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Big game for Tomlin
January 5, 2008 - Neil Rudel
Though I don't pretend to be the expert on the Steelers that we're blessed with in Buck Frank, Ray Eckenrode and John Mehno, I do have playoff fever.
So here goes ...
Despite their injuries, the Steelers have everything going for them.
They've got the home crowd, they're home underdogs with most of the national media picking against them, against a team that just came into their house and won, and they've got it all on a Saturday night when their already-rabid (OK, drunk) crowd will have been in the parking lot for 12 hours.
Simply put, this a game the Steelers have to win.
More specifically, this is a game Mike Tomlin has to win -- not to be judged for the long haul but for this year.
Tomlin has done a good job so far. He's an excellent spokesman and representative of the organization. He appears extremely poised under pressure and appears to have all the ingredients to more than justify his hiring.
With the talent they have and the schedule they've played, 10-6 is about right.
Now they have to win their home playoff game.
If they do, it's certainly a successful season and a solid building block for a franchise that is built to win Super Bowls, and every game beyond tonight's is gravy.
If they don't, it's one game short of calling Tomlin's season debut a total success.
One game -- especially a playoff game at home -- can make and create that kind of perception.