Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is the newest member of the NFL’s prestigious Competition Committee. No, this isn’t some extremely late April Fool’s joke. The man in charge of one of the league’s most notoriously lawless teams has thrown in with the people responsible for making the rules his players are routinely fined for breaking. Talk about sleeping with the enemy.
When this story first broke, I saw some Steelers fans on Twitter all excited about the prospect of Coach T lending a Black and Gold perspective to the committee. Fools. That committee exists solely to rubber stamp the mandates put forth by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. What the Ginger Dictator wants, the Ginger Dictator gets.
And what he wants is a kinder, more gentle game. I know that seems contradictory to the inherent nature of football but with our increased awareness of the danger of concussions (and the huge ass lawsuit still pending from former players), there’s no going back now. Ginger wants to take the violent hits and hellacious collisions out of the game and no “recommendations” from the Competition Committee are going to change that.
The only thing having Tomlin on the Committee will change is how the Steelers play football. James Harrison and Ryan Clark, among others, have notoriously refused to alter their playing styles despite whatever rule changes were enacted. With Tomlin on the Committee making those rules, it’ll be harder if not downright impossible for his team to openly flout the edicts their own head coach had a hand in making.
Of course, that predisposes Tomlin has some measure of control over his players. If anything has become sadly apparent over the past couple seasons, it’s that Tomlin’s long boring speeches ring as hollow to the guys in the locker room as they do to the media in post-game press conferences.