Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans: Tomlin Tuesday


Are you ready for some football? A Monday night party! Can’t help myself with that. The Pittsburgh Steelers are probably still showering  themselves off from the crap fest they put on in Cleveland over the weekend but head coach Mike Tomlin was in his usual Tuesday spot to address the media. He reviewed the Browns game, updated injury statuses, previewed the upcoming matchup against Houston, and answered questions.

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The injury front has good news and bad news. The good news is that we can expect rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier and safety Shamarko Thomas to fully return to practice this week. Their response to the practices will dictate their readiness for Monday night. Brett Keisel and Mike Mitchell, who left Sunday’s game with injuries, will be under the same kind of progression. How well they respond to practice participation will determine their playing time on Monday. Nose tackle Steve McLendon is already categorized as “out” with a shoulder injury.

In reviewing the performance against the Browns there wasn’t much positive to be said. Obviously. The Steelers failed to make the plays necessary to get into the end zone, the Browns did.

"“There were some positives in the game, but we’re not looking for positives. We’re looking for victory.” – Mike Tomlin"

The team had failures on all levels. In terms of turnovers, the Steelers defense was able to produce a turnover but the offense was unable to turn that turnover into a touchdown whereas when the Browns produced a turnover they were able to convert it into a touchdown. Tomlin’s response to the failures on the field was to take a critical look at what they’re doing and who they’re doing it with, meaning we could see some different formations or faces on the field on Monday night.

"“We’re going to turn over all the stones, especially when it comes to playmaking and situations.” – Mike Tomlin"

When looking forward to the Houston Texans Tomlin started with really the biggest threat on their team to anybody, J.J. Watt.

"“He’s got three touchdowns through six games as a defensive lineman. He’s amazing.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin also expressed excitement to be back at Heinz Field for Monday Night Football, as well as having the extra day to prepare. It’s important to note that the Texans haven’t played since last Thursday, making their preparation days significantly longer.

Due to the injuries and the fact that the team hasn’t put consistent football together on the field at all so far this season, Tomlin alluded to incorporating different players onto the field more. We may be seeing the likes of rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant on the offense, whether or not he’s up to the task of contributing on special teams right now. We also may be possibly getting a look at Big Dan McCullers, the rookie nose tackle who hasn’t been activated for a game yet this season but has a chance this week due to McLendon’s injury.

When asked about the balance of running the football to passing the football and whether or not he prefers one to the other Tomlin explained that he’s looking for touchdowns more than looking for balance, but still a balanced offense is one that should be able to score touchdowns in the red zone.

"“We have to be a balance group that’s capable of running and passing the football consistently.” – Mike Tomlin"

Can’t really argue with that. Whatever combination works to get them in the end zone is what they should go forward with. With backs like Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount, running the football has to be part of the offense. But, at the same time, the offense has to be able to put the ball into the hands of Ben Roethlisberger and his receivers need to execute better. The balance between those is what the offense needs to turn their red zone woes around.

Tomlin was asked about his thoughts on former Steelers Bill Cowher and Hines Ward calling the team’s defense “soft” and his response was that he loves and respects the both of them but that they have a job to do in the media and part of that entails being critical of their former team.

Tomlin blew the “Obviously” record out of the water this week. I counted at least 31 but I could have even been off one or seven.

You can listen to Tomlin’s entire presser right here.

Here we go Steelers! Here we go!