The Steelers had been enjoying for greater than an opportunity on the playoffs throughout Sunday’s common season finale towards Cleveland. While preserving their playoff hopes alive was the first goal, Pittsburgh was additionally motivated to keep away from making undesirable historical past.
“We do not wanna be the primary staff [to finish below .500],” defensive again Arthur Maulet instructed reporters previous to Sunday’s recreation, by way of ESPN.
Maulet was alluding to Mike Tomlin’s outstanding run of non-losing seasons, which reached 16 consecutive ones following Sunday’s 28-14 win. It was the ninth victory for a staff that received six of its last seven video games after a 3-7 begin.
“That was only for Mike T.,” stated operating again Najee Harris, whose play down the stretch largely contributed to the Steelers’ sturdy end. “When we began 2-6, he all the time stated that, ‘I’m not going to vary the way in which I’m teaching. I’m not going to blink. I’m going to be the identical man.’ He by no means modified. He by no means switched up. That’s his management. For us to come back in there and win for him and never have that dropping season, I believe that was huge for us.”
Center Mason Cole, who joined the Steelers this previous offseason, shared Harris’ sentiments.
“He’s particular. Tomlin’s unbelievable,” Cole stated. “I’ve performed for different coaches, and to be right here, to be round this man, I get it. … I’m actually appreciative of him.”
Tomlin’s supporters usually level to the truth that he has by no means had a dropping season. His detractors say he has been persistently mediocre or barely higher, with out sufficient seasons far above .500, particularly over the previous dozen years. One factor that may’t be argued, nevertheless, is Tomlin’s distinctive connection along with his gamers and the way that bond has contributed to his outstanding run of persistently.
“Coach Tomlin, he offers us every part — his time, his persistence, every part,” stated security Terrell Edmunds, by way of the Tribune-Review. “He’s bluntly sincere. He’s simply going on the market wanting us to win. He desires to see everybody do one of the best they’ll on the sector and off the sector. So, simply enjoying for a man like coach Tomlin and with the ability to preserve that custom going for him, that is simply wonderful for us.”
Tomlin was clearly dissatisfied in the truth that he wouldn’t be making ready for a recreation this week. But he did not let that disappointment cloud his perspective on the ’22 Steelers, a staff that many had left for lifeless eight video games into the season.
“We had been an evolving group. And that evolution continued even into immediately,” Tomlin stated. “I’m simply appreciative of the collective. I’m appreciative of the boys, not what they’re able to however what they’re prepared to do within the face of adversity. … Hopefully, we leanred one thing. Hopefully, we taught others one thing within the mindst of our journey.”
Along with difficult them to enhance on tangible soccer expertise, Tomlin additionally challenges his gamers to make intangible progress. An instance of that is Tomlin’s problem to Harris to evolve as a staff chief heading into his second season. Harris, who was voted by his teammates as a staff captain heading into the season, clearly embraced Tomlin’s problem. Harris, who displayed spectacular management qualities all yr, confirmed it as soon as extra after he and his teammates realized that they might not be going to the playoffs.
“I shook Kenny [Pickett’s] hand and instructed him he had a terrific yr,” Harris stated. “We’ve gotta do loads as a staff if we need to be the place we’re at subsequent yr and never ready for different groups to lose to get in.”
“We did not make the playoffs, however we completed not having a dropping season for Mike T. and simply completed actually sturdy.”
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