Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts during the game against the Cleveland Browns in the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers' Mike Tomlin doesn't want playoff expansion to affect divisional play


Dec 29, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin gestures on the sidelines against the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been an awful lot of talk as of late about the NFL possibly expanding the playoffs.

That’s fine by Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, as long as it doesn’t interfere with divisional games.

Speaking to reporters at the NFL meetings in Orlando on Tuesday, Tomlin said he would prefer playoff expansion only if it did not devalue the importance of the Steelers’ two regular season games against Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore.

“I would favor it as long as it doesn’t lessen the significance of division play, and I mean that,” Tomlin said, according to a transcript of his remarks from the Pro Football Writers of America (via Pro Football Talk). “I love the structure of division play and what it means from a playoff-seeding standpoint. If it doesn’t lessen that in any way, then obviously I’m all ears.”

Tomlin also made it clear that he hoped division winners would continue to host wild card games.

“I don’t want to lessen that in any way,” Tomlin said. “I don’t.”

Tomlin’s stance makes sense, but I don’t envision adding playoff teams impacting divisional play.

As long as the division winners are guaranteed home playoff games, in all likelihood expanding the post season will at least make Week 17 games matter much more.



Tags: Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers

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