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Mike Tomlin’s Post Game Thoughts After the 13-10 Loss to Baltimore

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 great. 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.

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. George H

    November 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Tough game with some questionable play-calling at times. I’m sure all of Steeler Nation was throwing their remotes at their TVs when Lefty threw a fade on 3rd and 2 near the goal-line. Multiple issues with that play call. First, the offense had been running the ball very well that drive and Dwyer was looking to have an edge on the defense. Second, if you run the ball there and dont score, the offense still might pick up the first down because it wasnt 3rd and goal. If it went to fourth down I would of tried to punch it in one more time and if that didnt work, with the way the defense had been playing, it wouldnt of been much of a risk to give Baltimore a very long field.

    Clearly Lefty didnt look too sharp (minus his td run), which makes me wonder why Haley and Tomlin didnt call more run plays against Baltimore’s 27th rated run defense. Nearly 40 pass attempts is too many for a back up qb that hasnt started in two years.

    I was talking to a friend and he kept bringing up a solid point. This offense without Brown appears to have become rather anemic. Big plays come at a premium without the extra attention giving to Brown by the opposing defenses. When Brown is out there, this Steelers offense will continue to roll. Theres little to no wonder why the FO extended Brown this past offseason and why he won team MVP last year.

    **side note– I really like Mike Adams’ potential and what he brings as a run blocker, but he continues to get beat badly by the pass rush. It hurts the offense production by having to keep Heath in to help block when he could instead be making plays down field.

    Special teams has got to get better though. Unfortunately the PR TD was the difference in the game, but ST has been a problem all year and it needs to be addressed… again.

    The defense as a whole looked tremendous last night. LeBeau had the unit ready to go and they were able to get pressure, shut down the run, and keep the WRs in check. Great game by the defense. Lake has really gotten the most out of his secondary and it really shows. However, causing turnovers continue to be a major problem with the defense. One big TO could of been the difference in this game and week after week the unit rarely produces them.

    I thought I would have been sitting at my computer after a loss to Baltimore fuming as my random thoughts of the game would illustrate my frustrations. However, this loss didnt sting as much as the past losses have stung. Perhaps because we played with a very short-handed squad and subconsciously I wasnt expecting a much worse outcome. Perhaps I’m not as angry because the defense showed signs of light and what should be expected down the stretch. What I do know though is that this team will only go as far as Ben can take them. While a Roethlisbergerless Steelers team is a good team when clicking on defense… a team with Big Ben can be a Super Bowl team with him.

    • Jalen

      November 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Wow, George. I guess we see two different teams out there. I don’t think this is a SB caliber team even with BB. Every week the team makes a different mistake in some phase of the game and have been LUCKY to be 6-3 prior to the embarrassing performance at home against Balt. Mendenhall Sucks and can’t run between the tackles and Wallace better not be back next year because he’s soft. Our defense is finally playing well but matters none when your team is in such good shape that EVERYONE IS ALWAYS 100% HEALTHY ALL THE TIME RIGHT?! Tomlin might be the most overrated coach in the league and I say that because his team makes too many mistakes that don’t seem to get addressed. You don’t see New England WRs fumbling or dropping passes or their special teams sucking or their offensive lineman holding, etc. why don’t you take off the rose or black and gold colored glasses!

  2. DS

    November 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Tomlin Sucks! No discipline, same mistakes over and over. He needs to go!

  3. DrGeorge

    November 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

    George H., we agree as usual. Good analysis and reasoned conclusions. Jalen and DS express the frustration of the Steelers Nation with how this season has gone. But we must keep in mind how injuries have affected the coaches’ ability to game plan and execute the plan.

    Jalen, I too question Wallace’s commitment. He has dropped well-thrown balls and failed to make an effort to catch ball within his range. How he expects to negotiate a top dollar contract based on play like this escapes me. His play is making him a liability instead of an asset. In that regard, I share Matt Loede’s perplexity that the Steelers would even think of re-signing Plex Burress — for the same reason.

    As for Mendenhall, I’m willing to give him a pass, due to his recovery from a serious injury. His progress is about what you would expect. I don’t think he is remarkably better than Redman or Dwyer, however, which places his high ticket contract in question. In the fan poll above, Redman was listed as our most expendable back, but I continue to see him as the only power RB we have; he can make yards after contact when the O-line execution falters. His 147 yards against the Giants ranks among the best performances of the year.

    Our over all play this season reflects the failure to rebuild the D and the O-line, starting 2 and possibly 3 years ago. Injuries haven’t helped Tomlin in that regard, but we are thin in several spots and our over-dependence on Ben R’s athleticism is now obvious. We should have been developing a young QB instead of carrying old and injured ones. It simply isn’t possible to coach talent you don’t have. As usual, LeBeau has made the most of what little he has, and he deserves more credit for it than he has received.

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