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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Tomlin, Ryan show mutual respect

By James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers' Mike Tomlin was informed Tuesday that Jets counterpart Rex Ryan said Tomlin was one of his favorite coaches.

A smile came to Tomlin's face. Then, he returned the compliment.

"I love Rex," Tomlin said. "Rex has a lot of fun with you guys [the media]. But when you pass all of those things, man, Rex is a great football coach. He has a pulse of his football team, does a great job of motivating them, and he's very sound schematically. His glass is always half full and I appreciate that."

Things are already warm and fuzzy between the Steelers and Jets compared to last week's heated AFC divisional playoff games. Do not expect any T-shirts with obscene gestures this week or threats to ruin players’ careers.

The outspoken Ryan and normally low-key Tomlin usually have different approaches. But it appears both are taking the same tact heading into the AFC Championship Game. The AFC East and AFC North trash-talking is over for the rest of this season, and now the sole focus for Pittsburgh and New York is advancing to Super Bowl XLV.

Ryan and Tomlin set the tone for the week, and that likely will permeate down to the players.

Here are some other quick notes from Tomlin's news conference: