Steelers at Dolphins: Tomlin Tuesday
The Steelers are rolling in spite of injuries and coach Tomlin is ready to face the next challenge.
Before the practice week can begin for the team the coach has to put a bow on the previous week with his Tuesday presser. Tomlin sits down with the media to review the previous game, update injury statuses, preview the upcoming game and answer questions.
Tomlin was sporting one of the pink t-shirts that benefit DeAngelo Williams’ charity to provide free mammograms to women that says “Pittsburgh is stronger than cancer” on the front for the presser.
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There was a lot to like about the Steelers 31-13 win over the Jets on Sunday. Unless, of course, you’re a coach and you’re always looking for ways to improve. Naturally Tomlin was quick to say that it was a necessary win for the team.
The start was slow for the offense and the defense as the Jets were able to move the ball rather efficiently down the field but the Steelers were able to go into the locker room at halftime with a 14-13 lead and didn’t allow the Jets to score the rest of the game.
Tomlin praised both the offensive line and the defense in the win and gave credit to in-game adjustments on defense. He also praised punter Jordan Berry for his kicking (not so much the running) but his punting gave the necessary advantage for field position.
The injury situation is what it is this time of year. Injuries are just a part of the game and hopefully Pittsburgh is just taking their lumps early on rather than late in the year. Defensive end and team captain Cam Heyward is ruled out for the game against Miami.
Aug 12, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) looks on during warm-ups before playing the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field. The Lions won 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Tomlin wouldn’t confirm the 2-3 week timeline reported by the NFL Network Monday night for Heyward’s hamstring injury citing that he wouldn’t categorize Heyward in the realm of normalcy for anything. Heyward hasn’t missed a game since he was drafted in 2011.
Also categorized as out for the Miami game is safety Shamarko Thomas with a groin injury. Center Cody Wallace continues to work back from his knee injury and Tomlin doesn’t anticipate a lot of participation this week from Wallace in practice.
A bunch of guys Tomlin described as dealing with injuries but their practice participation will determine their game status includes Markus Wheaton (shoulder), Marcus Gilbert (ankle), Ryan Shazier (knee), Sammie Coates (finger), Eli Rogers (turf toe), Justin Gilbert (knee), Robert Golden (hamstring), and Roosevelt Nix (back).
He said that DeAngelo Williams has a knee injury that “got maintenance” and may limit him in practice early on but doesn’t see that affecting his availability for Sunday’s game in Miami. That could definitely explain why Williams only got one carry in last Sunday’s win.
In previewing the Dolphins it’s rather difficult to describe them in the manner Tomlin normally hypes up an opponent. Still he tried to say that quarterback Ryan Tannehill poses issues with his mobility and deep ball. Perhaps he meant the Dolphins had issues with those things with Tannehill though?
He did refer to Tannehill as “Tandy-hill” and at the same time provide us with this week’s Tomlinism.
Tomlinism: “We have to be careful of his (Tannehill) long-ball ability” – Mike Tomlin
It is worth noting the connection between the teams lies with their centers. They share the same DNA. Maurkice Pouncey’s twin brother Mike is the center for the Dolphins and their Pouncey is equally as influential and productive for his team as our Pouncey is.
When it came time to answer questions Tomlin was asked about the potential replacement for Heyward and he wouldn’t give a definitive answer between Ricardo Matthews or Javon Hargrave.
Tomlin was not about to get into discussions about Antonio Brown’s cleats or touchdown celebrations. He said that he was told to change his shoes, he changed his shoes and the team went on its way. It’s a non-issue for him.
Also a non-issue for Tomlin is the idea of moving often-injured linebacker Ryan Shazier to a different position. It’s often speculated that Shazier’s injury-proneness come from his size. He’s smaller than your average inside linebacker it’s commonly used as the reason for anything that goes wrong with him.
Tomlin noted that he’d just let that speculation continue and he sees no reason to move him from the inside linebacker position.
When describing how well the offense is playing right now Tomlin gave is up to the big man and credited Ben Roethlisberger for all of the hard work he puts into developing the offense with all of the receivers.
Tomlin and Roethlisberger have been together for 10 years now and Ben Roethlisberger is returning to Miami where he made his first ever start on September 26, 2004.
You can listen to Tomlin’s entire presser right here.
Obviously’s = 5
Bring on the Dolphins! Here we go Steelers! Here we go!
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