Coach Mike Tomlin Opening
Obviously, not our day and, thus, not our year. Just not enough significant plays at the moments. Sounds like a broken record but reality as we sit here. We accept responsibility for it. On the injury front, we’ve got a number of things. Baron Batch has got a broken arm. Heath Miller has a PCL and MCL injury. Curtis Brown has an Achilles strain. Mike Wallace has got a hamstring. Maurkice Pouncey had an MCL sprain but he was able to finish the game. We’ll take a look at where he is. Just in general, disappointing but I appreciate the efforts of the men. Obviously, just was not enough.
Did the Bengals do anything special up front to confuse the offensive line?
No, it really wasn’t assignments. They were beating us physically some. They’re a good front. I think they’re second in the league in quarterback sacks and for a reason. They have quality rushers. I’ve got to acknowledge that and compliment them in terms of how they were able to rush the passer, particularly in definitive passing downs.
Re: Bengals shutting down the running game in the second half:
They did a nice job. Neither team ran the ball. It was that type of a football game and it was going to be about the significant plays and get-off downs, and they made a few more than we did.
Was QB Ben Roethlisberger improvising on offense? Did that effect the offense?
I wouldn’t characterize it that way. Obviously, it wasn’t effective enough for us to win, I’ll acknowledge that. The things that we aspire to do and the process in which we went about it in the early portions of the season are the same as they are today. Obviously, with different results. We’re not looking to make excuses for those results. They are what they are. We’ve got to coach and play better than we did.
Was the loss disheartening because the offense had chances in the second half?
It’s disheartening because we had chances as a football team.
Was there a bad snap on the missed field goal in the first half?
Yeah, it looked like a bad snap. Of course, it made it difficult to get the ball down. When he did, Shaun [Suisham] was probably too close to the ball and pulled it. It was a low kick because of it and it was tipped because of it. But I think it all started with the snap.
Did you think about punting rather than attempting a field goal at the end of the fourth quarter?
No. We’ve got a great deal of confidence in Shaun and rightfully so. We wanted to give him an opportunity to do the job.
What have you been doing in practice to get better on third-down conversions since you have struggled converting them for most of the year?
For most of the year, we were number one in the league in conversions, offensively. At the very least top five for the better part of the year. So, re-phrase your question for me there.
What has been the issue with third-down conversions the last few weeks?
We just haven’t executed in the manner in which we’d like to.
Re: Decision to dress RB Rashard Mendenhall:
Just like we talked about a week ago, if he came back in the right frame of mind and ready to contribute we’d give him an opportunity. He did so and we did. I thought he was a positive contributor to our efforts today.