Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin will be among the speakers at the NFL Career Development Symposium, May 6-8, at the Wharton School of Business.
The symposium, which will be attended by 64 assistant coaches and front office executives representing each NFL team, will serve as educational and inspirational tools for those aspiring to become an NFL head coach or general manager. There will be speeches, panel discussions and networking opportunities during the three days.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to address the symposium,” said Tomlin. “I really believe it’s a worthwhile program. I came up through the ranks as someone who was involved in it. I am looking forward to these guys taking the lessons learned and seeing them implementing in their professional careers.”
Included in the symposium will be sessions on: “Expectations of Leadership,” “Player Health and Safety,” “Managing Key Relationships,” “Brand Building/Media Training,” and “Developing and Describing Your ‘90-Day Plan.’”
“We are pleased to offer this program to provide a diverse group of coaching and front office talent with the tools and networking opportunities to take the next step in their careers,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “This symposium will help develop our coaching and front office pipeline and build on the progress we have made over the past decade.”
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Steelers’ Coach Mike Tomlin and his wife Kiya were honored on Friday by the Chuck Cooper Foundation with the Career Achievement in Leadership Diversity and Community Service Award. Tomlin was unable to attend the luncheon because of the NFL Scouting Combine, but Kiya accepted on their behalf.
The Chuck Cooper Foundation was set up to honor the legacy of Cooper, the first African-American drafted by the NBA. Cooper, who attended Pittsburgh’s Westinghouse High School, was selected by the Boston Celtics in the second round in 1950.
The Foundation’s goal is to help further the education of students in the Pittsburgh area, something that is a passion for the Tomlin family as well.
“It’s humbling,” said Mike Tomlin prior to leaving for the NFL Combine. “It’s not the type of recognition that we seek. We appreciate it, but we just feel like we are doing what we are called to do. We are greatly blessed personally and professionally and giving back goes with that.”
With three children being raised in Pittsburgh, they strive to make the city and the educational system better not just for their own kids, but for others.
“We want to help out not only for myself living and working here, but we are the parents of three kids and Pittsburgh is a significant portion of their upbringing,” said Tomlin. “As members of the community it’s our job to make it the very best that we can make it for them and others.”
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Coach Tomlin: Tough football game. Nip and tuck. The difference is obviously that we didn’t find a significant play, particularly in the waning moments and in any of the three phases to be the difference, to put points on the board and allow us to get out of the stadium with the win. We accept responsibility for our performance, but we also tip our hat to those guys. They did enough to win the football game. On the injury front, Ziggy Hood had a lower back, Isaac Redman sustained a concussion, Baron Batch had a foot injury and Jerricho Cotchery has a rib injury that’s being evaluated. Some other bumps and bruises that are being evaluated, nothing definitive at this point. I’d be happy to answer any questions.
Re: QB Byron Leftwich’s performance:
I thought it was griddy. We knew that this was going to be a Baltimore-Steelers type football game. It was going to be nip and tuck. I thought it was great. Obviously, not enough plays by him or by any of the rest of us to secure victory.
Did Baltimore do anything special to block on the punt return for a touchdown?
No, it was a good effort by him. They did a nice job, they double-viced our gunners there and when they do that, the tackle has to come from the core of the punt formation and it didn’t, but nice execution by them. Obviously, a significant football play.
Re: The lack of third down conversions:
It’s a Steelers-Ravens game. They didn’t convert any either. We expected this to be a net punting type game and a significant play was going to swing it. Unfortunately for us, they provided a significant play with the punt return.
Did you think Leftwich had that type of long-run capability?
[Laughs] I don’t think he did either, but we’ll take it. Nice effort.
Re: The two early timeouts in the second half:
The play clock was running down so, obviously, it was confusing.
Re: Using the last timeout before the two-minute warning:
We were hoping we were going to get a stop there and I think we had an offsides or something. We wanted to get a stop there, stop the time, have them in a long yardage situation and maybe encourage them to throw the football. But that didn’t transpire.
Re: Ben Roethlisberger being an active leader on the sidelines:
He didn’t do anything any other quarterback wouldn’t do. Charlie [Batch] does a nice job, Byron does a nice job when Ben’s playing. We expect those guys to be active participants in adjustments and communication, particularly on the sideline and during timeouts.
How close were you to having Charlie Batch come in when Leftwich was being evaluated for a rib injury?
I wasn’t. Obviously, he sustained some hits but that’s football, particularly when you’re talking about this matchup. He did a nice job of communicating where he was and, more than anything, we just wanted to do a nice job of communicating.
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For a man who eats, breathes and sleeps football, a man who has put football ahead of other things in his life, a man who treats the game like it’s his first love, having it taken away from him the last two years has been challenging for Steelers guard Willie Colon.
Colon suffered a torn Achilles before the 2010 season, bringing his season to an abrupt and disappointing end before it even got started.
He worked his tail off to get back on the field for the 2011 season opener against the Baltimore Ravens and was proud of how far he had come and excited to be playing again. But it didn’t last long. He tore his triceps muscle against the Ravens, and for the second-straight year found himself on injured reserve.
“The second time was the hardest,” said Colon. “As a player you think you are going to have only one big injury in your career. I thought that was it. I had a good camp, week one I felt good in Baltimore. I was back in the groove.
“When I tore my triceps I didn’t think about it. I knew it hurt but at the same time it was a normal football injury. When (athletic trainer) John Norwig told me I was going to be out again that was the hardest. I thought I was done with injuries. It was heart breaking.”
Colon couldn’t help but ask himself, why me? What have I done to deserve this?
“That is the number one question. You wonder who you ticked off,” said Colon. “The toughest thing in life is to accept reality. I realized this is my reality and I can either cry about it or get back on the horse and get better and work from it. That is how I approached it, every day getting better and staying positive.”
What Colon did was get right back on the horse and not only fought back from the second injury, but made the switch from tackle to guard while doing so.
And on Tuesday he was honored for his hard work and perseverance when he received the Steelers 2012 Ed Block Courage Award, voted on by his teammates and presented annually to a Steelers player who has fought back from an injury or tough situation to return to the field. Colon and Sheakia Edwards, an alumnus of Holy Family Institute who won the Courage House Award, received their awards at the 20th Arthur J Rooney, Sr. Courage House Luncheon
“He has been through a lot on and off the field, obviously dealing with an injury two years in a row,” said Coach Mike Tomlin, who presented the award to Colon. “You couple that with the position change. This guy has been playing tackle for us since I came here and this year not only is he coming off an injury, he has been playing left guard. It tells you what type of man and teammate he is. I called him and gave him that news and he didn’t bat an eye. As a matter of fact he thanked me for believing in him, that he could do that job. That is the kind of man Willie Colon is. I am not going to stand in front of you and pretend that he is a nice guy, but he is a good man.”
Colon thanked those that helped him through the last few years, including Tomlin, offensive line coach Sean Kugler, the Rooney family, his teammates and trainers, and his family, who were in attendance after being stranded in Pittsburgh by Hurricane Sandy.
“Coach Tomlin tells us that’s reality is real,” said Colon. “As much as that sounds crazy, you have to accept reality. My reality was I was hurt for two years and I had to accept it and get over it.”
Keeping that positive attitude wasn’t always easy. There were definitely rough patches, times when disappointment meshed with anger, creating some long days, and even longer nights.
“You hear Coach (Mike) Tomlin talk about the love affair with this game,” said Colon. “I have a deep love affair with it. I have sacrificed relationships, my own body and mind, my every day growth to be a football player.
“There is so much that goes into this game. You have to have balance, though. If you don’t have balance you can fall off the deep end. I fell off that deep end and was able to climb back up that ladder. I just had to take it day by day.”
The injuries are well in Colon’s rearview mirror. He is back to where he was before the injury, now strong as ever.
“I learned a lot about myself during the injuries,” said Colon. “I had a lot of dark nights, wanted to give up. But it made me think about how much I love the game, and I thought about the good times and it lit my fire. I love coming out of the tunnel and hearing the fans cheer. That feeling you get in your gut, the nerves. I still have that in my belly. That kept me going. Even now, when I see my helmet, put my cleats on, I still have that fire that I want to play football.”
With all he has been through he is thankful every time he walks on the practice field, and doesn’t forget how lucky he is, kneeling and praying before every practice.
“With all I have been through, I try to give God thanks for giving me another day to practice,” said Colon. “I try to keep humble, practice my humility and work on my pride as far as being able to fight through anything I am going through.”
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Coach Tomlin: Good win for us in all three phases. Very necessary. Obviously, contributions from all parties involved. I liked the overall energy. The team worked together. Ryan Clark got a concussion. LaMarr Woodley has a right hamstring strain. I don’t know the extent of it. We’ll take a look at him tomorrow. Jonathan Dwyer had a right quad that got tight. We don’t know the extent of it. We’ll take a look at him tomorrow. We’re going to enjoy this today. We’ll review it tomorrow and push forward, but a good win for us today. I tip my hat to a lot of the guys, contributions, and so forth from players and coaches and the administrative staff. They did a nice job.
Re: Defenses ability to contain Redskins QB Robert Griffin III:
I thought we did a nice job. We weren’t perfect. They test you, really. Dive, quarterback pitch, some of those things. They got some plays on us. The big thing and what we talked about all week is, regardless of what happened, we needed to run to the football with energy, run and hit and get multiple guys to the football. We thought that was the only way we could contain that outfit, largely, and I thought we did the job.
Re: Controlling the ball on offense:
For us, we look to possess the ball. If we convert third downs we feel like we’ve got a chance to do that. I think we did that today. That’s kind of been our story this year. Of course, if you don’t turn it over and you do that, that’s a recipe for success for us in our mind. I think it was today.
Has RB Jonathan Dwyer earned himself a chance to become a regular starter?
He’s answered the call and taken advantage of the opportunity and that’s what we expect from all our young people. We don’t discount what any of them are capable of. He did the job today but obviously, I read his name here when I talked about the list of injuries so I’m not going to speak to soon on that. We’ll check all of the people involved and the health of guys that get the opportunities next week.
Re: Improvement on the offensive line:
I think we have improved as a team and that’s what this journey that is a football season is about. You better find ways to win along the way. We hadn’t done that enough to this point but I like the direction which we’re headed.
When all three running backs are healthy, could Dwyer possibly be the starter?
I’ll see what they look like next week. You’re not getting it today.
Has Dwyer’s performance the last two games surprised you at all?
This guy went over 1,500 yards his last two years at Georgia Tech. He was the ACC Player of the Year. He’s not foreign to running the football.
Re: Players running backwards into end zone:
I didn’t see it. I was looking at the penalty on the other end of the field. So, I’m not going to pass judgment on something I didn’t see. Obviously, we’re not into that.
Re: Putting together drives:
Like we were kind of talking about, just converting third downs, we also mentioned that we were running the ball effectively so we were on schedule. That creates manageable third downs. Ben [Roethlisberger] does a nice job of managing and protecting the football.
What is your assessment of the special teams today?
I thought we had our moments. We’ve got some dangerous return men and I think we acknowledge that. If we can stay penalty free, I think everyone will acknowledge that. We had some successes and failures in that regard. I thought our kick coverage was solid. We’re going to continue to work.
Re: Thoughts on the uniforms:
I love them if we play like that in them. Go get them. I bet you they’re hot.
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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn’t mince words during his weekly press conference when he talked about the penalties committed on special teams in the team’s 24-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Four holding penalties, plus one negated because of an offsetting penalty, took the wind out of the sails of the return game.
“On special teams, we wanted to be explosive in the return game,” said Tomlin. “I think we are capable of it. We believe we have some dynamic return men.”
Tomlin quickly pointed out what it was that made them lack the explosiveness, and it had nothing to do with returners Antonio Brown and Chris Rainey.
“Penalties negated that effort,” said Tomlin. “What is going on in our return game from a penalty standpoint is disturbing. We must improve in that area.”
And the head coach has no problem making whatever changes are necessary to see that they do improve.
“To be quite honest with you, the multiple offenders and egregious offenders are going to be watching as opposed to playing as soon as we get some options as to who plays and who doesn’t,” Tomlin stated. “Right now, with injuries, we have minimal options. We will continue to work with these men but the first chance we get, we will send a strong message that we won’t accept that type of performance.
“We feel like we can be explosive in that area, providing that we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot. I thought we did that in the game.”
Tomlin didn’t point fingers at anyone in particular or name names, but it’s likely those who are guilty could soon find themselves not dressing on game day if they don’t correct the problem.
“You can take the helmet off of them and have them watch,” said Tomlin. “That’s what we intend to do if they don’t improve in that area. They’re egregious offenders and repeat offenders.”
While Tomlin was upset with what happened with the penalties in the return game, he was pleased with the performance of other players who stepped in because of injuries, including running back Jonathan Dwyer and tackle Mike Adams.
Dwyer, who got his first start of the season, had 122 yards on 17 carries, the Steelers first 100-yard rusher this season.
“He’s a guy in the group that’s working,” said Tomlin. “He’s evolving and maturing as a player and as a person. It’s good to see him take advantage of opportunities when presented. I think that helps his cause and ours. He’s a guy in development. We like how it’s going thus far as we sit here today.”
Adams, who stepped in and started for Marcus Gilbert who will be out again this week with an ankle injury, continues to show progression.
“We’re optimistic about his talent level and what he’s capable of being,” said Tomlin. “He didn’t do anything to hurt that assessment. I think he’s continuing to be a guy on the rise. I think his performance was a solid one. I thought he was good in the run game. I thought he was good on the second level, some combination blocks, and I thought he represented himself well in pass protection. It’s a nice next step for him.”
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Coach Tomlin following the Bengals game:
Opening Remarks: That was a big AFC North road victory for us. Guys did what was necessary. Obviously we were playing without a few guys. I liked the contributions of the men that stepped up in their place. It was what was needed. Hopefully we can build upon it is what we talked about in there. We got ourselves in a hole; the first thing we have to do is stop digging. We did that tonight. We’ll review this tape tomorrow and continue to push forward. Now we have to build on it. It looks like we came through this game relatively injury free. Adrian Robinson may have a concussion; he is being evaluated for that. Other than that we are pretty clean from an injury standpoint, which is good. Will Allen turned his ankle, doesn’t appear to be significant.
Re: Heath Miller
Heath gives us consistent effort and performance on a week in and week out basis. Sometimes when we are victorious it gets highlighted, as it should. His performance tonight is in line with what he has done for us all year.
Can you talk about having LaMarr Woodley back and the interception?
It was a big play for us but we would like to think they all are capable of delivering those types of plays. He was the man in that instance. Obviously LaMarr Woodley in a helmet assists us in our effort and it was good to have him back out there.
Was this a bounce back game for Ike Taylor?
I will let you guys be the judge of that. We played winning football. He was a part of that. He did what we asked him to do. It was good overall team effort in all three phases.
Re: Offensive line and guys stepping in
Fortunately and unfortunately those guys, although they aren’t starters they are experienced. We played a lot of ball over the last few years with Doug Legursky. Arrow is pointed up with Mike Adams. We are optimistic about what he is capable of being. It wasn’t a situation where we went into it with negative thoughts. We were excited about watching those guys play and seeing what they were capable of doing, particularly Mike Adams. They answered the bell as they should. They are capable men. We were able to have a good, well-rounded attack on offense running and throwing.
Can you talk about the defense holding A.J. Green?
Big time ball for us. Like we said it was a collective effort. Rush, coverage, Dick (LeBeau) called a good game. He mixed in some zones. It was necessary to get us out of there.
Talk about the penalties and the turnovers, do they make it harder on your club?
That is the nature of NFL football. When you are highly penalized and turn the ball over you are going to put yourself behind the eight ball. But the guys didn’t blink. They didn’t. It’s a testament to them. We were able to settle down and get our jobs done.
Re: Mike Wallace
The tape is the tape. He’s got to catch the ball in a consistent manner. He didn’t do it tonight. We’ll get back to work tomorrow and hopefully he will be better next week.
Was there confusion on the two-point conversion?
We wanted to take a time out and we are allowed to do that by rule. He said that we weren’t. I guess he assumed we were the team that took the time out prior to us wanting to take the time out. The Cincinnati Bengals took that time out so we should have been given that time out. But we weren’t. The guys didn’t blink. They executed and got the two points.
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Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin expects to have all on hands on deck in practice on Wednesday, after everyone except Marcus Gilbert participated in Monday’s practice. And better yet, if all goes well in practice the rest of the week, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall could all play on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field.
“Based on what I am looking at on how we worked yesterday I think that is a safe assessment,” said Tomlin when asked if they will play Sunday. “We will watch these guys as we proceed throughout the week. All guys have performed well and were able to get through practice and we’re optimistic that they’re going to be full participants.”
Polamalu has missed the last two games after playing against Denver, and Harrison has not seen game action yet this season, but both practiced Monday. Rashard Mendenhall also continued to practice, even though he has yet to see game action as well.
“Coming off the bye, I think it’s been a productive bye for us,” said Tomlin. “We’ve had the opportunity to work on some elements that we feel like need to be addressed in all three phases. At the same time we were able to get some of our injured men back.”
Harrison practiced last week as well, and worked out during the team’s bye. While Tomlin had not talked to Harrison yet to see how his knee responded to practicing, as he has had setbacks previously, he does know having him back healthy is a good thing.
“If he plays well and plays like James is capable of playing, obviously he’ll be an asset to us,” said Tomlin. “But, we’re not going to make excuses and we’re not going to sit around and wait for those that are not participating to participate. Injuries and so forth are a part of the game. When we have those guys, we’ll appreciate it. When we don’t have them, we’ll remain steadfast in our goals and our objectives.”
Having a healthy team will be a key for the Steelers, who are looking to get back on the winning track this week against the Eagles.
“It’s a big week for us,” said Tomlin. “Those are exciting things for us as we push into this week. It’s a big week for us coming off our last performance, but also having an opportunity to play at home in front of our fans against a really good team in the Philadelphia Eagles.”
Tags: James Harrison, Mike Tomlin, Rashard Mendenhall, Troy Polamalu
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Opening Comment: That was a poor performance by us. When you play like that you lose football games. Not enough stops on defense. We turned the ball over on offense. We gave up a big return or two which provided field position, a shot in the arm in the kicking game and allowed them to respond to some scores. I would like to tip my hat to the Oakland Raiders. They played winning ball. That is not the style of ball that we desire to play. You are going to lose when you play like that, as we did today. We have got to chew on this one for a while, obviously. It’s not going to go down easy, as it should not go down easy. It won’t define us. We’ll go back to work. We’ll continue to search for areas of improvement, which are many.
Did you intend to go for it all along on fourth down?
I intended to go all along. I wasn’t going to punt the football to them. We hadn’t stopped them enough in the second half to do that. It was inside of one. If you can’t get inside of one you deserve to lose games. I won’t hesitate to do that.
Was there any reason you weren’t able to stop them defensively or was it lack of execution?
Not very good execution by us, but at the same token you tip your hat to them because they did execute in critical moments and made the necessary plays. I don’t want to take anything away from them, but obviously we expect more and better from ourselves.
Did you ever think about slowing down the pace in the fourth quarter?
I wasn’t concerned about the pace; I was concerned about our quality of play and our ability to maintain possession of the ball. We turned the ball over some and that was a defining factor for us at least offensively.
Antonio Brown had a couple of drops and one got away. Your thoughts on that with the game he had?
We turned the ball over. We can’t do that, not only him but us collectively. He wasn’t the only one.
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Coach Tomlin: It was an appropriate response to last week’s performance. We talked openly about it this week. That’s what good football teams in the National Football League do. They might not always be perfect but they respond. It was a good week for us and the response was appropriate to get a win against a very good football team. It was a good start for us in our home venue in front of our fans. There were a lot of positives, of course. Obviously, it wasn’t perfect by any stretch. I wasn’t perfect but that’s life. We’ll learn from it. We’ll start this process tomorrow in terms of learning from it and preparing for our next challenge.
Re: Adjustments you made after the Jets’ opening drive:
It wasn’t changes. We just buckled down and played a little bit better. We’re capable of playing how you saw us play over any stretch of the game. That’s what we expect. Obviously, we didn’t start in the manner in which we desired, really on offense or defense. We moved the ball some but those drives stalled and we got field goals. We realize when you play good people you have to put seven points on the board as opposed to three.
Re: QB Ben Roethlisberger being sharp in the game:
He was but it’s not like we’re surprised by it. We’ve come to expect that from him. He expects it from himself. He’s our guy and he delivered for us today. When you’re facing the kind of adversity we were faced with, redemption week if you will, we expect the “A” players to step up and lead the charge and he is just that.
Was the reason for more passing plays than running plays in the first three quarters because that is what the Jets defense was giving you?
Often times, that’s the case. When you play a Rex Ryan-led defense they pride themselves in getting after the run and they commit bodies to the run. We’re committed to moving the football and possessing the football and sometimes that means taking what they give you.
Re: How your teams are able to bounce back from tough losses:
We’ve got a good team. We’ve had good teams and we’ve had good men. More than anything, that’s what it’s about. During times of adversity you get an opportunity to display your football character. We’ve got a bunch of high character guys and veteran guys that know the drill and understand the urgency of moments such as these.
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The Steelers lost two offensive linemen during Sunday night’s game against the Denver Broncos, but it appears both of them should be ready to go this Sunday against the New York Jets at Heinz Field.
Coach Mike Tomlin said guard Ramon Foster, who had an optical migraine that caused blurred vision, and tackle Marcus Gilbert, who hyperextended his knee, should play on Sunday. Gilbert might be limited in practice early in the week, but Tomlin said that won’t impact his ability to play.
“Gilbert may be limited in the early part of the week but it won’t stop him from participating in this upcoming game,” said Tomlin. “The other injuries are the minor bumps and bruises.”
In addition, linebacker James Harrison worked out on Monday and will run on Wednesday and they will evaluate his status based on how he responds.
“We will see where he is,” said Tomlin. ‘We will follow the same protocol we did with him last week. We will work him up to activity and see how his knee responds to that activity and let that be our guide in terms of his participation.”
In addition, safety Troy Polamalu has a calf strain that could limit him in practice early in the week, but he is expected to play.
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Opening Comment: That is a tough defeat, as they all are. That was a tough, hard-fought game. Just in a nutshell I thought they made the significant plays in the second half of the football game, particularly down the stretch, really kind of in all three phases. We lacked the significant play, the game defining play. They made them. Obviously when that happens you are going to lose football games like we did tonight. We accept that; we acknowledge that. We have to get better and get better in a hurry. We have a new challenge facing us in about six and a half days.
Can you talk about the injuries to Ramon Foster and Marcus Gilbert?
Ramon had an eye injury of some kind. He is being evaluated as we speak. Marcus just hyper-extended his knee. Hopefully that won’t be serious. We’ll see.
Can you talk about the ability to possess the ball?
That was our intensions in terms of how we worked. We needed to possess the ball. We needed to get stops. Time of possession is just that. When you look at the scoreboard they got it done, we didn’t. The plan didn’t come to fruition.
Can you talk about the decision to challenge the play near the goal line?
I didn’t know whether the ball came out or not. They were in a hurry-up mode. You are not getting that information quickly in hostile environments. I thought it was worthy of a timeout right there to see for ourselves. Obviously he didn’t fumble the ball so they maintained possession and then they went in and scored.
Were you able to see it?
Someone did. That’s why it was given to me.
You ran the no-huddle – was that the plan?
We had planned to do that. Not specifically how it unfolded, but game circumstances change things sometimes. I was comfortable with the no-huddle attack and what we were doing in it, just not enough significant plays made particularly down the stretch.
Did their no-huddle cause you some problems?
We didn’t make significant plays, third down plays, plays that get you off the field. They did. They didn’t have many third down opportunities. I think they were five or six of nine, something like that. We just didn’t make enough football plays. You have to give credit to them. They did, they executed.
Peyton Manning has been away for a year. What did you think of his performance?
He is Peyton.
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Coach Mike Tomlin talks following the Steelers-Panthers game:
Coach Tomlin: That effort brings to a close our preseason and it’s much appreciated with not only in terms of what they did tonight in terms of winning the game, but efforts throughout. I respect that group of men that’s in the locker room. Obviously, we’ve got some decisions to make and we will make them. That’s part of this game of professional football. But, as we sit here tonight I’ve got big time respect for the contributions of all those men in the locker room and what they did. Obviously, we had some injuries in the game. Sean Spence’s knee injury is significant. He’s in the process of being examined at the local hospital. Robert Golden has got a hamstring injury, I don’t know to what extent and we had some other bumps and bruises and so forth in the game. But, the significant one is Spence. We’ll proceed with the decision making process but, again, I respect the efforts of the men.
Re: Injury to CB Curtis Brown:
He left the game with some knee issues. I don’t know whether it’s major or minor but he’s being examined. We’ll let you know when we do.
Re: Update on the surgery to G David DeCastro:
It was a successful surgery. I haven’t seen one those surgeries that isn’t successful. We’ll let the dust settle and we’ll follow his progress.
Re: RB Jonathan Dwyer getting a lot carries:
He toted the load tonight. He was the primary ball carrier and that’s kind of what we wanted to see. It’s really a snapshot of his growth and development throughout this training camp and preseason. First things first, he showed up in good physical condition, that’s a prerequisite. He kind of took off from there. What he showed tonight is kind of a snapshot of what he’s done for us here in the last month or so. It needs to continue. He’s capable of it continuing.
Do you like the new rule regarding injured reserve that just passed?
Yes we voted for it.
How do you feel about QB Charlie Batch’s performance tonight?
I thought he represented himself well. He made some nice throws but it’s not a one man game. Emmanuel Sanders made a great catch on the end of one of those throws. I thought we had good pass protection for the majority of the night. I like the overall production of a lot of people involved.
Re: Chris Rainey’s performance:
I thought he did some nice things in terms of making unblocked guys miss. I think that any reputable punt returner is capable of making those first one to two potential tacklers miss. He showed that tonight. Obviously, those didn’t count so we don’t look at them as touchdowns. It is what it is. Flags were thrown. But it is encouraging to see him make the first one to two tacklers miss. I think that’s a sign of any credible NFL return man.
Tags: Mike Tomlin
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Coach Mike Tomlin
Post-Game Comments vs. Buffalo Bills
It’s good to come on the road and get a win, hadn’t done that in the preseason. I thought we got better as the game wore on. I didn’t like how we started from a detail and execution standpoint. I thought we defeated ourselves some, dropped passes, untimely penalties and so forth. The thing I did like about the group is they didn’t get down on themselves, they continued to work. They put together a couple of drives, particularly the one right before half I thought was big. The defense continues to give us a short field which is good; hopefully that is the signature of our ball here in 2012. On the injury front David DeCastro went down with a knee, it’s potentially severe but we’ll see what the MRI says. The other injury of the game was Brett Keisel. We held him out for precaution. I think he has a mild high ankle. He should be ready to go for us. But overall I thought the guys were into the game in all three phases. I thought they warmed up to it, got going and made the necessary plays for us to get out of here with a victory. We need a little more detail early on. We can’t put ourselves in hostile environments and not execute at a higher level in initial portions of football games.
Talk about the first touchdown, the third-and-two play, and the commitment to run it in?
I am not going to make a big deal about it. We were in goal line and we handed the ball off to the left side to Isaac Redman. He did a nice job of getting into the end zone.
Did Ben Roethlisberger run his own shown in the no-huddle on the 98-yard drive? Is he calling the plays?
We have the capability of talking to him any time the playbook hadn’t gotten to 15 seconds. It’s a collaborative effort. I would have to look at each individual play to give a gist of what happened. It’s a collaborative effort. Obviously he is a critical part of it and has done a nice job.
Can you talk about Ben getting fired up after the illegal substitution penalty?
As he should because it’s a mechanical thing we can’t accept. I was of the same mindset.
Were you impressed how he responded with that adversity, being pinned back?
I have been looking at Ben for almost six years now. I am not surprised by it.
Can you talk about the challenges of making a change on your staff during the preseason?
There are, but nothing we can’t handle. I look forward to accepting that challenge and moving forward with Amos Jones, myself and others in assisting in that area.
Are you going to divide the work up at all with Jerry (Olsavsky) and Ray (Jackson)?
No. It’s his show. Those guys have jobs to do. I am going to help a little bit more and I look forward to doing that.
Can you talk about how Antonio Brown performed?
We expect that from him as well
Any update on Mike Wallace?
Tags: Mike Tomlin
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Coach Mike Tomlin
Steelers-Colts Post-Game Comments
It was great to finish a game. I liked the efforts in all three phases. We had splash plays from guys in all three phases. We needed to take a significant step in terms of production and degree of detail in our work and I think we did. I’m always excited about the win but don’t misunderstand me, though, there’s a lot to be corrected. That is a part of August football for us but it’s good to make those corrections while you win. I thought the turnovers defensively were big. We created a splash in the special teams game with the blocked punt. I didn’t like our return game. I thought our return game was below the line. We need to get better in that area. Offensively, we created necessary plays, particularly down the stretch to put points on the board. Obviously, we’d like to score more touchdowns than field goals but we’ll take it. Hopefully it will be a good learning experience for us as we move forward. On the injury front, I think we got out of the game relatively clean, which is good news as we move forward this time of year.
Did you see progression by the first-team offense?
I did and not only the first-team offense, but everyone. It was better. We challenged them more with what we asked them to do. They did a relatively good job. Again, we’re still working, individually and collectively. That’s all part of it. I did think they took a step today.
Were there any concussion symptoms for Rainey?
I didn’t examine. I just go with the doctors. They said he was fine to come back so we played him.
Re: Creating more turnovers:
We’re just trying to play ball and play winning football. We play hard enough and good enough technically and assignment-wise that turnovers are going to come.
Re: Players who just got activated from the PUP List:
We’re just starting the process for them. We’re at the point of rehabilitation where playing football is part of that rehabilitation. We’re going to do that with them. Whether or not they participate this upcoming week or the week after, we’ll continue to live day-to-day. Those guys were at the point where football needs to be part of the rehabilitation and that’s why we took them off PUP List.
Tags: Mike Tomlin
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Among those at camp on Sunday was someone familiar to many in the Pittsburgh area, Curt Wootton, who is better known as the internet sensation, “Pittsburgh Dad.”
“This is like a dream come true,” said Wootton, who is originally from Greensburg, Pa., of being at camp. “I am like a kid in a candy store. I can’t explain how awesome it is. I don’t have words for it.”
Wootton watched practice from the sideline and got a warm welcome from Coach Mike Tomlin.
“I am blown away,” said Wootton. “I can’t believe I met him and he knew who I was when I walked up to him. I am trying to let it all sink in and take this all in. It’s crazy.”
After watching practice Tomlin filmed a segment for an upcoming episode of “Pittsburgh Dad.”
“He was adopted as a ‘Yinzer’ as soon as he put the black and gold on,” said Wootton of Tomlin, using classic Pittsburghese. “He is a true Yinzer now.
“(Brett) Keisel has the ‘Yinzer’ look going on too. The beard is epic. I think his beard is a ‘Yinzer’ in itself.”
Tags: Curt Wooten, Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Dad
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