Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens: Tomlin Tuesday


It’s Ravens week! The Pittsburgh Steelers will attempt their third win in a row for the first time this season on Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens. A little AFC North home action and also the Steelers will officially retire “Mean” Joe Greene’s No. 75 jersey in a ceremony sure to fire up the crowd for the game. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was in his usual Tuesday spot, reviewing the previous game, updating injury statuses, previewing the upcoming game, and answering questions.

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There were clearly a whole lot of positive takeaways from Sunday’s win over the Indianapolis Colts. Mike Tomlin specifically called out RT Mike Adams for his performance in stepping in for Marcus Gilbert, who was recovering from a concussion sustained in, last Monday’s win over Houston.

A negative takeaway from Sunday’s win was the two second-half turnovers committed by the Steelers and Tomlin explained that those just can’t happen.

"“We have to do a better job of protecting the football.” – Mike Tomlin"

On the defensive side of the ball Tomlin noted that while the defense was successful in getting after the quarterback, they gave up a lot of passing yardage in the process on a few plays.

"“They had significant chunk plays.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin also noted that the team incurred too many penalties of hands to the face and illegal contact, and still need to do a better job technically to avoid giving up yardage in that manner. He didn’t think that the team was overly aggressive or more aggressive than usual in going after the quarterback, but just noted that some players were successful in winning their individual matchups, which created more opportunities to get after Andrew Luck on Sunday. He noted that Jason Worilds won his matchup repeatedly during the course of the game, which created several opportunities for the defense.

On the injury front Tomlin noted that safeties Shamarko Thomas and Ross Ventrone will essentially trade helmets this week as Thomas is coming back from a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined a few games and Ventrone suffered a hamstring against the Colts. Steve McLendon has a “big-time opportunity to come back” this week while Ryan Shazier suffered no negative setbacks from his knee injury as he made his return to the field this weekend. Marcus Gilbert is expected to be back and starting at right tackle on Sunday night and Ike Taylor continues to progress in his rehab but there is no timetable yet on his return.

In previewing Baltimore it is a very familiar team to go up against, the teams already matched up against one another in Week 2 and even Mike Tomlin knows of the “Flacco Special” he described it when talking about Ravens WR Torrey Smith.

"“I think he (Torrey Smith) draws more DPI’s than anyone else in the NFL.” – Mike Tomlin"

When talking up the Ravens defense Tomlin noted how they are currently No. 2 in the NFL in red-zone defense, an area where the Steelers offense is just coming alive in the past two games. He notes that the red-zone inefficiencies was the difference maker the last time the two teams met.

"“Their ability to perform in the red area and our inability to perform in the red area was the difference in the game.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin spoke of the loss of CB Jimmy Smith this week for the Ravens secondary and noted how in Week 2 they were without the services of Lardarius Webb but didn’t miss a beat then.

In regards to their own cornerbacking situation, Tomlin addressed the benching of Cortez Allen in the Indy game and noted that he will need to work his way back into the starting position.

"“He’s got to lick his wounds and roll his sleeves up and get back to work.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin had nothing but high praise for Steelers WR Antonio Brown, who had yet another stellar performance with 10 catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns.

"“He’s one of the best in the world at what he does. Antonio is physically and mentally on top of his game, and when you have somebody who’s playing like that, you step into a stadium and he’s a known issue but still he performs. He say similar things about guys like J.J. Watt. We knew what he was capable of when we were getting ready to play the Houston Texans, but it still doesn’t stop the storm from coming. Antonio is playing at that type of a level from a wide receiver standpoint, a J.J. Watt discussion kind of a level. I’m glad that he’s on our team.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin acknowledged the excitement that will be in the stadium on Sunday night for the Joe Greene celebration.

"“We all feel a little better when we see Joe, even though he’s not playing. I hope we can find energy from that. I know the fans have a love and appreciation for Joe.” – Mike Tomlin"

Obviously Count = 27

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

Here we go Steelers! Here we go!