Tomlin Takes

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'Tomlin's Takes' on reboot, steady voice & more

Big time challenges: It's a game that is still fresh in their memory, just three weeks ago when the Steelers didn't just lose to the Kansas City Chiefs on the road the day after Christmas, but in the words of Coach Mike Tomlin they got 'handled.'

The Chiefs won the Week 16 matchup at Arrowhead Stadium, 36-10, jumping out to a 30-0 lead before the Steelers ever got points on the board.

"They smashed us so definitively, more than anything it's like a reboot," said Tomlin.

This Sunday will be that 'reboot' when the two teams meet in the NFL Wild Card Round on Sunday Night Football, and however you look at it, it will be a challenge going against the AFC's second seed in the postseason.

"We have big time challenges in terms of preparing for Kansas City," said Tomlin. "We've been to Kansas City very recently. They handled us and handled us definitively. We understand that. But at the same time, we're not paralyzed by that.

"We accept that we didn't play well enough last time. We accept that we didn't plan well enough last time. But that's last time. We're excited about the process of readiness this time. Putting together a better plan. Putting our guys in position to make more consistent plays, particularly in the weighty moments, situational ball and going in and playing.

"We realize where we are in terms of the scarcity of these opportunities. We're just living in the moment. I'm really excited about doing so. But we better get ready physically. We better get ready mentally, emotionally, because it's going to take all of us."

Leadership: Dependable. Reliable. Leader.

Those are words you normally hear Tomlin use when describing his players, but the tables have been turned recently, with the players using those words to describe their leader.

"He's always been that inspirational leader, just that overall figure to us," said Sutton. "It goes beyond just football. That relationship carries throughout many adversities, whether it's football related, or life related. He's just always dependable, always reliable, always got us, always a guy willing to sacrifice and be the front leader.

"Just really appreciative of being behind a guy like that who comes to work every day leaving it all on the line for us. Who doesn't want to follow that?"

For Tomlin, though, that is the way it should be in his mind. He doesn't look at it as being out of the ordinary, but rather doing his job.

"I don't want to make a big deal out of that. That is my job," said Tomlin. "Football is an emotional game played by high energy men who are really emotional and so they need to hear a steady voice. They need to hear consistency in messaging and belief and so it's my job to exemplify that."

Bottom line, though, he exemplifies it better than most.

Dozing off: For the vast majority of Steelers Nation, Sunday night was a late one, staying awake to watch the Chargers-Raiders game which went down to the wire in overtime.

The Raiders won, 35-32, on a last second field goal, keeping the game from ending in a tie and sending the Steelers to the postseason.

While Steelers fans stayed awake until the bitter end, one person didn't.


He admitted during his weekly press conference that he dozed off before the end of the game.

"I missed the end of it. I dozed off," said Tomlin. "I knew I had a workday waiting on me, or I assumed I had a workday waiting on me. I think at one point Oakland was up by 15 and that number made you somewhat comfortable. I'm probably better off not having watched it. It's probably not as exciting of a description as you would have hoped.

"I'm probably better off not having watched it."

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