Mike Tomlin’s Post Game Thoughts On The Win Over The Bengals

Head Coach Mike Tomlin: Good AFC North win for us at home. Really, kind of a team victory. I thought we rode the wave that the special teams provided there early on in the first half of the game with a short field on the botched punt and then obviously the punt return. But just largely a really good effort by a lot of people in all three phases, and really what was required tonight, obviously, versus a very good team. We appreciate the opportunity, and it’s good to get a win.

Everything seemed to work in all three phases. Special teams really seemed to be there. Any idea where that team has been?
I wouldn’t necessarily say everything worked. That was far from perfect. We have yet to play a perfect game, obviously. Tonight will be included in that. But obviously we did do enough to win, and had some splash plays.

Injury update?
LaMarr Woodley had a calf. Ike Taylor had a rib injury. The rest are bumps and bruises along the way. Both guys obviously will be evaluated. I’ll have more for you on Tuesday.

Did he re-aggravate the previous injury?
It’s the other leg. It’s the other calf. You’re talking about Woodley? It’s the other leg.

When you see Antonio Brown make a return like that, are you tempted to use him more in punting situations?

He’s our punt returner.

No thoughts about using him as a kickoff returner?
He hasn’t returned a kick in years.

Re: Thoughts on the play of the offensive line:
I thought they did a nice job. I thought we got hats on hats. I thought they waged the battle at the line of scrimmage. Obviously, I wouldn’t call it complete domination, but it was efficient. I appreciate their efforts, particularly in terms of how we had to prepare this week with the number of guys missing work and so forth. They did a nice job.

Re: Defensive line’s ability to stop the run this week after having a tough time doing it last week:

We were ahead, so they were throwing the ball a lot. I wouldn’t necessarily say we solved any run issues if we have them. It’s just the nature of the game. They had to throw the ball a lot in the second half. They were down by multiple scores.

Do you think you left some scoring opportunities on the field?
Certainly we did. We kicked three field goals. I’m glad we’ve got Shaun Suisham. We don’t want to utilize him that much unless it’s extra points.

Without looking at the tape, did Al Woods’ performance stand out to you?
I’d have to look at the tape. Obviously, I appreciate his effort. Obviously, he’s stepping outside his normal role in terms of the number of snaps that he’s playing and that’s appreciated. But we know that he’s capable. I’m sure he’s excited about the opportunity that he’s being given.

The hit on the punter, does that fall under the “Hines Ward” rule?
I did not see it. Obviously, it did not because I’m sure the guy that hit him was facing the end zone to which we working. That other rule does not apply to those circumstances.

There were questions about how your guys would come out with the playoffs seemingly out of reach. Do they hear that? Is that something that motivated them at all?
You’d have to ask them. I’m sure they’re better equipped to answer that than I am.

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About the author: Matt Loede

 

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and of course, the National Football League. On NFL Sunday’s you can hear Matt on National networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and other stations around the country. Matt also joined The Washington Post in 2009 as a guest columnist on league hot topics. Born and raised in Cleveland, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

 

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