Mike Tomlin won’t fall victim to any Patriots-style espionage.
The big topic of discussion at Steelers camp on Thursday was the massive wall made of plastic tarps constructed at one of the practice fields. Specifically, why the hell is it there?
Head coach Mike Tomlin was evasive about the purpose of the two-story wall at first.
“I’ll leave that somewhat mystical, man,” Tomlin told reporters with a laugh. “I’ll let you guys hypothesize about the origins of that and its use. And at some point we’ll address it directly.
“It’ll be the 2018 little side story.”
Pressed further, though, Tomlin indicated that he was perhaps concerned about the possibility of Patriots-style espionage.
“You know how it is, man. This is interesting times, drones and so forth,” Tomlin said. “We’ll do what we got to prepare and be ready to play—play on a level, fair, competitive playing field.”
Tomlin is a smart man—smart enough to know that drones can fly over a tarp the size of a house, surely. But he’s not entirely off base to think that someone could steal a look at the Steelers’ practices from across the street. As Mark Kaboly of The Athletic points out, an office building was constructed opposite the new tarp wall a few years ago, offering a nice vantage point for any scheming Bengals or Ravens employees.
The other side of the practice field—the end that abuts the Monongahela River—has been left unprotected. All you have to do to spy from that side is get up in the crow’s nest of a big sailboat.