The Steelers are coming off of a commanding victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and look to do the same against the New York Jets.
The Tuesday presser is a tradition and always goes much smoother after a victory. Head coach Mike Tomlin was at the podium for his usual Tuesday role to review the previous game, update the injury statuses, preview the upcoming game and answer questions.
To sum up the 43-14 victory over the Chiefs Tomlin noted how well his team performed in their first test of adversity. Faced with coming off of a really crappy loss coupled with some key injuries the team responded about as well as one could hope for.
"“There were a lot of positives. The guys did a great job of executing, playing hard and fast together.” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin gave props to B.J. Finney for stepping in for the injured Ramon Foster. He also noted safety Jordan Dangerfield and commended him for his tackling and for not being out of place. He was encouraged by the efforts of both Artie Burns and Justin Gilbert.
He explained that Burns is doing a good job so far of making up for the time he lost while he was injured in the preseason.
Tomlin commended the special teams unit again and remarked about how all of the units did their job in ensuring the victory. The offense came out firing and the rest of the team matched the intensity. He commented on how the early lead made that possible.
"“22-0 was a good wave to ride on.” – Mike Tomlin"
As far as the injuries are concerned there is plenty to be concerned about. In addition to those already injured there were several additional injuries sustained in Sunday night’s victories.
Tomlin noted that some guys can be considered “highly questionable” while others are just “questionable”.
Marcus Gilbert is considered highly questionable while Ryan Harris is just regular questionable. Cody Wallace, Senquez Golson and Eli Rogers are all already ruled out of Sunday’s game. Roosevelt Nix is day-to-day while Ramon Foster, Robert Golden and Ryan Shazier all have a chance to return.
"Here’s where we get our first Tomlinism of the week: “We’re going to let the totality of today’s rehabilitation be our guide.” – Mike Tomlin"
That roughly translates to if they’re not practicing by Friday then they’re not playing on Sunday.
Turning towards the New York Jets Tomlin couldn’t help but note how much they’ve been turning the ball over lately but also cautioned against taking anyone on the team for granted. No matter how much Darrelle Revis has been burned so far this season you can’t just forget that he’s on the field.
The Steelers also have to be on the lookout for former Pittsburgh defensive tackle Steve McLendon. Tomlin also noted that they’ll have to focus on containing running back Matt Forte, a back that Tomlin said Le’Veon Bell reminded him of when scouting Bell out of college.
To answer question Tomlin noted that he wasn’t going to go into the division of labor for who might be at what positions based on the number of injuries. It was discovered that safety Sean Davis, who dressed but did not play Sunday night, is healthy.
We’ll have to see what contributions Davis makes this week.
When asked about his preference on the defensive performances from the first two games that only allowed two touchdowns but just one sack as opposed to Sunday night’s which got Alex Smith down three times Tomlin explained that it’s not all about sacks.
"“Our defense is defined more than by sacks.” – Mike Tomlin"
He cited their strengths against the run and rush attempts that have been consistent.
Tomlin also provided another Tomlinism, an oldie but a goodie when describing how well the offense performed.
"Tomlinism: “We were thoughtfully non-rhythmic” – Mike Tomlin"
Tomlin also gushed about having the opportunity to have Hall of Famer Kevin Greene honored during the game as well as speak to the team beforehand.
He described how Greene “is a Steeler” even though during his long NFL career he only spent three seasons in Pittsburgh. He sees that same trait in guys like Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Mitchell and DeAngelo Williams. These guys just get it.
When asked about if he feels the need to discourage Antonio Brown from his touchdown celebrations Tomlin only noted that he felt they need some clarity from the NFL on what is and isn’t allowed based on what Brown has been flagged for while other players around the league aren’t.
He noted that Brown does not want his celebrations to be a negative thing or even a distraction but wants to entertain and engage with the crowd.
Tomlin was asked about the gang-tackle on Ben Roethlisberger and whether he thought there should have been a whistle and/or flag on that play and he replied that he thought the whistle should’ve come sooner.
The team faces a similar task this week to get ready for an opponent knowing there will be a lot of injuries to compensate for. I don’t know about you guys but I’m getting the feeling like as long as Roethlisberger, Brown and Bell are all healthy this team can take on just about anybody.
You can listen to Tomlin’s entire presser right here.
Obviously = 4
Bring on the Jets! Here we go Steelers! Here we go!