Post-Game: Mike Tomlin

Here's Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin after a 19-16 win over Carolina in the preseason finale.

Mike Tomlin, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

It was a good finish to what's been a very good preseason for us. We got a lot of things accomplished tonight that we wanted to get accomplished. We felt it necessary to get some no-huddle with the first offense. That's a weapon we like to use offensively. Got a couple series of that. Wanted the first defense to come out and get after the run again, build upon the performance they had last week. I thought we did a nice job versus the run. Got an extended look at Byron Leftwich. I thought he did a nice job. Able to get Dennis Dixon some snaps and of course able to run 34. The more we run him (Rashard Mendenhall), we get to know him and he gets to know himself. I think he's improving every week. Lot of guys out there competing and fighting. I like the spirit of the group. It's been a pleasure working with all these guys, but it's that time of the year when we need to make tough decisions and we'll proceed and make those and we'll get into some September football.

Q: Did John Fox do you a favor by going for one point to let your rookie lead the team to the win?

A: Well in hindsight he did. Situational football is something we place an importance on. The great thing was just the opportunity to look in Dennis' eyes and see that the situation wasn't too big for him and watch him lead the troops. From that standpoint it was fun.

Q: Will you make any cuts (Friday)?

A: We'll potentially make some (Friday).

Q: What did you think of them not playing any starters?

A: To each his own. I've learned to focus on things we need to focus on and our issues. We're building our team; they're building their team.

Q: How did Troy Polamalu come out of the game? And what about Arnold Harrison?

A: Troy came out of the game great. He wanted to play more. We talked about it. I told him he wasn't going to get what he was looking for with another series. I like where he is; I think he likes where he is. He just wants to play some more football. He's going to have to wait a week to do that. Unfortunate situation for Arnold. It looks like he has a torn ACL in his left knee.

Q: Would you have kicked an extra point to tie a preseason game?

A: I'm not in that situation. I don't want to second-guess those quality professionals on the other team. They did what was right for their team.

Q: Was it important to go back to Rashard after his fumble?

A: Sure. I think the more you get the ball to that young man, the more you get to know what he's about, the more he gets to know what he's about, the more he gets to know what pro football's about. That's been our approach with him all of preseason. We stuck to the plan. Different people have different approaches. They protect people and so forth and so on. We wanted to feed this guy the ball and check his level of conditioning, his ability to secure the ball as fatigue sets in. Really, his fumbles for the most part have been just that. So just continue to feed him the ball. Now, when we start playing, is he going to get that kind of workload? Is fatigue going to be an issue? Probably not, because Willie P's going to be toting the thing next week a little bit. But it's good to get to know him, it's good to grow. We're committed to this young man. He's got a lot of talent.

Q: Will his fumbling make you hesitant to use him in the regular season?

A: Yes. Wouldn't it make you a little hesitant? Of course, like I said, we've got a commitment to this young guy. We want to him to continue every day to get better. And I think he's up to the challenge. As a matter of fact, I'm sure of it.

Q: Did you like to see Parker get around the corner?

A: Yeah, that's his game. But Willie strives to be a complete player. We like where he is. It's been a good preseason for him. He had to answer a lot of questions, questions he had for himself about bouncing back from an injury. I think he's done that. We've seen flashes of him and what he's capable of doing.

Q: Did either punter do anything to win or lose the job tonight?

A: There were some ups and downs in the game. We've got a decision to make.

Q: Was the return game similar?

A: That was more positive. There were less ups and downs in the return game.

Q: Does the salary cap come into play with the cuts?

A: It always does. Ultimately you hope it's not the deciding factor. You like to make decisions based on performance, but it is something you acknowledge that exists.

Q: Did you like the performance of the no-huddle tonight?

A: I did. Other than the snap that went over the quarterback's head we executed pretty good. We'll continue to work it and pull it out from time to time.

Q: How do your quarterbacks feel about splitting out wide?

A: They love it, particularly Leftwich. Doesn't he look nice out there in his stance? No, it's football, thoughtfully non-rhythmic, a little change of pace. The guys are having fun with it. Hopefully that package continues to expand.

Q: What did you think about the Offensive line?

A: One of the things I was pleased about with those guys is I thought they finished. The piles were falling in the right direction at the end of plays. Usually that's an indication of where you're headed from a mentality standpoint and how guys are hustling. Still, too many negative plays, you know, running plays that get dropped in the backfield. But that's a bunch of young guys and I guess that's what preseason is about.

Q: How's Chris Kemoeatu been playing?

A: He's been rock solid, he really has. He's been what we expected.


Steel City Insider Top Stories