Most NFL head coaches might be hesitant to give their stamp of approval on things like trash talk or bounties being issued on players, for two reasons. One, they probably don't enjoy being fined by the league, and two, these types of things can become distractions that ultimately lead to a lack of focus.
Mike Tomlin, however, is not most head coaches.
When asked to discuss whether the mention of bounties and trash talk could be perceived as a negative for Sunday's AFC Championship against the rival Baltimore Ravens, Tomlin gave a somewhat surprising answer.
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"I don't know that there's a bad side. Talk is just that, it's talk. It's entertaining leading up to a football game. It adds to the excitement of the football game, but when the ball is kicked off, these are teams that play extremely hard and extremely disciplined football. I expect the game to be just that. I don't give much credence to talking."
The Steelers have beaten the Ravens twice already this season, so maybe Tomlin has no reason to be concerned with his team talking it up with an extremely vocal Ravens squad. Still, he knows there's a fine line, and is doing his best to mentally prepare the Steelers for what awaits on Sunday.
"If you're not careful, you can peak too soon. If you're not careful, you don't channel it in the right direction. I think those are the challenges that lie ahead for us — not only as we prepare schematically this week, but readying our team for what we see when we come out of that tunnel from an emotion standpoint and knowing how to channel it to do the things we need to do and want to do."