Tomlin ready to play ball

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert were in Bradenton, Florida on Monday visiting the Pittsburgh Pirates in the final week of spring training. The Pirates open the 2016 season on Sunday, April 3, against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Tomlin had the opportunity to speak with the players and coaches in the clubhouse and give them his thoughts.

"Not anything ground breaking by any stretch," said Tomlin of what he said. "I just shared with the group what I believe is an appropriate cliché for this time of year…be where you are. When you get toward the end of a training session, it's human nature to pack your bags mentally and physically and sit them in the hallway. I always make a conscious effort not to do so. I try to squeeze every drop out of Latrobe that I can squeeze out of Latrobe, and I encourage these guys to do the same down here in Bradenton."

Tomlin, who likes to spend time at PNC Park with his family during baseball season, has a close friendship with Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle and enjoys the opportunity to spend time at spring training, even though it's not long.

"Like all people in Western Pa. we are sports fans," said Tomlin. "When our work ends, we get an

opportunity to take a step back and watch and support others. They do the same for us. It's an awesome fraternity and one I am humbled to be a part of.

"Kevin Colbert and I enjoy coming down here annually to watch this phase of team development for them. It's really exciting for us. We are just in the beginning phases of formulating thoughts and ideas of what our group is going to look like and to see a group in the midst of team development is exciting to us. We always appreciate them opening their doors to us and allowing us to witness it firsthand."

Tomlin said he benefits from words of wisdom shared by Hurdle, in private conversations as well as in a daily email Hurdle shares with many.

"I really appreciate his friendship and mentorship in a lot of ways," said Tomlin. "He is a very giving person, not only to me but a lot of people. I am not the only person that gets the pearls of wisdom daily that he sends out. I really enjoy it."

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