Mike Tomlin, Sammy Watkins, Rex Ryan
After back-to-back 8-8 seasons, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is taking nothing for granted regarding his job security.
“I don’t assume that,” Tomlin was quoted as saying in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review regarding whether he believed his job would be safe because he has a 71-41 regular-season record as Steelers coach and has won a Super Bowl.
Tomlin is under contract until 2016. He also is only the Steelers’ third head coach since 1969.
Still, in a reference to the fact he has three former NFL head coaches on his staff, Tomlin said, “Hopefully, I’m not one of them (when the season ends).”
REX RYAN: PATRIOTS ‘NEED TO WORRY ABOUT’ JETS
In case anyone happened to forget that New York Jets coach Rex Ryan doesn’t feel an ounce of trepidation when it comes to the most dominant team in the AFC East, the New England Patriots, he is more than happy to travel that road again.
“Somebody asked me if we focus on New England. (Expletive),” Ryan recently was quoted as saying in the New York Post. “We’re focused on us. We’re focused on us and how are we going to be better. I have to be honest, I don’t worry about them. They need to worry about us. I think that’s really where we’re at now.”
Where the Jets have been is 8-8. If they have any intention of surpassing the Patriots, the perennial AFC East champions, they need to surpass .500.
“8-8 is not going to be good enough for us, for anybody in this organization,” Ryan said. “Am I going to get fired if we’re 8-8 or whatever? I don’t know. But I can tell you one thing: our goals are set a hell of a lot higher than that.
“I don’t care where they rank us or whatever. I know what we’ve got. That’s why I just can’t wait. I can’t wait to get to prove it. Not by me. I’m going to prove it. I am going to prove it. But so is my team. That’s the mission that we have.”
SAMMY WATKINS LOOKING TO JUST PLAY HIS ROLE WITH BILLS
The Buffalo Bills gave up plenty to select former Clemson star wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the fourth overall pick of last May’s draft.
But the player for whom the Bills traded a first- and fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft to the Cleveland Browns is not feeling any heightened pressure to produce as a rookie.
In fact, as the Bills opened their training camp over the weekend, Watkins was pointing out that he sees himself as more of a complementary piece to a team loaded with play-makers rather than being someone who must carry the offense.
“With our offense, we’ve got a lot of explosive guys, so for me it’s just about coming in right away and trying to make plays,” Watkins told reporters covering the Bills. “Don’t try and be Superman, but play my role and everything will work out.”
Watkins did acknowledge that the strong positive feedback he has received from fans calling out his name when he’s on the practice field at camp “means a lot.”
“I came from a big Division I school in Clemson so we need our fans,” he said. “That’s what moved me and it’s great to hear the fans calling my name out and being active while we’re practicing.”
GIANTS’ OWNER: NFL COACHES DON’T GET TO GO OUT ON OWN TERMS
There has been a prevailing theory that, after winning two Super Bowls, Tom Coughlin is in a position to determine when to exit as head coach of the New York Giants.
Coughlin’s contract runs through the 2015 season, but whether he would call it quits at that time or stick around longer might not be his decision after all.
In an interview with the New York Post, Giants co-owner John Mara emphasized that Coughlin was not on the hot seat, but he hardly endorsed the notion of the head coach being able to go out on his own terms.
“Does anybody ever earn that right?” Mara said. “That’s just not the way this business is in this day and age. Let’s hope that it goes that way, but we haven’t even had that discussion yet. … We’re just looking forward to the next couple of seasons.”>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford” on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com. We take your questions at 216-578-0850 and via Twitter @Browns_Daily.