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Mike Tomlin’s Post Game Comments After the Raiders Loss

Opening Comment: 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.

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.



  1. Dave B.

    September 24, 2012 at 6:30 am

    At the end of the day it boils down to this . The Steelers defense is not good , at all . This team does not generate any pressure whatsoever from its line or its linebackers . On top of that , our secondary is barely average at best . With that being said , this unit is allowing guys like Carson Palmer to look like Hall of Famers . Getting James Harrison and Troy Polamalu back will definitely help , but how long will be able to keep them on the field once they return ? Harrison missed all of the OTA’S , all of training camp , preseason and now three games of the regular season . If and when he returns , its going to take time for him to regain his old form . Time is one thing the Steelers are running out of .

  2. George H

    September 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

    All I have to say is that once upon a time if you told me the Steelers put up 31 points in a game, they would definitely win the game.

    I dont want to sound like I’m overreacting, but I havent been impressed with the coaching and drafting this team has done under Tomlin. Yes the FO hit with a few receivers in the draft, but besides that, I’m not seeing much.

    What I do see is the inability to make proper adjustments throughout the course of the game, and the fact that the organization thinks its fine not to invest in the secondary with 1st rd picks. Yes I like the two picks we made last year in DeCastro and Adams, however the pressing need for years as well has been the cornerbacks. Drafting CBs in the mid to late rounds and expecting them to be able to cover top recievers every week is ridiculous. In this league you get what you pay for, and we paying for an average defense with major holes.

    As far as spending 1st round picks on the defensive line: I’m completely fine with that, however, did anyone have Ziggy Hood mocked in the 1st round when we drafted him. I follow a lot of mock drafts and pay close attention to the players in college, I never heard of Ziggy Hood. Hes an adequate DE in this league, but when you draft in the 1st round you need to be an impact player, especially on a team where they dont spend in the free agency. Hood is in his 4th year now and he has never dazzled me.

    Also, whats with playing Hampton as much as we have. It was clear last year he wasnt the same and this year he doesnt even warrant a double team. For all I heard of McClendon having a terrific camp and preseason, I expected to see him out there more. Also Keisel doesnt look the same either. I see zero penetration from this unit.

    Again I’m not seeing any adjustments during the game which is very aggravating. Perhaps there are trying to make adjustments, but we just dont have the talent to execute.

    The years of Cowher’s team is rapidly coming to an end. A good amount of these players were part of the Cowher era and now they are all getting old and retiring. The team under the Tomlin drafts dont come close to resembling the success of the Cowher years. Many people can say that the Arizona SB win was a goodbye gift from Cowher. I would even go as far as saying the Green Bay SB appearance was because our top defense and emerging offense because of BB. I dont want to discredit the coaching completely, but in all honesty, how many times do we see our beloved Steelers not prepared for a game. We have been winning because of Ben’s brilliance and the defense over the past few years in spite of the coaching. I am one to believe that the coach gets the glory of winning but when the team starts to lose it goes down to “not executing.” I put the blame on the team as a whole, but its time for Tomlin and LeBeau to stop getting a pass. LeBeau has been getting a pass for a few years now just off of reputation. Last year we couldnt get pressure and turnovers and the same is happening again this year. The coaches and team have to look themselves in the mirror and figure out what their doing wrong.

    Finally a positive note. Kudos to Haley and Big Ben. Haley these past few weeks have put the Steelers way ahead in time of possession and has looked great calling the plays. Big Ben is easily having his best season yet and hes doing all he can do to win these games. This season’s success is going to rely solely on BB shoulders because the defense is a below average unit.

    • George H

      September 24, 2012 at 11:34 am

      oh and all of the penalties yesterday made me sick… zero discipline and that also goes on not just the players but the coaches too

  3. DrGeorge

    September 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I’ve lamented our failure to rebuild the D for two years, so I’m not going to pile on now. I obviously agree with my colleagues here for the most part. In my view, the team consciously chose to rebuild the offense first (to protect a $100 million QB investment). That made sense. But the D was bound to suffer for it.

    So I am not ready to blame LeBeau, since he’s received very little help over the past three years in terms of replacing the quality of old or retiring talent. The truth is the young guys we’ve acquired aren’t as good as the men they replaced. There is no substitute for talent. LeBeau has tried to use smoke and mirrors to hide our defensive weaknesses, but there are too many of them now to hide. If we had a couple of studs who could rush the QB, our D would look a lot better; but guys like that aren’t available in free agency or often traded. And while it will be good to get Harrison, Sylvester, and Polamalu back, they aren’t D-linemen.

    LeBeau will get this unit playing better in the weeks ahead (I trust), especially against the run, but it will be difficult to mount a consistent pass rush against good offensive lines with the talent we have now. Which means our D is going to struggle all season, and our record will reflect it.

    One area we can improve with coaching is discipline. If we had had fewer penalities and turnovers, we would have won the game in Oakland, by a comfortable margin. Ben is finally playing within the offense and giving the D. time of possession. But penalties and turnovers negate that by giving the opponent more opportunities. If the offense has to carry the D. this year (and they do), eliminating penalties and turnovers is mandatory.

    • DrGeorge

      September 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      Amendment to my prior comment: If you saw Seattle beat G. Bay 14-12 last night, you must have been impressed with the numerous times Seattle sacked A. Rogers, who has one of the fastest releases in the NFL. Seattle did it with D-linemen and LBs who are lean, strong, relentless, and fast. That is the accommodation to the pass-happy NFL rules I anticipated in comments last season, and now it has come to pass. Seattle’s D is the future of the NFL in my opinion. Old, heavy, slow-lines and LBs (like ours)are on the way out because secondaries cannot cover receivers long enough for the rush to get to the QB. The NFL today is no longer football as we’ve known it; it is now a variation of basketball on grass, complete with basketball scores and man to man coverages. The body-builds of receivers and defenders are changing accordingly. In fact, we are seeing more and more teams using beefy ex-basketball players as receivers (Gonzalez for example) and much taller CBs to defend them. It’s a new world out there (like it or not, and I personally don’t), and the Steelers’ D has yet to make the adjustment.

      • George H

        September 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

        Literally took the words right from my mouth Doc. All I could think during that game was how tall and athletic the Seahawks secondary is

  4. T-SIRM

    September 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Time for Tomlin to go! We are digressing. Any real Steelers fan can easily see it. George H (real deal Steeler) broke it down perfectly. The Steelers are bigger than any coach.

  5. Steelfan

    September 25, 2012 at 4:25 am

    T-Sirm, your assertion that it is time to get rid of Tomlin is RIDICULOUS! One of the reasons this organization is so successful is that they don’t make emotional decisions. Cowher had three consecutive non playoff seasons and I’m sure Tomlin will be afforded the same luxury.

    I too am frustrated that the team doesn’t seem to make in game adjustments very well but I’m sure that is something that will be worked on as the season goes along. If it doesn’t improve than I think LeBeau will “retire” long before Tomlin is fired. Don’t forget Tomlin’s brand new contract extension which pretty much eliminates a coaching change. PATIENCE STEELER FANS! if its time to rebuild the defense, so be it, we’ve had a good run in Ben’s first eight years.

    • Dave B.

      September 25, 2012 at 6:22 am

      Steelfan is right . This is not a Mike Tomlin problem . Its a defense problem . The offense has gotten young and explosive while the defense was simply ignored for to long . Now its catching up to them . These guys like Harrison , Polamalu and Keisel were great players for many years but the cold hard facts are , they are getting old and they cant stay healthy anymore . Its not a sin and its not a crime , it happens . For the Steelers to return to elite status , this defense has to be rebuilt and some tough decisions will have to be made . Thats life in the NFL .

  6. George H

    September 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Completely agree, however it is under Tomlin’s regime that the defense players drafted has had little impact and he has to be held accounted for. I’m not saying we should fire Tomlin, but I Fo believe we should keep a watchful eye on him. I do love Lebeau but it’s time for him to retire after this year and rebuild the defense from top to bottom. Keep in mind, under Cowher, whenever a linebacker was lost, another great linebacker was there to step right up. I’m not seeing that in Sylvester carter and Worilds.

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  8. Matt Loede

    September 27, 2012 at 12:57 am

    The defense has to put more pressure on the QB, it’s that simple. Guys like Hood, Heyward, who were first round picks, HAVE to start playing better.

    I felt that going into 2012 these two guys would step up, and while it’s only been three games, they have yet to do so.

    Let’s not get crazy, it’s three games. Let’s talk after 5-6 games, and hopefully they will figure some things out.

    • George H

      September 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Agreed, although I would like to see more of Heyward on the field. I feel like he’s going to be a monster giving the opportunity

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