Fresh off of their primetime win over the Carolina Panthers the Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the South Side preparing to face another NFC South opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had his usual presser on Tuesday afternoon to address the previous game, update injury statuses, preview the upcoming game, and answer questions.
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While Tomlin said there were a lot of positives to take away from the Steelers’ 37-19 win over the Panthers, it was definitely not a perfect performance. The Steelers were once again hampered by penalties, an alarming trend that both signifies the reality of today’s NFL as well as mental mistakes being made by the team. The Steelers had eleven total penalties accepted for 91 yards. Tomlin said it will be something the team will continue and address and work on going forward.
Tomlin then addressed the injury situation with the team starting with Jarvis Jones, who had surgery on his wrist on Monday and was then added to the injured reserve-designated for return list. Ike Taylor had surgery on his fractured forearm, had a plate implanted and will remain on the roster while they monitor his recovery. Ryan Shazier’s injury was described as less severe but will still keep him out this week. Tomlin also explained that some previously injured players will be returning to action this week. Dri Archer, who has missed the last two games, will be returning to full participation in practice this week and Ramon Foster, who missed Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, will return to full participation as well.
Mike Tomlin addressed the Steelers signing of James Harrison by saying the decision to bring the 36-year-old linebacker back on the team was an easy one given the injury situation they were dealing with and his familiarity with the team.
"“We know James. James knows us. James understands how we desire to play defense. He understands the scheme. We’re not going to assume that he’s up-to-speed on the schematics. It’s been over 12 months since he’s been a part of us, and so we’re going to respect that. His level of participation will be determined by what he can execute and his level of conditioning. We’re simply going to play it by ear. It’ll be no different than the process we went through in re-acclimating Brett Keisel into the fold.” – Mike Tomlin"
He discussed the cornerback situation with the loss of Ike Taylor due to injury and stated that the team will start Sunday’s game with the replacements who stepped in at the end of last Sunday’s game and work from there, depending on production of those players. That means that Arthur Moats will start in place of Jarvis Jones, Sean Spence in place of Ryan Shazier, and William Gay in place of Taylor. Gay will move over to the slot position when the Steelers go in their nickel defensive formation and the Steelers will have the option of using Antwon Blake, Brice McCain, or B.W. Webb to play the outside corner for those plays.
Tomlin then went on to preview the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their upcoming game on Sunday. There’s no one that talks up an opponent quite like Mike Tomlin. He did make one valid point as to how they’re going to be looking to redeem themselves from an embarrassing Thursday Night Football loss just like the Steelers were the week before. Never underestimate the value in those extra days they’ll have to prepare. His “Tomlinism” of the week happened when describing Buccaneers running back Doug Martin.
"“Think they call him the muscle hamster, I don’t know what that is but it sounds appropriate.” – Mike Tomlin"
When addressing questions he was asked about the current climate of the NFL in regards to domestic violence and if that affected their decision to bring back James Harrison in light of his 2008 domestic violence arrest. He stated that the incident happened almost seven years ago and that it was dealt with at the time and Harrison had grown from the incident.
He was also asked about Cameron Heyward’s chest bump with Steelers defensive assistant coach Joey Porter and thought it was pretty funny. He added that the Steelers would not be signing Porter any time soon.
Obviously Count: 9
You can listen to the entire press conference right here.
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!