Mike Tomlin doesn’t care about short-week football

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Plenty of people in and around the NFL don’t like Thursday football. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin isn’t one of them.

“I do not have an opinion nor do I care,” Tomlin told Cleveland media on Tuesday regarding Pittsburgh’s looming short-week showdown with the Browns. “I am not involved in the making of the schedule. We will be there.”

That’s a smart approach, one that reflects the acceptance that comes from having prepared for and coached 12 short-week games during his time with the Steelers, winning seven and losing five. Short-week football has become part of the fabric of the NFL, and given the money it generates, it’s going nowhere.

But while Tomlin has reached the “acceptance” phase, others are still stuck at “anger.” Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who was Tomlin’s boss in Tampa from 2002 through 2005, made it clear last week that he’s not a fan of short-week football.

I hate this,” Gruden said. “I don’t believe in this Thursday football. I’m not going to be on a soapbox any more than that. It hurts us. It hurts both teams. The preparation. . . .  I take a lot of pride in getting our guys ready to play. We need a little time to do that, but a lot of people disagree with me.”

A lot of people do indeed disagree with Gruden. People with a lot of money. People who determine when games will be played, in order to maximize the earning of more money.

Short-week football isn’t going anywhere. During the current labor negotiations, the players aren’t pushing to get rid of it. They recognize its value, and they realize what they’d lose if the NFL loses a big-money, huge-audience game played every Thursday from Week Two through Week 15, with three of them on Thanksgiving.

So coaches can either waste their time complaining about it, or they can focus their efforts on that once-per-year obligation to get a team that played on a Sunday ready to go on a Thursday.

16 responses to “Mike Tomlin doesn’t care about short-week football

  1. People who complain about TNF have no valid excuses. You don’t like it? JUST DON’T WATCH.

    Player safety? – Statistically, players got injured LESS than Sunday or Monday games.
    Bad games? – It’s like every Sunday – you have some great matchups and you get some dogs.
    Sloppy play? – That’s poor coaching. Belichick’s team IS ALWAYS READY. Why is that?

    TNF let’s you watch teams/players you normally wouldn’t. We normally don’t get any Arizona games up here, so at least I saw Kyler Murray on Halloween night.

  2. It’s actually ideal for the Steelrs as they only have to travel a couple of hours up the road to play.

  3. Why do the Cowboys get 2 Thursday games in a row every year (Thanksgiving and the week after)?
    Talk about uneven scheduling…..

    No other team plays 2 Thursday games back to back, and it’s so close to the end of the year with their “mini bye”.

  4. A lot of us, myself included, owe trippy an apology when we hollered and yelled about how he should get canned after that abysmal performance against the Pats. That roster is nothing special yet there he is fighting for a playoff spot. He also managed to get maximum production out of AB for all those years with minimal nonsense until the wheels came off. He’s a good coach, doesn’t deserve most of the flack he catches.

  5. November 13, 2019 at 8:48 am
    Tomlin created “AB” by putting up with his crap and you want to praise him?

    I think the poster is showing he knows more about football than a troll like you. Tomlin is doing a great job this year as always.

  6. If you’re gonna get your butt beat, you might as well get it over with. Also, Tomlin will get a few extra days to try for a 5th win against a team more on the Steelers’ level. At least that game will be somewhat competitive.

  7. TimTebowGodOfFootballKarma says:
    November 13, 2019 at 9:47 am
    If you’re gonna get your butt beat, you might as well get it over with. Also, Tomlin will get a few extra days to try for a 5th win against a team more on the Steelers’ level. At least that game will be somewhat competitive.

    The Steelers already have their 5th win.

  8. The Lions have been playing at least one Thursday every year since the 1930’s. Haven’t ever heard them moan about it. Tom Landry did it once a year 20+ times. .. Never bothered him or his teams.. If it didn’t affect him, don’t see how any coach can complain.

  9. The “wasting of time talking about it” stems from the questions asked from the mandatory media podium time. So maybe the solution is media blackout days for short week teams. Its not fair that teams have to maintain the same weekly schedule with only 4 days of preparation.

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