By Teresa Varley
It was a little less than a year ago that Mike Tomlin was introduced at a news conference as the Steelers next head coach.
This week he talked about his first year at the helm of the black and gold in his season wrap-up press conference.
While Tomlin knows the team made great strides, having missed out on the playoffs a year ago at 8-8, he knows that the ultimate goal was not reached.
"I will always be disappointed when I don't win the World Championship," said Tomlin. "I preface that by saying I am not a melancholy personality. I am just a football coach. I get singularly focused on a goal and I chase it. That's what these men do. In that sense yes, there is disappointment. But there also are a lot of things to be proud of."
Finishing 10-6 and winning the AFC North definitely isn't a bad start for a new head coach. Just don't tell Tomlin that.
"One of the things that has bugged me the most since Saturday night are people with great intentions saying, 'great start' and 'great year,'" said Tomlin. "I appreciate it, but I am not wired like that. Not that I'm a negative guy. Not that I'm a melancholy guy. I am just a football coach. I appreciate that, but there is something we are chasing here and we never will cease that chase.
"I'm not big into moral victories. We did some good things. We won 10 games. We won our division. It starts there, but it wasn't as well as I would have liked. The goals I set for myself, I am not bashful about."
While Tomlin will have the chance to enjoy a little bit of down time before draft and free agency preparations get into full swing, he is ready to attack what is ahead of him full force.
"I feel energized to be quite honest with you," said Tomlin. "I have more energy at this time of year probably than I ever have since I have been in this business. It is an awesome place. I am looking forward to fighting the fight again.
"It is a challenging gig and I love it. I couldn't have a nine-to-five. I am not wired that way. At the same time, what makes me tick is the same thing that makes a lot of these guys tick; the challenges, the urgency, the finality of it all and the fact that people care."
And among those who care Tomlin knows are Steelers fans, ones that have amazed him with their show of support both at Heinz Field and on the road this year.
"Steelers Nation is a big source of energy and motivation for me," said Tomlin. "From the outside looking in you respect it. I talked about it when I got here. Being a part of it is different. It is. You want to deliver for Steelers Nation. It is a driving force. It is one of the reasons I am energized. It is awesome."