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Game Vs. Steelers: Steelers HC Mike Tomlin

Posted Aug 21, 2014

Opening Remarks: “Disappointing performance for us on a lot of fronts. Just quite simply we didn’t make enough plays in any of the three phases. Obviously we weren’t able to stop them or get them behind the chains on defense. That allowed them to move the ball down the field on us and possess it in the first half. We missed a conversion or two and that’s all it took to lose the rhythm on offense and we found ourselves behind in the football game. Obviously we were highly penalized, as were they. It was probably an ugly game to look at from home. We’ll take a look at the video and look at our technique and make the appropriate responses to that. We hadn’t been penalized like that to this point in the preseason. We’ll take a look at it. From an injury standpoint, we had a couple of injuries to speak of. [LB] Sean Spence probably has a PCL to his right knee. [LB] Jason Worilds has a knee injury of some description. It will be evaluated. [DE] Cam Heyward has an ankle sprain. Some other bumps and bruises. Obviously, I just told te team in there, and it’s very true, the tape we put out is ours. We have to own it. But more importantly than that, I’m looking for the proper response to this performance. Moving forward, I think that this journey, this football season, will not be without its bumps and bruises along the way. I’m interested in seeing how this group responds to our performance tonight. So we’ll challenge them in that way. Challenge ourselves, coaches and players alike and hopefully get better in an effort to not put tape out like that on a consistent basis. It’s unacceptable.”
 
On his reaction to the RB Le’Veon Bell and RB LeGarrette Blount reports and on his decision to play them tonight: “You know, I have no reaction other than the statement that we released. We are aware of it. Obviously that conduct is detrimental to our efforts. They’ll be dealt with appropriately. From my perspective, in terms of their participation tonight, I didn’t view it as punishment to send them home, to be quite honest with you, to not play in this pre-season game. I’d rather them play more than anticipated than to remove them from that game. So that’s why we took the stance that we took tonight. Obviously we have some things to do regarding the matter moving forward, but not a lot to say regarding it at this point in time.”
 
On whether this game is shocking in terms of the progression the team has made: “No it’s not shocking. Obviously we don’t want to play like that under any circumstances. But we did. So we have to own it and like I said just a few short moments ago, it’s more important about how we move forward and make the proper corrections in all three phases so that doesn’t happen again.”
 
On whether he knows how he will work DE Brett Keisel in: “No. We hadn’t decided that yet. Obviously Brett is a capable NFL lineman. We’ve been in continual communication with him. I’m glad to have him back in the fold. We’ll hammer that out as we get him up to speed in terms of game readiness. He’s in great shape. We’ll see what the football looks like.”
 
On teams having success running the ball against the defense: “You know, I’d have to look at the tape to be very specific, but obviously defensive football is simple at times. You know, it’s about defeating blocks and making tackles. It didn’t look like we were coming off enough blocks consistently enough to shut down their running game. That’s my knee-jerk response, or simple answer to your question, if you will. But I’m sure when I look at the tape there will be more complex issues regarding it. But in a nutshell, not enough of guys coming off blocks making tackles.”
 
On G Kevin Beachum getting pushed around on the field: “I didn’t see that.”
 
On whether the Bell and Blount reports were detrimental to the team’s on field performance: “No. We’re not going to make an excuse for that performance. We’re going to own that. What happened yesterday or whatever had nothing to do with how we performed tonight.”

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