When you open your conference call referring to your opponent as the "Stillers" and you put it out there that, "My family is straight Pittsburgh," you know what you are dealing with, a true Pittsburgher.
San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Tomsula was born in Homestead, much of his family still residing in the area, and it's a place he will always consider home.
He spoke glowingly about the city on Wednesday, and even talked a little bit about the Steelers-49ers game at Heinz Field on Sunday, something that is his top priority on this trip home.
Here are his thoughts on his city, the 49ers and the Steelers.
On coming back to Pittsburgh:
"Going back to Pittsburgh, coming through the tunnel, yeah, and seeing that beautiful city. It's the only city in the world with an entrance. You are just so proud of that place. Yeah, I am from there. I love it there. But I am not making that kind of connection on this trip. This is a football game."
On if his defense can keep shutting down the running game like they did against Adrian Peterson and the Vikings:
"I don't know. We've only played one game. We feel good we got a win. We have to go play the Pittsburgh Steelers. When you turn on the offensive film here, their offensive line does a nice job. Their running backs do a nice job. Their quarterback does a nice job. They have speed on the outside. Their tight end does a nice job. Todd Haley calls a heck of a football game. I have the utmost respect for Coach (Mike) Tomlin. He's a gritty coach. He is smart. He's been there. He's done it. You get that stuff going with that offense with a lot of weapons, and they use a lot of their weapons. And Keith Butler on defense – the Steelers are known for their defense, and they play defense. Danny Smith, one of Pittsburgh's own on special teams. We are walking into a hell of a football game now. We need all hands on deck."
A look at images from our 33-16 win over San Francisco on September 23, 2007 at Heinz Field.
On the 49ers running the football and if it's something he embraces**:
"Running the football is something I grew up with there. You have the Western, Pa., belly, the old fullback belly, right up the gut. That comes straight out of Pittsburgh. To me, that's the essence of football. We try to build a sturdy team here, and a team that can run the football. If we need to throw the ball 50 times to win the game – we want to win, so we will do what we need to do to win. Running the football is actually something we want to be able to do."
On how quarterback Colin Kaepernick's game has evolved:"Last year, you heard a lot of things when people were talking…I don't think we had something that was broke to be quite honest with you. What do we fix? We have a guy that is a very talented athlete. He is a very talented quarterback. We always want to compare. He's this guy. This guy is Dan Marino. This guy is Terry Bradshaw. This guy is whoever. Kaepernick is just Kaepernick. You have a great quarterback in Pittsburgh. I am watching Ben Roethlisberger. Sometimes you might as well run into a wall rather than running into Roethlisberger. He's just Colin Kaepernick. He has a skill set. We just want to utilize his skill set. And he is a really smart guy, by the way. He was an AP student in high school. He's very smart and really impressive that way in the meeting rooms."