Steelers vs. Seahawks: Tomlin Tuesday
By Kim Myers
The Steelers return from their bye to take on the Seattle Seahawks and head coach Mike Tomlin breaks down the matchup for us.
The Steelers are the only AFC team with at least six wins that isn’t leading their own division. Basically it’s the undefeated Patriots, the 8-2 Broncos and Bengals and a bunch of 5-5 or worse teams which puts the Steelers in prime position coming off of their bye week with a healthy team.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin took to the podium on Tuesday to review the bye week, update injury statuses, preview the upcoming game and answer questions.
The best news out of the presser is the health of the team at this point in the season. After suffering season-ending losses for Shaun Suisham and Le’Veon Bell and having to play games without Ben Roethlisberger the team is relatively healthy at this point.
"“Matt Spaeth appears to be the only guy who had an injury prior to the bye that we’re monitoring in terms of practice participation. He did practice on Monday. It’ll be good to make decisions regarding helmet availability based on how we want to utilize people as opposed to injury. That’s a positive.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin explained the benefits to the bye week were to give rest to the “elderly” and give extra practice time to the young guys.
The Steelers play four of their final six games on the road while trying to secure a playoff spot so it’s more important than ever for Tomlin to keep the team focused on the task at hand. There’s no time to look ahead and what is down the road or rest on what has been accomplished so far. There’s still work to be done.
"“I always want to provide that clarity for the guys as we come out of the bye. We’re in the thick of things. We understand that. We’re not where we desire to be. We could be better. We could be worse. The reality is we know we need to be focused on the task at hand. We don’t need to be looking outside of our stadiums.” – Mike Tomlin"
In previewing the upcoming game against the Seattle Seahawks Tomlin explained the main objective will be to stop Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks lead the league in rushing and even without Marshawn Lynch in the game they still pose a threat on the ground thanks to Wilson.
On the other side of the ball the Steelers will look to improve their own rushing game after a stifled performance against the Browns in Week 10. The Steelers can definitely lean on DeAngelo Williams to lead the way on the ground which will only benefit Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game.
Tomlin explained that he’s not interested in developing or experimenting with the other running backs on the team right now like Jordan Todman and Isaiah Pead, not while Williams is running so well and everything is on the line.
"“It’s going to take us all to meet this week’s challenge. I mean what I say when I’m talking about we need to be singularly focused on this week’s challenge. I’m not worried about down the road. Down the road will get you beat this week. We need to focus on how we can utilize (Todman and Pead) and combinations of them to meet this week’s challenge and there’s enough in this week’s challenge to justify that conversation and consideration.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin also offered no updates on Maurkice Pouncey or Mike Adams. Both are on short-term IR and there hasn’t been any statuses provided on either of them for several weeks. It’s still unclear if Pouncey could return at all this season.
As far as the kick and punt return game, the job is still Jacoby Jones’ for the time being. Although he’s had less than impressive results so far Tomlin obviously feels he offers the best options in the return game.
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The Steelers will have their work cut out for them as they travel to the west coast where they’ve been notoriously underwhelming in recent years. They did snag a victory in San Diego earlier this season so hopefully the tides have turned on the Steelers’ west coast luck.
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You can listen to Tomlin’s entire presser right here.
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!