Mike Florio is great at what he does. Pro Football Talk aggregates news as fast as any out there and Florio does have connections that allows him to break stories in addition. His legal background also allows him to decipher the lawyer talk in the CBA much easier than I can do. Florio is also great at creating controversy which in turn leads to more site hits and discussion. Traffic is the goal of every website and he gets more than his fair share of it.
On Monday Florio went after Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, via the quotes that Peter King used in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback piece. The quotes that King had of Tomlin were from the recent induction of the Steelers head coach into the Hall of Fame at William & Mary, where he started at receiver for three years. What Florio does not do is check the context of the Tomlin quotes that came from the induction speech of Tomlin.
Florio blast Tomlin for the quote, “I’m tired of the NCAA rules.” Tomlin used that quote when joking about helping his alma mater recruit Kevin Hart, the son of Steelers Chief Financial Officer, Mark Hart. After joking that he hoped he did not break any recruiting rules in the process is when Tomlin added the NCAA quote above. Tomlin added that he is a win-at-all costs kind of a guy as an add-on to not having to worry about recruiting rules. He quickly disclaimered that he is not a bounty guy in any form of fashion, to which he got a pretty good laugh from the crowd. Tomlin played off of that laugh by saying that the Steelers will get you for nothing and that players like James Harrison and company don\’t need to be offered anything. This where Florio insinuates that Tomlin wants players that he does not need to pay a bounty to in order for them to hurt other players. Was it a poor choice of words by Tomlin? Perhaps, but he also had to make sure that he disclaimered his win-at-all-cost comment because if he had left it that, he would have been blasted as well from the Florio types. It looks as if Tomlin is not reading off of a prepared speech, but it is clear that he is playing to his audience with his humor.
Unfortunately context of words from interviews and speeches are often times very poorly converted to words in articles as well as transcripts. When in doubt, it is always best to try to find and listen to the words said by another person when they are called into question. So I will leave it at that and ask that you watch the video of the Tomlin speech and form your own opinions. I think you will see that this was just another example of Florio taking words out of context and setting to create controversy and get hits to his site on Memorial Day. He certainly accomplished what he was after.
Florio says in his piece that this is an eye-opening glimpse into the mindset of Tomlin. I disagree and think this is a glimpse into Tomlin trying to be funny and praise his players as not being the types that need to be motivated to play in any circumstance. You make the decision for yourself.
We’ve got our chief financial officer in the building from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Where is my man Mark Hart? Is he in the building? Hart? He exited stage left. (crowd laughs) His son, Kevin, is in the next incoming class of football players at William & Mary. And I\’m proud to say that hopefully I had a part in that and I didn’t break any rules in the process. I think. (crowd laughs) That\’s one of the reasons that I work in the National Football League, I\’m tired of the NCAA rules. I\’m a win-at-all costs kind of a guy. The NFL is just right for me. Although I’m not a bounty guy in any form or fashion. Any form or fashion. (crowd laughs) What you’ve got to understand about the Pittsburgh Steelers is … that they\’ll get you for nothing. I ain’t got to offer them anything. Guys like James Harrison and company, they enjoy it.