Amid a terribly disappointing season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been out of the spotlight for almost the entire 2013 campaign. It could even be argued that the severely underwhelming play of Ben Roethlisberger and the once-vaunted Steel Curtain defense has blocked the team from national recognition.
While that pun was intentional in the worst possible way, Mike Tomlin is sticking by his story that his controversial sideline tap dance in Pittsburgh’s Thanksgiving night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens was never meant to obstruct Ravens return man Jacoby Jones. In fact, Tomlin went a step further and questioned anyone who thinks a coach would willfully interfere with a player on the field.
“If anybody thinks I or anybody else would do this on purpose,” Tomlin told Jay Glazer of FOX Football Daily, “they are crazy.”
Tomlin does have a point. Stepping into the path of the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Jones while he runs at a 4.5 40-yard-dash time requires a collection of loose screws even for a fellow player, let alone a coach armed with nothing but a clipboard. Even crazier, though, is Tomlin’s apparent attempt to affect the outcome of the game and thereby return his team to national prominence.
Considering the recent attention, hey, one out of two ain’t bad.
While several critics have called for the Steelers to lose draft picks in addition to any fines handed down by the league, Bill Belichick, of all people, has come to Tomlin’s aid, which, as far as Tomlin’s likeability is concerned, is pretty much a death knell outside of Pittsburgh and Boston.
Get that wallet ready, Mike.