Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin shot Aaron Rodgers a loving I-see-what-you-tried-to-do-there look in the early goings of Pittsburgh’s battle with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Rodgers returned Tomlin’s affection with a nod and a grin. The shared glances immediately went viral and became the exchange seen around the world.
The Packers quarterback has been around the block a few times and has a habit of getting free plays simply by snapping the ball as opposing defenses make substitutions. Rodgers saw the Steelers had 12 men on the field and attempted a quick snap. Tomlin saw what was about to go down and got a timeout called before the snap, forgoing what would’ve been a costly too-many-men penalty.
Two can play at that game.
When ESPN’s Brooke Pryor asked Tomlin at his weekly press conference about the exchange, this is what he had to say:
“It’s chess, not checkers. If you’re a competitor, you love being in that environment; you love pitting your skills and talents and preparedness versus people like those guys, led by a guy like that guy. And as I mentioned, particularly in his venue, because of the latitude it provides him in terms of getting in and out of things at the line of scrimmage and having the ability to thoughtfully change pace, whether speed it up or slow it down, the challenges that that brings.”
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The exchange further fueled speculation that the All-Pro quarterback will be headed east to Pittsburgh following the 2022 season, but Rodgers was quick to temper expectations about a future trade.