Unfazed by Mike Wallace's holdout, Tomlin said "this thing" is bigger than Wallace, as reported by Ed Bouchette in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Tomlin said "this thing" is bigger than anyone on the team, including himself.
That's how characters in The Sopranos referred to the way they made a living, although many of them pronounced it "this ting."
Tomlin's tenure as Steelers head coach began in 2007, right around the time the final season of The Sopranos hit the airwaves.
Now, without his top receiver in training camp, Tomlin is showing the same fearless leadership as fictional boss Tony Soprano.
Both preside over a gang of tough guys. Tomlin's men just don't use weapons, or if they use their helmets as weapons, they get a sit-down with Roger Goodell, the Agent Harris of the NFL.
Like members of the Sopranos' family, Steelers players could call their boss "T" if they were so inclined, and many of them are the Steelers' parallel to Sopranos characters under Tony's command.
The Steelpranos, if you will.