Mike Tomlin: D.J. Swearinger “really jumps off the tape”

AP

At the beginning of his weekly press conference, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin gives a scouting report on the upcoming opponent. Generally, he goes through the position groups and talks about some of the key starters. Always, he speaks of the players’ strengths and core skills.

On Tuesday, when breaking down the Texans, Tomlin started with star defensive lineman J.J. Watt (“It’s amazing how he routinely disrupts the normal flow of offensive football,” the Steelers’ head coach said) and then worked his way through the rest of the defense.

Tomlin finished his defensive breakdown with the secondary. And the last player he highlighted was second-year strong safety D.J. Swearinger, the Texans’ second-round pick in 2013 and a starter for the last 16 regular season games.

While noting he wasn’t “highly familiar” with Swearinger before beginning his study of Houston, Tomlin said the 23-year-old South Carolina product “really jumps off the tape.”

“I really admire the way he plays,” Tomlin said, according to a transcript of his remarks from the club. “He plays with a great deal of heart and passion. He is consistently physical. He does a lot for them. He plays in deep defense. He plays in underneath zone. He plays man. He will man up against tight ends, running backs and even wide receivers. He is a participant in their blitz game as well.

“He has a well-rounded game. He is one of those on the rise, young and talented type of guys in our league.”

It’s here we note Pro Football Focus ranks Swearinger 73rd of 80 qualifying safeties through six weeks. The player-ratingg service has given Swearinger below-par marks against the run and the pass.

Still, Tomlin’s remarks are a little intriguing. After all, Tomlin broke into the NFL as a secondary coach with Tampa Bay more than a decade ago. Maybe it’s just a nice compliment from coach to player and nothing more. But maybe it’s a sign the second-year pro is on the right track.

22 responses to “Mike Tomlin: D.J. Swearinger “really jumps off the tape”

  1. Meh. For every intelligent play Swearinger makes, he commits 4 stupid ones. All hail Rick Smith!!!

  2. Mike Tomlin: D.J. Swearinger “really jumps off the tape.”

    Kinda like 12th man Tomlin jumps around…..

  3. I’ve been an enormous fan of Tomlin over the years. The notion that ‘he’s won with Cowher’s players’ is a lazy argument his detractors love to seize upon and it overlooks many key elements.

    First, people need to get hip with how a team is put together. Evidently people can’t grasp that the NFL and the college football seasons essentially run parallel with each other. Meaning, Tomlin is not out on the road actively scouting, studying, and evaluating players. He’s running the team now.

    The on-the-ground scouts and the GM are the people that are actively looking to acquire talent. Cowher wasn’t doing any of the legwork, either, because as mentioned earlier, he would have been coaching the team as well.

    Second, Cowher couldn’t even win with that team he was supposedly the mastermind of either. He went 8-8 his final year, presided over a 6-10 team in 2003, and when given the chance the following year to grab Big Ben, he thought it would have been better to grab an offensive guard in Shawn Andrews.

    And the revisionist history is comical: These same people who want to run Tomlin out of town are the same ones who thought Cowher ‘couldn’t win the big one.’ And therefore, had to go. Now that he’s gone, they all want to pretend like he didn’t have his own shortcomings as an NFL head coach.

    All that said, I’m a bit concerned that there might be some bad energy that is at play between Tomlin, Colbert, and Rooney. Tomlin wanted to keep Arians, and Art Rooney insisted on his departure. That move may have permanently altered the working relationship and the situation may be irreparable. That’s exactly why Noll left the Steelers: Dan Rooney insisted on staff changes, and Noll told the old man to go pound sand.

    It’s perfectly acceptable to wonder whether Tomlin is capable of righting this ship, but at least have the sense to look at the totality of the circumstances. Tomlin did singularly create all the problems that currently plague the Steelers.

    They may need an entire fresh start one that goes far, far beyond the head coach.

  4. Or maybe it’s indicative of Tomlin’s evaluation skills. Certainly would explain some of their recent draft picks.

  5. Sometimes stats are not worth the paper they are printed on. Daunte Culpepper was supposed to be the next biggest thing at QB one time, even had the high Madden rankings like Wilson has now.

  6. Maybe it’s Tomlin trying to figure out (1) how to draft good talent and (2) how to coach them up.

    His work in the Burgh has been a runaway train headed down the slope.

    He talks a good game but his results don’t back up his words.

  7. If you look at Tomlin’s quotes, he isn’t really saying anything about how good a player Swearinger is. He talks about how he plays with heart, is physical, and what kind of defenses he plays in. That may all be true, but that doesn’t mean he’s particularly good.

  8. if you were on the fence about how overrated Tomlin is this should push you over it. This is a supposed defensive back minded coach and awful safeties jump out at him. Under his leadership the Steelers have not drafted or developed a single above average secondary guy. The closest was Lewis but the only reason he was hyped was because teams picked on him which inevitably led to more pass defenses. The Steelers really need to let this guy go after this season. They are trending down and it’s mostly about coaching and scheme

  9. i admit, i’m not sure what OTHER coaches do at their press conferences… but at 3-3 I don’t need Tomlin ‘hyping’ the other team players… its like he wishes he had them. Say they got good players and move on.

    GET your TEAM ready to PLAY each and every game, cause your record sucks and IS NOT THE STANDARD.

    Though I don’t like to see the average worker lose their job, in this case, an exception and…
    FIRE TOMLIN, temporarily promote the line coach and see what happens by end of year and get your first choice for coach FIRST before rest of ‘loser’ coaches get whacked.

    Thanks PFT… keep up the good ‘posts’

  10. Tomlin finished the news conference by stating “Since being tebowed out of the playoffs the Steelers have 0 winning seasons and o playoff appearances”

  11. Swearinger is awful. And Tomlins comments just further prove how out of touch he is. He obviously didn’t see the game against Indianapolis where swearinger actually avoided the ball carrier and made a pathetic strip attempt on the ball. It was worse than watching deion sanders try to tackle. I have given Tomlin some slack because of how he did well taking over cowhers team, but it is becoming more and more clear that he is just not a good football coach. The end of the 1st half vs tampa will be his downfall. He let 35 Seconds run.off the clock with out taking a timeout and I said it immediately, it would cost us not only the game but the playoffs too. Prove me wrong tomlin, prove me wrong.

  12. Maybe its another sign that Tomlin is a lousy judge if talent. You know, like that 19-19 record over the last 36 games.

  13. Swearinger is awful. And Tomlins comments just further prove how out of touch he is. He obviously didn’t see the game against Indianapolis where swearinger actually avoided the ball carrier and made a pathetic strip attempt on the ball. It was like watching deion sanders try to tackle. I have given Tomlin some slack because of how he was able to take over cowhers team, but the steelers have been getting worse by the day. He sealed his fate against tampa when he let 35 Seconds run.off the clock before the two minute warning and didn’t use one of 3 timeouts. I said it immediately that it would Cost us not only the game but the playoffs too. You have 10 games to prove me wrong. I hope you do tomlin, I truly hope you do

  14. Maybe its another sign that Tomlin is a lousy judge if talent. You know, like that 19-19 record over the last 36 games.
    ————————————————————–
    Lousy?! 19 and 19 is an amazing record over 36 games. Apparently Tomlin can squeeze a couple extra games out of thin air.

  15. Swearinger does play with a lot of heart and passion, but he makes a lot of dumb mistakes, misses assignments and gets stupid penalties.

    I like his “swag” but I’m not sure he’s that good of a player.

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