Right from the jump, you could tell that Mike Tomlin’s season-ending press conference was going to be a special one.
“In a little better mood today, man. Anybody got any contract questions?” Tomlin said with a smile as he stepped to the podium.
That set the tone for what was possibly Tomlin’s best press conference as Steelers coach. And it showed why he is still the right coach for Pittsburgh.
Tomlin surely knew that his best was needed on Thursday. This was not a time to dive into cliches (I counted just one reference of painting with a broad brush) or offer one-word answers. No, Tomlin did the opposite. He was transparent, at times painfully so, like when he said that the thought of going to Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl instead of preparing for the divisional round of the playoffs “turns my stomach.”
Tomlin wasn’t afraid to show the scars that come with falling short of the goal he had for the 2023 Steelers. He made you understand and even feel his pain as another season ended without confetti.
As you can see in the video, Tomlin was point-blank asked why he still feels like he is the right coach to lead the Steelers. While other coaches in his position could have scoffed at the question, Tomlin did the opposite. It was a good look for a coach who said he could have handled Monday’s postgame press conference better when he exited while being asked about his contract.
Tomlin, who did confirm that he plans to sign an extension with the Steeles this offseason, gave insightful answers to every question that was asked, including the Steelers’ plans at quarterback (Kenny Pickett is expected to be the starter but will face competition), the offensive coordinator opening (he’s seeking outside help there), his plans for Broderick Jones (he’s open to Jones playing either tackle spot) and Najee Harris (Tomlin alluded to Pittsburgh likely picking up his fifth-year option), and…