Steelers vs. Bengals: Tomlin Tuesday


It’s Bengals week! The Steelers face division rival Cincinnati this weekend and there’s a little added kick to this game with the Steelers trying to hand the Bengals their first loss of the season. Not your typical AFC North showdown.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin took to the podium on Tuesday afternoon to review the previous game, update injury statuses, preview the upcoming game and answer questions. Tomlin started off fairly quickly in the presser to address that Ben Roethlisberger will start the practice week off with the intentions on playing on Sunday.

"“Ben will be preparing this week and preparing to play. We don’t have any reservations or limitations about his availability. We will keep an eye on him as he participates in practice this week to make sure there are no negative reactions to that practice participation. But as I sit here today, we’re comfortable with where he is and his availability for this week. We’re going to need him, obviously.” – Mike Tomlin"

So that takes care of that. With regards to the loss to the Chiefs Tomlin explained that the loss came down to a few plays that the Steelers failed to execute that did them in and must be corrected going forward.

"“The game really kind of boiled down to a couple of plays on both sides of the ball. A couple plays that we made in prior weeks we didn’t make on Sunday in Kansas City, on possession downs, specifically.” – Mike Tomlin"

The Steelers were did in aside from the turnovers on third downs, both not converting them on the offensive side of the ball and not getting off of the field on the defensive side of the ball. The Steelers’ offense was 2 of 10 on third downs and the majority of those downs were short-yardage.

On the defensive side of the ball the Steelers got the Chiefs to 3rd and 10’s but allowed conversions and had specific trouble with the tight end, Travis Kelce. Tomlin acknowledged that the team has to work on getting tight ends jammed up as they’ve had difficulties so far this season in that area.

When discussing facing the undefeated Bengals Tomlin explained that tight end Tyler Eifert is going to be a specific challenge for this Steelers defense.

"“Tyler Eifert is their talented young tight end. He is a big and easy target to throw to. He is a vertical receiving threat for a tight end. They can displace him from the core. He can play in a two-point stance, and stretch the field vertically, running routes like a receiver. We’ve had our issues, obviously. We are working to minimize some of the top tight ends we have faced this year, whether it’s Rob Gronkowski, Kelce or Antonio Gates. We’ll be working hard to minimize Eifert’s impact on the game.” – Mike Tomlin"

As far as an injury update with players not named Ben Roethlisberger the news is up and down which is typical for this time of the season.

"“Terence Garvin had a knee repair surgery. He injured his knee in practice on Friday, and we really didn’t know the extent of that until Saturday. He got it fixed, and he’ll be out for a couple of weeks, I’m sure, with an MCL sprain. Will Gay would be limited at the early portions of the week, and we’ll let that be our guide in terms of his availability. He’s got a shoulder contusion that occurred in-game.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin explained that injured players who missed last Sunday’s game like Stephon Tuitt, Will Allen and Michael Vick will have a chance to work back this week in practice. He didn’t have any updates on the long-term “list-guys” like Mike Adams or Maurkice Pouncey and added that Antwon Blake is managing his thumb well and Ryan Shazier had no negative reactions to playing last week.

Tomlin was asked about Pouncey’s status with regards to having a second surgery as his girlfriend had apparently posted social media posts indicating that Pouncey had surgery.

"“I’m not playing the Pouncey social media game. I have no announcements regarding any of those list guys. Whether it’s Maurkice Pouncey or Mike Adams, or anybody else on any obscure lists.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin described that the quarterback situation isn’t reshuffled or reorganized at this point just yet and wouldn’t commit to saying with Roethlisberger back that Landry Jones would be the backup quarterback.

Tomlin noted that cornerback Brandon Boykin could be called upon this weekend if William Gay is unavailable to play with his shoulder injury.

"“I’m comfortable with him, if called upon. If Will Gay is not available to us, we’ll expect him to be a positive contributor to our efforts. He was in many instances last Sunday.” – Mike Tomlin"

The Steelers have reduced their penalties from last season when penalties are up all over the NFL. Tomlin was asked about how the Steelers went about practicing discipline to reduce their penalties, whether it was something done at training camp or not.

"“No. We just recognize the state we’re in and what is required to win games, particularly, when you’re missing significant components of your group. Our philosophical approach that we’ve taken the last several weeks without Ben is that we need to take care of the football and get turnovers. We didn’t need to be a highly-penalized group. Largely, we were able to do those things. We weren’t able to do the turnover element of it a week ago. That’s one of the central reasons why we weren’t able to win in Kansas City. Largely, we’ve been placing emphasis on what’s required for us to win and penalties can’t be a part of it. You can’t defeat yourself when you’re working at less-than ideal circumstances. We utilized officials at practice, and I think that’s helped us some.” – Mike Tomlin"

Tomlin noted there was an issue with missed tackling in the loss against Kansas City but didn’t rely on the fact that there can’t be live tackling and the limitations on padded practices during the regular season as an excuse.

The presser ended with Tomlin being asked where does the saying “the standard is the standard” come from.

"“I don’t know. I don’t think a lot about the things I say, to be honest with you. I’m just trying to use words that vividly capture the imagination of our guys, so they remember the messages, have it somehow ingrained in their minds, so they can make it come alive inside stadiums on the grass. By whatever means we get that done, I’m for it. If they somehow parody the things I say, or we say, that means it’s getting home. That’s what we seek.” – Mike Tomlin"

Well alright then. Bring on the Bengals!

Obviously Count = 13

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

Here we go Steelers! Here we go!

Next: Steelers weekly power rankings

More from Still Curtain