Steelers vs. Bengals: Tomlin Tuesday
By Kim Myers
The Steelers face quite possibly their most important game of the season this Sunday and head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media on Tuesday to provide insight on the matchup.
Tomlin took to the podium in his usual spot to review the previous game, update injury statuses, preview the upcoming game and answer questions.
Tomlin began in review of Sunday night’s 45-10 win over the Colts by praising the defense, saying it was the most significant part of the win for the defense to hold the Colts so early even after the Steelers turned the ball over.
"“I thought the most significant part of the game was us standing up in the face of adversity.” – Mike Tomlin"
While there is no denying that the Steelers certainly had an offensive explosion against the Colts, the defensive performance after the disappointing loss to Seattle is what Tomlin hopes the team can build off of as they move towards facing the first place Bengals.
"“Hopefully that performance can be a catalyst for us this week.” – Mike Tomlin"
The injury statuses were up and down based on how you look at it. Heath Mille can return to practice this week while William Gay is in the league’s concussion protocol.
"“Heath Miller has a chance this week. Like last week, we’ll gauge his practice participation and the quality of that participation in determining his availability with his rib injury. Will Gay is in the concussion protocol. I don’t have an update on that. We’ll follow the regular procedure in terms of determining his availability. Sean Spence’s availability will be determined on his ability to practice, or how much he practices on that hamstring. Matt Spaeth could be limited early in the week and maybe even affected from an availability standpoint depending on how his knee looks. I know there was some soreness following the game.” – Mike Tomlin"
When gearing towards previewing the Bengals there’s no denying that this year’s Bengals team is a very good regular-season team. (Overall team judgment is held until a playoff game is actually won by them this century) Even Tomlin can’t deny the Bengals are a hard-to-beat team.
"“There is no secret why these guys are 10-2. They’re a really solid, balanced football team.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin provided a pretty good Tomlinism when describing Bengals all-purpose receiver Mohamed Sanu.
"“Sanu is a Swiss army knife – if you will. He’s capable of doing a lot of things.” – Mike Tomlin"
When talking about the Bengals defense Tomlin complimented the fact that the defense doesn’t rely on tricks or disguises but, “kills you with fundamentals.”
He did, whether consciously or unconsciously continued to mispronounce Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s last name. He kept calling him “Berflect”. Burfict, you’ll remember was the player that put the hit on Le’Veon Bell that landed him on IR for the remainder of the season.
Many Steelers players took umbrage with the fact that Burfict was celebrating immediately after the hit when it was obvious that Bell was injured. Who can say whether Tomlin’s mispronunciation was a subtle dig or not?
The first question was regarding return man Jacoby Jones, who is apparently still on the roster after fumbling twice in the Colts game before ultimately being benched. Tomlin was asked if Jones would be returning kicks any time soon.
"“I think the depth chart clearly reflects that Jones is a backup this week. We’ll proceed with that in mind as we prepare. We’ll get Markus Wheaton ready to return kickoffs, and Antonio Brown and Wheaton as punt returners, and we’ll see where that takes us.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin also noted that with Jones in the backup role there is a chance that rookie receiver Sammie Coates will be active for the game against Cincy.
When asked about the performance of Brandon Boykin Tomlin praised him and the rest of the secondary for positively adjusting to the redistribution of snaps for the guys.
"“I thought his performance was good. Alignment and communication is not an issue with him. He appears to be a bright guy and has done a nice job of fitting in in that regard. I thought he did a nice job with the snaps that he had, and we’ll continue with that as we’re moving forward.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin was asked if he approves of Antonio Brown’s touchdown celebrations and he reiterated that the only thing that concerns him about Brown’s celebrations is making sure Brown continues to get into the end zone.
Next: Steelers team quotes and comments
With that we prepare for the Bengals. The Steelers return to the practice field on Wednesday.
Obviously Count = 2
You can listen to Tomlin’s entire presser right here.
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!