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- Head coach of the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Tomlin's not here for music at practice.
In the locker room after a potentially season-saving win over the rival Baltimore Ravens? He's all in. The Steelers rallied for a 16-13 win over the Ravens in Sunday's regular-season finale. Barring a tie between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night, the win clinched a playoff spot.
The party was on postgame. Tomlin included.
— That Blitz Guy (@ThatBlitzGuy) January 9, 2022
That's a very different Tomlin from the serious Steelers coach we see, well, almost all the time. In a league full of business-first head coaches, Tomlin's arguably the chairman of the board. Just ask Chase Claypool.
Asked in November what the Steelers could do to improve practice, the second-year receiver responded: "Maybe music would make practice more more fun."
Claypool's answer arrived after consecutive Steelers losses including a 41-10 blowout by the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals. Tomlin was less than enthusiastic about the suggestion.
"You know, Claypool plays wideout, and I'll let him do that," Tomlin said in response to the suggestion. "I'll formulate the practice approach. I think division of labor is probably appropriate."
So that was that for Claypool's music request.
But football's an emotional game, particularly after a Week 18 win that likely extends the season and the career of franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least one more game. On Sunday it was enough to inspire even a stoic like Tomlin to let loose for the camera.