The Team

(Andrew Rush/Post-Gazette)


Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has a way with words.
Here is a look at some of his favorite terms.

By Craig Meyer




[adv]: 1. In a way that is easily perceived or understood; clearly. 2. The gold standard of Tomlinisms. According to an extensive Post-Gazette study at the time, the Steelers’ coach uttered the word 322 times in news conferences during the 2013 season. 3. Perhaps a linguistic tick or quirk, one he utters almost subconsciously. 4. Seen by some as condescending. Fans and media, as some reason, don’t need to be reminded that an NFL coach knows more about football than they do. That much is, well, obvious.

Hydration opportunity

[noun]: 1. A formal and overly technical synonym for “water break.”

Good afternoon

[greeting]: 1. A statement wishing one a pleasant day any time between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. 2. Tomlin presents a hard, almost standoffish front with the media, but deep inside is a benevolent and jovial man. He may not look forward to the barrage of questions he receives every week, but he makes sure he begins each and every one of his weekly news conferences with a warm greeting before he enters his metaphorical battle.

Don’t get fired
on your day off

[warning]: 1. The act of avoiding a blunder so great on a day not involving football activities that you are removed from your job. 2. As offensive guard Ramon Foster put it, “Don’t be that guy who does some dumb stuff.” 3. Players who ignored the heeding and felt the effects of doing so: Wilson, Cedrick; Rainey, Chris.

The standard is the standard

[motivational expression]: 1. Exact meaning or origin is unclear, but it is an expression meant to set the tone for what is expected from players. 2. The standard, most likely, references the franchise’s storied history and the current players’ responsibility in upholding that lofty standing. 3. When asked about the meaning of the phrase in 2015, Tomlin said “I don’t know. I don’t think a lot about the things that I say, to be honest with you.”

Such is life in the National Football League

[phrase]: 1. The league in which his team plays is a very difficult one, meaning that unfortunate events, however unexpected they may be, are going to happen over the course of a season.

Get out of the stadium

[phrase]: 1. Escaping the venue in which his team plays that day, presumably with a victory to its name. 2. Is getting out of the stadium that much of an accomplishment, Mike? This isn’t the Roman Colosseum, where you had to evade lions and Bengal tigers — not the ones in Detroit and Cincinnati, respectively — to walk out of the venue alive. Though escaping Paul Brown Stadium after last season’s wild-card win against the Bengals is probably a feat worth celebrating.

We have a big windshield and a small rear-view mirror

[boast]: 1. The metaphorical act of keeping one’s focus on what is in front of them without lending much credence to what has already transpired. 2. This is also how all cars are designed.

There’s a fine line between drinking wine and stomping grapes

[phrase]: 1. Little separates the drudgery of working toward a desirable end and the spoils of that labor. 2. At least that’s what I think he means.

Dead Indians in
this cowboy movie

[phrase]: 1. Hoping your team doesn’t become the victim standing in the way of a film’s protagonist. 2. Used in 2011 in reference to Browns wide receiver/kick returner Josh Cribbs, who had previously given his team fits. 3. Also, Mike, “Indians” is not the preferred nomenclature. “Native Americans,” please. At least you didn’t refer to them as “Redskins.”

Web Design Zack Tanner



The Team

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The heir apparent

The season

2016 Schedule

'Tis the season

Who is the Steelers' top rival?

Steeler Nation

Don't enter Heinz hungry

Visitor's Guide

Celebrity Steelers Fans Q&A