Still reeling from Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media in his usual Tuesday role to review the game, update injury statuses, preview the upcoming game, and answer questions.
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Tomlin began the presser by addressing the performance of the Steelers in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to Tampa Bay. After reviewing the film on Monday it was clear to see that the team failed on multiple levels to put the game away when needed. He started by addressing the penalties. The Steelers had 13 penalties accepted against them for a total loss of 125 yards. Many of the penalties were either pre-snap or post-snap penalties with some coming in the form of celebration/taunting penalties. Tomlin said that he’s bringing in officials to the practice this week to help aid in the correction of the frequent penalties the Steelers are collecting so far this season.
"“The ones (penalties) that really get me going are the pre-snap penalties because that’s concentration, that’s detail, that’s cohesion, that’s game readiness – and we had too many of those.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin also addressed the celebration penalty Antonio Brown drew after his touchdown.
"“The bottom line is scoring has got to become routine for him. He’s got to hand the ball over to the official and come over to the sideline and get ready to do it again.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin addressed the play calling in the game, on both sides of the ball. For the Steelers’ final offensive possession, which failed to get a game-clinching first down, Tomlin claimed responsibility for the 3rd and 5 play – which resulted in a 2-yard loss by Le’Veon Bell. He stated that the play was a run-pass option that had been successful in previous times it was used during the game and that Ben Roethlisberger had made the call to make it a run when he saw the defensive formation. On the defensive side of the ball, Tomlin said that the 41-yard pass that Mike Glennon converted to Louis Murphy to get the Bucs in scoring range, was a zone defense where the depth and angles were off on the coverage.
On the injury front there was nothing new to report. Steelers rookie LB Ryan Shazier is going to be working this week to come back from his knee injury but is not expected at this point to be ready for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville.
In previewing the matchup against Jacksonville, Tomlin stressed that the team needs to face the reality of facing an 0-4 team after losing to a 0-3 team and prepare accordingly. Jacksonville will start Blake Bortles at quarterback and while the Steelers defense has had a reputation for getting after rookie quarterbacks, there’s no reason to take anything lightly.
Tomlin addressed questions and elaborated more on the discipline players might face of they are determined to be “egregious offenders”. He stated that he’s not intending on prohibiting players from celebrating plays, but wants the focus to remain that it’s done within the guidelines of the rules.
"“I’m not trying to take the genuine emotions and excitement of the game away from our guys. That’s not me and that’s not the right thing to do. But I will ask them to do it within the guidelines of the rules and if they can’t do that consistently then yes [no celebrating] will be a mandate.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin also addressed the comments he made in the Fox pre-game show in which he seemed to take exception with being labeled as a “players’ coach”. When asked, Tomlin said that he didn’t find the term insulting, but is annoyed when it comes in the form of a certain line of questioning. He also explained that he didn’t necessarily want to be labeled as any type of coach in particular.
"“I refuse to be put in a box. It’s my job to be what my team needs me to be. Sometimes its close an cuddly and sometimes it’s not. I don’t have any problem being any of those. Sometimes when they couple ‘players’ coach’ with questions about how I wear my hair or what I choose to wear on the sidelines or what type of music I listen to, then it gets kind of old and falls into that category for me. I’d like to think the manner in which I do my job, whether it’s positive or negative, has very little to do with my haircut or the clothes that I wear or the type of music I listen to, and that’s when I get annoyed with that line of questioning.” – Mike Tomlin"
You can listen to Tomlin’s entire presser here.
Obviously Count: 19
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!