View Full Version : Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's take

11-02-2011, 06:54 AM
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's take
By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin weighs in on a number of issues heading into his team's game this week:

On the defense in the red zone:

"There are some areas of improvement, especially to beat good people. ... We can't be 2 of 5 in the red area and expect to be consistently good. Defensively, I don't like the way we took the field under certain change conditions. We're at the turn. We've got to narrow our focus with what's in front of us with our preparation."

On the recent play of rookie cornerback Cortez Allen:

"He's a tough guy to get away from on the practice field. Usually, that's the kind of thing that grabs our attention. He has distinguished himself ... and he's played well on special teams. That formula usually leads us to giving them defensive opportunities, and that's been the case with him."

On Baltimore's defense forcing turnovers:

"They are slaying people, and we are a part of that. We contributed seven (turnovers in season opener). They are very rarely out of place. They have talented people at every level of their defense. They're the best in the world right now. Needless to say, it's cause for concern. I'm not ready to put us in the conversation with the Baltimore Ravens' defense. We aren't even close in terms of what they are doing maybe statistically, but not the way they're generating splash plays (and turnovers).

On watching Ravens-Arizona Cardinals before kickoff Sunday:

"We had that game on a little bit in the locker room having to play at 4:15. I don't think there was a man in our locker room who thought they were going to lose that football game. They are competitors, and you knew they would come storming back, and they did. Great teams have lulls, but the reality is they are built to win.

On team's dominance in time of possession against New England:

"We have to realize we did a nice job of winning on third down. And that had a lot to do with time of possession as well.

On William Gay and Keenan Lewis in pass coverage:

"They haven't been out of place and they have challenged throws. They have done a nice job, but we're not surprised by that. We expect those kinds of contributions from them."

On getting fired up for the rematch with the Ravens:

"We've got enough motivating us. It's starting to get some clarity in terms of some of these things. We are living in the here and now. We don't have to manufacture anything."

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11-02-2011, 07:10 AM
NFL from the sidelines
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard as a sometime host on ESPN 970-AM. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Tueday with Tomlin (Baltimore edition)

Mike Tomlin declared just one person out for Sunday's game against Baltimore - guard Doug Legursky.

As expected, Tomlin said linebacker James Harrison has been cleared to practice and that his status, along with that of LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior and Jason Worilds would be determined later in the week.

But that was purely coach speak.

More realistically, Worilds is the only player expected to return and the Steelers aren't sure what they are going to get from him since he has very little playing experience.

More telling was Tomlin's statement that the Steelers might have to line up with a four-man defensive line - though you can assume if they do that, Brett Keisel may do so as a stand-up end, sometimes dropping into coverage.

New to the injury list this week is wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who has a left knee issue.

Sanders is also dealing with the death of his mother.

Hines Ward could return this week after sitting out against New England with an ankle injury.