Thursdays with Tomlin

The Steelers' opener is three days away and rookie Coach Mike Tomlin isn't showing any nerves. Here's his Thursday briefing:

MIKE TOMLIN, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Everybody healthy?

A: Everything's status quo. Marquis Cooper is still fighting back but he's doubtful. Brian St. Pierre has been able to participate in a limited capacity. I anticipate him potentially being fine by Sunday.

Q: No crowd noise in practice?

A: If we do it'll be on Fridays. We won't use it every day of the week in preparation for a road game. If we do it'll simply be on Fridays. There is too much instruction and adjustments that need to be made from a coaching standpoint in the early part of the week to incorporate that element of it. We're teaching, we're detailing things that need to get sharpened. If we add that test to our preparation, it will be added on Friday.

Q: What are your thoughts on the left side of Cleveland's offensive line?

A: They've got to feel good about what they're doing offensively and defensively. They went out and got some free agents that are high quality guys like Steinbach, and they got some guys like Antwaan Peek and Robaire Smith on defense. They drafted some guys that are expected to start for them in their rookie opener, like Thomas and the corner Wright.

Q: Ever talk to your old coaches going into this game?

A: I'm not a big phone guy, and I respect their time, so we don't probably talk as much as we'd like, but when we do it's always fun.

Q: Former coaches that predict a team to finish first, is that something you don't want to lay on a successor?

A: Personally, I really don't care about predictions and who makes them. I really don't. At the end of it all, predictions mean very little. It's what we do on the field, and that's where I like to keep my focus. No disrespect to the predictors or the predictions, but it's really kind of irrelevant at the end of the day. Nobody remembers the predictions when it's over, unless they were right.

Q: But after your career's over and you inevitably get into the media …

A: I'll never say never. Everybody's entitled to their opinion and it's just that. It's irrelevant to me to be honest with you.

Q: On the eve of the first game, do you feel like you're ready and why?

A: I do because I feel like our team is ready, and it's as simple as that for me. My job is to ready this football team and get them in position to perform and compete and play winning football. I think we're in the process of doing that. I like where we are in terms of that preparation, so I feel good.

Q: How do you balance the fun of the game with the seriousness of the job?

A: It's easy from my perspective, and maybe I'm different from most, but I happen to enjoy what I do. I like what comes with this game. I like what comes with this business. Some perceive it to be positive and negative. I've learned to enjoy it all, I really do. I like the challenge that each day presents, whether it's in-season, whether it's out of season. It never gets stale. Every day that you walk into this building there's something new that you have to deal with. I enjoy that element of it and I think this team does.

Q: Is getting a chance all you've ever asked for? I think that's all you can ask for, regardless of what business or industry you're in, if you get an opportunity to present yourself, and your best self, you trust that the chips will fall where they may. I've been blessed, man. Some of the best things that've happened to me are jobs that I didn't get. A lot has been written and said about the job that I've gotten. I've missed on a few too and that's turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Q: Care to elaborate?

A: No. Just rest assured that I've missed out on some along the way. You don't get to become a good interviewee without failing. I've failed some.

Q: Will Rossum return punts and kicks?

A: We're close to that decision. We're not ready to make that statement at this time.

Q: Just one guy back on kickoffs?

A: Yes. We'll have an off-returner, but essentially, yes, one man back.

Q: Will you decide about 1 o'clock Sunday?

A: We'll probably have it before then, but I don't know if I'll disclose it.


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\nMIKE TOMLIN, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

\r\n\r\nQ: Everybody healthy?

\r\n\r\nA: Everything's status quo. Marquis Cooper is still fighting back but he's doubtful. Brian St. Pierre has been able to participate in a limited capacity. I anticipate him potentially being fine by Sunday.

\r\n\r\nQ: No crowd noise in practice?

\r\n\r\nA: If we do it'll be on Fridays. We won't use it every day of the week in preparation for a road game. If we do it'll simply be on Fridays. There is too much instruction and adjustments that need to be made from a coaching standpoint in the early part of the week to incorporate that element of it. We're teaching, we're detailing things that need to get sharpened. If we add that test to our preparation, it will be added on Friday.

\r\n\r\nQ: What are your thoughts on the left side of Cleveland's offensive line?

\r\n\r\nA: They've got to feel good about what they're doing offensively and defensively. They went out and got some free agents that are high quality guys like Steinbach, and they got some guys like Antwaan Peek and Robaire Smith on defense. They drafted some guys that are expected to start for them in their rookie opener, like Thomas and the corner Wright.

\r\n\r\nQ: Ever talk to your old coaches going into this game?

\r\n\r\nA: I'm not a big phone guy, and I respect their time, so we don't probably talk as much as we'd like, but when we do it's always fun.

\r\n\r\nQ: Former coaches that predict a team to finish first, is that something you don't want to lay on a successor?

\r\n\r\nA: Personally, I really don't care about predictions and who makes them. I really don't. At the end of it all, predictions mean very little. It's what we do on the field, and that's where I like to keep my focus. No disrespect to the predictors or the predictions, but it's really kind of irrelevant at the end of the day. Nobody remembers the predictions when it's over, unless they were right.

\r\n\r\nQ: But after your career's over and you inevitably get into the media …

\r\n\r\nA: I'll never say never. Everybody's entitled to their opinion and it's just that. It's irrelevant to me to be honest with you.

\r\n\r\nQ: On the eve of the first game, do you feel like you're ready and why?

\r\n\r\nA: I do because I feel like our team is ready, and it's as simple as that for me. My job is to ready this football team and get them in position to perform and compete and play winning football. I think we're in the process of doing that. I like where we are in terms of that preparation, so I feel good.

\r\n\r\nQ: How do you balance the fun of the game with the seriousness of the job?

\r\n\r\nA: It's easy from my perspective, and maybe I'm different from most, but I happen to enjoy what I do. I like what comes with this game. I like what comes with this business. Some perceive it to be positive and negative. I've learned to enjoy it all, I really do. I like the challenge that each day presents, whether it's in-season, whether it's out of season. It never gets stale. Every day that you walk into this building there's something new that you have to deal with. I enjoy that element of it and I think this team does.

\r\n\r\nQ: Is getting a chance all you've ever asked for?\r\nI think that's all you can ask for, regardless of what business or industry you're in, if you get an opportunity to present yourself, and your best self, you trust that the chips will fall where they may. I've been blessed, man. Some of the best things that've happened to me are jobs that I didn't get. A lot has been written and said about the job that I've gotten. I've missed on a few too and that's turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

\r\n\r\nQ: Care to elaborate?

\r\n\r\nA: No. Just rest assured that I've missed out on some along the way. You don't get to become a good interviewee without failing. I've failed some.

\r\n\r\nQ: Will Rossum return punts and kicks?

\r\n\r\nA: We're close to that decision. We're not ready to make that statement at this time.

\r\n\r\nQ: Just one guy back on kickoffs?

\r\n\r\nA: Yes. We'll have an off-returner, but essentially, yes, one man back.

\r\n\r\nQ: Will you decide about 1 o'clock Sunday?

\r\n\r\nA: We'll probably have it before then, but I don't know if I'll disclose it.

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" MIKE TOMLIN, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Everybody healthy?

A: Everything's status quo. Marquis Cooper is still fighting back but he's doubtful. Brian St. Pierre has been able to participate in a limited capacity. I anticipate him potentially being fine by Sunday.

Q: No crowd noise in practice?

A: If we do it'll be on Fridays. We won't use it every day of the week in preparation for a road game. If we do it'll simply be on Fridays. There is too much instruction and adjustments that need to be made from a coaching standpoint in the early part of the week to incorporate that element of it. We're teaching, we're detailing things that need to get sharpened. If we add that test to our preparation, it will be added on Friday.

Q: What are your thoughts on the left side of Cleveland's offensive line?

A: They've got to feel good about what they're doing offensively and defensively. They went out and got some free agents that are high quality guys like Steinbach, and they got some guys like Antwaan Peek and Robaire Smith on defense. They drafted some guys that are expected to start for them in their rookie opener, like Thomas and the corner Wright.

Q: Ever talk to your old coaches going into this game?

A: I'm not a big phone guy, and I respect their time, so we don't probably talk as much as we'd like, but when we do it's always fun.

Q: Former coaches that predict a team to finish first, is that something you don't want to lay on a successor?

A: Personally, I really don't care about predictions and who makes them. I really don't. At the end of it all, predictions mean very little. It's what we do on the field, and that's where I like to keep my focus. No disrespect to the predictors or the predictions, but it's really kind of irrelevant at the end of the day. Nobody remembers the predictions when it's over, unless they were right.

Q: But after your career's over and you inevitably get into the media …

A: I'll never say never. Everybody's entitled to their opinion and it's just that. It's irrelevant to me to be honest with you.

Q: On the eve of the first game, do you feel like you're ready and why?

A: I do because I feel like our team is ready, and it's as simple as that for me. My job is to ready this football team and get them in position to perform and compete and play winning football. I think we're in the process of doing that. I like where we are in terms of that preparation, so I feel good.

Q: How do you balance the fun of the game with the seriousness of the job?

A: It's easy from my perspective, and maybe I'm different from most, but I happen to enjoy what I do. I like what comes with this game. I like what comes with this business. Some perceive it to be positive and negative. I've learned to enjoy it all, I really do. I like the challenge that each day presents, whether it's in-season, whether it's out of season. It never gets stale. Every day that you walk into this building there's something new that you have to deal with. I enjoy that element of it and I think this team does.

Q: Is getting a chance all you've ever asked for? I think that's all you can ask for, regardless of what business or industry you're in, if you get an opportunity to present yourself, and your best self, you trust that the chips will fall where they may. I've been blessed, man. Some of the best things that've happened to me are jobs that I didn't get. A lot has been written and said about the job that I've gotten. I've missed on a few too and that's turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Q: Care to elaborate?

A: No. Just rest assured that I've missed out on some along the way. You don't get to become a good interviewee without failing. I've failed some.

Q: Will Rossum return punts and kicks?

A: We're close to that decision. We're not ready to make that statement at this time.

Q: Just one guy back on kickoffs?

A: Yes. We'll have an off-returner, but essentially, yes, one man back.

Q: Will you decide about 1 o'clock Sunday?

A: We'll probably have it before then, but I don't know if I'll disclose it.

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