Kudos to Mike Tomlin, who gave Jaguars beat reporters a little slap to the face on Wednesday during the usual media day conference call between reporters the the coach of the team those reporters cover.
It all goes back to that playoff game back in Tomlin’s rookie season of 2007, when the Jags came to Heinz Field and beat the Steelers 31-29, thanks in large part to a missed holding call on David Garrard’s fourth-and-2 draw late in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars now come back to the Steel City for the first time since that game, but with the Jags at 1-4 and going nowhere, it sounds like Jaguars reporters have nothing better to do than bug Tomlin about that game.
Tomlin was asked during a media conference call if the Steelers had sent video of the decisive play to the league office, things became awkward. “No,” Tomlin said, according to The Florida Times-Union.
Why not? “Why would I?” Tomlin answered.
Wasn’t there a questionable non-call on that play? “Guys, come on man,” Tomlin said, now clearly annoyed. “I’m not going to cry over four-year-old spilled milk. Anybody got any legitimate questions? Goll-lly.”
The playoff game in question is a landmark moment for the Jaguars, who rewarded Garrard and coach Jack Del Rio with rich contracts following the win. The team then traded away seven draft picks to select bust defensive ends Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves in the first and second rounds, respectively. When the moves backfired, the Steelers game became known as the “worst win” in franchise history.
Because of its big-picture relevance for the Jaguars, it’s natural that Tomlin would be questioned about the game.
“Guys, that was four years ago,” Tomlin said. “I understand that might have been a big game in Jacksonville, but that’s old news. Many of those guys are no longer here and definitely many of the guys that were in Jacksonville are no longer there. Anybody got any questions relative to this week?”
Before another question could be asked, Tomlin hung up the phone, promptly ending the media’s interaction with the coach for the afternoon. Good for Tomlin. Why would the coach want to nor care about that game, which meant really nothing to either franchise?
The Jags went on to lose in the Divisional round to the Patriots the next week, while the Steelers re-loaded that offseason, and won the Super Bowl the following season.
I applaud Tomlin for hanging up on those goofs – start living in the present Jacksonville “reporters,” and quit reliving a game that really is nothing more than a distant memory.