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MIKE TOMLIN QUOTES

Youngest head coach to win Super Bowl

In his second season as head coach, Mike Tomlin took his five-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl XLIII and defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23, winning an unprecedented 6th Lombardi Trophy for the Rooney's and the Steeler Nation.

2008 MOTOROLA COACH OF THE YEAR
2008 DAPPER DAN SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

At age 36, Coach Tomlin became the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl game. One of Coach Tomlin's talents is applying the right quote to the right football or life moment, so we're going to share some of his quotes leading up to and through his Super Bowl XLIII victory. Some of his quotes are new, and others are worth repeating.


Mike Tomlin
PITTSBURGH STEELERS HEAD COACH
Super Bowl XLIII Champion


 

  
MIKE TOMLIN QUOTES

  
2014 QUOTES

"Lot of guys not blinkin down the stretch."
Re: Steelers coming back to beat the Titans

"He likes running down the center of people."
Referring to James Harrison lining up as a fullback in goal line situations

"That's one to grow on."
Defensive Polamalu-like jump by a Steeler into the Jets victory formation

"We have to quit kickin our own butts."
During halftime interview down 14-points before Steelers loss to Jets 20-13

"I don’t want our offense to think it’s going to be a tough nut day."
Re: Preparation for the Ravens game

"I imagine even if we throw it 40 to 49 times there is still going to be some bludgeoning along the way. Such is life in the Steeler-Raven series."
Re: Physicality of these match-ups

"That’s low-hanging fruit. That’s only going to sustain you so long."
Re: Having extra motivation to win after losing the first Ravens match-up

"Old 99... we'll give him the week off and see if he can get his body ready to go on a short week, but I appreciate his efforts not only on that play but throughout the night. And obviously he provides veteran savvy leadership and perspective during the course of preparation."
Re: Veteran Brett Kiesel's interception against the Texans

"I don't worry abut that -- that's elevator music"
Re: Bill Cowher & Hines Ward critical comments about the Steelers play following the Cleveland loss

“If we happen to get challenged with some up-tempo no-huddle, then great, because we have to exorcise those demons.”
On hoping to improve the Steelers defense against the no-huddle

“I ain’t trying to crown them. They did what was necessary.”
Referring to the Steelers win over the Carolina Panthers

“I expect him to come back fighting like Rocky.”
Referring to Marcus Gilbert allowing too many sacks

"I don't live in my fears"
Referring to having no hesitancy to continue using his top receiver Antonio Brown for punt returns

"Great practice, great etiquette"
Referring to the first joint practice session with the Buffalo Bills

“They’re a good dance partner for us because they do things a little bit differently than we do”
Referring to two joint practice sessions with the Buffalo Bills

“At this stage of the journey, we’ll see where we are. What’s paramount is we play fast, we play hard and we play with urgency.”
Comments prior to their first pre-season game against the Giants

"It gave me a headache. It gave me a headache."
Repeating himself on the new helmet cam technology the Steelers have been experimenting with recently

"Big is a good description when you talk about those guys that play in the trenches, and those guys fit the bill."
Referring to drafted linemen Daniel McCullers and Stephon Tuitt

“His legacy will live on in the stories told, lessons taught and wisdom shared with those of us who remain.”
Remembering Steelers scout Bill Nunn Jr.

"I want structure without the field of structure."


2013 QUOTES

While closing out our MIKE TOMLIN QUOTES for 2013, we came across an analysis of changes in Coach's word choices from 2010 through 2013. Below are the TOP 10 words coach began using more frequently over those years along with the percent increase:

2010 - 2013
Percent increase in use of the word:

Obviously 4,500%
Actions 2,500%
Splash 1,450%
Efforts 1,100%
Groups 1,100%
Sense 1,000%
Unfortunate 900%
Timeout 900%
Continuity 900%
Definitive 900%

"Wrap a bow around the season and move on from there"
Re: In response to 'what ifs' on the Ref's 'no call' on the field goal penalty in the Chiefs-Chargers game that may have prevented the Steelers from entering the playoffs

"We stepped into 16 stadiums this year with an opportunity to state our case, and we didn’t state a strong enough case, so I am not going to lose a lot of sleep over something that went on in a stadium that we weren’t even in. We had plenty of opportunities to state our case."
Re: Not winning enough games in 2013 to make the playoffs

"I’ll leave that between myself, my sons and our basement"
Re: What Tomlin said after he recognized the Chargers were in an illegal formation that could have changed the Steelers playoff hopes

"We made this bed, I like the way the group is laying in it"
Re: Winning games recently after losing too many games early on

“You like to be a team with the arrow pointed up”
Re: Win over the Bengals

"I was just going to take my medicine if you will"
Re: $100,000 fine received for being on the field during a kick return

“You know we as coaches know that we are going to be judged by those calculated decisions that you make, but I think if you die, you die with your boots on”
Re: Play fakes like the one attempted by the Lions

“They create disruption, they create negativity in the run game”
Re: Looking ahead to the great play of the Lions’ D-linemen

“Our first charge is to handle our own business and we haven’t done that consistently enough to look outside our own house.”
Re: If the Steelers could move up in their division due to other losses

“I don’t want him listening to the elevator music, I want him to listen to what matters”
Re: Comments coach made earlier to reassure Le’Veon Bell not to care what the media says or writes

“He’s the bell cow if you will, got a hot motor”
Re: Upcoming opponent Oakland DE Lamarr Houston

“The plays themselves aren’t new, the window dressing is”
Re: Using wildcat plays

“He’s had what I call junior varsity punts”
Re: Zoltan Mesko's erratic punting

"It's silly"
Re: Why coach banned player flips into the end zone for touchdowns

“He’s a battle tested guy”
Re: Steelers new Tackle Levi Brown with 7 years experience

“They are tough to block schematically, to get hats on hats”
Re: Upcoming Jets team

“His pedigree is very evident”
Re: NY Jets rookie QB Geno Smith out of WVU

“The proof is in the pudding”
Re: Steelers defensive packages against tight ends

"We had an opportunity to physically work those areas, individually, working on skill development, consistency and movement appropriate to positions."
Re: Ongoing work with the Offensive Line

“We’re not going to make any excuses, we’re going to chew on everything we got coming”
Re: Winless 0-4 record following loss to Vikings

“It’s fundamental, it isn’t anything mystical”
Re: Loss due to errors in football fundamentals like blocking & tackling

"19 points in two football games is not going to win a lot of football in this league"
Re: 0-2 start to the season

"We’re not expecting Heath to step out of a phone booth with a cape on"
Re: Heath Miller’s gradual return to play from injury

"Last night there was more positivity, there was less negativity"
Re: Comparing the degree of loss in the first two games

"It wasn't a clean pocket"
Re: Ben Roethlisberger's 5 sacks in opener loss to the Titans

“I thought that his pedigree showed”
Re: Felix Jones in the Steelers final preseason game in Carolina

“Not enough detail and execution to support victory”
Re: Overtime loss to Chiefs in 3rd preseason game

“Sometimes guys throw lines in the water to see if something sticks”
Re: Rumor on how long Le’Veon Bell might be out with his foot sprain

“Coming off training camp nicks” 
“You play football, you get hurt, that’s part of it”

Re: Injuries leading up to Chiefs game

“The NFL game is a bigger, faster, more violent game than college football”
Re: Young players transitioning to the professional level

"We gave them 30 yards and free real estate."
Re: One reason for loss to NY Giants in preseason opener

“I hadn’t thought too much about the nameless great faces on the opposite sideline.”
Re: Upcoming NY Giants opponents

“Coaching is a small fraternity.”
Re: 3 new Steelers coaches not being new to him

“What he does in stadiums is going to be the litmus of where he is.”
Re: Rookie QB Landry Jones

"We come together in a very fluid manner"
Re: Steelers scouts and coaches working together on the draft


2012 QUOTES

"The good teams, the dominant teams, aren't necessarily dominant in stadiums, but they are dominant largely in moments, when they do what's required to get out of stadiums with victories."
Re: Winning close games

"We're on the outside looking in"
Re: 8-8 record and out of the playoffs

"The excitement that is the National Football League in the now"
Re: Appreciating the moment

"Arrow pointed up"
Re: Player showing steady improvement

"They're getting on a moving train"
Re: DeCastro and Beachum suddenly being starters

"Long ball hunting at that point"
Re: Being way behind with time running out

"The proof is in the pudding"
Re: Game results

"We don't live in our fears, we live in our hopes"
Re: Upcoming games

"Chew the clock mentality"
Re: Opponent's strategy when sitting on a lead

"Practice fields of course, and game fields, are two different things"
Re: Developing players

St Vincent training camp
Latrobe training camp

"Very salty and capable"
Re: Dallas corners

"Savvy route runner"
Re: Jason Witten

"Sooner or later the dam will break"
Re: Having prolonged bad field position

"How do you teach someone to dance? Dance!"
Re: Using techniques to prevent turnovers

"You can't wear yourself out patting yourself on the back"
Re: Lingering too long on victories

"He was going to be prepared above the neck... very cerebral... he's steady eddy"
Re: Kelvin Beachum #68 stepping in to play right tackle

Kelvin Beachum at Latrobe training camp
7th round draft pick Kelvin Beachum at 2012 training camp

"Prove that the stage isn't too big for them"
Re: Younger players filling injury gaps

"Seven days does wonders for injuries"
Re: Likelihood of Big Ben returning to play

"Have an opportunity to put their hand in the pile"
Re: Next man up

"I was proud of the guys in the way they displayed their mettle"
Re: Win over Ravens

"The sequence of events that bookend halftime"
Re: Scoring before and after halftime

"It's important we get back on that side of the ledger"
Winning instead of losing

"Poor ball security, lapses of ball security, or ball mechanics"
Relating to the high number of turnovers vs Browns

"We appreciate his willingness to battle"
Regarding Leftwich playing in pain

Byron Leftwich #4
Byron Leftwich #4

"Those are the type of processes that we go through on a week-to-week basis to try to keep the dogs off us"
In response to whether he tweaks his game plan

"As a head coach I've always got 11 on the grass"
Regarding his main focus during a game

"shown great moxie... a viable guy... no stranger to football... capable men... model of consistency... record of longevity... an awesome shot in the arm... football smart"
Terms used to describe various players

"We knew this was going to be a Baltimore-Steelers type football game, we're going to be nip and tuck, I thought it was gritty"
Commenting on the Steelers 13-10 loss to the Ravens

"It's about staying in our wheelhouse"
About how the Steelers would approach the Ravens game

"Players ascend, players descend"
Talking about the chemistry of different teams

"Excuses are tools of the incompetent"
Answering whether injuries to key players has affected performance

"He provides a nugget or two of some clarity when we get mixed signals"
Regarding Offensive Coach Todd Haley's preparation for games

"It's not like we've been a juggernaut in terms of getting turnovers"
Reflecting on past games

"He has a relentless motor"
Referring to the KC Chiefs' 6'-3'' 275lbs LB Tamba Hali

"We'll see where the week takes us, we'll leave the door ajar"
Referring to the availability of players coming off injuries

"Next man up, he did a nice job of answering the bell and delivering for us"
Commenting on the 147 yard rushing game by Isaac Redman #33

Isaac Redman
Isaac 'Red Zone' Redman at 2012 training camp

"It always starts up front, I like the personality that's developing within that group"
Referring to the great performance by the offensive line vs the Giants

"The guys put their hand in the pile and delivered plays that came from a variety of places"
Referring to the win over the World Champion NY Giants

"I like to think we are a group on the rise, one that's gelling and coming together, and solidifying a personality"
Regarding the progression of the 2012 Offense after improving to 4-3

"I consider him a friend... he calls me Mikey" (laughing)
Fielding a reporter's question: "Do you know Coach Coughlin very well?"

"He's a 1st round pedigreed guy, he's a multiple 1,000 yard guy, he's our lead dog if you will"
Referring to Rashard Mendenhall's return to the lineup against the Eagles

"We need to tighten-up our menu and lean on the things we are doing well"
Referring to a lackluster 2.6 yards per carry running game average after playing the Broncos and Jets

"We have our marching orders"
Referring to their upcoming first round play-off game in Denver


2011 QUOTES

"We cannot let Josh Cribbs do what he has done to us time and time again in the past, we've been dead indians in his cowboy movie enough."
Looking ahead to the Steelers-Browns game Thursday night

"Now it's time for us to get back in the world of competition."
Following the bye week and preparing for the Kansas City Chiefs

"I haven't ran across a bye that I didn't like!"
When asked if the Bye week was coming at a good time

"I'm not looking for comfort."
Following a close loss to the Ravens

"We're living in the here and now."
At his weekly press conference following the Steelers' win over the Patriots

"They've got some other guys with legitimate resumes."
Regarding the upcoming Colts game without QB Peyton Manning

"It's not going to take one performance to get that stench off of us."
Regarding the Steelers' 24-0 shut-out win over Seattle following the Baltimore 35-7 loss

"I think the people that know and compete in this league understand that there is a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes. Obviously, last weekend we were grape-squashers."
Following the Steelers’ 35-7 loss to Baltimore in their season opener

"We didn't perform well. We got beat. We got beat convincingly by a good football team. We will chew on that, however tough the meat is."
Responding to whether the team was ‘flat’ in their opener against the Ravens

"Obviously there was some ambient flow and good competitional contact, and that is the nature of football and really how we want to play."
Regarding line drills and some early injuries at training camp

"We're going into the lion's den in Baltimore Maryland."
Referring to the Steelers opening game of the season


2010 QUOTES

"Our intentions have not and will not change. We have a desire to compete for a world championship each and every year. We're going to be unwavering in that pursuit."
Comments at a press conference several weeks after Super Bowl XLV

"Usually when you lose it is because of penalties and turnovers."
Responding to a question about why the Steelers lost Super Bowl XLV

"I'm a people watcher, I'm not used to people watching me."
Referring to his newfound fame during an interview with Michael Strahan

"Fortunately for us we have what you can't buy, which is Legacy, which is an unbelievable standard and expectation, and all of those great things."
Coach Tomlin's response at a press conference just days before Super Bowl XLV when asked about his chances to join other coaches with multiple Super Bowl rings

"He's kind of sucked me into it the last couple of weeks, I'll be glad when it's over so I can shave mine.''
Referring to the playoff beard he grew following the lead of fully-bearded defensive end Brett Keisel

"They have a rough and tumble crew up front."
Referring to the offensive line of the Baltimore Ravens

"I live by a cliché if you will;
I'd rather say 'Whoa' than 'Sic em'
and I've had to say Whoa a little bit and that's OK."
Responding to a reporter's question if there was a balance the Steelers had to strike in practice leading up to the playoff game with the Ravens.

"Ask Troy, he'll be available after he washes his hair."
Response to a reporter's question after the Bengal's game, on whether Polamalu tried to do too much following his 2nd interception of the game.

"Give us a blade of grass, we'll defend it, or attack. We got a blade there. Good to have a little fortune sometimes.
Post-game comments following win over Buffalo Bills 11-28-10

"They're battle tested"
Referring to the tough schedule the Browns have faced early this year

"You've got to say Charlie's in the pole position"
When asked which QB would start against Tampa Bay

"We're going to be thoughtfully non-rhythmic here"
Referring to his planned rotation of running backs this season

"Everybody with a helmet on is in the mix."
Answering a question at the close of the 2010 Steelers training camp about which players would be playing

"We'll always have open arms for the Commissioner when he chooses to come to training camp."
Regarding the Latrobe training camp visit by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on August 5, 2010
 


2009 and Before...

"The sun wasn't up, but it technically wasn't the middle of the night"
Describing Big Ben's phone call regarding the Georgia incident

"That is the only guaranteed ticket to this dance that we're not participating in. If you want a team to be championship caliber, it starts with division dominance."
Referring to the Steelers 2-4 division record in 2009

"From my perspective, you learn more in failure than you do in success."
Regarding which players fought back after an 0-5 losing streak

"My mentality is singular in that I want to be world champs each and every year, so that's what we work toward. I have a tough time acknowledging levels of success short of that. That's just how I'm wired."
In response to a Steelers' first: A pair of 1,000-yard receivers (Holmes & Ward) a 4,000-yard QB (Roethlisberger) and a 1,000-yard RB (Mendenhall)

"Wins and losses are black and white and it’s pure, it’s purity."
Talking basics

"A lot of times familiarity doesn't breed comfort"
Speaking of the upcoming game vs the Ravens

"Good to win one for our fans. Got the greatest fans in the world. Good performance for them, get them something to be excited about here at Heinz Field. Today I'm just as excited about that as getting that 5-week monkey off our back."
Following a last second 37-36 win over the Packers while breaking a 5 game losing streak

"I'll wear that like a badge of honor. That comes with the job. I don't live in my fear. I just play to win. I don't worry about being judged."
Referring to his controversial on-side kick decision vs the Packers

Coach Mike Tomlin

"We're going to have to become one with ourselves, if you will, individually and collectively."
In response to the Steelers' 4th loss in a row to the Raiders

"We will not go gently, we will unleash hell here in December, because we have to.  We won't go in the shell, we will go into attack mode, because that is what is required."
Following loss to Ravens that jeopardized playoff chances

"The arrow is pointing up with him."
Regarding the play of QB Dennis Dixon

"Lots of people ride the waves of disruption that he provides."
Referring to the play of Brett Keisel

"Classic AFC North warfare."
Regarding the upcoming Steelers-Bengals game.

"Big men on blades of grass... the most violent team is going to win."
Comments before the first 2009 regular season game vs the Titans

"We're going to guard against feelings of entitlement. We're simply going to be blue collar humble and start a process of building our football team."
Coach Tomlin looking ahead to the 2009 season

"When you step into the stadium, it's not too big for some, and maybe it's too big for others. People usually distinguish themselves positively or negatively when you start playing football games."
Comments leading up to the 2009 pre-season opener against the visiting Cardinals

"We've gotta have Steeler kind of tempo in our play"
Comment about the level of play to expect in their upcoming 2009 pre-season opener

"I'm not concerned about avoiding anything that happened three years ago or worried about letdowns or things of that nature. When you use the term 'letdown' you proceed with the assumption that this is a continuation of something that happened in the past."
Referring to the team's poor start in 2006 following their Super Bowl win

"The '08 Steelers are the '08 Steelers, we're here team-building for '09, we're not assuming anything, that's a dangerous thing. We're going to guard against feelings of entitlement. We're simply going to be blue-collar and humble and we're going to start a process of building our football team.”
As the 2009 training camp begins in Latrobe, following a 6th Lombardi


"I don't view it as something like I won the lottery. I'm proud of the sacrifices and the accomplishments of the men involved, but it was something I thought we were capable of. So the end result doesn't register the response that winning the lottery or something of that nature, where you have to pinch yourself."
In reference to winning his first Lombardi trophy

"I'm a private person by nature, this is what I do, it's not who I am."

"Hungry is a word that I've been analyzing here of late. It's not hunger that drives me, it's not hunger that needs to drive our football team. Hunger and thirst are things that can be quenched. We have to be a driven group, we have to seek greatness."
Preparing for the 2009 season

"It's not something that I'm going to attempt to avoid. I think if I attempt to avoid it, I may acknowledge the possibility of it happening exists."
Addressing the possibility of another post-Super Bowl slump like 2006

"In order to be a candidate for a championship caliber team you have to work hard, but within that we have to find a delicate balance of working smart."
Changes in preparation after a long season Super Bowl season

"I'm always moving to new challenges. I'm a moving on kind of guy."

"Steeler Nation, you leave us all speechless, man. We just appreciate the love. How about the Steelers? How about the greatest fans in the world? How about number six? Thank you, we love you guys."
During the Super Bowl XLIII victory celebration in Pittsburgh

"I actually never even touched it (the Lombardi trophy during the postgame celebration). I see five of them every day when I go to work. I know what they look like. I'm just glad that I can do my part in terms of contributing to that trophy case."
Mike Tomlin's low key approach to winning his first Lombardi trophy with the Steelers

"I'm very blessed to be hired by the Rooney family. They took a chance on a 34-year-old coach with not a long resume. They took a little criticism for it, and I took it personal. I wanted to ante up and add to their legacy."

"We don't live in our fears, we live in our hopes."
Coach Tomlin following the Steelers win over the Rams in 2007

"Steeler football is 60 minutes. It's never going to be pretty. Throw style points out the window, but these guys will fight to the end. We didn't blink."
Following the Steelers' unprecedented 6th Super Bowl win

"Nothing stays the same in this game, a few will come and go, those that remain, the roles will change, some will ascend, some will descend, that's the nature of today's NFL. Our focus will be about being The One at the end of the season."
Press conference following Super Bowl XLIII win

"What he did tonight is similar to what he did for us in the month of January. In big moments, we know what we can get from him."
Talking about Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes

"Hey, Chief, this is for you. This guy right here, he's not my father, but he's my father. I love you, man."
Talking about his stepfather Leslie Copeland

"I wouldn't want to have won this any other way, with everybody contributing. I'm just glad I could do my part to contribute to that trophy case."
Talking about the Steelers' 6th Lombardi trophy

"The personal sacrifices she made for my brother and me, and allowed us to do what it is we desire to do. In the midst of it all, we had a tough upbringing. But never once did we think that there was something we couldn't do. She's as big a reason as any why I do what I do today."
Talking about his mother

"You won't hear me say words like 'repeat' or 'defending' because it will be brand new. This group will always be special to me. Sometime soon that group will be placed with others in history, they'll be just that, history."
Looking toward the 2009 season

"It was my intent to come in here in 2007 and draw some hard lines in the dirt as a basis of forming a relationship with our football team. It's a heck of a lot easier to pull back than it is to put down."
Talking about his first season as head coach of the Steelers

"I'm probably more in my comfort zone here with the football team than I was a year ago. Not that I wasn't comfortable but this is more of who I am."
Super Bowl week in Tampa

"There are 30 other teams I'm sure that would love to have the burden that we have this week. So from that standpoint we're going to embrace it."
Regarding the media attention and hype of Super Bowl week.

"There's going to be some joyful lifting for us if you will in terms of some of the tasks we have to do."

"I'm not going to get enamored with where we are right now."
At Super Bowl XLIII

"This group understands the standard that comes with being a Pittsburgh Steeler."

"There's some above-the-neck preparation that we'll continue big. There's some below-the-neck preparation that some guys need."
Getting his team ready for Super Bowl XLIII.

Coach Tomlin

"Playoff time comes around, you just have to be the same guy. You gotta do the same things that got you there."

"...we're in January, it's time for young guys to grow up."
Responding to a question about a dropped pass vs the Ravens.

"I tend to attack the challenges that are right in front of me, the ones that I have today."

"It's never been our goal (just) to get to the Super Bowl. I think that our guys will keep that in perspective. We're going to Tampa to do the job."

"To be quite frank, it is not normalcy waiting for us on the other end."
Referring to the week of hype leading up to the Super Bowl.

"We're going to be a humble group. We're going to be a grounded group. We're going to be a selfless group."
Part of Mike Tomlin's preparation philosophy for Super Bowl XLIII

"What we are doing here today pales in comparison to what's going on in our nation's capitol with President Obama's inauguration"
After the announcement of a 1-hour delay for his weekly news conference.

"Iron sharpens iron."
In regards to the high level of competition faced by the Steelers in 2008.

"I am not a proponent of the Gatorade bath"
After avoiding a direct hit following the AFC Championship game.

"We are definitely not going to cut him out. We are going to save a seat on the bus for 86."
Referring to the rehabilitation required to get Hines Ward into the Super Bowl XLIII game.

"But I am not a jewelry guy. It is more about the experience for me than it is the ring."
When asked why he doesn't wear his first Super Bowl ring.

"Change is part of this business, it's going to happen. Sometimes it's going to be more unpleasant than others, but it's the nature of what we do."
Following the release of Joey Porter in 2007.

"Be where you're at."
Coach Tomlin as defensive backs coach
     

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