The Steelers are gearing up to host the Dolphins for the Wild Card Game.
Before the team kicks off the 2016 NFL playoffs against the Miami Dolphins coach Mike Tomlin has to recap the regular season finale against the Browns, update any injury statuses, break down the Dolphins matchup and answer questions.
It certainly wasn’t an ideal performance considering that the team had to go into overtime to knock off the hapless Browns. The game ended in a win so ultimately, that’s all that counts.
Tomlin summed up Landry Jones’ performance as “pretty good” which is pretty accurate. He wasn’t great but he definitely turned it on for that final drive to win the game. Tomlin also praised the efforts of veterans like DeAngelo Williams and Darrius Heyward-Bey.
He explained that it was good to get positive reps out of some guys and ultimately get the win.
Tomlin was positive about most of the injuries and talked about several guys having a chance to return from injuries including Sammie Coates, Xavier Grimble, Stephon Tuitt, Anthony Chickillo, and Robert Golden.
Tomlin was encouraging about tight end Ladarius Green, although he explained that he’s still in the NFL’s concussion protocol, that he could be available this week.
Ricardo Matthews left Sundays’ game against the Browns with a shoulder injury as well as Vince Williams and Justin Gilbert. All three guys are battling shoulder injuries that could sideline them against the Dolphins.
Breaking down Miami
Tomlin didn’t beat around the bush when it comes to the Dolphins and how the game went against this team in Week 6. Jay Ajayi ran for over 200 yards against Pittsburgh in a 30-15 loss which means that the defensive line got beat badly and was controlled by the Miami offensive line.
"Here we have Tomlin’s Wild Card Game Tomlinism when describing how to deal with a rematch against Ajayi he says that it is important to not treat his 200+ yard performance against them as a “lightning strike”."
When breaking down the Dolphins defense Tomlin compared them to the makeup of the Cincinnati Bengals defense and if that’s how they play this Sunday then Pittsburgh has got it made. There’s no way a Bengals-style team doesn’t fall apart during a playoff game.
There’s another notable change to this rematch from the last game in that this one won’t be a Pouncey vs. Pouncey matchup. Maurkice Pouncey’s twin brother, Mike Pouncey, is on IR with the Dolphins with a hip injury.
Tomlin was asked about how he went about his decisions to sit or play certain players last week and he reminded everyone how the numbers really limited the decision as well as the actual desire to win the game.
The team wasn’t going to go out on the field with the intentions of giving one up to Cleveland so because of that and because only seven guys total could sit down he had to play guys like Ryan Shazier and Lawrence Timmons.
Tomlin attributed poor tackling to the reason why the Browns were allowed to hang around so long as week.
When asked about whether offensive coordinator Todd Haley had been contacted about any head coaching opportunities Tomlin declined to entertain the idea, calling it ‘hypothetical crap’ and reminded everyone that they have a game to play.
Who would have thought after all of the “Blame Haley” nonsense we went through that Tomlin would be fielding legit questions about Haley being offered head coaching opportunities?
Tomlin was asked about how he thinks the Miami Dolphins might be ready to face the below freezing temperatures that are expected for Sunday’s game. He responded by saying that there are probably more players on his team from the state of Florida than are actually on the Dolphins team.
I surely can’t comment on playing in NFL stadiums but as far as sitting in the stands I’ve sat in an NFL stadium in September in Florida and in January in Pittsburgh and I’d take January in Pittsburgh any day of the week and most definitely twice on Sunday.
There’s no joy in watching football outside but feeling like you’re in a friggin sauna.
Tomlin amped it up for the post season, I caught 6 Obviously’s in Tuesday’s presser.
Bring on the Dolphins! Here we go Steelers! Here we go!