Q&A: Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin brought his team out for Sunday's practice, but before stretching he called them all together and dismissed them for two weeks. Here's how the coach wrapped up the weekend:

Mike Tomlin, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

Just brought to a close what was a productive weekend for us, productive on a lot of fronts. I had an opportunity to lay eyes on some new guys, instruct them, and watch them take the instruction, and hustle around a little bit. Got a chance to gather the veteran players and started the process of building our team for 2009. Great energy, great enthusiasm, like I mentioned a couple of days ago; successful weekend from that standpoint. Also successful because we came out of the weekend virtually injury free. Yesterday afternoon someone stepped on Mewelde Moore's foot. He has a slight ankle sprain, but nothing long term. He should be able to get back to work the latter part of next week and continue on with his offseason program. So, from that standpoint, great weekend.

Q: Anyone stand out?

A: People stood out but stood out in the forum that we had this weekend, which means very little in regards to playing legitimate football. It's just great to see guys break the huddle, establish some rhythm. I think that we're pretty far along in the process for this time of year, relative to the other years that I've been here, in terms of some of the cohesive things, some of the communication things. Really, it's just a function of the continuity heading into season three now with the same offenses and defenses and special teams systems and a lot of the core guys.

Q: Can a winning drive line the type Ben Roethlisberger led to win the Super Bowl, can that have an effect on a player's future confidence or whatever?

A: There are examples that you can point to of drives, of plays, being a springboard to something, but usually the roots of success happen before those signature plays. And that's the case. I think those are the things that allow those types of drives or plays to transpire. People can point to those when you look back at somebody's career or development, but usually those are born when no one's looking – in the weight room, on the practice field, in a training facility.

Q: Ben's in his sixth year now. Would you say he's in his prime?

A: I believe that he can get better. I'm sure that he does. He's still a young guy. He's got a lot of hardware that some young guys don't have, but those are the standards that he sets for himself. Like everybody else, Ben is going to be here searching for the ceiling, in terms of what he's capable of, in terms of what we're capable of. He's trying to do it better and smarter and cleaner. That's what we're all trying to do.

Q: Did you sense Limas Sweed gaining confidence?

A: I think it's too early to tell. Nobody got hit out there today, particularly at the wide receiver position. You can't evaluate guys till they play. We like what he's doing from a work standpoint, but that's just trying to tell a story to evaluate his level of confidence at this point.

Q: Vets help the rookies here. Is that unique to the Steelers?

A: I think that's something that all good teams have in common. The teams that are consistently good, they understand the obligations that come with playing this game. The knowledge that you receive from veteran players, you use it to improve, and eventually replace the guy that you learned it from. You in turn pass it on to someone who could potentially replace you. It's the law of the jungle, if you will. It's something that our guys embrace. We have legitimate camaraderie here, but I think the same thing can probably be said about any of the teams in the cities where teams are consistent winners and competitors.

Q: When will the Larry Foote situation be resolved?

A: Don't know the answer to that. We'll see.

Q: Are you trying to trade him?

A: Again, what I said yesterday is all I'm going to say this weekend in regards to that.

Q: Do you know what's wrong with Martin Nance yet?

A: No. Actually, he's scheduled to be looked at in great detail tomorrow morning. We'll have some information for you the middle of next week at the latest.


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