Tomlin Displays Optimism and Praise at NFL Owners Meeting

Mike Tomlin has always carried himself professionally and never backs down from being as honest as possible in interviews, and today it was no different as he spoke on the changes Pittsburgh has made this offseason at the NFL Owners Meeting. When asked about new Offensive Coordinator Randy Fichtner he said, “We were having some success when we made the change to Todd Haley. That is just the nature of our business.” He followed that statement with, “I just thought it was an appropriate time and equally as important, I thought I had the appropriate guy to assume the role.”

Tomlin later spoke on new defensive backs coach Tom Bradley, stating “I love the fact that he has no professional coaching experience. I wanted a teacher, or a guy with a teacher’s mentality in that position.” Pittsburgh has an incredibly young and talented defensive backs group including Artie Burns, Sean Davis, Cam Sutton, and Mike Hilton. Tomlin went on to praise Bradley, “The fact that he doesn’t have NFL experience is not a negative for me, it’s quite the opposite. I am excited because he is an accomplished coach with a legitimate resume who does have experience in terms of development of players and I think all of those are real positives as we embark on this journey.”

When asked about new wide receivers coach Daryl Drake, Tomlin spoke very highly in stating, “He has been one of the solid positional coaches in our business in that area. His reputation and resume reflect that.” Drake has coached prolific wide receivers such as Larry Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall while in Arizona and Chicago.

Next, Tomlin spoke on newly appointed defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, who has spent 11 seasons in the NFL coaching with Minnesota, New York Jets, Chicago, and Buffalo. “There are a lot of things to be excited about, not only in terms of what he brings as a coach, but his background makes his inclusion to the group an exciting one.”

Aside from providing his input and praise toward his new coaching staff, Tomlin gave some insight the controversial catch/no-catch rule. “The catch/no-catch rule is something that needed to be cleaned up. We feel really confident about what we’ve been able to do in that area.” Tomlin added, “Everyone knows what a catch is, or that’s debatable, but everyone feels comfortable about their knowledge of what a catch is.” Perhaps Tomlin’s most significant point was, “Where we’ve gotten into issues is replay in that area, so we focused our language in an effort to assist that replay process. And while doing so, we acknowledged that the on-field officials have done a really good job officiating the play.” It is something most fans of the sport have not thought about. The officials are taking the time and assessing these plays the right way, however, when it comes to the replays there is an obvious collapse in making the right call, at least in terms of last season.

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