On Tuesday, December 2, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed members of the media to talk about the Steelers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints and the upcoming road trip to Paul Brown Stadium to face the Cincinnati Bengals in an AFC North divisional battle. Tomlin addressed not only individual players but took questions geared toward what he expects the team to face this Sunday. After his press conference there were three things that appeared to stand out in terms of running themes that have been issues throughout the season as well as situational areas of focus that Tomlin feels needs to be addressed this week in practice.
Tomlin began his weekly press conference talking about the 32-35 loss to New Orleans. The Steelers struggled against the Saints and were unable to begin the game strong, leaving Pittsburgh struggling late in the game to catch up. It was not enough despite the two touchdowns and subsequent pair of two-point conversions. “There are positives and negatives every time you play a football game,” Tomlin said. “When you really look at this [latest] game, there weren’t enough positives to complement ourselves well enough to secure victory…” Tomlin pointed out that the Steelers offense, defense and special teams were guilty of letdowns, making it a team loss.
“In the early stages of the game we were getting off the field defensively and were getting quick stops. We were providing good position for the offense,” Tomlin said. “We had several drives cross the 50 yard-line…even into scoring territory. To come out of those possessions with six points [via field goals]at the half is not what you are looking for when you are playing an explosive offense like New Orleans that is capable of getting going.” As for the second half of the game, Tomlin expressed disappointment over penalties and the defense allowing New Orleans to take advantage of the Steelers defense several times for long yardage. “We gave up some big plays. We can’t do that. But you couple that with the fact that we didn’t get many big plays, at least until the waning moments of the game. Again, that’s a sign of us not complementing ourselves well enough to secure victory,” Tomlin pointed out. “If you do give up big plays you better get a few of your own. That didn’t occur. We don’t want to turn the football over…that produced the climate where we played from behind.”
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