Transcript: Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin spent the afternoon greeting his arriving Steelers, and then met with the media to answer the following questions:


I guess we can now start camp 2010 since we have all the registration issues out of the way, highlighted by the conditioning test. Very pleased with the overall conditioning of the group. Great place for us to start, really where we need to be, especially getting started with the challenges that lie ahead. Just great; one of those special days you see guys come together that you haven't seen in a while. Just look forward to starting the process of team-building.

The only man who didn't participate in the conditioning test of those required to was Maurkice Pouncey. Of course, we have come to an agreement with him. You guys are all welcome to watch him execute that tomorrow at 6 a.m. if you so choose. There were some veteran players that were excused at my discretion. I offer no explanation for that other than they're complimented on their years of service. Questions.

Q: Coach, do you consider it a luxury that you've had your draft picks all signed before the starts of the last six training camps now?

A: I wouldn't necessarily call it a luxury. It's what's required. We're looking for guys who have high football character, guys who want to put their hands in the pile and be a part of the reason why we win and are successful. Being here and starting with everyone else is a big part of that.

Q: Mike, who will take the majority of snaps at quarterback with the first team offense?

A: We'll do like we've done the majority of the spring. Byron Leftwich is going to get a significant number of snaps, followed by Dennis Dixon. But we will be somewhat non-rhythmic, of course. We're going to make sure that at the end of this thing that Ben (Roethlisberger) has had a productive camp, but as we proceed at this juncture our focus of course is who's going to be playing quarterback for us the week of the opener. I like where those guys are right now. Charlie (Batch) of course is also included in that mix. But we're not going to lock ourselves down to any prescribed rotation. We'll continue as we have throughout the offseason.

Q: What will Ben be doing when those two are taking the first-team reps?

A: He'll be watching.

Q: Dixon's agent stated publically that Dennis should be taking more reps. What was your reaction to that?

A: I was unaware of that. I was really kind of unaware of that. I don't worry about things that agents say.

Q: Have you planned to do anything differently this camp?

A: Not at this juncture. I imagine that there are going to be some moments of irregularity. We'll deal with those, but my mentality hasn't changed. Hopefully our team's mentality hasn't changed. We haven't had an opportunity to officially meet yet and talk about how we're going to approach our business here, but our mentality, our outlook, the things that are important to us as we start this process, are unchanged.

Q: How will you go about handling the Roethlisberger situation with the league?

A: You know, it is irregular. It's unique. But such is life in the National Football League. You're always presented with challenges to that end. We're going to handle it thoughtfully. We'll communicate with all parties involved.

Q: Where will Flozell Adams play?

A: He'll start out on the right side. He'll initially start on the right side along with Jonathan Scott.

Q: Is he here now? And what was your reaction to signing him?

A: He is here right now, and it is exciting to be able to acquire a guy of his stature in this game and what he's been able to do in this game. But more importantly than his resume are the visits and talks he and I have had over the last several weeks. He's a guy that wants to be here. This is a guy who's made some money in this league and has received just about every personal accolade that you can get. The fire still burns. He wants to be a part of a world champion. He's committed to fitting in. Those are his words, not mine. So those are the things that make you excited, aside from what you know he's capable of and what he's done in the National Football League.

Q: Max Starks said he volunteered to play the right side. What happened in that conversation and why does the coaching staff feel it's better to keep him on the left side?

A: I wasn't privy to the conversation between Max and his coach, but my mentality is we have an issue with one position and that's right tackle. I'm not going to make it an issue at two positions unless I absolutely have to. Max has played above the line and really played pretty well for us at left tackle. We're searching for someone to step in for Willie Colon at right tackle, someone to show themselves. Who that is, we'll see.

Q: Will it be a difficult transition for Flozell to move from left to right tackle?

A: I don't know. I'm not going to assume that it is and I'm not going to assume that it isn't. The next several days and weeks will provide information in that regard and then we'll adjust accordingly if need be.

Q: (Inaudible question concerning Roethlisberger's suspension.)

A: I'm not overly concerned about that element of it. Everyone knows the circumstances that we're dealing with in regards to Ben. You can relate it to dealing with a player that's injured, but if you relate it to that it's even better than an injury because we're anticipating it. We know that we're going to be without him. It is what it is. Our job is not to overanalyze the situation, but to deal with the situation, to improvise, to overcome, adapt and adjust. That is our intent.

Q: You said Ben would be watching while others run the first team. I just want to make sure we're clear on what you mean by that.

A: What I'm saying is that when we snap the ball, there'll be 22 players participating and the other guys will be watching.

Q: Will he be watching in steetclothes?

A: Oh, no. He's a full practice participant, absolutely.

Q: Are there any injury issues?

A: We'll have two guys that start on the PUP. Andre Frazier is experiencing some discomfort in his knee. We'll monitor that. I'm not ready to frame that in terms of his readiness. We'll see how that goes on a day-to-day basis. And of course Chris Scott will start on the PUP list. He sustained an offseason injury that we're all aware of.

Q: What's your reaction to having Maurkice Pouncey ready to work?

A: We hold him in high regard. That's why we took him with the first pick. But since that time, getting to know him throughout the offseason and watching him work, football's important to him. This is a guy that's not only committed to winning but doing what it takes to be a winner. He's always been associated with winning. He's won state championships in high school. He's won national championships in college. We like those kind of guys. We like putting those kind of guys into the mix. We know that he's capable. He's going to have to prove it out there on the field. We're excited to watch him do that, as I'm sure he's excited about doing it.

Q: Was Flozell part of the conditioning test?

A: No. He's new. He's 35. He drove from Chicago today. I didn't want to make him run. That's pretty fair, isn't it?

Q: Could you name all the guys who didn't run?

A: It's the usual suspects: Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, Hines Ward, James Farrior; my thirtysomething guys, guys I went to different high schools with together.

Q: Did you address your team? And if so, what did you say?

A: I don't talk about team meetings. I know sometimes that information becomes public knowledge, but it never becomes public knowledge from me. I just take that that is a pure environment, if you will. Our business is our business in there, and I approach it that way. You won't hear any comments from me about things that were said to the team. Just be assured that when we come together as a team, I'll do the talking.

Q: Will you take the team to Canton next Saturday to watch Dick LeBeau's induction into the Hall of Fame?

A: Absolutely, and we're excited about it. What a great opportunity to have a field trip for a football team: camaraderie, come together, a little bus ride, but more importantly than that is the guy we all love and admire. It's a special day for him and by no means do we intend to miss it.

Q: One day off or two?

A: Now, I didn't say we're going to have a day off. We're going to leave here at 2 p.m. and go to Canton to support Dick.

Q: Will you come back that night?

A: Yes.

Q: What's your reaction to your contract extension?

A: That's similar to the team meeting. (Laughs). Now you guys know I love what I do. This is my job. Contacts and things of that nature are not nearly as important as the opportunity to do what you love to do and with who you love doing it with. It's an honor for me to have this job and work with these men in this organization and represent our fan base. I plan to continue to do that to the best of my ability regardless of contract status, so it's a good thing.

Q: How did Troy Polamalu look today?

A: He looked great out there and ran well. So far so good, but we haven't done much yet.

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