View Full Version : Hearing from Coach Mike Tomlin

01-29-2011, 12:37 PM
On timeouts, clock management, jerks

Throughout the 2010 NFL season, Coach Mike Tomlin will provide his insight and observations to Steelers.com on a variety of topics pertaining to the team and the National Football League.

Q. In a situation where a team might choose to assign a cornerback to a specific receiver, is that ever an advantage for the offense?

A. It is, because then you know who the cornerback is not covering. Anytime you can identify matchups, it helps you from a planning standpoint, from a preparation standpoint. If you have a pretty good understanding about who someone is going to cover, then you of course know who theyíre not going to cover.

Q. Who has the authority call timeouts during a game?

A. Usually, I call the timeouts. Of course, Ben calls timeouts from time to time because of information that he has that I donít, such as lack of communication in the huddle, maybe not getting enough time to execute a call that has come in from the sideline a little late. Primarily, itís me and Ben.

Q. When it comes to the clock management area of using timeouts, is there some system you use, or are you guided by feel?

A. Often, we use them as needed, with the understanding that we want to preserve as many of them as we can. I donít try to put too many parameters on it, because each and every game and game circumstance is different.

Q. Generally, do you prefer to use your timeouts only when youíre on offense?

A. Preferably, I like to save them all for offense and the only time I use them on defense or special teams is if I think that something potentially catastrophic is going to happen.

Q. When it comes to timeouts, is it more of a sin to go into halftime or finish a game with timeouts remaining, or to run out of them?

A. It doesnít really matter to me. There are many instances when we donít utilize our timeouts and we donít need them. If we need them, I want to have them. Thatís generally been my approach to timeouts, and that has been the case for us since Iíve been here. Very rarely have we been in a situation where we needed timeouts and didnít have them.

Q. Do you ever consider timeouts when youíre deciding whether to utilize one of your instant replay challenges?

A. No. Usually, I use the red flag in an effort to save points.

Q. In this Steelers locker room, you have a remarkably few guys who could be described as jerks. Does that mean anything?

A. In the big scheme of things, no. This is a business. Everybody is pretty clear about whatís required to be a success in this business. People have to put their best foot forward and be respectful of others, what they need to do to be prepared and then ultimately to play. I think more than anything, itís about mutual respect. And respect has very little to do with personality and personality types and quirks.

Q. So when you talk about these playersí willingness to put their hands in the pile to contribute to the success of the team, that has nothing to do with whether people are selfish in the way they see things away from football?

A. No. It really doesnít. Itís really more about respect, respect for what weíre doing and how we all fit into the big scheme of things and that itís bigger than all of us. If youíre respectful of what weíre doing here and you act in a professional manner, some of the other personal things are really irrelevant. You can be extremely successful without having warm and fuzzy relationships.

Q. So then, being successful and having those close relationships among players do not necessarily go together?

A. Not necessarily. Usually, but not necessarily.