Tomlin not fazed by NFL lockout
NEW ORLEANS — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has been so immersed in draft preparation he has hardly noticed that the NFL is mired in a work stoppage.
That is what Tomlin professed Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. And it may only be part exaggeration.
The first group of Steelers players wasn't scheduled to report for offseason training until last week — and those were the players that received limited snaps last season or didn't suit up at all.
"Couple that with the fact that I've been on the road," Tomlin said of the offseason, "and it hasn't been very different at all."
Tomlin, like a lot of coaches, won't really be impacted by the labor impasse — and the quiet that has pervaded teams' headquarters since owners locked out players almost two weeks ago — unless it goes past April.
May and June are when teams hold most of their offseason practices, and coaches that would otherwise be antsy won't have film of college players to break down, Pro Day workouts to attend or visits from prospects to host.
The question, with owners and players set to battle in court after they failed to reach a deal on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, is what coaches will do after the draft.
It will be held April 28-30, and there will be no NFL business conducted after that until a new CBA is in place.
"If it drags too long, then you get anxious," first-year Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak said of the lockout. "I'm sure all of the teams will be that way because even if you're not a head coach, you still have new ideas. If you didn't win the Super Bowl, you're making changes or thinking of different ways to do things."
"At some point we'll get this resolved," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "All 32 teams are dealing with the same issue."
True, but not all are dealing with the same set of circumstances.
Six teams, including the Browns and Titans, have new head coaches. Two more teams, the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys, removed the interim title from head coaches that started last season as assistants.
Those coaches, like all others, have not been allowed to talk to their players since March 11. Plans of putting their imprint on their respective teams and installing new schemes will be compromised if the offseason is lost to the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.
Compare that with the Steelers, who only lost one assistant coach (defensive backs coach Ray Horton) during the offseason and are led by experienced players that know how to prepare for a season.
"We have a veteran-laden group with really good leadership," Tomlin said. "Whatever adjustments that we have to make (because of the lockout) will have to be made by all parties involved so the playing field will be very level."
Indianapolis Colts coach Jim Caldwell has used some of the time he would be spending on his players to evaluate his staff and himself.
Caldwell said that is something he does every offseason but has been extra meticulous this year.
"We're working on professional development, just trying to make sure that we stay sharp and fresh in terms of all drill work and teaching, examining every single thing that we do," Caldwell said. "Challenge everybody. That's kind of my motto right now."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Taylor ‘hurt’ by pay cut
- Steelers among teams using new helmet-camera technology
- Steelers rookie linebacker Shazier showing plenty of sizzle
- Kovacevic: Steelers’ offensive identity, anyone?