Head Coach Mike Tomlin – Press Conference Post Steelers vs Ravens Week 9
Head Coach Mike Tomlin:
It was a big time atmosphere at Heinz Field tonight. We got a lot of energy from our fans. Obviously, it was an opportunity to salute the great Joe Greene. It was just a great environment to work in. I think the guys just rode that emotional wave and did what was necessary for us to secure a victory. Obviously it was a big game for us but really we just did what we had to do. They beat us by 20 at their place. We evened the score. We won by 20 tonight, and we will move on. This kind of reflects the history of this series, and that’s why it is so great. It is something that is good to be a part of. We have a lot of respect for those guys. It was great to get a win tonight. We will keep it in perspective and move forward. We had a number of injuries in the game. Ryan Shazier has an ankle injury. Troy Polamalu has a knee sprain. Shamarko Thomas has a hamstring injury. I think it’s a different hamstring from the one he had about a month or so ago. You know how it is. We will assess these and move forward. There was a lot of effort from a lot of people involved. Obviously we didn’t get started in the manner in which we wanted to offensively but a lot of credit goes to those guys. What I liked about our offense is that we continued fighting and obviously as the game wore on we were able to score touchdowns. They were the number-two redzone defense in football. To get down there and be able to put touchdowns on the board, I thought that was significant and it allowed us to win in the manner in which we did.
Re: Turnovers in the second quarter turned the tide for the team:
I didn’t feel like the tide needed to be turned. I just thought we just weren’t gaining traction in the early stages of the game. The defense provided the splash that created a wave that we rode. One week it’s going to be the offense and another week hopefully it’s going to be the defense and special teams. It was just a good team effort.
Re: James Harrison and how well he is playing after seeing his retirement a few weeks ago:
Saying a few weeks ago is a stretch. This guy has been here now for almost two months. I like the way you put that spin on it though. He is working hard on a daily basis. He is who he is. He is not a regular guy. He is James Harrison. He is getting up to speed and getting into shape and doing James Harrison-like things, which quite frankly is what we expect.
Did Joe Greene address the team before the game?
What did he say?
I will leave that between he and us. I am sure he would like it that way.
Is this one of those defining games, especially on offense?
It depends on what we do going forward, whether or not it is a defining game. Hindsight is always 20-20. It’s a defining game if we make it one moving forward.
Re: Fumble recovery by Brice McCain and how it changed the game and how he and Antwon Blake are playing:
They are just young and hungry guys that have kind of earned their keep in this league as special teamers. I think they all have a desire to be great. I am talking about anybody that plays ball at this level. When they get an opportunity they don’t take it for granted. They realize how precious it is. They just want to capitalize on it. Those aren’t my words. Those are their words. Individually, they do realize the opportunity they have to play defense, and they don’t want to waste it. They want to be significant reasons as to why we are successful and I respect that. I think that reflects not only in their play but in their work during the course of the week.
Re: Being more balanced on offense:
I’ve said from day zero we desire to be able to run it and throw it and to have a balanced attack. Read my transcripts. Nothing has changed.
Re: Ben Roethlisberger’s performances the last two games:
He is doing the things that we need him to do, obviously, but I don’t think any of us are surprised by anything that he does. We have been looking at it for some time. We appreciate it nonetheless but we aren’t surprised by it.
Re: Polamalu going back into the game after initially hurting his knee and what happened with him at halftime:
I don’t know what he got at halftime. I just know that he wasn’t able to continue, and it became pretty evident to us at the half.
Re: Polamalu’s injury:
It’s a sprain. That’s all I have at this point.
Re: Offensive line struggling early and responding:
We just got our traction. We talked all week about our offensive line. Those guys have grown up in this series. They have taken their lumps some. They were once young guys playing in this series. But now the group is three, four or five years in the league. They have played together. They have grown up in this series. Their play needs to reflect it and I think it did as the game wore on. That’s what we talked about during the course of the week.
Re: Getting less penalties as of late:
It’s just part of playing good football. You can’t beat yourself if you want to be a tough team to beat. At the early stages of the season we were an easy team to beat, largely because we were beating ourselves. We respect that. We aren’t going to take that for granted. It’s a daily battle to keep the penalties at a minimum, not only in terms of some of those types of things that you talk about but technical things, penalties in the secondary and so forth. I thought we did a good job of being combative but doing it in the proper manner tonight.
Are you somewhat surprised about Martavis Bryant over the past two weeks?
I am not. Antonio Brown is playing at a pretty high level and gets a lot of attention, and if you are just competent you are going to opportunities when you are on the field and breaking the huddle at wide receiver with him.
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