Mike Tomlin uses Twitter in a very unique way. The straight faced head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers follows the players on his roster. So what happens when a player is cut? Tomlin unfollows them.
When the Steelers cut their roster down from 75 to 53 men, Tomlin went on Twitter and unfollowed everyone who was cut. It might seem like a strange way to use the popular social networking site, but it is actually a way for Tomlin to police his team.
In fact, one quick peek at Mike Tomlin’s official Twitter page shows he only follows 53 accounts. Of course, not every Steeler has an account. To help fill out his 53 account Twitter roster, Tomlin follows a few pages dedicated to the team.
This is Tomlin’s first year on Twitter. His first tweet was sent out on July 26th. He kept his message a sweet but short, “Hello Twitter. Expect no BS from me. Just straight fire!”
While some might see Tomlin’s Twitter policy as a joke, he doesn’t. He joined Twitter specifically to monitor his players this season. In all honesty, it’s not a bad idea.
A number of athletes have gotten into trouble on Twitter before.Most recently Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Garza made headlines when he attacked the wife of A’s infielder Eric Sogard.
Mike Tomlin should be applauded for at least attempting to adjust his coaching style to include social media. It might be funny to some people, but websites like Twitter and Facebook aren’t going anywhere.
Teams need to adjust. Tomlin knows it’s not enough to not allow players to tweet on the sidelines (a real NFL policy). Not every player thinks before they tweet, especially younger and less mature players.
Of course, it’s not Mike Tomlin’s job to play father to his players via Twitter. He is however, responsible for the development of players professionally. In other words, Tomlin keeping such a close eye on his players is not such a ridiculous idea, all things considered.