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I don’t know if I would like Mike Tomlin if we sat down and had a root beer together. Terry Bradshaw called him a cheerleader…not a real coach (intimated). I don’t know that any of us consider Mike Tomlin’s name whenever a subject of best coaches in the NFL comes up. For whatever reason football society has decided Tomlin is not a very good coach. Somehow Mike McCarthy is and Mike Tomlin isn’t…that I do not get.
Here’s what I’ve never said about Mike Tomlin – I don’t know why he’s not using Le’Veon Bell more! Or how can you not try to get the ball to Antonio Brown? Can you remember a game or a situation where you disagreed with Tomlin on using his star players? That’s why I think Mike Tomlin might secretly be a great coach. He’s the one guy we never complain about (him and Belichick). With all my pissing and moaning about NFL coaches over the years (and almost always right to do so), I don’t know that I’ve ever said a negative word about Mike Tomlin…or an overly positive one. The fact that near-nothing has been said in my multiple years of roasting NFL head coaches might actually mean Mike Tomlin is secretly, simply the best coach in football…at least in my world of begging for players be used/featured to win games, rather than playbooks. Also, begging for coaches to have the balls to ‘go for two’ more and to take more downfield chances and to ‘go for it’ on more fourth downs. Check-check-check with Tomlin. I need to love him more. It’s like a Julia Roberts movie (not that I’ve ever been forced by my wife to watch one)…the love of my life was in front of me all the time, but I didn’t realize it until Richard Gere (or equivalent) did something awesome with inspirational music in the background. Mike Tomlin is Richard Gere to my Julia Roberts. That sentence should be made into a T-shirt…at minimum, a throw pillow. That sentence should also not be used against me in a court of law or public opinion.
I’m just a football scout, standing in front of a coach, not using my Facebook Live, asking him to win this weekend…or at least cover the +6.0.
Somehow, football society has decided that what makes a great coach is taking a team that the media thought would be bad in the preseason and then them winding up to be good…or at least better than projected. It’s an award for proving the media wrong – which should be the easiest thing in the world to do, and not award-worthy. We also applaud NFL head coaches who won multiple Super Bowls. How many of those are there in existence currently? Tomlin has as many titles as Pete Carroll or Mike McCarthy among others.
Mike Tomlin is the one guy about whom you never walk away from a game or a season and go – why didn’t he use ____ more? Pete Carroll coached his team into failure this year (and Colin Cowherd is right – the instances of cheating/breaking rules by Carroll in the NFL and back into college are getting swept under the rug always) and Mike McCarthy needed all his running backs to be taken away before he had to go ‘all Rodgers all the time’. Tomlin needs no such goading. So what if he tried to trip a guy in live action when he was returning a kick for a TD a few years ago. Who amongst us hasn’t?
Kansas City Chiefs’ best player/the only reason they got this far Tyreek Hill had seven touches in this game. I’ve questioned what the hell Andy Reid is thinking about with his touch distribution about 50% plus of the time this season. I did the same/more than that last year. In this game, the coach I usually complain about how he (under)uses his weapons…he underused his weapons and lost to the team that I never criticize for the same. The coach who I never question on touch distribution did exactly what he needed to do with the weapons he had…and he won. To me, it’s a simple as that.
If you had a running back who was actually drafted as a wide receiver who scored 50+ yard touchdowns on about every three to five carries – how many times in a playoff game, especially when you were losing, would you try to get him a ball? Especially considering you have no other weapons to turn to that defenses fear including your wildly overrated tight end? The Chiefs play by the book and played not to lose…and they lost… And they deserve it.
— Speaking of Tyreek Hill (3-18-0, 4-27-0/6 targets) – did you catch that Rotoblurb after the game in whatever Rotochat site…saying that Hill is someone to sell off in dynasty because it will be hard for him to duplicate this rookie season and he really doesn’t have a defined position anyways? It’s possibly the single dumbest paragraph in fantasy football analysis history. Thank God you are influencing the masses with this stuff!
They might have had one thing right – Tyreek Hill will be hard-pressed to duplicate this season…but it’s not for the reason they think. Because Hill did not go to Ohio State or Alabama and was a top draft pick, it’s not possible (in their minds) for him to be this good. He has to come back to earth – in their mind, their earth. So, they give Hill a quick kick to the gut on the way out the door for his season. They really believe it. I believe it’s possible that he doesn’t duplicate 2016 – because I have to factor in Andy Reid stupidity and lack of usage potential.
I applaud Andy Reid for discovering and then utilizing Hill better than maybe any coach in the NFL would have this year. He deserves a ton of credit for that. However, he left money on the table. He did not go far enough. He did what most football coaches do – they see a great player/they have a great player and all that makes coaches conjure up is different ways to use them as decoys. It’s all about the playbook. It’s all about being an X and O genius. That’s the genius of Mike Tomlin – guess what, we’re going to run it with Le’Veon Bell 30 times because you can’t stop it. You know it’s coming and you can’t stop it. Tyreek Hill goes long stretches of offense without touching the ball in a playoff game (and in regular season games) – Andy Reid left money on the table. Nice job preserving Hill for the future. Chances to win the Super Bowl come around every year, so definitely protect him for the future.
Tyreek Hill and probably Dak Prescott, and Jordan Howard are going to get the same offseason treatment David Johnson did this past offseason – the football analysts have to rally to try to kill off prospects and players who way outperformed all of their snowflake/golden children prospects. You cannot dare show up Mike Mayock and Mel Kiper…a.k.a. the conventional wisdom! This cannot stand!! So their passive aggressive lash-out will be to name all of these guys as candidates for sophomore slumps and as fantasy busts for 2017. Go ahead and take advantage of it this offseason in dynasty…you’ll pay a price for these players, but not as much as you should (in most cases).
— Spencer Ware (8-35-1, 2-1-0/4 targets) was running among the top 3 in total yards to start the season. 100+ yards total in four of the first six games in 2016…and never hitting 100+ the rest of the season.
Ware had 7 catches for 129 yards on opening day…and never more than 3 catches in a game the rest of the season.
70+ yards rushing in five of his first six games this season (averaging over 5.0+ yards per carry)…and never again that high the rest of the season.
Instead of working Spencer Ware like their own David Johnson…and Ware has great hands in the passing game…they got cute and cycled in Charcandrick West who is like a bucket of cold water over an offensive fire. Ware should be taking 20+ carries and seeing 5+ targets a game…instead, he saw 10–17 carries in most games and 2–3 targets. What were they holding Ware back for?
— You can’t blame Alex Smith (20-34 for 172 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) – if he has to hand the ball to West not Ware, and is told to use Tyreek as a decoy…how is it his fault they lost by 2 points at home in the playoffs?
— Chiefs ILB Ramik Wilson (15 tackles, 1 TFL) had a great tackle total in this game, but I didn’t see evidence of any IDP breakout…more so that the Steelers identified the KC weakness and attacked it WITH THEIR BEST RUNNING BACK/OFFENSIVE WEAPON AND NOT USING HIM AS A DECOY. That’s good coaching. Mike Tomlin and staff outcoached Andy Reid by seeing the obvious and attacking it with their best player. What a novel approach. The next thing you know Mike McCarthy will unleash Aaron Rodgers…
The Chiefs will draft or sign a big inside linebacker for 2017…and Wilson will fade into the background.
— Who broke up the KC pass attempt to tie the game with a two-point conversion? Rookie IDP Sean Davis (3 tackles, 1 PD).
The NFL Draft matters. Great scouting matters. Sean Davis was one of our top 5–10 overall prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft at College Football Metrics.com. The Steelers got him at #58 in the draft. He started day one. He will be a fixture. It was sitting there for the taking for every NFL team, some twice.
If only Davis had gone to Alabama, Ohio State, or Clemson…