View Full Version : Steelers: Tomlin talks about improving run game against Bears

09-15-2009, 08:30 PM
Steelers: Tomlin talks about improving run game against Bears
September 15, 8:28 PMPittsburgh Sports Examiner
Matt Pawlikowski

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on the sidelines during an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans, in Pittsburgh. Only one game into the season, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is dealing with a running game that can't run and the likely loss of one of the NFL's best defensive players for most of the first half of the season. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

PITTSBURGH - There are some coaches in the NFL who worry about what other teams in their division or around the league are doing.

Not so in the case of Steeler coach Mike Tomlin.

“I really don't care what other teams are doing, believe it or not I didn't watch much football this weekend," Tomlin said on Tuesday. “I focus on the Pittsburgh Steelers, who we are playing, we are preparing to play and all that other stuff is kind of window dressing when you are taking care of your business. I tend to focus on our own.”

But, he wasn't afraid to offer some insight into this week’s opponent.

“We have a big challenge for us as a football team this week, the first opportunity to go into a hostile environment and play a very good football team in the Chicago Bears,” Tomlin said “They are rock solid across the board, and we excited about getting better this week and going to face those challenges.”

Interestingly, while the Steelers will be without Troy Polamalu, who is a key cog in the play of the defensive unit, the Bears will be without their heart and soul on defense, Brian Urlacher who broke his wrist on Sunday night against the Packers and is out for the year.

The Steelers have had success without Polamalu in the lineup over the years, while the Bears have had problems when their stud player is sidelined. Tomlin doesn't expect things to change even without Urlacher on the field.

“Injuries are a part of football, I'm sure they’d prefer to play with Urlacher, they are going to have to find ways to be successful without him,” Tomlin said. “Similarly we'd prefer to play with Troy, we are going to have to find ways to play without him, but that is the story of the National Football League, I'm sure they will uphold the standard like we intend to.”

While Polamalu said he would not need surgery yesterday, Tomlin confirmed this and also provided an update on Lawrence Timmons, who has been nursing a high ankle injury.

“Troy's knee injury will not require surgery, it’s really a week to week thing as we progress from here on out” Tomlin said. “Then of course the only other injury of note is Lawrence Timmons and we are hoping he is able to get some work here and pushing towards game readiness as we move throughout the week.”

One thing that was noticeably absent from the opener against the Titans was the rush attack, which tallied a miserable 36 yards, not exactly Steeler football.

“We have to get better in that area as a football team for one reason and one reason only, that increases our chances of winning,” Tomlin said. “That is what we are about, putting ourselves in a position to win. We acknowledge that we continue along those lines from a run game standpoint that it helps us in that regard.”

Although he did not make excuses for the play of Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore, Tomlin did offer an explanation as to why it is hard to get the running game going in the early season.

“I believe particularly with September football, people make a commitment to stopping the run,” Tomlin said. "Its easier to make the commitment in September when everyone feels good and you have all the horses in the stable. I think over the course of the long haul you see who is good at it week in and week out.”

So what do the Steelers need to do to beat the Bears in a stadium that over the years has been unkind to the black and gold? Tomlin as usual was political with his assessment and praised the Bears coaching staff in doing so.

“We are just going to play our game and look at what they are providing us schematically,” Tomlin said. “A lot of those guys grew up in the same football school that I grew up in, talking about their coaches over there, Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli and others. They are going to ask those guys to play to standard as well. So they are going to play well, we just have to be prepared to play better.”

Galax Steeler
09-16-2009, 03:43 AM
Ok lets get the running game going this week against the Bears. We need a good 120 yards on the ground that would be a good start for our running game.