Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks about rebounding from a bad loss in Baltimore to keep their playoff hopes alive.
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The Steelers laid an egg in Baltimore last week and now have to regroup and work on beating the Browns while hoping the Buffalo Bills kill off the New York Jets’ playoff aspirations. Head coach Mike Tomlin took to the podium on Tuesday to review the previous game, update injury statuses, preview the upcoming game and answer questions.
Tomlin explained that the disappointing loss to Baltimore came down to a stat that is plain as day and that’s when the Steelers win the turnover battle, they win the game. The Steelers offense turned the ball over twice and the defense had zero takeaways.
In addition to the turnovers the Steelers defense failed to capitalize off of second and long situations and definitely didn’t capitalize off of third downs. That kept the Steelers offense on the sidelines and they certainly can’t score from there.
On the injury front the Steelers had already placed fullback Roosevelt Nix on injured reserve and Tomlin explained he will have surgery on his broken foot later this week. Cornerback Antwon Blake (back) and safety Mike Mitchell (shoulder) will be limited early in the week and their participation will depend on their progress. Additionally, the usual veterans will get their rest as typical of this time of year.
When it comes to the scenario the Steelers are now faced with after squandering the opportunity to control their own playoff destiny Tomlin spoke of a positive attitude.
"“Our attitude is a hopeful one. We also realize when things are out of your control, they’re just that. We’re going to work on the things we can control.” – Mike Tomlin"
The Steelers will be going up against the Browns, who are 4-27 against the Steelers in the past 31 games. Without knowing for certain if Johnny Manziel will be quarterbacking the Browns the Steelers will still need to prepare for his mobility and abilities to extend plays. He threw for 300+ yards in the Steelers 30-9 victory in November. Tomlin was asked about the pass rush and why the defense wasn’t more aggressive against a Ryan Mallet-led Baltimore team when Mallet had only just been signed twelve days prior to the game. He acknowledged that the 4-man rush was not “up to snuff” and they probably could have blitzed more.
"“In hindsight yes, we could have potentially blitzed more. But you don’t get hindsight in the NFL. It’s a week-to-week league and it has to be.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin also recognized that in previous games where receiver Antonio Brown was heavily covered other players such as Martavis Bryant or Markus Wheaton had stepped up whereas on Sunday they did not. However, he did think that the Brown touchdown that was reviewed and overturned should have counted as there wasn’t anything “obvious” to overturn it, which is the rule.
Tomlin was asked about his thoughts on Bills head coach Rex Ryan, who faces the New York Jets this Sunday, the team besides the Browns that are standing in the way of the Steelers and the post season.
"“Rex Ryan is a guy I consider a friend. But, no I won’t be calling him this week if that’s your next question.” – Mike Tomlin"
With that the Steelers look to “get the stench off” and get into the playoffs. First thing to do is to take care of business against the Browns, and also hope the Bills don’t sign Ryan Succop to kick for them.
Obviously Count = 10
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!