t indulge it.” 
Re: A questionable official review of a catch/no catch that stopped the clock with time seconds from expiring and sealing a Steelers win 

“It’s an honor to perform for those guys and put together a winning performance. We got so much respect for the standards set by those who came before us. We don’t run away from it. We run to it. We embrace it, and it was great to have a really competitive team victory with those men in attendance.” 
Re: Steelers 23-20 Sunday Night Football overtime win vs the Seahawks with Troy Polamalu, Alan Faneca, Donnie Shell and Bill Cowher in attendance, receiving their Pro Football Hall of Fame rings during a halftime ceremony at Heinz Field.

“It’s not anything mystical about that play making, man. We’re talking about a guy that’s really talented, that works extremely hard, that’s hyper focused, prepared physically and mentally, so that’s what happens.” 
Re: T.J. Watt’s lights-out performance vs the Seahawks

“We’ve got a lot of improvements to make, but boy, it’s good to win a game like that, to get to know yourselves individually and collectively when faced with dire circumstances at times, and seemingly when it’s not going your way.”  
Re: Topsy-turvy home OT win over the Seahawks as the Steelers head into their Bye week with a 3-3-0 record

“Ready is not a problem.” 
Re: Zach Banner now being ready to play, and its possible effect on the cohesion of the offensive line.

“We needed that. It was a big one.” 
Re: 27-19 win over the Broncos

“We had a good week with all three guys — 90, 8 and 56 — so we utilized all three of them on those possession downs in an effort to get a top-quality rush.” 
Re: Using Watt, Ingram and Highsmith on “weighty downs” against the Broncos

“It’s chess not checkers. If you’re a competitor, you love being in that environment, you love pitting your skills and talents and preparedness versus people like those guys, led by a guy like that guy. Particularly in his venue, because of the latitude it provides him in terms of getting in and out of things at the line of scrimmage and having the ability to thoughtfully change pace, whether speed it up or slow it down.” 
Re: QB Aaron Rodgers of the Packers

“There’s nothing mystical about it. We don’t like where we are. More importantly about not liking where we are, it’s about what we do about it.” 
Re: Ending up 1-3-0 following a 27-17 loss to the Packers

“We’re not going to push the panic button. We’re not going to dramatically change who and what we are at this juncture. We’re not resistant to change for the purposes of getting better, but we’re not going to be so unsteady that we move away from our compass, the identity we worked hard to develop.” 
Re: Losing two of the Steelers first three games

“We’ve got to remain singularly focused in the midst of the negativity.” 
Re: Negative chatter about the Steelers team

“Absorb the negativity that comes with our positioning and how we perform and keep your mouth shut and resolve to do better.” 
Re: Last place in the AFC North at 1-2-0

“We believe in what we’re doing. We’re not going to quit on it. We’re not going to quit on each other. I’m going to look guys in the eye and make sure no one else is quitting. Won’t get a quit from me or the coaching staff.” 
Re: Poor performance Sunday vs the Bengals

“We had fired all our bullets at that juncture in terms of our play selection.” 
Re: Steelers 4th & 10 play call with 3:09 left from the Bengals 11-yard line while trailing 24-10, Roethlisberger swung a short pass out to RB Najee Harris and Bengals safety Jessie Bates III blew it up for a 1-yard loss.

“We just aren’t playing well enough or coaching well enough. You can frame it however the hell you want to frame it. We just played poorly and got beat.” 
Re: Steelers 24-10 home loss to Bengals with 10 penalties for each team

“The degree of injury changes the prognosis and the man himself changes the prognosis.” 
Re: Multiple groin injuries on the Steelers team including T.J. Watt

“Back to work for us.” 
Re: 27-13 loss to the Raiders in 2021 home opener

“More than anything, we’ve got to grow. Win or lose, we’ve got to grow. We’ve got too many young people, too many new people in significant roles. They’ve got to grow in terms of understanding those roles.” 
Re: Rookie starters and next man up

“Early in the game you burn a lot of fuel as a young guy, anxiety and so forth.” 
Re: Rookies

“I loved the spirit in which they worked, I loved the demeanor of their work, I loved the physicality of their work. The quality of our work has to get better. We have to develop cohesion. But the will, the intangible things required to progress, I saw. That was encouraging.” 
Re: Offensive line play with two rookies

“We just played Steeler D.  I’ve got an expectation that our defensive unit is going to be in every football game like that. I’m just being blatantly honest with you.”
Re: Steelers opener on the road with an unexpected 23-16 win over the Bills

“We’re not in this for style points. We’re in it to win it.” 
Re: Road opener win vs Bills

“All in all it was a junior varsity performance.” 
Re: Steelers final preseason game loss to the Panthers

“We’re still squirreling those nuts.” 
Re: When asked if Pierre had done enough to secure the job on defense

“Some guys were thriving, some were surviving. The guys in survival mode, man, they’ve got to step it up.” 
Re: Reflecting his dissatisfaction with Monday’s practice before Eagles game Thursday

BLOG: Steelers HALL OF FAME Enshrinements

“I was very aware of what he was able to accomplish and respectful of it. I obviously realized the monumental challenge it was to uphold the standard.”
Re: The success associated with Bill Cowher’s tenure as Steelers head coach

“I think anybody that has held jobs like this, understands it’s somewhat lonely. And that’s just the nature of it. Those that have done it are respectful of that and allow people to do what it is that they need to do.” 
Re: Bill Cowher giving Mike Tomlin the space to do the things that the job requires

“Man, I love what I do.  I love the misery — or what people might perceive to be misery.  Every element of the process, I’ve always enjoyed.  And that’s the blessing, I think, in terms of aptitude for the job.”
Re: Training camp interview

“His passion for the game and the spirit in which he went about what he did, it’s a loss for us for sure, but that’s the game. We respect the game in that way, and we wish him nothing but the best as he moves forward.” 
Re: Vince Williams’ sudden retirement after 8 seasons

“The sting is still there. It has been a disappointment.”
Re: Ending the season with a record of 1-5

“Just coming to grips with how our season ended. We put a lot into these journeys.”
Re: Reflections on the Steelers’ 12-4 season in 2020

“Change is a part of our business.”
Re: Potential changes to coaches and personnel leading into the 2021 season

“I imagine it will present similar challenges for all of us across the global landscape.”
Re: Salary cap restrictions after a poor revenue year will affect all NFL teams

“Don’t ask me about my level of confidence as I sit here today man, I’ve just been kicked out of a single elimination contest. As far as being all-in, you bet.”
Re: Are you still all-in and are you as confident as you’ve ever been

“I do.”
Re: Following a game with him throwing for 501 yards, 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, do you think Ben Roethlisberger can still play at a high level?

“Sure, in terms of winning football games, no question.”
Re: Did the Steelers having to play 3 games in 12 days (*due to Covid outbreaks on another team) create a negative turn in the Steelers’ 2020 season, after starting with a perfect 11-0?

“That I was appreciative of their efforts, not only tonight, but throughout the whole journey, there wasn’t a lot to say, our performance speaks for itself, as it has and as it always does.”
Re: What did you tell your team after a season ending, first round playoff game loss to the Browns

“When you spot them points, you miss opportunities for splash,  it changes the climate of the game, if you will, they have to take less risk, it’s all rolled into one, it’s multi-layer.”
Re: Why didn’t the defense produce turnovers against the Browns like they did during the season?

“It doesn’t bode well when you spot people points, and particularly the way we did tonight, it made the journey a difficult one.”
Re: Steelers falling behind 28-0 in the first quarter, setting an NFL record

“It is what it is, our record is our record, our performances are our performances, and so, don’t run away from that.”
Re: What is your personal accountability for things having not gone well ‘down the stretch’ over 3 straight seasons

“It’s always a cumulative body of work, one performance can put an exclamation point on the decision making and things, but we always assess the cumulative.”
Re: When evaluating coaches, players and the season, is it a one game thing?

“There’s pain associated with where we are right now, there isn’t any running away from that, that’s football and that’s life.”
Re: Steelers 48-37 elimination in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the wildcard Browns team

2020 QUOTES

“We made the bed that we laid in that produced the results.”
Re: Steelers (12-4) loss in the final game of the season to the Browns (11-5)

“Work their way back into the fold.”
Re: Players who have been reactivated

“Having a plethora of capable guys is not a detriment to us.”
Re: Having more players available this week

“To push our chip toward the middle of the table, knowing that the bills are going to come due at the end of this week.”
Re: Singularly focused preparation for the first playoff game vs the Browns

“There’s scarcity in these opportunities… a precious opportunity to live out and pursue our dreams.”
Re: Respect for single elimination games

“It’s not about what we say, it’s about what we do.”
Re: Player’s improvements from previous games

“T.J’s visiting from another planet. He has freakishly unique talent coupled with freakishly unique work habits and mindset, and it produces what you guys witness every week, which in my opinion is defensive player of the year quality.“
Re: What sets T.J. Watt so far apart from other players

“Now we transition our energies toward the challenges in Cleveland this week facing us”
Re: Next focus

“Given an opportunity to air mail a player or two to the post season, we will. Ben will not be playing this week.”
Re: Resting players during the final game of the season for the playoffs

“Football is our game, our job is winning”
Re: Steelers (12-3)  division champs playing the Browns (10-5) who still hope to make the playoffs

“Our job is to win. Football is our game, our business is winning, and our intentions are to handle business. That’s what ‘The standard is the standard’ means every time I say it.”
Re: What does that saying of yours mean, “The standard is the standard”?

“Motivation, intentions, and all of those things, that’s good water cooler fodder, and I get it, but again this is a scheduled game and our business is to win.”
Re: Whether knocking the Browns out of the playoffs is motivation for any of the Steelers team

“I think it’s one of the things that goes on in 2020 during a global pandemic, when you’re playing in crickets, in eerily quiet stadiums.”
Re: Were the Colts calling out Steelers’ plays during the first half

“It’s a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes in this business” 
Re: Steelers (12-3) turnaround at halftime to come from behind to beat the Colts (10-5)

“This is a fighter’s business”
Re: Players having to smile in the face of adversity

“We’re one foot in front of the other, in terms of our mindset.”
Re: Following a third consecutive Steelers (11-3) loss to the Bengals (3-10-1)

“We weren’t afforded enough opportunity on defense to create negativity. That score put us on the clock.”
Re: Game plan after falling behind 17-0 to the Bengals

“We believe in our formula of preparation. There won’t be sweeping changes.”
Re: Whether there will be changes this week after 3 consecutive losses

 “We don’t need to run away from the kitchen, we need to run to it. Confidence is one thing, doing it is another.”
Re: Team preparation and performance

“Each week we wipe the slate clean. It is about winning and losing, particularly in December.”
Re: Being focused on the next opponent at this time of the year

“The train does not stop whether he’s in practice or not.”
Re: Big Ben’s participation in every practice

“We essentially laid an egg last week on primetime football.”
Re: Steelers (11-2) loss to the Bills (10-3) on Sunday Night Football

“Sharpening our sword for the battle that lies ahead.”
Re: Preparing for the Bengals (2-10) game on Monday Night Football

“If we take care of the moments, the journey will take care of itself.”
Re: When asked to talk about the ‘journey’ of this season

“We’re open to do anything that’s required for us to find the fluidity we once had.”
Re: Maintaining team fluidity when key players are sidelined

“I could comb through it with a whole bunch of minutia, but the bottom line is popcorn.“
Re: Trying to point to one issue that’s causing a lack of production in the running game

“Just a lot of other fish to fry in terms of the pecking order in terms of the things that have my attention right now.”
Re: Lack of Steeler touchdowns in the 1st quarter over recent games

“I expect guys to make routine plays routinely.”
Re: Receivers repeatedly dropping passes that should be caught

“If you can’t get a yard, you don’t deserve to win.”
Re: Four or five unsuccessful short yardage goal line situations vs. Washington

“There are different points along the journey where you get a chance to learn about yourself, who you are, what you’re made of individually and collectively, and it takes the journey to reveal that. We’re faced with a loss now, so we have an opportunity to smile in the face of it.”
Re: Steelers (11-1) first loss of the 2020 season to Washington (5-7)

“We make no excuses, we seek no comfort, we didn’t play well or coach well tonight.”
Re: Poor team play vs the Ravens (6-5)

“We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, it’s not some transformational thing that needs to transpire, we gotta coach better and play better.”
Re: Being prepared for Monday evening game vs Washington

“Us sucking.”
Re: All the red zone failures and dropped passes in a tight 19-14 win over the Ravens

“You talk about a guy like Tuitt and the impact he makes, it’s not a one man job, it’s an all man job.”
Re: Tuitt’s expected absence from upcoming Ravens game

“I don’t know that I can say I’m confident in this environment… you talk about degrees of confidence, and things of that nature, that’s a slippery slope.”
Re: Unexpected twists and turns with the virus

“To walk out of a stadium with four interceptions, we don’t take that lightly”
Re: Steelers (10-0) win over the Jaguars

“It’s an honor for us to entertain our fans, and entertain fans in general, on Thursday night football and on Thanksgiving, that’s not something we take for granted, as a young guy that loved football, man, I grew up watching football on the holidays, and really it’s an honor and it’s humbling to provide that for others, and be associated with that and the memories that it creates.”
Re: Before news broke that the Ravens game was postponed until Sunday at 1:15pm

“I think he is still writing that script”
Re: Big Ben’s significance to the team this season

“Yesterday was Ju Ju’s birthday, he’s the grizzly veteran of the group, he’s 24 years old, so that tells you about where the group is.”
Re: Young group of Steeler receivers

“It’s something you have to continually tool and re-tool”
Re: Steelers run defense vs Jaguars

“I hope in some small way, for a few hours, that we can provide some type of entertainment that allows them to forget about it to a degree, and do so with loved ones, and in a festive atmosphere, I think that’s something that we can all relate to and appreciate.”
Re: What it would have meant to play on Thanksgiving night during a very challenging 2020 for everyone, before the game was later postponed until Sunday afternoon

“We’re desperate too… and we’re all desperate to win this week. I imagine they view us in the same way, and I would imagine it would behoove them to do so. We respect everyone, and respect the level of desperation that everyone has, and the urgency that everyone has, as we step into the stadium ready to match it.”
Re: Reporter’s question on facing a “desperate rival” in the Ravens (6-4)

“You want to be the team that everybody in our division points at and circles on their calendar.”
Re: Playing teams in the AFC North division

“The strength of our pack is the pack”
Re: Group of Steeler receivers

“We did the job today, we checked the boxes, it wasn’t perfect, but nothing’s perfect about us except our record.”
Re: Steelers (10-0) win over the Jaguars

“You lose a little bit when you are not in the same physical space”
“Some of us are dinosaurs”

Re: Coaches having to use tech to communicate with players remotely

“We centered ourselves in that area and got better”
Re: Steelers pass defense

“I look forward to getting into the lab with the coaches and the guys”
Re: Game prep for the Jaguars

“We have a bullseye on our back, if you will, being where we are in this process, we don’t run away from that, we embrace that”
Re: Being the only undefeated NFL team at 9-0

“We’re rolling up our sleeves and getting about the business of attacking it this week”
Re: Improving the Steelers running game

“Hopefully our identity is Winning”
Re: When asked if the team had established an identity

“We were really good on possession downs, and I thought that defined the day for the group.”
Re: Defense’s performance in 36-10 win over Bengals, taking Steelers to a 9-0 record.

“We’re excited to be back in the kitchen”
Re: Playing the Bengals (2-5-1) within the same division on Sunday in Pittsburgh

“We’re working our tails off to adhere to the protocol”
Re: One Steelers player tested positive, so team went into COVID-19 protocol

“I don’t have a crystal ball”
Re: Reporter’s question about Covid protocol and specific player eligibility

“He’s got snap experience that he can call upon… a lot of his work is above the neck anyway”
Re: Virtual game prep of Ben Roethlisberger

“We are the Pittsburgh Steelers. Everybody knows what that means. We get everybody’s best punch, regardless of record.”
“(they) punched us in the teeth”
“We are going to get people’s best shot.”
Re: Following a 24-19 comeback victory against the Cowboys (2-7-0)

“We’re humbled and honored to be that group, it was not without its trials today.”
Re: Steelers win over the Cowboys bringing the team to 8-0 for the first time in franchise history and snapping a tie with the 1978 team that finished 14-2 and brought the franchise its 3rd Lombardi Trophy. The win also resulted in Mike Tomlin clinching his 14th consecutive winning season.

“We learn to live with our known commodities”
Re: Playing defense without injured players

“We’re also coming off a performance where we bled, and bled badly.”
Re: Steelers run defense v. Ravens

“We weren’t drawing things up in the dirt”
Re: Improved offense in the 2nd half of the Ravens game

“There’s going to be a snap scarcity.”
Re: Limited play by some players when time of possession is limited

“Physical confrontation is a part of his play. He’s a combative guy.”
Re: James Conner

“This rivalry is what it is. Hopefully, it was entertaining to football fans worldwide.”
Re: Tough battle, into the final seconds, for a Steelers (7-0) win over the Ravens

“We’re back in the kitchen, its AFC North ball, and we respect that.”
“You should anticipate it being a physical, rough and tumble game.”
“They’re a tough nut to crack.”

Re: Upcoming game with the Ravens

“If they can’t score, you can’t lose. Stout defense against the run is a significant part of that.”
“Together we eat or we don’t.”

Re: Elements of fielding a good Steelers defense over the years

“Making combat catches.”
Re: Receivers making tough catches

“This game was going to be defined by ‘The Bigs’ “
Re: Excellent play by large Steeler players vs the Browns on both sides of the ball

“Physicality is an element of play no matter what we’re doing.”
Re: Opening drive in Browns game

“Third down wasn’t going to be easy sledding.”
Re: Message that Fitzpatrick interception sent early in the Browns game.

“That was varsity ball today. They stepped-up and they stepped-up big.”
Re: 38-7 win over the Browns

“We like being in the kitchen, and AFC North ball is being in the kitchen. It’s hot in the kitchen.”
Re: Upcoming game with the Browns

“We’ve continually respected the environment we are in. We don’t need tangible measurable examples in an effort to reinforce that. We made a conscious effort to be forward in our thinking and be proactive in terms of our approach. That’s simply going to continue.”
Re: After seeing multiple Titans’ Covid-19 cases postpone Sunday’s game

“We have every intention of getting the appropriate rest and taking care of those who need to be mended in any way. More than anything, it’s kicking back and gaining a little perspective in watching others work, and we’ll come in the beginning of next week and lean in on Philadelphia.”
Re: Resuming play Oct. 11 against the Eagles

“We have social justice committees that are actively engaged in processes that we’re going to participate in — voter registration, police education, other things that put us out in the community. But tonight, more than anything, we wanted to take the small platform that we have to state that we stand united with those who are suffering. We see them and hear them. Regardless of our privilege, we’re sensitive to the hurt and the pain and the struggle that is going on around us.”
Re: Recent events around the United States

“Our position is simple, we are going to support our players and their willingness to partake in this, whether it is statements or actions. You guys know my feelings, I have stated them in the past. Statements are good, but impact is better. Particularly long-term impact.”
Re: Steeler players speaking out on social justice issues

“This unrest is an opportunity to learn, to listen and to grow and to make sure you take care of yourself, your own heart and your own home first and work from there. That’s something I try to live by and try to encourage our guys to live by.”
Re: Social unrest


2019 QUOTES

“It’s all of us, we’ve got to protect better, we’ve got to get open.”
Re: Season ending loss to Ravens

“We understand the position that we’re in, we made the bed, will we lay in it?”
Re: Must win vs. the Ravens to make the playoffs

“This time of year is put-up or shut-up time, and we didn’t get the job done today.”
Re: Loss to the Jets

“They’re a rough and tumble outfit.”
Re: Buffalo Bills following the Steelers loss

“I’ve always felt good about good defenses controlling the outcome of significant games.”
Re: Defense

“It felt like we had been gaining some traction, but the proof is in the pudding.”
Re: Punt return team and Diontae Johnson getting a touchdown

“Guys being young men on the rise, as opposed to guys hanging on by a thread.”
Re: Strategy of bringing young players along gradually

“Time spent, relationships, age you, because most of the time it’s not a re-run when you face adversity, if you got a shared experience together that you can call upon, or draw upon, usually it helps you when you face current circumstances.”
Re: Working with players over time

“I don’t care by what means these guys get here, I don’t look at them and see dollar signs.”
Re: Players’ abilities and not just their salaries and bonuses

“The type of game changing defenses that you talked about, those reputations are built, and really solidified in December and in January, and particularly January, I don’t think that discussion involves us, those other defenses, they rise up in those significant moments, they deliver in those significant moments and they dominate those quality opponents in January.”
Re: Common threads in game changing defenses

“I live by a creed is there is no job too small, we all gotta be ready to roll our sleeves up and ante up, and kick in, but those are just words, the actions are more important, and I like to display that.”
Re: Busy daily schedule

“We don’t have backups, we have starters in waiting.”
Re: Number of players injured during this season

“Football’s our game, but our job is to win.”
Re: Keeping players focused

“I got visions of what a breakout game looks like, and it’s pretty rare air.”
Re: James Washington having a breakout game

“You gotta go hard and smart.”
Re: Aggressive pass rush by Steelers’ defense

“We always say the right things, but do our actions match our words.”
Re: Showing his confidence in QB Devlin Hodges by not “talking him to death”

“He’s got a gold jacket like career.”
Re: WR Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals

“What is adversity for some, is opportunity for others.”
Re” 2019 season

“He played his tail off.”
Re: QB Devlin “Duck” Hodges win over the Browns

“We’re looking to strike a blow for team.”
Re: Win over Browns

“He has the mentality of a featured runner. He likes the grit associated with the volume of carries.”
Re: RB Benny Snell performance in the win over the Browns

“I expect him to not kill us.”
Re: QB Devlin “Duck” Hodges as starting QB vs. Browns

“We struck a blow for team today.”
Re: Win over the Bengals with a wide ranging group of players

“I got a hard core plan but I’m light on my feet.”
Re: Making changes

“Things are good when Minkah’s running with it.”
Re: Fitzpatrick’s pick-up and run with a ball stripped by Bush.

“We haven’t had the dominance we like.”
Re: Steeler losses this season

“It’s a one fail — all fail — proposition.”
Re: When blocking collapses around the QB

“You’ve got to be stout up front.”
Re: Offensive line

“I’m concerned, but we didn’t get it done, and that’s my level of concern — it doesn’t carry over into the upcoming weeks and things of that nature.”
Re: Steelers being less likely to make the playoffs with the Browns loss, injuries and suspensions

“We proceeded without fear.”
Re: Win over the Rams and extending the win streak to 4 games

“We’ll evaluate tomorrow, but today we play.”
Re: Post game interview

Re: The ongoing outstanding play of safety Minkah Fitzpatrick —

“His play is steeped in preparation.”

“I mean really, the tear he’s on, is what it is, he needs no endorsement from me.”

“It’s football justice as far as we’re concerned, it’s not anything mystical, he doesn’t have a rabbit’s foot in his pocket. He’s preparing and taking advantage of opportunities.”

“It’s good to be sitting at 4-4. I never thought I would hear myself say that.”
Re: After the 26-24 win over the Colts

“We are just trying to find our rhythm and traction, and we can’t have a lot of self-inflicted wounds along the way.”
Re: Where the Steelers stand after winning three in a row

“Regardless of the result in the stadium, we come to work with the same attitude every day.”
Re: Comment leading up the Steelers win over the Dolphins on Monday Night Football

“We live by the creed, ‘The Standard is the Standard’ but those are just words. The players, the guys, make that reality.”
Re: Comment following the 24-17 win over the Chargers

“He was dialoguing with me and others”
Re: Mason Rudolph following hit that knocked him unconscious

“I’m the head coach of a 1-4 football team that’s going on the road to play a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback with my third quarterback. You think I’m worried about anything this week other than that?”
Re: Rumor that he’s the top candidate to coach the Redskins after Gruden’s departure

“Professional accuracy”
Re: QB Mason Rudolph’s passes

“It is gimmicky. It is something to level the playing field. It is an asset in spurts.”
Re: The Wildcat formation

“He was a handy teamer.”
Re: Tight end Nick Vannett in the Seahawks-Steelers game, before the Steelers acquired him

“The competitor in all of us is a little bit pissed-off, and appropriately so.”
Re: Steelers starting the 2019 season with a 0-3 record

“There were some positive things to glean from the game, but we’re not looking for positive things to glean from it, we’re not being weak minded in that way, we’re acknowledging that winning is our business, and we gotta handle business.”
Re: Loss to the 49ers and the Steelers’ 3 game losing streak

“We like the versatility of some of the guys that we took today.”
Re: 2019 Draft

“We can’t do this with hostages, we need volunteers, we need good players, good guys that want to be here. If guys can’t check those boxes, then it’s probably best for all parties involved we go our separate ways. Relationships run their course; the fact that neither one of them are here speaks to that.”
Re: The departures of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell from the Steelers team


2016 QUOTES

“The guys didn’t blink, they’re to be given credit for that. Boy, I liked the look in their eye. The resolve.”
Re: Steelers playoff win over the KC Chiefs

“This time of year the road gets increasingly narrow and it’s good to still be on it.”
Re: Steelers NFL record 35th postseason win over the Dolphins 1-8-17 in the first round of the playoffs.

“We have to be a legitimately humble, hard-working blue-collar group.”
Re: Type of preparation needed for their first postseason game vs the Dolphins, who beat them October 16, 2016.

“We don’t care about the nameless gray faces we’re playing right now. This is man versus himself.”
Re: Rematch with the Dolphins

“Great to see the ‘No Blink’ mentality.”
Re: Steelers last second comeback win over the Ravens to become division champs.

“We punched our ticket and that’s an awesome thing.”
Re: Steelers winning the AFC North division title

“It’s a snapshot of December football.”
Re: Upcoming Steelers-Ravens game on Christmas Day

“We didn’t want to get in one of those static field position type games.”
Re: Strategy used in Mike Tomlin’s 100th win over the Bills during a snow storm

“I like to go with the hot hands.”
Re: Outside linebacker rotation system

“It’s about making those signature plays this time of year.”
Re: Lawrence Timmons interception of Eli Manning pass near the goal line

“I’m not trying to turn this into a global officiating discussion.”
Re: Criticisms coach had of officiating in Browns game

“I’m glad he’s providing splash plays for us.”
Re: Artie Burns interception against the Browns

“We had them behind the chains.”
Re: Cowboys 2nd down and 18

“It’s been popcorn.”
Re: Team discipline and accountability

“We’re not comfort-seeking in terms of the things that have produced our record. It is what it is.”
Re: Starting record of 4-5 in 2016

“We might not be as downtrodden as we seem, but that’s because we speak truth.”
Re: Being honest among themselves and with the media

“a certified run stopper”
Re: Alan Branch of the Patriots

“It’s a natural human instinct, it’s fight or flight”
Re: Rebounding from the loss against the Dolphins to play the Patriots

“The nameless great faces that we’re playing are less significant to us”
Re: Focus and preparation outweigh what team the Steelers are playing

“They’re not lacking pedigree in the position”
Re: Problems the Dolphins’ offensive line has been having

“I think the attitude and the action of the guys make it become more than words”
Re: His expressions ‘the standard is the standard’ and ‘next man up’

“Letting the standard be the standard”
Re: Substitute players stepping-in and being prepared to play lead roles in the 31-13 win over the NY Jets

“I don’t know that we reinvented the wheel tonight schematically”
Re: Lopsided win over the KC Chiefs on Sunday Night Football

“Redemption Sunday”
Re: Nickname he gave to the day for a huge comeback win over the Chiefs, 43-14.

“We got our butts kicked and we kicked our butts too.”
Re: Eagles big win over the Steelers 34-3

“They’re positive examples of what team ball is about.”
Re: DeAngelo Williams and James Harrison dedicated playing

“We’re in this football game with minus score…”
Re: Down 10-0 at halftime in second preseason game vs Eagles

“I thought his run demeanor was really good.”
Re: Speaking about Richardson’s running as one of the positives from the first exhibition game loss to the Lions

“He looked like an outside linebacker trapped in a D-lineman’s body.”
Re: Anthony Chickillo, a former defensive tackle at University of Miami, at the Pro Day workout.

#          #          #

Thoughts about football right before training camp opens:

“I love it. You have to love it. I am not saying that all coaches don’t love it, but there is probably a part of me that needs it. Therein probably lies the difference.”

“It’s a passion of mine, a hobby, a job, a profession of mine. It is a lot of things. My relationship with football is a complex one. It is easier for me to not explain it than to explain it.”

“I am not really a reflective guy. I always think that the greater days and challenges lie ahead.”

#          #          #

During the 2016 ‘ManUp Pittsburgh’ conference:

“As men in the community, we have an opportunity to really impact young people and help them chase their dreams. I’m one of those that benefitted from it. So I want to give back. I want to encourage others to do the same. If I don’t do anything else, I want to awaken others to the possibilities of their impact.”

“Coaching is what I do. Being a husband and a father is who I am.”

“They’re going to be less excited about getting to know me than the athletes, I’d imagine, but who cares? I need a little bit of that in my life, somebody who is not excited about meeting me, you know what I mean?”

#          #          #

“We’re excited about his upside. He’s a master at bump corner. It appears to be something that is a natural element of his game. He’s good at the ball. He’s good with the ball down the field. He had elite speed.”
Re: Artie Burns the Steelers #1 draft pick

#          #          #

During an April 7th Pittsburgh seminar on concussions for high school coaches:

“Create an environment where it’s encouraged from player to player to be your brother’s keeper, the person dealing with it should be least responsible.”

“I’m here today to tell you that player safety and concussions and head injuries are our generation’s opportunity to not only safeguard the game but be active participants in the evolution of the game.”

“This is our generation’s cause, as it relates to football. So I’m not resistant to it. I’m working hard at being open to gaining knowledge in these areas and, more importantly than that, how I am going to apply the acknowledged area and pass it on to the young people as they grow into young football players and shape their mentality regarding football.”

“I was blocking as a wide receiver on a perimeter run play and confronted a big man and bit off probably more than I could chew. The big man was running to the ball, and quite frankly, I probably don’t remember hitting the ground. And my buddy comes over and helps me up and I say, ‘How long was I down there?’ He says, ‘Not long,’ and we go about our business.”
Re: Recounting his own playing days as a youth

“Be where you are.”
Re: Using a favorite cliché when talking to Pirate players about their last week of training camp

“If they see Andrew McCutchen or Josh Harrison, those are sports stars. It’s a little bit of a difference. Antonio Brown is just a guy that works with dad.”
Re: Talking about his sons’ point of view during a visit to Pirates spring training

“I’m more concerned about him the man than him the contributor to our offense.”
Re: Martavis Bryant suspension

“The journey that is the season will stress you in a lot of ways, both individually and collectively”
Re: Reflecting on 2015 and past seasons

“I thought we were continually a group on the rise”
Re: Steelers 2015 defense

“We can’t waste one iota of time living in the past”
Re: Looking ahead to the Denver playoff game instead of reflecting on the Bengals game

“If you talk though, you gotta walk”
Re: Roethlisberger calling on Bryant to perform at a higher level in the playoffs

“We’re not Powerball excited, but we’re excited”
Re: Being in the playoffs

“I’m not looking for nuggets of success”
Re: Being much more focused on winning the Super Bowl than just playoff games

“I don’t pay attention to the outside noise, I focus on the things within our control, the preparation being the chief element.”
Re: Fan criticism of the coach with a 9-6 Steelers record despite playing the NFL’s toughest schedule

“It’s a challenge to bring a large number of individuals under one umbrella to develop a singular mentality in regards to what we’re doing.”
Re: Steelers players’ commitment to Coach Tomlin


2015 QUOTES

“Next man up.”
Re: Mentality of replacing injured players

“We didn’t make enough splash on defense.”
Re: Steelers loss to Ravens

“We’ll see how this day finishes.”
Re: Steelers long shot at making the playoffs following loss to Ravens

“Hopefully, succeeding in the face of adversity strengthens us for the battles that await.”
Re: Steelers strong comeback win in the 2nd half against the Broncos

“I think it’s a shame that silliness like that becomes a story line, as opposed to two teams fighting hard and competing in December football, which was really the significant story line in Sunday’s performance.”
Re: All the extracurricular pushing, shoving and cheap shots in the Bengals game

“We’re not going to live in our fears, we’re going to live in our hopes”
Halftime comment during Seattle game regarding his decision to go for it on 4th down

“I understand what game day is. It’s emotional. Guys playing on the edge. It’s a charged environment.”
Re: Excessive player celebrations drawing a penalty

“His commitment to this thing is unique. When people have unique commitments, they get unique considerations. That’s the reality of life.”
Re: Antonio Brown and whether he receives special treatment

“You can’t waste a lot of time worrying about senseless hypotheticals”
Revisiting what could have happened when Antonio Brown did a TD flip into the end zone

“Judge it”
After saying he was OK with Antonio Brown’s TD flip into the end zone vs Browns

“I think health and availability trump all”
Regarding who his starting QB will be against the Chiefs

“The guys just didn’t let go of the rope”
Referring to how the Steeler players kept battling the Chargers until the end

“It was time to go to the mattresses if you will”
Referring to fighting it out in the final quarter

“We get that type of support just about all the time we are on the road but it doesn’t get old man and we really appreciate it and I would be remiss if I didn’t tip the cap to Steeler Nation first and foremost”
Regarding the large number of Terrible Towels swirling in the Charger’s stadium

“This is not his first rodeo”
Regarding Michael Vick’s first start for the Steelers vs the Ravens

“There are certain comforts with that continuity”
Regarding Big Ben being the regular quarterback for the Steelers for 10 years prior to his latest injury

“It’s part of the game and we don’t overanalyze it”
Regarding injuries to Maurkice Pouncey and other Steelers during the preseason win over the Packers

“The quintessential Steeler”
Describing Jerome Bettis as he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame

“I don’t worry about the style points”
On outscoring opponents by more than one point

“Physical conditioning will be a point of departure for us”
Comment on the opening day of 2015 training camp

“He’s really a unique animal. He’s his own man.”
Describing the Steelers #1 draft pick Bud Dupree from Kentucky

“Troy is a shining example of a football man in the way he loved the game, the way he respected the game and the way he played the game. It’s a shining example of the window into who he is. He is a legendary Steeler and a legendary man.”
Reflecting on Troy Polamalu’s career with the Steelers

“I thought his arrow was pointing up.”
End of season summary on Jason Worilds’ performance

“That’s the recipe for fireworks.”
Summarizing his previous remark that the Steelers and Ravens organizations are like-minded and “tough”

“Anyone in a helmet is a playmaker for us.”
Referring to the substitutes for injured players


2014 QUOTES

“My mother worked in the shipyards, there are no days off.”
Comment on Big Ben having to play the Bengals with mild stomach flu

“Defensively I thought we did a good job of keeping a lid on it.”
Commenting on the Steelers defensive play in the Falcons game

“Tough AFC North December battle, kind of what we anticipated”
Post game comments following 42-21 win over Bengals

“Seems like he always plays pretty good in Ohio”
Referring to Big Ben

“They are able to flush it out, move forward and understand the next snap is the most important.”
Referring to veteran players in the Steelers defensive secondary

“I don’t care about the style points”
Response to reporter’s question about the game

“So we allocated the bodies in that area”
Responding to dangerous kicking game with Bengals’ Tate & Jones

“We’re a battle hardened group”
Responding at halftime to a 4 point deficit to the Bengals

“Lot of guys not blinkin down the stretch.”
Re: Steelers coming back to beat the Titans

“He likes running down the center of people.”
Referring to James Harrison lining up as a fullback in goal line situations

“That’s one to grow on.”
Defensive Polamalu-like jump by a Steeler into the Jets victory formation

“We have to quit kickin our own butts.”
During halftime interview down 14-points before Steelers loss to Jets 20-13

“I don’t want our offense to think it’s going to be a tough nut day.”
Re: Preparation for the Ravens game

“I imagine even if we throw it 40 to 49 times there is still going to be some bludgeoning along the way. Such is life in the Steeler-Raven series.”
Re: Physicality of these match-ups

“That’s low-hanging fruit. That’s only going to sustain you so long.”
Re: Having extra motivation to win after losing the first Ravens match-up

“Old 99… we’ll give him the week off and see if he can get his body ready to go on a short week, but I appreciate his efforts not only on that play but throughout the night. And obviously he provides veteran savvy leadership and perspective during the course of preparation.”
Re: Veteran Brett Kiesel’s interception against the Texans

“I don’t worry abut that — that’s elevator music”
Re: Bill Cowher & Hines Ward critical comments about the Steelers play following the Cleveland loss

“If we happen to get challenged with some up-tempo no-huddle, then great, because we have to exorcise those demons.”
On hoping to improve the Steelers defense against the no-huddle

“I ain’t trying to crown them. They did what was necessary.”
Referring to the Steelers win over the Carolina Panthers

“I expect him to come back fighting like Rocky.”
Referring to Marcus Gilbert allowing too many sacks

“I don’t live in my fears”
Referring to having no hesitancy to continue using his top receiver Antonio Brown for punt returns

“Great practice, great etiquette”
Referring to the first joint practice session with the Buffalo Bills

“They’re a good dance partner for us because they do things a little bit differently than we do”
Referring to two joint practice sessions with the Buffalo Bills

“At this stage of the journey, we’ll see where we are. What’s paramount is we play fast, we play hard and we play with urgency.”
Comments prior to their first pre-season game against the Giants

“It gave me a headache. It gave me a headache.”
Repeating himself on the new helmet cam technology the Steelers have been experimenting with recently

“Big is a good description when you talk about those guys that play in the trenches, and those guys fit the bill.”
Referring to drafted linemen Daniel McCullers and Stephon Tuitt

“His legacy will live on in the stories told, lessons taught and wisdom shared with those of us who remain.”
Remembering Steelers scout Bill Nunn Jr.

“I want structure without the field of structure.”


2013 QUOTES

While closing out our MIKE TOMLIN QUOTES for 2013, we came across an analysis of changes in Coach’s word choices from 2010 through 2013. Below are the TOP 10 words coach began using more frequently over those years along with the percent increase:

2010 – 2013
Percent increase in use of the word:

Obviously 4,500%

Actions 2,500%

Splash 1,450%

Efforts 1,100%

Groups 1,100%

Sense 1,000%

Unfortunate 900%

Timeout 900%

Continuity 900%

Definitive 900%

“Wrap a bow around the season and move on from there”
Re: In response to ‘what ifs’ on the Ref’s ‘no call’ on the field goal penalty in the Chiefs-Chargers game that may have prevented the Steelers from entering the playoffs

“We stepped into 16 stadiums this year with an opportunity to state our case, and we didn’t state a strong enough case, so I am not going to lose a lot of sleep over something that went on in a stadium that we weren’t even in. We had plenty of opportunities to state our case.”
Re: Not winning enough games in 2013 to make the playoffs

“I’ll leave that between myself, my sons and our basement”
Re: What Tomlin said after he recognized the Chargers were in an illegal formation that could have changed the Steelers playoff hopes

“We made this bed, I like the way the group is laying in it”
Re: Winning games recently after losing too many games early on

“You like to be a team with the arrow pointed up”
Re: Win over the Bengals

“I was just going to take my medicine if you will”
Re: $100,000 fine received for being on the field during a kick return

“You know we as coaches know that we are going to be judged by those calculated decisions that you make, but I think if you die, you die with your boots on”
Re: Play fakes like the one attempted by the Lions

“They create disruption, they create negativity in the run game”
Re: Looking ahead to the great play of the Lions’ D-linemen

“Our first charge is to handle our own business and we haven’t done that consistently enough to look outside our own house.”
Re: If the Steelers could move up in their division due to other losses

“I don’t want him listening to the elevator music, I want him to listen to what matters”
Re: Comments coach made earlier to reassure Le’Veon Bell not to care what the media says or writes

“He’s the bell cow if you will, got a hot motor”
Re: Upcoming opponent Oakland DE Lamarr Houston

“The plays themselves aren’t new, the window dressing is”
Re: Using wildcat plays

“He’s had what I call junior varsity punts”
Re: Zoltan Mesko’s erratic punting

“It’s silly”
Re: Why coach banned player flips into the end zone for touchdowns

“He’s a battle tested guy”
Re: Steelers new Tackle Levi Brown with 7 years experience

“They are tough to block schematically, to get hats on hats”
Re: Upcoming Jets team

“His pedigree is very evident”
Re: NY Jets rookie QB Geno Smith out of WVU

“The proof is in the pudding”
Re: Steelers defensive packages against tight ends

“We had an opportunity to physically work those areas, individually, working on skill development, consistency and movement appropriate to positions.”
Re: Ongoing work with the Offensive Line

“We’re not going to make any excuses, we’re going to chew on everything we got coming”
Re: Winless 0-4 record following loss to Vikings

“It’s fundamental, it isn’t anything mystical”
Re: Loss due to errors in football fundamentals like blocking & tackling

“19 points in two football games is not going to win a lot of football in this league”
Re: 0-2 start to the season

“We’re not expecting Heath to step out of a phone booth with a cape on”
Re: Heath Miller’s gradual return to play from injury

“Last night there was more positivity, there was less negativity”
Re: Comparing the degree of loss in the first two games

“It wasn’t a clean pocket”
Re: Ben Roethlisberger’s 5 sacks in opener loss to the Titans

“I thought that his pedigree showed”
Re: Felix Jones in the Steelers final preseason game in Carolina

“Not enough detail and execution to support victory”
Re: Overtime loss to Chiefs in 3rd preseason game

“Sometimes guys throw lines in the water to see if something sticks”
Re: Rumor on how long Le’Veon Bell might be out with his foot sprain

“Coming off training camp nicks”
“You play football, you get hurt, that’s part of it”

Re: Injuries leading up to Chiefs game

“The NFL game is a bigger, faster, more violent game than college football”
Re: Young players transitioning to the professional level

“We gave them 30 yards and free real estate.”
Re: One reason for loss to NY Giants in preseason opener

“I hadn’t thought too much about the nameless great faces on the opposite sideline.”
Re: Upcoming NY Giants opponents

“Coaching is a small fraternity.”
Re: 3 new Steelers coaches not being new to him

“What he does in stadiums is going to be the litmus of where he is.”
Re: Rookie QB Landry Jones

“We come together in a very fluid manner”
Re: Steelers scouts and coaches working together on the draft


2012 QUOTES

“The good teams, the dominant teams, aren’t necessarily dominant in stadiums, but they are dominant largely in moments, when they do what’s required to get out of stadiums with victories.”
Re: Winning close games

“We’re on the outside looking in”
Re: 8-8 record and out of the playoffs

“The excitement that is the National Football League in the now”
Re: Appreciating the moment

“Arrow pointed up”
Re: Player showing steady improvement

“They’re getting on a moving train”
Re: DeCastro and Beachum suddenly being starters

“Long ball hunting at that point”
Re: Being way behind with time running out

“The proof is in the pudding”
Re: Game results

“We don’t live in our fears, we live in our hopes”
Re: Upcoming games

“Chew the clock mentality”
Re: Opponent’s strategy when sitting on a lead

“Practice fields of course, and game fields, are two different things”
Re: Developing players

“Very salty and capable”
Re: Dallas corners

“Savvy route runner”
Re: Jason Witten

“Sooner or later the dam will break”
Re: Having prolonged bad field position

“How do you teach someone to dance? Dance!”
Re: Using techniques to prevent turnovers

“You can’t wear yourself out patting yourself on the back”
Re: Lingering too long on victories

“He was going to be prepared above the neck… very cerebral… he’s steady eddy”
Re: Kelvin Beachum #68 stepping in to play right tackle

“Prove that the stage isn’t too big for them”
Re: Younger players filling injury gaps

“Seven days does wonders for injuries”
Re: Likelihood of Big Ben returning to play

“Have an opportunity to put their hand in the pile”
Re: Next man up

“I was proud of the guys in the way they displayed their mettle”
Re: Win over Ravens

“The sequence of events that bookend halftime”
Re: Scoring before and after halftime

“It’s important we get back on that side of the ledger”
Winning instead of losing

“Poor ball security, lapses of ball security, or ball mechanics”
Relating to the high number of turnovers vs Browns

“We appreciate his willingness to battle”
Regarding Leftwich playing in pain

“Those are the type of processes that we go through on a week-to-week basis to try to keep the dogs off us”
In response to whether he tweaks his game plan

“As a head coach I’ve always got 11 on the grass”
Regarding his main focus during a game

“shown great moxie… a viable guy… no stranger to football… capable men… model of consistency… record of longevity… an awesome shot in the arm… football smart”
Terms used to describe various players

“We knew this was going to be a Baltimore-Steelers type football game, we’re going to be nip and tuck, I thought it was gritty”
Commenting on the Steelers 13-10 loss to the Ravens

“It’s about staying in our wheelhouse”
About how the Steelers would approach the Ravens game

“Players ascend, players descend”
Talking about the chemistry of different teams

“Excuses are tools of the incompetent”
Answering whether injuries to key players has affected performance

“He provides a nugget or two of some clarity when we get mixed signals”
Regarding Offensive Coach Todd Haley’s preparation for games

“It’s not like we’ve been a juggernaut in terms of getting turnovers”
Reflecting on past games

“He has a relentless motor”
Referring to the KC Chiefs’ 6′-3” 275lbs LB Tamba Hali

“We’ll see where the week takes us, we’ll leave the door ajar”
Referring to the availability of players coming off injuries

“Next man up, he did a nice job of answering the bell and delivering for us”
Commenting on the 147 yard rushing game by Isaac Redman #33

“It always starts up front, I like the personality that’s developing within that group”
Referring to the great performance by the offensive line vs the Giants

“The guys put their hand in the pile and delivered plays that came from a variety of places”
Referring to the win over the World Champion NY Giants

“I like to think we are a group on the rise, one that’s gelling and coming together, and solidifying a personality”
Regarding the progression of the 2012 Offense after improving to 4-3

“I consider him a friend… he calls me Mikey” (laughing)
Fielding a reporter’s question: “Do you know Coach Coughlin very well?”

“He’s a 1st round pedigreed guy, he’s a multiple 1,000 yard guy, he’s our lead dog if you will”
Referring to Rashard Mendenhall’s return to the lineup against the Eagles

“We need to tighten-up our menu and lean on the things we are doing well”
Referring to a lackluster 2.6 yards per carry running game average after playing the Broncos and Jets

“We have our marching orders”
Referring to their upcoming first round play-off game in Denver


2011 QUOTES

“We cannot let Josh Cribbs do what he has done to us time and time again in the past, we’ve been dead indians in his cowboy movie enough.”
Looking ahead to the Steelers-Browns game Thursday night

“Now it’s time for us to get back in the world of competition.”
Following the bye week and preparing for the Kansas City Chiefs

“I haven’t ran across a bye that I didn’t like!”
When asked if the Bye week was coming at a good time

“I’m not looking for comfort.”
Following a close loss to the Ravens

“We’re living in the here and now.”
At his weekly press conference following the Steelers’ win over the Patriots

“They’ve got some other guys with legitimate resumes.”
Regarding the upcoming Colts game without QB Peyton Manning

“It’s not going to take one performance to get that stench off of us.”
Regarding the Steelers’ 24-0 shut-out win over Seattle following the Baltimore 35-7 loss

“I think the people that know and compete in this league understand that there is a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes. Obviously, last weekend we were grape-squashers.”
Following the Steelers’ 35-7 loss to Baltimore in their season opener

“We didn’t perform well. We got beat. We got beat convincingly by a good football team. We will chew on that, however tough the meat is.”
Responding to whether the team was ‘flat’ in their opener against the Ravens

“Obviously there was some ambient flow and good competitional contact, and that is the nature of football and really how we want to play.”
Regarding line drills and some early injuries at training camp

“We’re going into the lion’s den in Baltimore Maryland.”
Referring to the Steelers opening game of the season


2010 QUOTES

“Our intentions have not and will not change. We have a desire to compete for a world championship each and every year. We’re going to be unwavering in that pursuit.”
Comments at a press conference several weeks after Super Bowl XLV

“Usually when you lose it is because of penalties and turnovers.”
Responding to a question about why the Steelers lost Super Bowl XLV

“I’m a people watcher, I’m not used to people watching me.”
Referring to his newfound fame during an interview with Michael Strahan

“Fortunately for us we have what you can’t buy, which is Legacy, which is an unbelievable standard and expectation, and all of those great things.”
Coach Tomlin’s response at a press conference just days before Super Bowl XLV when asked about his chances to join other coaches with multiple Super Bowl rings

“He’s kind of sucked me into it the last couple of weeks, I’ll be glad when it’s over so I can shave mine.”
Referring to the playoff beard he grew following the lead of fully-bearded defensive end Brett Keisel

“They have a rough and tumble crew up front.”
Referring to the offensive line of the Baltimore Ravens

“I live by a cliché if you will;
I’d rather say ‘Whoa’ than ‘Sic em’
and I’ve had to say Whoa a little bit and that’s OK.”
Responding to a reporter’s question if there was a balance the Steelers had to strike in practice leading up to the playoff game with the Ravens.

“Ask Troy, he’ll be available after he washes his hair.”
Response to a reporter’s question after the Bengal’s game, on whether Polamalu tried to do too much following his 2nd interception of the game.

“Give us a blade of grass, we’ll defend it, or attack. We got a blade there. Good to have a little fortune sometimes.
Post-game comments following win over Buffalo Bills 11-28-10

“They’re battle tested”
Referring to the tough schedule the Browns have faced early this year

“You’ve got to say Charlie’s in the pole position”
When asked which QB would start against Tampa Bay

“We’re going to be thoughtfully non-rhythmic here”
Referring to his planned rotation of running backs this season

“Everybody with a helmet on is in the mix.”
Answering a question at the close of the 2010 Steelers training camp about which players would be playing

“We’ll always have open arms for the Commissioner when he chooses to come to training camp.”
Regarding the Latrobe training camp visit by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on August 5, 2010


2009 and Before…

“The sun wasn’t up, but it technically wasn’t the middle of the night”
Describing Big Ben’s phone call regarding the Georgia incident

“That is the only guaranteed ticket to this dance that we’re not participating in. If you want a team to be championship caliber, it starts with division dominance.”
Referring to the Steelers 2-4 division record in 2009

“From my perspective, you learn more in failure than you do in success.”
Regarding which players fought back after an 0-5 losing streak

“My mentality is singular in that I want to be world champs each and every year, so that’s what we work toward. I have a tough time acknowledging levels of success short of that. That’s just how I’m wired.”
In response to a Steelers’ first: A pair of 1,000-yard receivers (Holmes & Ward) a 4,000-yard QB (Roethlisberger) and a 1,000-yard RB (Mendenhall)

“Wins and losses are black and white and it’s pure, it’s purity.”
Talking basics

“A lot of times familiarity doesn’t breed comfort”
Speaking of the upcoming game vs the Ravens

“Good to win one for our fans. Got the greatest fans in the world. Good performance for them, get them something to be excited about here at Heinz Field. Today I’m just as excited about that as getting that 5-week monkey off our back.”
Following a last second 37-36 win over the Packers while breaking a 5 game losing streak

“I’ll wear that like a badge of honor. That comes with the job. I don’t live in my fear. I just play to win. I don’t worry about being judged.”
Referring to his controversial on-side kick decision vs the Packers

“We’re going to have to become one with ourselves, if you will, individually and collectively.”
In response to the Steelers’ 4th loss in a row to the Raiders

“We will not go gently, we will unleash hell here in December, because we have to.  We won’t go in the shell, we will go into attack mode, because that is what is required.”
Following loss to Ravens that jeopardized playoff chances

“The arrow is pointing up with him.”
Regarding the play of QB Dennis Dixon

“Lots of people ride the waves of disruption that he provides.”
Referring to the play of Brett Keisel

“Classic AFC North warfare.”
Regarding the upcoming Steelers-Bengals game.

“Big men on blades of grass… the most violent team is going to win.”
Comments before the first 2009 regular season game vs the Titans

“We’re going to guard against feelings of entitlement. We’re simply going to be blue collar humble and start a process of building our football team.”
Coach Tomlin looking ahead to the 2009 season

“When you step into the stadium, it’s not too big for some, and maybe it’s too big for others. People usually distinguish themselves positively or negatively when you start playing football games.”
Comments leading up to the 2009 pre-season opener against the visiting Cardinals

“We’ve gotta have Steeler kind of tempo in our play”
Comment about the level of play to expect in their upcoming 2009 pre-season opener

“I’m not concerned about avoiding anything that happened three years ago or worried about letdowns or things of that nature. When you use the term ‘letdown’ you proceed with the assumption that this is a continuation of something that happened in the past.”
Referring to the team’s poor start in 2006 following their Super Bowl win

“The ’08 Steelers are the ’08 Steelers, we’re here team-building for ’09, we’re not assuming anything, that’s a dangerous thing. We’re going to guard against feelings of entitlement. We’re simply going to be blue-collar and humble and we’re going to start a process of building our football team.”
As the 2009 training camp begins in Latrobe, following a 6th Lombardi

Steelers Super Bowl 43 Victory Parade in Pittsburgh

“I don’t view it as something like I won the lottery. I’m proud of the sacrifices and the accomplishments of the men involved, but it was something I thought we were capable of. So the end result doesn’t register the response that winning the lottery or something of that nature, where you have to pinch yourself.”
In reference to winning his first Lombardi trophy

“I’m a private person by nature, this is what I do, it’s not who I am.”

“Hungry is a word that I’ve been analyzing here of late. It’s not hunger that drives me, it’s not hunger that needs to drive our football team. Hunger and thirst are things that can be quenched. We have to be a driven group, we have to seek greatness.”
Preparing for the 2009 season

“It’s not something that I’m going to attempt to avoid. I think if I attempt to avoid it, I may acknowledge the possibility of it happening exists.”
Addressing the possibility of another post-Super Bowl slump like 2006

“In order to be a candidate for a championship caliber team you have to work hard, but within that we have to find a delicate balance of working smart.”
Changes in preparation after a long season Super Bowl season

“I’m always moving to new challenges. I’m a moving on kind of guy.”

“Steeler Nation, you leave us all speechless, man. We just appreciate the love. How about the Steelers? How about the greatest fans in the world? How about number six? Thank you, we love you guys.”
During the Super Bowl XLIII victory celebration in Pittsburgh

“I actually never even touched it (the Lombardi trophy during the postgame celebration). I see five of them every day when I go to work. I know what they look like. I’m just glad that I can do my part in terms of contributing to that trophy case.”
Mike Tomlin’s low key approach to winning his first Lombardi trophy with the Steelers

“I’m very blessed to be hired by the Rooney family. They took a chance on a 34-year-old coach with not a long resume. They took a little criticism for it, and I took it personal. I wanted to ante up and add to their legacy.”

“We don’t live in our fears, we live in our hopes.”
Coach Tomlin following the Steelers win over the Rams in 2007

“Steeler football is 60 minutes. It’s never going to be pretty. Throw style points out the window, but these guys will fight to the end. We didn’t blink.”
Following the Steelers’ unprecedented 6th Super Bowl win

“Nothing stays the same in this game, a few will come and go, those that remain, the roles will change, some will ascend, some will descend, that’s the nature of today’s NFL. Our focus will be about being The One at the end of the season.”
Press conference following Super Bowl XLIII win

“What he did tonight is similar to what he did for us in the month of January. In big moments, we know what we can get from him.”
Talking about Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes

“Hey, Chief, this is for you. This guy right here, he’s not my father, but he’s my father. I love you, man.”
Talking about his stepfather Leslie Copeland

“I wouldn’t want to have won this any other way, with everybody contributing. I’m just glad I could do my part to contribute to that trophy case.”
Talking about the Steelers’ 6th Lombardi trophy

“The personal sacrifices she made for my brother and me, and allowed us to do what it is we desire to do. In the midst of it all, we had a tough upbringing. But never once did we think that there was something we couldn’t do. She’s as big a reason as any why I do what I do today.”
Talking about his mother

“You won’t hear me say words like ‘repeat’ or ‘defending’ because it will be brand new. This group will always be special to me. Sometime soon that group will be placed with others in history, they’ll be just that, history.”
Looking toward the 2009 season

“It was my intent to come in here in 2007 and draw some hard lines in the dirt as a basis of forming a relationship with our football team. It’s a heck of a lot easier to pull back than it is to put down.”
Talking about his first season as head coach of the Steelers

“I’m probably more in my comfort zone here with the football team than I was a year ago. Not that I wasn’t comfortable but this is more of who I am.”
Super Bowl week in Tampa

“There are 30 other teams I’m sure that would love to have the burden that we have this week. So from that standpoint we’re going to embrace it.”
Regarding the media attention and hype of Super Bowl week.

“There’s going to be some joyful lifting for us if you will in terms of some of the tasks we have to do.”

“I’m not going to get enamored with where we are right now.”
At Super Bowl XLIII

“This group understands the standard that comes with being a Pittsburgh Steeler.”

“There’s some above-the-neck preparation that we’ll continue big. There’s some below-the-neck preparation that some guys need.”
Getting his team ready for Super Bowl XLIII.

“Playoff time comes around, you just have to be the same guy. You gotta do the same things that got you there.”

“…we’re in January, it’s time for young guys to grow up.
Responding to a question about a dropped pass vs the Ravens.

“I tend to attack the challenges that are right in front of me, the ones that I have today.”

“It’s never been our goal (just) to get to the Super Bowl. I think that our guys will keep that in perspective. We’re going to Tampa to do the job.”

“To be quite frank, it is not normalcy waiting for us on the other end.”
Referring to the week of hype leading up to the Super Bowl.

“We’re going to be a humble group. We’re going to be a grounded group. We’re going to be a selfless group.”
Part of Mike Tomlin’s preparation philosophy for Super Bowl XLIII

“What we are doing here today pales in comparison to what’s going on in our nation’s capitol with President Obama’s inauguration”
After the announcement of a 1-hour delay for his weekly news conference.

“Iron sharpens iron.”
In regards to the high level of competition faced by the Steelers in 2008.

“I am not a proponent of the Gatorade bath”
After avoiding a direct hit following the AFC Championship game.

“We are definitely not going to cut him out. We are going to save a seat on the bus for 86.”
Referring to the rehabilitation required to get Hines Ward into the Super Bowl XLIII game.

“But I am not a jewelry guy. It is more about the experience for me than it is the ring.”
When asked why he doesn’t wear his first Super Bowl ring.

“Change is part of this business, it’s going to happen. Sometimes it’s going to be more unpleasant than others, but it’s the nature of what we do.”
Following the release of Joey Porter in 2007.

“Be where you’re at.”
Coach Tomlin as defensive backs coach

VIDEOS:

Pittsburgh Penguins Parade 2016 Stanley Cup

Tour of Mister Rogers exhibit

Pittsburgh Polar Bear Club Mon River plunge Jan. 1st