One of the most anticipated Mike Tomlin Press Conferences in a long time has come and gone and if you want to take one thing from it, take this; Mike Tomlin was given a ‘talking to’ by his superiors. Like a child being admonished for not following the rules, Tomlin was essentially put into a timeout by General Manager Kevin Colbert and perhaps Team President Art Rooney II.
After 13 weeks, it appears that the player the Steelers traded a fifth round draft pick for will finally get to see some real action on defense. When asked about the state of the secondary today….
Tomlin: Will give Cockrell and Blake chances to bounce back but will look at others as well, including . . . ta da . . . Boykin
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) December 1, 2015
Note the sarcasm in Bouchette’s tweet. He’s been around the organization as long as anyone and if he’s making comments like that then you know putting Boykin on the field is more than likely not Tomlin’s call.
Why didn’t the move (if it really happens) not happen sooner? Call it whatever you’d like. Ego? arrogance? Go ahead and pick a word. Regardless, after seeing Antwon Blake and Ross Cockrell miss tackle after tackle and constantly be out of position in coverage, the Steelers’ top brass had seen enough. Even if Tomlin hadn’t.
The real test for Tomlin will come on Sunday night. He claims Cockrell and Blake will get chances to bounce back but what does that mean? It’s clear that Tomlin has been told Boykin needs to see the field defensively. What has to happen in order for that to occur though? Do Blake and Cockrell have to get beat a few more times? Does Blake have to come up and bump another ball carrier with his shoulder?
As I’ve said from day one in my support for playing Boykin, he is not Rod Woodson and I don’t expect him to be. What all of us should expect is that at the very least he is competent which is far better than what we’ve seen recently from those playing in front of him.
Now we are left to hope that this potential decision hasn’t come too late. Acknowledging there needs to be a change is a good start even if you have to be put in timeout to recognize it.