Amid what has now become a full-blown NFL scandal, Mike Tomlin went on ESPN's "First Take" to voice his displeasure towards Myles Garrett.
My takeaway? Mike Tomlin is a badass.
I know fans in Pittsburgh have never fully appreciated Mike Tomlin. In moments like this, though, I don't think there's anybody else that I would rather have representing this franchise.
Mike Tomlin backed up his dude.
Mason Rudolph surely appreciated it.
"The standard is the standard."
"Next man up."
"Stay singularly focused."
Mike Tomlin has repeated those mantras over and over throughout his time as the Steelers head coach. Thing is, if you spend more than five seconds inside their locker room, you'll hear his players utter the same sayings.
The Steelers offense this year was as bad as I've ever seen. They were "avert your eyes" bad. Yet, the team found a way to stay relevant through week 17.
They buy into Mike Tomlin's messages. They respect him. Some players may even love him.
Because he has their back. Tomlin didn't need to go to bat for Mason Rudolph, but he did. Mike Tomlin doesn't have to let Ryan Shazier remain around team, but he does. Mike Tomlin treats men like men, while at the same time being critical.
He's the kind of coach that players WANT to play for. Sure, his recent playoff resume isn't great. Still, the coach has created a culture in Pittsburgh.
Sticking up for a player the way that Mike Tomlin did yesterday is more important than a playoff win in the Wild Card round. It's about the big picture. An atmosphere of success.
You don't think his guys notice that? Of course they do. It's one of the reason's why Mike Tomlin has never lost a team. Not in 2017 when there was mass chaos. They finished 13-3. Not in 2012, when the Steelers started 0-4. They finished 8-8. Not this year, when the team was 0-3 and 1-4. They finished 8-8.
No. The Steelers have never quit on Mike Tomlin. It's because he never seems to quit on them.