Coach Mike Tomlin: An unfortunate, poor performance by us, and by that I mean all of us. We coached poorly today, we played poorly today. It’s a shame given the opportunity that was in front of us, but it is what it is. We don’t seek comfort. We accept responsibility for it. Hopefully, we can make corrections and move forward because, regardless of what happens in other stadiums, if we play the way we played today it does not matter. We need to acknowledge that and I think we will. Obviously, today was a failure. We lost situational football. We didn’t convert enough third downs offensively, particularly some short yardage ones. We knew they were good in that area coming into it, but they won those situations regardless and they converted too many on defense. Just a good performance by them, a poor one by us, we accept responsibility for it, we move on.
Did you ever consider going for two after those touchdowns?
No. Until we stopped them it was going to be insignificant. I was holding the two-point plays for that reason and that reason only. Now, we still have them in our hip pocket. Those specialty plays we didn’t want to put on tape unless we had an opportunity to close the gap. As you can see, we didn’t.
Are there any connections between this game and the other games that you have lost when you were expected to win?
I hadn’t thought about it in that way. All I focused on was our poor performance today and it was that.
Since you thought the game was out of reach when you decided against going for two, did you ever give any thought to pulling QB Ben Roethlisberger out of the game?
No. I didn’t say that the game was out of hand. I said that I was going to hold it until I saw signs of us being capable of stopping them.
What factors go into whether or not you keep Roethlisberger in a game when it seems to get out of reach?
We’re competitors, as is he. We’re going to allow competitors to compete.
What did you see out of Roethlisberger today?
Physically, I thought he was fine. Obviously, we’d like to be more productive, but that’s a function of all of our efforts. I appreciate his, but it wasn’t enough today.
Was the reason for putting CB Josh Victorian into the game for CB Curtis Brown due to an injury issue?
It wasn’t an injury issue. We wanted to give Josh an opportunity. They were attacking Curtis some, particularly on third downs. He wasn’t being successful enough. We gave Josh an opportunity.
How will you address the third-down conversion issues?
We’ll do it the way we’ve always done it. We’ll simply go back to work and look at the tape tomorrow. We’ll make an effort to make our corrections. We’ll prepare for our next opportunity, but we’re not going to change the formula in which we address it or prepare. We’re too far down the road for that and it’s not broken. What is broken is our execution and performance here today.
Did Willie Colon injure the same knee that he previously injured?
Yeah, let me go down some of these things. We have some re-injury of existing injuries. Some guys were able to go back. Of course, Willie was not. Ryan Clark fell on his hip again. Emmanuel Sanders, AC joint again. Troy [Polamalu] missed a little bit of time with his Achilles again, but he was able to go back in the game as you were able to see. We’ll take a look at these tomorrow and see if any of it is long lasting but that’s the status of it those injuries here today.
Did you see anything wrong with Roethlisberger, especially early in the game?
I didn’t have any problem with his ability to throw the ball vertically or horizontally or any of those physical things. We just didn’t perform very well today collectively.
On the lateral on the goal line, were you under the impression that the call was going to be overturned?
Not that that was communicated to us, because it was not, but I just didn’t think it was a lateral to be honest with you. We run a lot of those plays. They’re forward passes. I know that the ball hit [David] Paulson in the back or wherever, but I was surprised at first that it was ruled a lateral and then surprised that it wasn’t overturned. But I’ve been surprised before.
Field position was a factor today.
It was a big factor.
Re: What you can do to overcome the tough field position:
We can convert third downs, like I said earlier, and we can stop them, particularly on initial third downs on drives. When they’re winning possession downs, they’re going to control the field position and that’s what happened, particularly in the first of this game. We didn’t convert third downs and they did. Even on drives in which they didn’t score, they converted a couple third downs and they flipped the field. That’s a function of winning possession downs.
Was there any thought they would go for a fake punt when they did?
That’s always a thought but we can’t live in our fears. We had to make a play there and we didn’t, they did and I tip my hat to those guys.