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lamberts-lost-tooth
12-24-2008, 04:58 AM
Tomlin: 'We're playing to win'
By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, December 24, 2008


He didn't provide as memorable a sound bite as Herm Edwards did a couple of years back when the then-New York Jets coach said, "You play to win the game!"

But Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was just as emphatic Tuesday at his weekly news conference.

Four different times, Tomlin said: "We're playing" - even though the Steelers (11-4), who have already clinched a division title and the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs, could use Sunday's game against the Browns as an opportunity to rest key players and protect them from injury.

Only one starter, Ryan Clark, has been ruled out for the 1 p.m. game at Heinz Field. The veteran free safety re-injured his right shoulder in the Steelers' 31-14 loss last Sunday at Tennessee.

Barring a setback this week in practice, Tomlin is planning on playing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (sprained ankle) and outside linebacker James Harrison (hip pointer), even though both are nursing injuries.

The two will be limited in practice this week, Tomlin said, but each is expected to start Sunday.

"We're playing to win," Tomlin said. "That's what the NFL is all about. A winning performance puts an exclamation point on what's been a solid regular season and moves us into the playoffs in a good frame of mind."

The Steelers have earned a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs and won't play again after Sunday until the second weekend in January. One of sports' age-old questions is what is best for a team that does not have to win its regular-season finale but has significant time off before its first playoff game.

"You look at it like, OK, you want to rest guys, but you don't want to get out of sync," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said. "I want to play. I don't want to get two, three weeks off before you actually get hit again. I think we need to go in on a good note as far as going out and executing our game plan."

When asked if he will pull some of his starters during Sunday's game because the Steelers cannot improve their playoff position, Tomlin simply said, "Wow" and did not answer the question.

Last year, Tomlin rested several key starters, including Roethlisberger, in the Steelers' final regular-season game. The Steelers, who had already wrapped up the division title and the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs, lost to the Ravens in Baltimore and then in an AFC wild-card game the following week.

Tomlin said he did not take what happened last year into account when deciding how he plans to approach Sunday's game.

The Steelers want to accomplish some of the goals they set before the season. One of those goals, Tomlin said, was to sweep every team in the AFC North. The Steelers can do that with a 10th consecutive victory over the Browns, who are 4-11 and have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league this season.

"When you want to be the kind of team that we aspire to be," Tomlin said, "it starts with dominating our division."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_604250.html

Galax Steeler
12-24-2008, 05:52 AM
This is a good thing play to win and carry the momentum into the playoffs if they go into the playoffs on a loosing note who knows what might happen if we win it will keep these boys hyped up and ready to play.

markymarc
12-24-2008, 07:57 AM
While I do agree Ben needs to play at least the first half, I really think Harrison deserves a rest. This guy has been playing defense and special teams full borg. Give him a rest until our first playoff game.

stillers4me
12-24-2008, 08:35 AM
I get a completely different feeling from Tomlin this year. Last year, we went into the playoffs as the walking wounded and I think even he knew our chances were slim.

This year, he's like a tiger stalking his prey, it's so close he can smell it. Let's hope the players have the same focus.

HometownGal
12-24-2008, 08:45 AM
I get a completely different feeling from Tomlin this year. Last year, we went into the playoffs as the walking wounded and I think even he knew our chances were slim.

This year, he's like a tiger stalking his prey, it's so close he can smell it. Let's hope the players have the same focus.

:applaudit: :applaudit::thumbsup:

While I would much prefer going into the playoffs with a rested Ben and Harrison, I'm going to do what I always have done and trust our HC's plan. The Brownies are going to come at us full throttle and we've got to be ready for 'em and hopefully carry the momentum from a win into the playoffs after a week of rest. :tt02:

stlrtruck
12-24-2008, 09:44 AM
And to think back how many fans were upset with his hiring two years ago.

Proving once again, the Rooney's knew what they were doing and what we were getting when they hired Tomlin!

Dino 6 Rings
12-24-2008, 10:25 AM
"Hello, You Play to Win The Game"

He he he!

tony hipchest
12-24-2008, 10:31 AM
"When you want to be the kind of team that we aspire to be," Tomlin said, "it starts with dominating our division."ooooh... bulletin board material for the browns. thats anthony smiths job.

"fire tomlin!" :chuckle:

revefsreleets
12-24-2008, 11:03 AM
He'll pull these guys in the 2nd half, though. It is, after all, just the Browns.

TackleMeBen
12-24-2008, 11:05 AM
Tomlin: 'We're playing to win'
has he been talking to herm?? You Play To Win the GAME!!!

stillers4me
12-24-2008, 11:08 AM
He'll pull these guys in the 2nd half, though. It is, after all, just the Browns.

That's what I'm hoping for. I'm just afraid that we'll be playing so vanilla, that the game will look closer that it really is. Just go out full force, smack them in the face and then ride out the second half with Byron and the second string. Byron can more than handle the Browns.

TackleMeBen
12-24-2008, 11:14 AM
then ride out the second half with Byron and the second string. Byron can more than handle the Browns.

if byron cant handle the browns, then he doesnt need to be playing in the NFL..lol

CanadianSteel
12-24-2008, 11:16 AM
IMO...You can still play to win the game while giving some needed rest to key starters...

markymarc
12-25-2008, 05:49 PM
After the Titans game, Tomlin is just looking for anything positive going into the playoffs. I would be very surprised to see a lot of our starters playing after the first half. Still think Harrison should be given the day off.