Steelers coach Tomlin has ‘big-time respect’ for Raiders

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke with Raiders beat writers Wednesday morning and was more than complimentary of the Silver and Black. “I thought they were a talented team a year ago, they’re a talented team this year,” said the Steelers’ Super Bowl winning coach by phone.

Tomlin cited the continuity of the Raiders as one of the factors leading to the resurgence of winning football in Oakland. You may recall that Bruce Gradkowski led the Raiders in a game at Heinz Field last season in which Oakland scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to win 27-24.

Thanks to this weeks’ game, Tomlin has gotten the opportunity to relive the experience from last season by watching the game tape during his preparations. That preparation led the Steelers’ coach to confess to reporters, “I’ve got big-time respect for what’s going on with those guys and where they are.

As far as the Raiders first round pick this year, Rolando McClain, Tomlin admitted that they didn’t bother to even look at him prior to the draft because they were certain he wouldn’t be around when their time came to pick. However, Tomlin had good things to say about the rookie’s performance this season.

He is playing good football for them. He is the man in the middle and the quarterback of a defense that is playing well. He doesn’t need any endorsement from me. That speaks for itself. He is doing an awesome job.