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Post Game Quotes: Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin

Coach Mike Tomlin: That was the exclamation point that we were looking for to end our regular season. The guys did a nice job of staying focused and going out and executing. Hopefully that momentum will prepare us for January football. We will wait to see who we play here in a couple of weeks. On the status of Ben, he sustained a concussion in the game. At this point, all tests are negative, which is positive. We are optimistic of where is going to be capable of playing. The bye is going to be helpful in regards to that. That is all of the information that I have on his status at this point. Again, it is encouraging.

Was he taken to the hospital?
Yes.

Is he still there?
I am not certain.

Was there a fear of a neck injury?

No, it was just a precaution. It was very similar to Andre Frazier when he went down a few months back. When guys get a potential significant concussion, we exercise caution and err on that side. That was what we were doing.

How prepared is Byron Leftwich?
Byron is a veteran, franchise-caliber quarterback. We have a great deal of confidence in what he can do for us. We always expect him to do well when he goes in, and he did.

Can you talk about the year that Hines Ward has had?
Hines loves to use that as motivation. I don’t know too many people who are writing Hines off. He is a heck of a player; he tries to trick himself into being underrated and he is not. He is a heck of a talent and he has done it at a high level for a long time. We appreciate him.

Were you satisfied with the running game today?
I was; we shot ourselves in the foot some with the penalties and such. It was a productive effort. I thought that we controlled the line of scrimmage.

What is your plan for this week?
It will be similar to how we addressed the bye during the regular season. We are going to have a three-day work week – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in terms of practice. We will go from there. Anybody who is nursing some sort of injury, we are going to give them time to heal.

Will Ben practice at all?
It is much too early for that.

What things did the tests rule out?
He is not permanently injured or scarred at this point. He just has a concussion.

What are your thoughts on the way that your defense played this year?
I thought that they did a nice job. The thing that will stand out to me about the performance is a guy like Tyrone Carter stepping up in place of Ryan Clark. I think that the guys have really embraced the concept of the standard of excellence not changing. We have had our share of ups and downs, and injuries; basically like everybody else in this league has over the course of the season. Along the way, we have had guys step up in stretches and deliver for us like he did today. Travis Kirschke; Lawrence Timmons plays everywhere that we ask him to play, and plays well. I think that is what I will remember about today and about this group of guys. We have 11 on the field, and the 11 understand the standard of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense; they go about their job and they did a nice job today regardless of who we had in there.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. mark

    December 28, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Solid effort today in beating a team that the Steelers are supposed to beat. Defense was its normal aggressive self. Byron looks very comfortable in the pocket. Is it me or does the pocket seem better and more contolled when Leftwich is in it then Ben? Dont get me wrong people, even though I like the comfort factor that if we need Byron he can get it done, but the Steelers need Ben healthy and ready come playoff time! Either the Dolphins or the Colts are coming to town and the Steelers need to be ready! Last week I said that the Dolphins had no chance of beating the Ravens, but I am back peddling on that now. The Dolphins looked impressive in going to New York and winning the East. The Ravens better be careful of the resurgent Dolphins.
    Okay Steeler fans, lets all pray for Ben to be healthy and everyone have a safe and Happy New Year!!

  2. Jay

    December 28, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Look, I so get that Ben hangs onto the ball too long a times, I get it! But boy, let me know out there Steeler nation if I’m alone on this or not but, boy would I love for (jackass) Bruce Arians to give Ben the same type of play calling that Leftwich gets! More run plays, more check downs…Yes, I agree through observation that Byron gets rid of the ball a bit faster than Ben but he’s also having the pressure kept off of him because more run plays are called! I don’t know…I am happy that we are 12-4 with a secure number two seed and a former number one quarterback as the back-up so I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth nor sound ungrateful but, jeeze, why does the offense/play calling and especially the offensive line look so much better with Byron in there?!? On a side note-Dallas locked up Colombo (not that it matters after watching Philly totally use him) so does that leave Carey (6’5″ 350 lb. RT in Miami) or Runyan or Tra Thomas or Jordan Gross as options for our line in free agency or will we play possum once again and rely totally on the draft?!?

  3. mark

    December 28, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    I think they will only get a depth lineman via free agency and they will depend on drafting and keeping whatever is left from the current line-up. Yes, Jay your right. the pocket looks better with Leftwich. I dont care if its Leftwich, Ben or Cliff Stoudt!! The Steelers need to run better and take the pressure off the QB, especcially in January.This team can win it all, but the offense, no matter who is behind center, needs to be more balanced. I still say the Steelers have a better chance with Ben but if Leftwich is healthier the Steelers may not have a choice.

  4. Jay Sabo

    December 29, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Yeah I agree that Ben is our best option and I was never opining otherwise; I’m just curious as to WHY Byron gets more protection and WHY Arians calls a different game with Byron in there!?!

  5. Stacy

    December 29, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I think the Steelers will not play in the Super Bowl this year. The reason is the offensive line and the play calling of our over analytical offensive cooordinator. Anybody that saw the Steelers earlier this year will commend Mike Tomlin and the offensive line coach for stitching up our gaping pass protection. Many fans will recall that Ben was surrounded and harrassed even before he squared up to pass. I believe it was Tomlin who recognized the problem and corrected it. However, we have been unable to successfully run the ball this year against any meaningful opponent (the browns and redskins do not count). This is not do to a lack of communication or coaching but to the lack of size and strength in our offensive line. Lastly, many Steeler fans will recall the days of Slash (kordell stewart). In Cowher’s day we used Kordell (ODonell was the Starter) as a short yardage option. When the ball was on the 10 yard line . You were sure to see Kordell on the field as a passer, catcher, or runner. Why can’t the steelers use DIXON the same way? Imagine Dixon lining up behind center. This would be a legitimate running threat (we know Ben can run but his last couple of short yardage scrambles and sneaks have led to mislaigned shoulders and fumbles). The Steelers have to get creative in the red zone during the playoffs or we will be home without a 6th ring.

  6. Matt

    February 2, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Still any naysayers?

  7. Brenda Parks

    January 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    To Head Coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers I have remained a loyal Steeler fan since the mid-seventies when I lived in Pittsburgh during the Iron Curtain days. I taught school in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood for several years and was then tranferred to the Homewood neighorhood. While living in Pittsburgh I enjoyed the Steeler golden years.Congradulations for advancing to the divisonal win and also for the win in Dallas on Feburary 6th. Thank you Coach Tomlin for being another fine example of a fine young black man.

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