Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mike Tomlin saw things just like we did

The fact that a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers is on the (regional) cover of Sports Illustrated is no surprise, but what we did find somewhat surprising was a piece of information included in Peter King's article about head coach Mike Tomlin. Specifically, Mr. Tomlin did not care much for the reaction that Limas Sweed had to dropping a second quarter pass that almost certainly would have gone for a touchdown:

[W]ith 1:00 left in the first half and the Steelers leading the Baltimore Ravens 13–7. Pittsburgh rookie wideout Limas Sweed, uncovered deep down the left side, dropped a sure touchdown pass, then fell to the ground and lay there. Replays showed the only injury was to his pride. But when Sweed was slow to rise, the Steelers had to take their last timeout—one they'd wish they had when the clock ran out before they could attempt a short field goal. After Sweed finally walked off, to 65,350 boos, he was met at the sideline by a livid Tomlin. For 10 seconds the coach blew up, and the wideout took it.

"I wasn't mad because he dropped the ball," Tomlin said later. "That kind of mistake can happen to anyone. I was pissed that he'd lay on the ground, fake an injury and cost us our last timeout. My point was, Be a man! Grow up!"

Three plays later Sweed was back in the game and delivering a ferocious block on cornerback Corey Ivy, enabling tight end Heath Miller to gain an extra yard or two. "Coach Tomlin's got an interesting way of explaining stuff," Sweed said. "He's got a little magic in him."
That lay-on-the-ground-after-dropping-a-pass stuff may have worked at Texas but it simply does not work in the pro game; and definitely does not work in Pittsburgh.

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