The Steelers are ready to get back after it and Mike Tomlin is breaking it down for you.
It’s Ravens Week. Unmistakable AFC North football is coming right up. But first, coach Tomlin is here to wrap up the bye week, update the injury statuses, preview the upcoming game and answer questions.
Tomlin explained reminds us that he’s never come across a bye week that didn’t feel like it came at just the right time. He said the coaching staff used the time to do some analysis on what they had on tape so far this season.
Most importantly, the team used the week off to recover from injuries, of which there have been many so far this season. Tomlin basically hinted that center Cody Wallace was pretty much the only injured player who hadn’t really progressed from the last time he sat down.
That also means good news for none other than Ben Roethlisberger…and all of the rest of us right along with that. Tomlin called this week a “restoration opportunity” for everyone, especially the guys working back from injuries.
If Ben Roethlisberger can play this weekend then that is good news indeed. Tomlin later walked back the statement a bit by adding a more vocal “we’ll see” as a stipulation but that was pretty much implied already.
Tomlin noted that tight end Ladarius Green had begun practicing and the team has 21 days from his first day of practice to either activate him from the PUP list or keep him there for the remainder of the year. He’s been pleasantly surprised with both Green’s fitness level as well as his ability to pick up the playbook so far.
Tomlin reminded everyone how tough these games can be between the AFC North rivals. This time, first place in the division is on the line. Both teams are struggling, however. The Steelers are coming off of back-to-back losses prior to their bye week while the Ravens have lost the last four.
He went on to his usual talking up the defense and offense. Mostly familiar faces in this rivalry like Joe Flacco, Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith while a new face, Mike Wallace, comes back into the rotation. This time, Wallace is in purple.
After robbing the Dolphins and disappointing fantasy owners in Minnesota Wallace has become Flacco’s newest DPI-drawing target but Tomlin noted that Wallace might have become more than the “one trick pony” he dubbed him early on in his career.
He made sure to clarify that later in questions to make sure that it was clear that he didn’t say Wallace had improved at anything. I feel like Wallace pissed Tomlin off big time. Like he stole his yogurt out of the lunchroom refrigerator or something.
Maybe it was the special yogurt that helps you be regular and Tomlin really needed his that day.
Speaking of receivers who may or may not be in Tomlin’s dog house Eli Rogers, who didn’t play against the Patriots, is eligible to play against the Ravens and Tomlin wouldn’t admit if it was a disciplinary reason that kept him out of the game last week.
Unfortunately the Ravens defense has been everything Pittsburgh was trying to be so far this season. They’re tough against the run and they’ve been getting to the quarterback and creating turnovers. Tomlin noted how the defense has had several missed opportunities so far in the first seven games.
Overall this is a good week to get back at it. The bumps and bruises are getting better and the division can be easily won if they remain on top.
Tomlin must be looking for a new “it” phrase because he has scaled down the “Obviously” usage dramatically so far this season. I only caught one of them this week.
You can listen to the entire presser right here.
Bring on the Ravens! Here we go Steelers! Here we go!