Steelers kicker Chris Boswell has been having a terrible slump of late—and it’s not because he’s missing kicks. The veteran (and now free agent) kicker recently went on the Mike Tomlin Show on SiriusXM NFL Radio to make himself heard, and in doing so, he made the most savage case for himself—and Tomlin—to hear.

One of the biggest surprises of the 2017-18 NFL season was the emergence of kicker Chris Boswell. In his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Boswell set a franchise record with a 90.3 percent conversion rate on field goals (39 for 43), including an NFL record-tying 10 straight made field goals. In fact, Boswell has only missed one field goal of over 40 yards the entire season, which came in Pittsburgh’s Week 4 matchup with the New England Patriots. The only kicker to do that this year is Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who missed one field goal of over 40 yards in 2016 as well.

Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is a player’s coach. He is a charismatic and opinionated individual. From the youngest rookie to the oldest veteran, the long-time head coach seems to know precisely how to approach each player on his squad. This drive may take odd and amusing shapes at times. This includes the time he called his own Pro Bowl kicker a jerk after a bad kicking slump.

Mike Tomlin is one of the finest and most successful coaches in the NFL today. 

Mike Tomlin grew up playing football in Virginia. He then started at wide receiver for William & Mary for three years in the early 90s. After his playing career ended at the college level, Tomlin started coaching at eth college ranks. He spent time at VMI, Memphis, Arkansas State, Tennessee-Martin, and Cincinnati, per Steelers.com.

After that, he moved on to the NFL. Before taking the position as defensive coordinator in Minnesota, Tomlin coached the defensive backs in Tampa Bay for five seasons. After one year as DC, the Pittsburgh Steelers promoted him to head coach, becoming him the franchise’s 16th coach. At the time, he was just 34 years old.

Tomlin had a lot of success right away. When Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl 43, he became the youngest coach to coach in a Super Bowl and the youngest to win one. He was 36 years and 323 days old when he died.

Tomlin has a 153-86-1 career record heading into 2021. He is currently the NFL’s third-longest-serving head coach, behind only Bill Belichick and Sean Payton.

When Tomlin was struggling, he even trash-talked his own kicker.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin hugs kicker Jeff Reed who made a late field goal against the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins, 23-22, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Sunday, October 24, 2010.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin hugs kicker Jeff Reed who made a late field goal against the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins, 23-22, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Sunday, October 24, 2010. (Jim Rassol/Sun Sentinel/MCT) Mike Tomlin

Pat McAfee, a former NFL punter turned radio presenter, told a tale on his The Pat McAfee Show 2.0 podcast about Tomlin’s motivating abilities.

He began the story by remarking that Tomlin had “so much swag” and “talks s—.” The former Indianapolis Colt then told Chris Boswell of the Pittsburgh Steelers about a tale he overheard over beers:

Chris Boswell was kicking and kicking and kicking and kicking and kicking and kicking and Perhaps he was going through a tough patch…. When I inquired what had occurred, he said he didn’t know. ‘How did Tomlin – I enjoy hearing how, like how did Coach Tomlin manage it?’ I was thinking. He said that at first he was motivational, and then one day he came over and simply began talking s— to Bos.

ike Tomlin on Pat McAfee

McAfee didn’t say precisely what Tomlin said, but he did say that the trash talk wasn’t meant to be disrespectful. It was just Tomlin’s attempt to encourage his kicker in a new manner. The former NFL player explained how team personalities vary. For some men, praise is the fuel that keeps them going. Others need a “poke.” Some people need a coach to push them, while others, evidently, simply need to hear some good trash talk.

Tomlin is a master at identifying and pressing the appropriate buttons with each player.  

In 2021, the NFL hopes to eliminate taunting from the game.

The anecdote of Tomlin throwing garbage at Boswell arose during a discussion regarding the NFL competition committee’s focus in 2021 on punishing “taunting.” John Mara, the owner of the New York Giants, recently stated his decision:  

We’ve grown weary of the mocking that takes place on the pitch from time to time. We’ve attempted to strike a balance between sportsmanship and enabling the players to have fun, and it’s always a delicate balance. However, none of us like seeing that. And it’s simply a matter of whether you can have regulations that can be enforced without detracting from the enjoyment of the game, because no one likes to watch a person insult another player. I know I don’t, and I believe the other members of the competition committee share my sentiments.

The NFL’s taunting, according to John Mara

Mike Tomlin, as well as former NFL players Mike Vrabel, Ron Rivera, Frank Reich, and Ozzie Newsome, are members of the competition committee, according to NFL.com.

While Mara and his comrades may believe they aren’t taking the pleasure out of the game, they are attempting to control some of the emotion. The focus on no taunting seems to be a step too far in a sport that has already (right) toned down the violent blows.

Trash talk is, or should be, an important component of all team sports. While virtually no one condones profanity or violence, allowing a player to tell another player about it in an up-close and personal way after they defeat them on a play is a long-standing practice that likely predates the invention of the internet. T. Wing

The only taunting regulation the NFL should have is that if you don’t like it, stop him the next time.

Pro Football Reference provided all stats.

RELATED: In 2021, who will be the highest-paid kicker in the NFL?

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