Finally Some Straight Fire From Coach Tomlin

Not really.

Jim Rome
November 18, 2020 - 11:14 am
Mike Tomlin

USA Today

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Back in 2013, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin gave the world this legendary tweet: Hello Twitter. Expect no BS from me. Just Straight Fire!

One of the best tweets in the history of the platform. An NFL head coach, a Super Bowl winning head coach, no less, creating a twitter account and telling the world “Expect no BS from me. Just straight fire!”

I love that so much that I named a horse after it. Not only that, I thought the name was so awesome, we weren’t going to just drop it on any horse, we were waiting for what we thought was our best horse. And we finally bought this colt, that was long, and athletic and we thought was our Kentucky derby horse and we decided that’s the one! That’s Straight Fire! Because the last thing you want to do is name a horse that can’t run or win, Straight Fire. And he was a great horse. And did live up to his name for a short period. But that was a while back.  So long ago that Straight Fire has been retired for years.

And if we’re being honest, the straight fire hasn’t exactly been flowing from @coachtomlin. He’s not jumping on there after games and lighting suckers up. In fact, His tweets are pretty infrequent and usually just wishing good luck to the Pirates and Penguins. It’s not offensive, it’s just not exactly straight fire.

Let me get something else out of the way before I continue as well: Mike Tomlin is one hell of a football coach. 14 seasons as a head coach and he has never had a losing season. In a league that is designed for parity and to make it hard to have sustained success, he has never had a losing season. Even when they lost Ben Roethlisberger for the season last year, they still didn’t have a losing season.

And now Ben is back and Pittsburgh is better than ever. Literally. They are having the best start to a season in franchise history. When you’re doing something that’s never been done before in Pittsburgh, you’re doing something special.

Pittsburgh is heading to Jacksonville on Sunday. 9-0 vs. 1-8. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Jake Luton.

Remember when folks got all excited about the Jags winning their season opener? Me neither.

Because they’ve lost eight straight since then. We are now at the point in the season where Jags head coach Doug Marrone is talking about having his soul removed on a weekly basis. As he said after Sunday’s loss: "there's something that's in my soul that just gets bleeping ripped out."

And Pittsburgh rolls into this game on Sunday knowing that they have a rematch with the Ravens on Thanksgiving. So you might be thinking that this is a trap game for the Steelers. Maybe they’ll be looking past Jacksonville and already thinking about Baltimore.

And Mike Tomlin is here to tell you that you’re wrong.

"We are not a Big Ten team playing a MAC opponent this week. Every time we step into a stadium, we're playing professionals, players and coaches. We've got a ridiculous level of respect for that. Write your story, follow your storylines about trap games and things of that nature. We understand what we're going into in Jacksonville, that that's a group that's trying to kick our butt. A professional group, capable group, and we're preparing with that understanding."

Finally! Some straight fire! I love that “ridiculous level of respect” for the Jags. That statement lived up to the mantra of @coachtomlin. Sort of.

Because the straight fire was about the concept of trap games and people calling this a trap game. And he’s right. Pittsburgh isn’t going to look past Jacksonville.

But let’s not get too carried away. Actually, This is EXACTLY like a Big Ten team playing a MAC opponent this week. It’s the team with the best record in the league facing the team with the second-worst record in the league. That’s about as Big Ten v. MAC as it gets in the NFL.

And calling them a “professional group, capable group” might be a bit of a stretch. They are professional in the strictest definition – the one that says they are paid to play football. But capable? CAPABLE OF WHAT

That sounds like a college coach who is about to tell you why a 0-3 Bowling Green team is this close to winning a national title.

And Tomlin wasn’t done. He had more to hype the Jags for: "A significant component of their last matchup in Green Bay was their ability to get the ball. We all know Green Bay's ability to possess the ball. Green Bay, I think, is No. 1 in the NFL in safeguarding the football. They had some significant turnovers in that game, and that turnover element of play is something we need to be cognizant of as we head down to Jacksonville. We've always had rough and tumble games with those guys down there. They always play really tough defense."

Coach, with respect, and this is a huge Jags house, but Fred Taylor and Tony Boselli aren’t waking through that door. Keenan McCardell and Tony Brackens won’t be suiting up this weekend.  NOR IS MARK BRUNNEL AND IF HE WAS, HE’D PROBBLY STILL BE BETTER THAT WHAT THEY HAVE. And he’s 50 and hasn’t played in nearly a decade.

I appreciate that you are wanting to be cognizant of the turnover situation and what the Jags did to the Packers on Sunday, but they are still 1-8. You’re having to work pretty hard to sell the idea that this is a good Jags team. It’s not. This not straight fire. And the Jags are straight terrible. And so is trying make Jake Luton to be the second coming of Joe Montana. Stop that and start giving us what you promised straight fire. I’ll even help you with a sample tweet: thumb this out: good news is, Jacksonville is our bye week so we’ll two weeks to get ready for the one that really matters, Baltimore. Hashtag straight fire!!

You’re welcome, Mike.  A twitter feed is a terrible thing to waste. Don’t do it.