Tomlin: Trying To Do What It Takes To Win

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin participated in a conference call with the Indianapolis media this week. See what the Pittsburgh head coach had to say about his quarterback situation, what Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward mean to his team, his relationship with Tony Dungy, and more!

On what WR-Hines Ward means to the team and what he's all about:

"Hines plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. He's just a football player first, a wide receiver second. There's no question that we feed off his energy and enthusiasm and genuine love for the game. He's a good leader and good veteran player for us."

On the quarterback situation:

"Really we're no different than we have been any other Wednesday here in the last month or so. Ben's not going to practice today. Byron's going to take snaps, and as we proceed during the week hopefully Ben gets better, and if he does, he'll be our QB. I don't want to make more out of it than what it is. It's just how it's been."

On Bryon Leftwich giving people confidence that he can do it:

"No question he came in and delivered for us. We have a great deal of respect for what he's capable of doing. We competed against him as an organization in the past as well, when he was in Jacksonville. Just a great opportunity for him to step up and deliver for his teammates, and we're glad he's capable of doing it."

On how similar safeties Troy Polamalu and Bob Sanders are:

"I think they're similar in that when you turn the tape on, they're arguably the fastest people on the tape. They really play with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm and I think the people that play with them feed off of that. I think that's what makes them who they are as players."

On how important Polamalu is to their scheme and if he has freedom to roam in the defensive backfield:

"He's a very important part of what we do because he has what you can't coach. He has great instincts. He trusts them. He's a splash playmaker. We need his kind of effort."

On Polamalu and Sanders being freaks of nature:

"I would agree with it, but I'd also say that a lot of times people underestimate what those kind of people and those two guys, particularly, are willing to do to prepare themselves to play. It's not all instincts. Those guys are professionals. They work extremely hard at what it is they do and they prepare themselves to perform."

On the importance of the safety position today compared to what it was years ago:

"Those guys are asked to do so much in today's NFL. They're not one-dimensional players. The strong safety is not a box player. The free safety is not a hole player. If you're going to be good defensively, those guys have to have a bunch of skill sets to be capable to do a lot of things, whether it's playing half field or center field or asserting into the box and being the eighth run defender. Today's NFL safeties have to be complete players in that regard."

On Polamalu's personality:

"Troy's not as quiet as you think among his peers, particularly in the locker room. He's well-liked. He's got a great personality. I think he just would prefer to kind of move under the radar if you will. He's not interested in being famous."

On Tony Dungy saying there was never a doubt that Tomlin would be a success:

"It means everything to me. Coach has been a mentor to me, no doubt. He sets the standards for guys like myself that are trying to make our way in this business. It's just knowledge being associated with him."

On being a more balanced offensive team than some might think:

"I still think we're developing our personality as a football team. Meanwhile, we're just trying to do what it takes on a week in and week out basis for us to win. I think it's becoming evident that we have some receivers that are capable of providing splash plays, but ultimately, if we're going to be the kind of team that we want to be, we have to be able to win a variety of ways. I think that's what we're really focusing on as we go forward."

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