In fact, Tomey thinks college football players today may be tougher than from days gone by: "These guys spend so much time working. These guys work all summer. These guys are so much more committed and dedicated than football players ten or 20 years ago. The guys who played a long time ago said, 'God, we were tough.' The guys who played 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, in anybody's program, any program in the country, didn't do what these guys do."
Tomey takes a tough-love approach to coaching in that he is just as quick to pat a player on the back as he is to rip him a new one: "I think the days of coaching from the tower, or coaches being aloof, are over. These young people... you need to get to know them, find out all about them, about their families, and what's going on in their lives."