NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday publicly reiterated that the league should shorten its preseason and cut back on the number of exhibition games.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin respectfully disagrees.

“I've had an appreciation for the preseason going all the way back to my position coach days,” Tomlin said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. “I'm just a lover of football. I believe all of these (young players) here working have a legitimate chance, and I think the preseason games give the guys an opportunity to put their skills on display — not only for (the Steelers) but for the other 31 teams. This process that is team development and division of labor and team building, I just have a lot of respect for it and appreciation for it. And I think the preseason games are a big part of it.”

During the most recent collective bargaining negotiations, Goodell lobbied for an expansion of the regular-season schedule to 18 games while reducing the preseason from four games to two.

Earlier this week, Goodell told the New York Daily News, “I still believe we don't need four preseason games.”

“When I go around to fans, that's maybe the No. 1 thing I hear,” Goodell told the paper at a New York Giants fans forum for season-ticket holders. “I always believe the NFL should do things to the highest possible standards. Preseason games are not that.”

Fans have long complained that season ticket packages include two unwanted preseason games, usually at the same price (although that slowly is changing around the league).