Steelers vs. Cardinals: Tomlin Tuesday


Fresh off of their Monday Night Football victory over the San Diego Chargers Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin took to the podium on Tuesday to address the media. He gave a review of the previous game, updated injury statuses, previewed the upcoming matchup and answered questions.

Tomlin explained that the win was good for the team to go on the road and be able to bounce back from a Chargers team that was moving the ball effectively and scoring late in the game. Tomlin described the performance by the Steelers as “gritty” and that they gave it a “good fight”.

One aspect of the game that wasn’t quite as positive was the penalties called on the Steelers. The penalties called on the Special Teams caused problems for the Steelers in terms of field position.

"“Penalties in the kicking game really hurt us in field position.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin updated the injury statuses for the players who left the game with injuries. Safety Will Allen left the game with an ankle injury and will have an MRI today to evaluate the severity of the injury. Ross Ventrone also left the game with a hamstring injury and will be evaluated this week.

The good news on the injury front is that Tomlin explained that linebacker Ryan Shazier will be back this week from his shoulder injury. Also returning this week, today actually, is wide receiver Martavis Bryant. The Steelers will have to make a roster move by 4:00 pm EST to add Bryant to the active roster.

Tomlin did not have any updates on the status of Ben Roethlisberger, and said he hadn’t asked for one. Both the team and Roethlisberger himself have been adamant that they’re taking the injury week-to-week.

About the Arizona Cardinals Tomlin did acknowledge the 4-1 team is going to be a tough opponent to beat, aside from the “familiarity” angle of it.

"“The strength of their offense is in the balance. The running, the passing, the variety of the receivers.” – Mike Tomlin"

As far as the familiar-angle, obviously referring to the return of former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to play against his former team. Tomlin didn’t want to make more out of it than it needed to be.

"“Don’t want to make more out of it than should be made out of it.” – Mike Tomlin"

It really does remain to be seen who holds the advantage or disadvantage with Bruce Arians coaching on the other side of the field against the Steelers. You could argue that the Steelers have the familiarity with Arians and should be able to predict the type of game he would call. You could also argue that Arians could predict what the Steelers are going to do as well.

Keep in mind, however, that the Steelers’ offense since Arians left has been completely changed, as evidence by the last three years’ worth of comments by both Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger. On top of that, while Keith Butler isn’t exactly a stranger to Arians, it’s already obvious to Steelers fans that this ain’t you Dick LeBeau defense anymore, so Arians might not have the familiarity he might think he does.

When it comes to answering questions the Steelers coach fielded a whole lot about the decision to go for it on that final play as opposed to kicking a game-tying field goal. The whole manner in which they went for it, the wild-cat formation, the Chargers calling the timeout and then the Steelers returning immediately to the same formation showed a commitment to the play that Tomlin reiterated on Tuesday.

"“There was no hesitation. We were going to go for it. We were going to play to win. We don’t live in our fears.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin was asked about the debacle in which 18 seconds mysteriously were erased from the game clock between the Chargers last kick and the Steelers’ touchback. Tomlin deferred those questions to be handled at the executive level.

"“I’m not looking for an explanation. I’m looking at moving on.” – Mike Tomlin"

When he was asked whether or not he’d devote someone on the sidelines to monitoring the clock more closely to prevent something like this from happening again Tomlin explained that he doesn’t see the need to re-check the work of the game officials regarding the clock.

"“We’re not going to be working to do other people’s jobs. There’s a myriad of jobs that go into making a football game go. I’m not going to go check on the concessions to help out any more than I’m going to help the people who manage the clock.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin was asked about Michael Vick becoming more confident and comfortable with the playbook and would that give him the freedom to open up the playbook and call his own plays like Ben Roethlisberger does.

"“Absolutely not. Ben has been here a long time. Not only has he been here a long time, but in a lot of ways he’s been involved in the development, doctoring and alternation of that book. Mike is simply learning it. I’m not going to say that is comparable. I will say he has enough knowledge and is comfortable to play winning football for us. I know he is looking to continue to strengthen that. I imagine he will work in a similar manner this week as he did a week ago.” – Mike Tomlin"

Anyone watching the game last night couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming amount of Steelers fans in attendance at the game Could that be due to Chargers’ fan’s empathy towards the team amid moving rumors or that Steeler Nation is just large and in charge no matter where the team plays.

Mike Tomlin definitely wanted to take time to acknowledge the fans who turned out.

"“I can think of instances specifically similar (where Steelers fans outnumbered the home team fans) in Washington in 2008 and in Atlanta last year. Not to minimize those guys but those crowds stood out as really unique crowds. They energize us. I am sure it created issues for them they did not anticipate to deal with in their home venue. We have got unique support from our fans. We have come to expect it. We don’t take it for granted, but we have come to expect it. It’s unique and an awesome feeling and venue to be in.” – Mike Tomlin"

Obviously count = 13

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

On to the Cardinals! Here we go Steelers! Here we go!

Next: Steelers Week 6 NFL Power Rankings

More from Still Curtain