Both are pretty intense personalities but have engaged in light banter this week.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 18, 2020
The Steelers are playing the 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11.
To say they are colossal favorites to win this game is an understatement.
During preparation for this week’s game, Coach Tomlin made an NCAA reference.
“We are not a Big Ten team playing a MAC opponent this week. Every time we step into a stadium, we’re playing professionals, players and coaches. We’ve got a ridiculous level of respect for that. Write your story, follow your storylines about trap games and things of that nature. We understand what we’re going into in Jacksonville, that that’s a group that’s trying to kick our butt. A professional group, capable group, and we’re preparing with that understanding.”
While he’s making sure his team doesn’t take the Jaguars lightly, it is his choice of college conferences that jabs at Ben.
Tomlin’s reference to the MAC is the Mid-American Conference.
Ben Roethlisberger is an alumnus of Miami (of Ohio), a member of the MAC.
Of course, Ben was asked about Tomlin’s reference and offered this quip:
“I know! I haven’t had a chance to get him yet. He mentioned it again in the team meeting too, and I wasn’t too happy about that. I will get him back, don’t worry. I have to figure out what conference William & Mary is in. We will say something about that.”
NCAA aficionados know that William & Mary is in the Colonial Athletic Association.
What All This Means
The biggest takeaway is despite the banter, Tomlin does not want his Steelers to take the Jaguars lightly.
He understands that every team will be coming after the Steelers each week and despite their record, they need to keep working hard.
Mike Tomlin, right now: 'The only thing that's perfect about our team is our record.' Stressed the need to improve running game, pressing a 'reset' button on the whole process. Sounds about right.
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) November 17, 2020
The NFL is full of spoiler teams who can play beyond expectation any given Sunday.
Tomlin also knows that his team has a Thanksgiving day game against the Baltimore Ravens.
He wants to keep the Steelers disciplined and focused on the task at hand with the Jaguars.
Ruled Out For Sunday
The Steelers’ injury report is relatively clean.
3 players are ruled out for the Jaguars’ game.
There is a lot of football yet to be played, but it is worth mentioning that the Steelers are chasing history.
The Steelers are the 22nd team to start 9-0 since the Super Bowl era began in 1967. Seven won the Super Bowl:
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) November 16, 2020
Only the 1972 Miami Dolphins achieved a perfect season culminating in a Super Bowl victory.
If the Steelers beat the Jaguars and the Ravens on Thursday night to go 11-0, the pursuit of perfection will be discussed a lot more.