These season-ending press conferences have come much too early in recent years. Mike Tomlin was at least able to wait a week longer than he had in two previous seasons but regardless, the season is over and he will take to the microphone one last time.
I could be silly and tell you you’re going to hear nothing but the usual cliches and the typical buzzwords that always inhabit a Tomlin press conference but that isn’t my goal today. When Tomlin sits down Tuesday at Noon, I think you’ll see a very confident, yet reflective man.
In terms of coordinators, Tomlin will tell you that Todd Haley will return to run the offense which of course will elicit screams from many in the Steeler Nation but it’s hard to argue with the numbers. Still, the doubts remain because the red zone offense, game-planning and personnel issues that continue to be problem spots.
Like ‘Groundhog Day,’ Tomlin will again tell us that Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau’s fate will rest squarely in his own hands. LeBeau is to be credited with getting more out of this defense then I thought he could, but it’s time to part ways and I hate that they continue to leave it in his hands.
Chances are that one or more of the position coaches will leave. Whether Tomlin knows this by press time, I can’t say but certainly teams from both the college and pro ranks will look at guys like Mike Munchak, Shaun Sarrett or Randy Fichtner who is more than ready to call plays for someone.
Gut feeling? Danny Smith, the special teams coach gets the boot.
Tomlin will speak highly of veterans like Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, James Harrison and Brett Keisel but will offer little in terms of their future with the team. As of this writing, I see only Harrison as a possibility for return.
He will heap praise on the three B’s, Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell and a few others but he will take shots too to remind them there is work to be done. I also expect questions about Roethlisberger’s contract situation to which he’ll quickly dismiss for another time.
Tomlin will be asked about the futures of guys like Cortez Allen, Cam Thomas and Mike Mitchell but he will be kind and quickly move on although we all know he has to be considering dumping all three.
There will also be comments regarding the progress of younger players like Cam Heyward, Ryan Shazier, Martavis Bryant and so on but these aren’t the items people are really interested in though.
Essentially, I think you will hear nothing Earth-shattering and that isn’t uncommon for a Tomlin press conference regardless of when it is. The more important news conference comes when Art Rooney II speaks and I suspect that is coming relatively soon.
Either way, if you had ideas about significant change this offseason, I don’t think you’re going to get it.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on game day on the Trib-Live Radio Steelers Pre-Game