Post-Game: Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin was pleased with the Steelers' 17-0 win over the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field on Saturday night.

Mike Tomlin, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

Productive outing for us. Of course it's great when you can pitch a shutout, even in August. Did some really good things. Of course, there were some things we fell a little short in. We're not going to overanalyze it. We're going to take a look at the tape like we always do at this time of the year and just continue to fight and get better. Still have some pre-snap penalties, delays of game, false start, offsides on defense – things that are going to beat us. Did a lot of good things in the football game. Pleased with the performance collectively. In terms of where we are, we've still got to continue being a team on the rise. I think we're prepared to do that. I like the feel of the vibe of the locker room. The guys understand kind of where we are. We've got a short week. Getting ready to put an exclamation point on what I think has been a good preseason to this point. Questions.

Q: How's Lawrence Timmons?

A: He's going to be fine. Just his ankle. X-rays were negative. He's going to be fine. We'll see where he is tomorrow of course. We'll see his ability to run and cut and stick his foot in the ground, things of that nature. Maybe it'll limit him in some form or fashion the upcoming week, because it's a short week, but nothing long term.

Q: Were your quarterback's numbers indicative of how he played, considering he missed last week?

A: He was pretty good, but not only him, Charlie Batch and Mike Reilly, they all did a nice job of delivering the ball to the correct people. I thought our pass protection was excellent. Third-down football, a lot to be proud of in that group.

Q: Why did you play the first-team defense the opening series of the second half?

A: In a rehearsal game, the offensive unit led us out of the locker room to start the game. Wanted the first unit defense to start the second half. They did a nice job getting off the field. They didn't have a bunch of snaps.

Q: What did you think of Rashard Mendenhall's play?

A: Similar to how he's been this preseason. He's decisive with the football. He's running downhill and finishing off runs violently. We're still a team in development from a run-game standpoint, but I'm not displeased in any way in what he's doing from a contribution standpoint.

Q: Did he get any demerits for the fumble at all?

A: No, it looked like we had some penetration from their 3-technique, Williams. He's a good football player, man. He got underneath Juicy (Kemoeatu) there and created some penetration. It's one of those things that happens. No question we have to do a better job of ball security. We'll always be searching for the ceiling in regards to that. What we want is 100 percent ball security. But when you get that kind of penetration you're not surprised when negative things happen.

Q: Can you sense his confidence level rising with each game?

A: I just look at production. He better get confident, you know. He's got a lot to be confident about. He's prepared.

Q: There wasn't a lot of success on first-down runs. Is there concern?

A: We were committed to running on first down. They were committed to packing the box. Sometimes it's going to be less than pretty, but we still had the personality that we're searching for. We wanted to come out of this football game with some totes, particularly with a 10-plus for the primary ballcarrier, which was Rashard. He ended up with 14 or 15. We got a lot of things done, but not necessarily in the fashion in which we wanted to do it. That's why we will continue to work and hopefully get improvement in those areas.

Q: Will Ben play Thursday?

A: We will take a look at that next week. Ben is the type of guy who if his guys are going he is going to want to go. I'm sure they are going to get some snaps. The extent of how much playing they are going to get is to be determined.

Q: Did Stefan Logan maintain his play?

A: I think he averaged 14 or 15 yards on punt returns. I would have liked to have gotten him a kickoff return, but I am not going to complain about a lack of opportunities in that area. That means you are playing good defense. He has earned the right to continue to be watched. I think he has our attention. We will take him down to Charlotte and see what he has for us down there.

Q: Has Keyaron Fox stepped up his play this year?

A: I thought he showed signs of that last year. Of course, not much evidence because he was our fourth inside linebacker with Lawrence playing, but this guy knows how to play the game. He probably has a better level of comfort with this being his second year in the system in terms of what is being asked and what is going on around him. This guy is a good football player, man. That's why we were interested in re-signing him. We are glad to have him. We have a great deal of confidence in him, and he has earned it.

Q: Has Limas Sweed shown the improvement you wanted in a second-year player?

A: He has, along with those other second-year guys. That's the standard for those guys. We are looking for some other guys to join Sweed and Mendenhall in terms of providing some of the contributions they are providing. We have put a lot of pressure on those second-year guys. They have to make a big step for us and make plays for us. Limas is one doing that. Some others have to join him.

Q: Any other injuries?

A: We have some minor things. Carey Davis has an ankle; things of that nature. We'll have a better understanding of where we are from an injury standpoint after we examine them in the morning. We have nothing major at this point where we think it's going to be an issue moving forward.

Q: Nick Eason's injured?

A: Nick got kicked in the calf at practice a couple days ago. It just didn't improve. I think it was Thursday. He came out here and ran on it before the game, but it was below the line, so we didn't play him.

Q: With so many rookies vying for roster spots, do you temper your enthusiasm and tell yourself this is a veteran, championship team?

A: We don't care how somebody got here if they're capable of helping us win. I'm not looking at guys as rookies. I'm looking at guys as vying for jobs. They put themselves in position to compete and we're just going to continue to watch it. No question as you go through this thing you're more concerned about maybe what's going on off the field, in terms of them being acclimated, being professional athletes, but their play is their play, and if their play is above the line and they can help us, they're going to be with us.


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