Following the 43-18 Pittsburgh Steelers win over the San Francisco 49ers at Heinz Field, head coach Mike Tomlin gave his post-game presser with a bit more pep than previous meetings. Ever hesitant to give too much away about the future, Tomlin said that a home win in the opener was a plus. “If you’re going to be competitive in this league, you have to bounce back from negative performances and you have to perform at home,” Tomlin said. “We did both today.”
Re: On what the sacks by Stephon Tuitt and Cameron Heyward meant to the defense early on:
Those were emotional plays. In general, I thought the group came out ready to play. I think that is what created an atmosphere for those plays to happen.
Re: On the defense’s overall performance:
It was appropriate. We didn’t do as well as we would have liked a week ago and we responded accordingly. We met this week’s challenges. We weren’t perfect. We gave up some big plays, particularly in the second half, but we will take the win.
Relative to your expectations, how would you describe the improvement?
I’m not going to paint with a broad brush based on this performance, just like I didn’t a week ago. The truth is probably somewhere in between. We are going to keep working. We need to be better next week than we were this week.
Re: On Ryan Shazier’s injury:
Nothing substantial, just bumps and bruises along the way. We will have a better report on Tuesday.
Re: On Shazier’s impact today:
He’s going to have an impact in whatever stadium he’s in. He’s that kind of player. He’s sharp and has gained experience. We expect his arrow to be pointed up week in and week out. He brings that approach, so I’m not surprised when he plays well.
Do you expect performances like the offense had today?
I expect us to win downs in situations and we did. We did what we were capable of, and we were right. It’s our goal to be right. We were in a lot of instances today.
Did you change anything schematically in the red zone?
Not anything dramatic. We didn’t develop a new personality. I just think we executed better on offense and defense.
What caused you to go with DeAngelo Williams on the goal line this week?
We decided to ride DeAngelo in all situations. We knew more about his level of conditioning over the period of an entire game this week than we did last week. He stood up pretty good over the course of a long haul a week ago. We have that experience with him now, so we are comfortable to let him be a featured guy in all circumstances this week. We will see what we do next week.
How will you balance that load when Le’Veon Bell comes back?
We will see what we do next week.
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