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Mike Tomlin takes a shot at Bob Holtzman

Mike Tomlin

On Saturday, ESPN’s Bob Holtzman raised eyebrows in league circles by reporting, more than four hours before kickoff of the Ravens-Steelers game, that the Steelers had a trick play up their sleeves.

“Two Steelers have told me, if they catch the Ravens in the right defense, they have a trick play ready to go today that they’ve never run before,” Holtzman said.  A league source predicted in response that the “Steelers will be pissed” about the advance disclosure of the play.

The source predicted right.

On Wednesday, Holtzman asked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin how much extra time is needed to prepare to face the defense of Jets coach Rex Ryan.

It depends on whether or not you give him my plays,” Tomlin replied, per Gary Mihoces of USA Today.

Holtzman had no comment.

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66 Responses to “Mike Tomlin takes a shot at Bob Holtzman”
  1. geeeeemen says: Jan 19, 2011 2:59 PM

    I love Tomlin

  2. liltifer says: Jan 19, 2011 2:59 PM

    So Baltimore knew what the ‘right’ defense was and what play would be called at that time?

    That’s like getting mad at prognosticators before a Steeler game saying they’re going to play a tough physical defense and let Roethlisberger make plays on the offensive side of the ball.

  3. andyprough says: Jan 19, 2011 3:02 PM

    Tomlin did not look happy when he said that. Interesting that Holtzman had no response during the press conference or afterwards.

  4. sterling7 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:03 PM

    I love Tomlin, we all wished he would’ve been our Minnesota Vikings head coach back when he was the defensive coordinator. Pittsburgh WILL beat the Jets, why?……….the Jets are and always will be full of themselves, they wear their ass on their shoulders!!!

  5. meso0rnery says: Jan 19, 2011 3:03 PM

    BOOM! ROASTED! God I love Tomlin!

  6. flake131 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:03 PM

    I LOVE MIKE TOMLIN!

  7. laxer37 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:05 PM

    Don’t mess with Mike Tomlin.

  8. geezohman says: Jan 19, 2011 3:07 PM

    thats real classy ESPN Bob Holtzman, so.. maybe we’ll see it during the Jets game.

    I liked the old Randle El to Hines Ward pass for a TD in week 17 against the Browns. Holmgren had to poop seeing that… same play same players did it to him at the Seahawks Superbowl !

  9. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jan 19, 2011 3:09 PM

    One more reason I love Tomlin.

  10. iggles20 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:13 PM

    Go Tomlin!!! What a great reply!

  11. whatschappingmyass says: Jan 19, 2011 3:14 PM

    He was actually pretty specific about what to look for if you follow the link to the Fox article. He should probably be more upset with the players that leaked the info than the guy who reported it, though…

  12. tobiasjodter says: Jan 19, 2011 3:15 PM

    liltifer says: Jan 19, 2011 2:59 PM

    So Baltimore knew what the ‘right’ defense was and what play would be called at that time?
    ———————————————–

    Pretty close… considering that he disclosed that Randle El would be involved in the play – consider that Randle El was on the field for exactly 3 of their 69 offensive plays against the Ravens. That narrows it down a bit not?

  13. kc4life7 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:16 PM

    So Baltimore knew what the ‘right’ defense was and what play would be called at that time?

    That’s like getting mad at prognosticators before a Steeler game saying they’re going to play a tough physical defense and let Roethlisberger make plays on the offensive side of the ball.

    __________________________________

    The Ravens probably understood the comment a little more than the average fan. They probably knew which of their defenses would be susceptible to a trick play. If the Steelers could see that it would be, why wouldn’t the Ravens be able to? That’s the point Tomlin is making.

  14. cd_ridge says: Jan 19, 2011 3:16 PM

    Roasted. Done.

  15. ampats says: Jan 19, 2011 3:19 PM

    Good for Tomlin !

  16. toad8572 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:21 PM

    Since most NFL defensive coordinators are bright enough to know when they are in particularly vulnerable alignments, it probably was tantamount to giving up the surprise to the Ravens. Ya’ gotta love useful idiots.

  17. flake131 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:21 PM

    The point is that teams/players share this type of info with the media all the time, in order to help the media do their jobs. It’s standard. It’s also standard for the media to keep their mouth shut.

    But, of course, any chance for the idiot haters to spill their uninformed bile…

  18. smartfansays says: Jan 19, 2011 3:22 PM

    Got to love Tomlin.

  19. holeinone09 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:22 PM

    I enjoyed the response by Tomlin. Stopped Holtzman in his tracks. But, on the other hand, anything you can do or say that might cause the opponent to spend time thinking about something you may or may not do, and thus being distracted from the things the opponent wants to do, is a good thing. So, maybe to a certain extent Holtzman did the Steelers a favor by mentioning they had something planned.

    GO STEELERS!!

  20. myviewfromthepew says: Jan 19, 2011 3:23 PM

    In response to any other incidents involving Ben:

    “It depends on whether or not you give him any girls.”

    Is it just me or does Tomlin look like the 2nd Willie Mays Hays?

  21. deebo92 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:23 PM

    Mike Tomlin is so gangster. He even shadow boxes on the sideline. Gotta love him.

  22. danimalk82 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:24 PM

    Boom, Roasted.

  23. liltifer says: Jan 19, 2011 3:26 PM

    “The Ravens probably understood the comment a little more than the average fan”

    Maybe you’re an average fan. There is no more likelihood of a particular trick play being thrown at known formations before hand.

  24. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jan 19, 2011 3:27 PM

    whatschappingmyass says: Jan 19, 2011 3:14 PM

    He was actually pretty specific about what to look for if you follow the link to the Fox article. He should probably be more upset with the players that leaked the info than the guy who reported it, though…

    —————————————-

    It was my understanding that the info was given in a production meeting prior to the interview, and he chose to report it from that “off the record” scenario.

  25. Kidman says: Jan 19, 2011 3:32 PM

    .

  26. jetfuel21 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:33 PM

    sterling7 says:
    Jan 19, 2011 3:03 PM
    I love Tomlin, we all wished he would’ve been our Minnesota Vikings head coach back when he was the defensive coordinator. Pittsburgh WILL beat the Jets, why?……….the Jets are and always will be full of themselves, they wear their ass on their shoulders!!!
    ———————————————————-
    Pretty funny coming from a Minnesota fan – How’s Farve and his junk doing? And Moss was a good fit. Childress – Maybe coach of the year too? Your team can’t even afford a stadium that can withstand inclimate weather. But hey, the JETS are only going to championship game – Again

  27. geeeeemen says: Jan 19, 2011 3:34 PM

    It’s a reporters job to get info and report it. The idiots are the players who leaked it.

  28. godofwine330 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:46 PM

    I am a big fan of Tomlin as a coach, and the Steelers organization as a whole. I am a life-long Cleveland Browns fan, but their organization, from the top on down is run as a well oiled machine. For the Steeler, the “Rooney Rule” is not just a BS chance for a try, like where NFL teams play Lucy and the football, and the minority coaches play Charlie Brown (remind me what happens almost EVERY time in that scenario). The Rooneys wanted to give every man a chance, as it should be. And, in doing that found a great coach. I wish he was coach of the Cleveland Browns…

  29. whatschappingmyass says: Jan 19, 2011 3:46 PM

    I’m not saying Holtzman isn’t a fault, he is. I’m just saying that he can’t go “Geraldo” if they keep the secrets on the down-low.

  30. silkyjohnson937 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:46 PM

    Tomlin is awesome, and his response was hilarious

  31. realhousewivesofcincinnati says: Jan 19, 2011 3:47 PM

    For people like @liltifer and @whatschappingmyass who want to defend Holtzman for this, that type of information (plays, schemes, etc.) is ALWAYS OFF THE RECORD when players or coaches communicate it to reporters.

    That is well known and a “unwritten rule” in media circles. Tomlin should have embarrassed him even more than that.

  32. herokravon says: Jan 19, 2011 3:50 PM

    Steelers 31 – Jets 23

    Nice season Jets, good luck in 2011.

  33. dolphins4 says: Jan 19, 2011 3:54 PM

    This is a great lesson to all coaches and players to keep your mouth shut and never tell anybody anything because the person you tell may run their mouths and tell the wrong person everything.

  34. billygoat says: Jan 19, 2011 3:57 PM

    Did you hear there are 53 Jets coming to Pittsburgh to take the Steelers to Dallas.

  35. funkylovemonkey says: Jan 19, 2011 3:59 PM

    That’s hilarious.

    I’m not a Steelers fan, but I’ll be rooting for them this weekend. If the Jets win the superbowl Rex Ryan will be insufferable.

  36. knowerofallthings says: Jan 19, 2011 4:01 PM

    Did he unleash hell?

  37. dumbaseinstien says: Jan 19, 2011 4:07 PM

    So, Wikipedia has this too say: “Bob Holtzman is a television bureau-reporter for ESPN located in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. Before joining ESPN in November 2000, he was a reporter at WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1996 to 2000.”

    So, he has been writing sports articles in the City of Cincinnati since 1996? Is it just me, or it not very surprising that a Cincinnati reporter would choose to tip-off the Steelers opponents as to their game plan (given the frequency that the Steelers transform the “Bengals” into the “Bungals”)?

  38. cityofchampyinz says: Jan 19, 2011 4:16 PM

    HAHAHAH!

    OMG! You just got PWNED!!!!!!!!!

  39. mvp43 says: Jan 19, 2011 4:17 PM

    Maybe Tomlin’s players should keep their mouths shut when talking to reporters?

  40. mataug says: Jan 19, 2011 4:30 PM

    is it just me or has Gang Green suddenly gone silent before their game against the Steelers ? It is Wednesday evening already and not a single controversy (created by comments) yet… shocking!

  41. whatschappingmyass says: Jan 19, 2011 4:34 PM

    @realhousewivesofcincinnati I never defended Holtzman. Please do NOT put words in my mouth. You should re-read my posts.

  42. FinFan68 says: Jan 19, 2011 4:38 PM

    jetfuel21 says:
    Jan 19, 2011 3:33 PM
    sterling7 says:
    Jan 19, 2011 3:03 PM
    I love Tomlin, we all wished he would’ve been our Minnesota Vikings head coach back when he was the defensive coordinator. Pittsburgh WILL beat the Jets, why?……….the Jets are and always will be full of themselves, they wear their ass on their shoulders!!!
    ———————————————————-
    Pretty funny coming from a Minnesota fan – How’s Farve and his junk doing? And Moss was a good fit. Childress – Maybe coach of the year too? Your team can’t even afford a stadium that can withstand inclimate weather. But hey, the JETS are only going to championship game – Again
    ————————————————-
    Actually, what’s funny is you trying to rag on a Viking fan for something Favre did while wearing the uniform of YOUR team.

    -1

  43. pervyharvin says: Jan 19, 2011 4:53 PM

    True MN Viking attitude. You Steeler fans know we groomed him for you right?

  44. pervyharvin says: Jan 19, 2011 4:55 PM

    @ jetfullofit………You guys blew your load vs the Pats. Steelers will punk you guys out.

  45. savocabol1 says: Jan 19, 2011 4:57 PM

    there was a fourth down play where ben kinda walked off like he was going to call a time out then walked up towards the line as if it was the start of the trick play. a second later someone on the sidelines calls a timeout. if there was a play i bet that was it.

  46. realhousewivesofcincinnati says: Jan 19, 2011 5:06 PM

    @whatschappingmyass didnt mean to put words in your mouth. Was referring to the fact that you said he should be more mad at the players for leaking that info. Thats true in a sense, but the players are required to do pre game production meetings with reporters and answer their questions. It helps reporters put together their “story lines” for the game and get an idea of what to expect from each team.

    Plays and/ or schemes are not to be reported or any info of that nature that gives the opposing team an advantage. Holtzman ignored this because he had no other story to break. Its not a huge deal, but very unprofessional and stupid.

  47. Deb says: Jan 19, 2011 5:58 PM

    Love, love, love Tomlin and his quick wit. It doesn’t matter how damaging the information was. Holtzman violated an off-the-record agreement, and should expect players & coaches to consider that the next time he wants info.

  48. jimmy1smith says: Jan 19, 2011 6:00 PM

    If Holtzman is going to give one team a competitive advantage it didn’t have before the game, shouldn’t he just get a job with the Patriots?

    Just saying.

  49. cincyorangenblack says: Jan 19, 2011 6:01 PM

    Why does the headline say the story is about Mike Tomlin, but the caption-picture is of Omar Epps?

  50. docredskin says: Jan 19, 2011 6:08 PM

    I don’t have to love Tomlin. It was a prick thing to say. Someone leaks something to Holtzman – a reporter – and then Tomlin gets his beard uneven about that leak becoming public? Fix the leak, don’t complain about the person who made it known.

  51. commandercornpone says: Jan 19, 2011 6:09 PM

    excellent, tomlin.

  52. dabunkster says: Jan 19, 2011 6:13 PM

    Much respect for Tomlin – He’s a classy dude and this is a classic.

    Yes, I’m a Baltimore fan and I’m saying this…

  53. realitypolice says: Jan 19, 2011 6:17 PM

    @ at everyone saying how much they love Tomlin for this latest press conference grand standing:

    If Tomlin’s players and assistants had as much respect for him as you all do, Holtzman never would have heard about this Top Secret Play.

    Someone who certainly doesn’t hero worship Tomlin like you all do leaked it.

    Maybe Tomlin should spend less time bullying reporters and more time making sure he has control of his own locker room.

    But you all keep going crazy for the press conference tough guy.

    Given what he said last year about “unleashing hell” in a press conference right before his team imploded, this guy is obviously much better at intimidating the press than he is his own team.

  54. sdboltaction says: Jan 19, 2011 6:20 PM

    I’ll be pulling for the Packers in the SB.

  55. jmp527 says: Jan 19, 2011 6:53 PM

    great point FinFan68!!

    oh jetfuel, it’s inclement weather. go back to high school buddy

  56. discosucs2005 says: Jan 19, 2011 7:16 PM

    @realitypolice

    “bullying reporters”

    By what ridiculous, biased, hyperbolic stretch of the imagination is what Tomlin said “bullying?” Are you kidding?

    “right before his team imploded”

    Speaking of hyperbolic, I don’t think going 9-7 is “imploding.”

    “this guy is obviously much better at intimidating the press than he is his own team.”

    I doubt he is trying to intimidate his team. He’s probably trying to coach them.

    I don’t know if you just want to see the Steelers fail, or don’t like black people, or what your problem is, but Tomlin has been a class act as a head coach so far. He’s also never had a losing season, won a Super Bowl, and is in the AFCCG for the second time in his short career.

    Where did you get the arrogance to make your name “realitypolice?” Everything you post is so far outside of reality, you create irony just by posting.

  57. SteelTown6 says: Jan 19, 2011 7:20 PM

    pervyharvin says: Jan 19, 2011 4:53 PM

    “True MN Viking attitude. You Steeler fans know we groomed him for you right?”

    Right.
    Next you’re going to tell us you’re the one who told Bill Parcells to tell NY to hire Rex Ryan…

  58. electstat says: Jan 19, 2011 7:23 PM

    ZING

  59. Deb says: Jan 19, 2011 7:24 PM

    realitypolice, that is the biggest bunch of crap I’ve read on PFT in a while.

    First, if you’ll do a little research or watch his press conferences, you’ll find the press gets along quite well with Mike Tomlin. His “unleash hell” remark wasn’t directed at the media but at opponents and was a quote from the film “Gladiator.” He’s laughed about it with reporters many times since. He was trying to motivate his players. Obviously it was a dramatic moment that famously backfired.

    Second, some players love to talk. They just can’t help themselves–and it has nothing to do with respect for their coach. You might say that if he’d directly sat those players down and told them not to speak to the medial but that isn’t the case. Reporters have access to players from all the teams, and some–especially the young guys–are a treasure trove of inappropriate and poorly considered comments. These players simply got excited and overshared with Holtzman, who was expected to keep the info off the record. These kinds of conversations take place between reporters and players every all the time. Holtzman burned the players, and Tomlin handled him with quick wit and class.

    As for Tomlin and his players … I don’t get HBO but a friend told me recently he was floored to see on Inside the NFL how tough Tomlin is with his players. He’s a no-nonsense guy. One of my favorite Tomlin lines was at a press conference in his second year. A reporter told him some of his veteran players had thought he was kind of stiff or uncertain or whatever his first year but that he’d really improved and he asked for a comment. Tomlin said, “I don’t care what my players think of my performance. They don’t get paid to evaluate me. I get paid to evaluate them.” Tomlin definitely has charge of his players.

  60. pervyharvin says: Jan 19, 2011 7:49 PM

    SteelTown6 …huh? What? Tomlin comes from Viking roots.WTH does Parcells or the Jets have to do with the price of condoms in China?

  61. cup1981 says: Jan 19, 2011 8:14 PM

    For those that do not understand ho the media works in professional sports, lets me educate you. Sometimes players get a little antsy or over-informative “on-the-record” it is an unwritten rule that if a player gives you a little too much juice, you simply edit that out. When I worked on the radio, you always got this and we actually dumped a broadcast when a Buccaneers player went a little too far with the teams game plan.

    This reporter leaking this information is irresponsible and he is lucky that Tomlin doesn’t ban him from any Steelers functions or media events.

    Tomlin had a pretty classy reaction in my opinion. He could have torn into the guy, but instead just gave him a jest-like warning. Seems like the reporter realized his mistake and kept his trap shut.

    Gotta love Tomlin’s swagger and overall personality.

  62. realitypolice says: Jan 19, 2011 8:49 PM

    Touchiest, most defensive fans in the NFL.

    Deb:

    You’re always badgering everyone about doing “research” as if what we’re doing here is somewhat relevant and deserving of such a time investment. How about you help me out, since you are obviously so superior in your preparation for the vitally important task of commenting on PFT articles.

    Provide me with some links to articles and/or video clips that prove your assertion that Tomlin has “laughed about it with reporters many times since”, since I must have missed it being reported that way in the national media.

    And quoting more lines from Tomlin press conferences hardly does much to disprove my assertion that he is a press conference tough guy. Actually, it kind of makes my point for me.

    If “these kind of conversations happen all of the time”, why is this even a story? Did Bob Holtzman just start in the business last week? If not, why doesn’t he have a scoop like that every week, if these conversations are so common?

    Again, feel free to provide me with all the articles and clips you uncovered in your research where young players coughed up the game plan to a reporter since they are “such a treasure trove” of this type of information.

    discosucks2005:

    Don’t be a d***. Just because I don’t worship at the same football altar as you, don’t accuse me of being a racist. You’re team is one of the best in football, you are probably going to the Super Bowl. I actually think you have a great coach, I just don’t like the way he handled this particular situation. Lighten up.

  63. Deb says: Jan 19, 2011 10:08 PM

    realitypolice …

    Well hello there, Pot! Baby, you pop off on subjects all over PFT trying to sound authoritative so save the self-righteousness. Touchy? I don’t care if you say you think Tomlin is an SOB. I care if you spin a bizarre tale of him intimidating reporters.

    No, I really don’t spend all that time researching. Life’s just dealt me some interesting hands. So when the subject is cancer, rape, harassment, war, etc., my firsthand experience means I don’t have to study to know my subject. The only thing I’ve devoted time to studying was Roethlisberger’s cases. I wanted to know so I made it my business to find out. People like you resent me because when you make sweeping assertions based on something you’ve pulled out of thin air, I rebut … just as more knowledgeable people have rebutted me when I was talking out my backside. But I don’t have a problem admitting that.

    I know Tomlin has a good relationship with reporters because he’s my team’s coach and I watch his press conferences and have heard him laughing about that goofy Gladiator line. If you want to know about that stuff, you do the research. You’re the one making assertions about something you don’t know.

    Players, coaches, front-office folks talk “off the record” to reporters. Reporters share their “inside scoops.” (Journalism degree–don’t have to research this either.) Whether or not the players warned him not to share all the details, a sports reporter experienced enough to work for ESPN knows not to reveal that much of a team’s gameplan if he wants to continue getting info from the team. It’s a quid-pro-quo system, and everyone knows how it’s played–including Holtzman. He broke the unwritten rules. Tomlin subtley reminded him of that. He didn’t threaten him with Luca Brasi. And since he’s going to his third AFC Championship in four years, he must be doing okay with his players. Maybe you should lighten up.

  64. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jan 20, 2011 1:32 AM

    Deb

    When I heard Tomlin deliver that quote in year two I got chills. I knew we had a winner for years to come.

  65. steelernation1 says: Jan 20, 2011 11:43 AM

    pervyharvin says: Jan 19, 2011 4:53 PM

    True MN Viking attitude. You Steeler fans know we groomed him for you right?

    he wasnt with your team long enough to groom him.he was groomed in tampa bay..Dungy groomed him.and where was dungy originaly from?uhmmmm yep u know it Steelers…who suggested Tomlin to steelers uhmmmm yea thats right Dungy…

    on a side note.players say things all the time.called mind games.get the other team looking for something that isnt going to be there.

  66. discosucs2005 says: Jan 20, 2011 12:25 PM

    @realitypolice

    I am a 49er fan sir.

    If you don’t like your comments being torn apart than there is a simple solution, make better comments.

    But when you post a multiline escapade on insulting Mike Tomlin, that is filled with hyperbole and false implications, and then on top of it, you name your self “realitypolice,” you open your self up for a lot of criticism. If you don’t like it, and apparently you don’t, just use better judgement in your comments.

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