That’s the text message that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin sent his friend, Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris this week… In a surprising battle of 2-0 teams, the Steelers travel to Tampa Bay this Sunday.
Tomlin was the Bucs defensive backs coach from ‘01-‘05 before becoming Minnesota’s defensive coordinator, and in 2007, becoming the Steelers head coach and youngest in the NFL. That title now belongs to Morris, who worked as an assistant with Tomlin in Tampa.
“We always used to talk about competing against each other. We might have a phone call or two (this week), but it’s safe to say we won’t be exchanging information”, says Tomlin.
That’s just friendly banter among coaching friends in my book, but the way the Steel Curtain has been playing is anything but FRIENDLY to opposing offenses.
“We’ve got a chip on our shoulder this year because of how things went down last year,” nose tackle Chris Hoke said. ”So we have something to prove. Sometimes when people wrote that we’re not going to be very good or maybe they’ll go 2-2 or 1-3 when Ben’s out, that’s a lot of the stuff that (makes us mad).” Yep, I’m mad also Hoke, and I stand to collect because of that on a friendly bet on Sunday, cash money Leon.
Steeler keys for a WIN
- QB Charlie Batch must be solid… and he will be… instead of crying, whining, and being a distraction while he was behind on the depth chart, he stayed ready and now gets his chance to lead.
- Defense dominates again.. only giving up a NFL league leading 10 points a game, they must ‘bring it’ again as their turnovers have basically been the offense. Confuse Tampa’s young quarterback, Freeman, into mistakes with friendly zone blitzes and pressures.
- Generate more offense than last game’s 127 total yards… let’s rip a few deep down the field… throw in a reserve to take advantage of Tampa Bay’s overaggressive defense (yes, another gadget play)… and pound the ball with our backs.
- Handle the Florida heat… they did it last week in Tennessee, and game time temperature will be in 90’s and Steelers also will be in black jerseys this week. Tomlin knows the heat issue, they will be prepared.
- Most important – No emotional letdown.. NO ONE, except them thought they be 2-0 now… Continue play with ‘chip on shoulder’ mentality, and play one play at a time, one game at a time.. Can’t even think about who we got next (I hate the Ravens, and I mean seriously dislike – freeze out/ice)
First game this season, the ‘Stillars’ are the favorite to win says Vegas… I respect Tampa Bay, and their play so far this year – surprising solid, BUT they haven’t played the caliber of team that Pittsburgh is becoming… It’s strictly a business trip, no need to socialize or for an extended stay – Steelers get the dub w/ a predicted text from Morris to Tomlin after of “Congratulations on W!”.
Steelers 20 Bucs 12
Look for game recap blog on Sunday evening.
About the Author
Written by Chris Palisin
My Bachelor's Degree is in Kinesiology from Penn State, and I have been involved in fitness, athletics, sports, and coaching all my life. Recently, I discovered a new passion in life, covering and writing about sports. I am confident I can offer an unique and interesting take on sports with my experience, particularly the NFL and for Steeler Nation this year. My hope is you enjoy and respect my opinion.... Enjoy the journey!