Mike Tomlin addressed the media yesterday and his spiel was as you might expect. He spent the entire six minutes or so talking about the Ravens, and what he expects for the game. He spent the majority of that time talking about all the new weapons the Ravens have at both offense and defense, and stated that the Ravens probably have the edge since they know a lot more about the Steelers than visa versa. They’ve acquired a “legitimate deep ball threat, veteran wide out in Lee Evans” and others including RB Ricky Williams, LT Bryant McKinnie (who came from MN), a couple of young exciting guys at Tight End, and a new defensive coordinator.
“It will be interesting to see how he puts his fingerprints on something that has been very good for a long time, and quite frankly, we expect them to be quite salty on Sunday.”
All in all, Tomlin talked about how much work they have to do to familiarize themselves with these new players, and how the Ravens will utilize them in their offensive and defensive schemes. It seems to me based on how Tomlin knew the name and position of every new player – he just rattled them off like he’s been studying for a final exam or something – tells me that the Steelers have been doing just that, starting with the Head Coach on down.
Tomlin says the only real injury to speak of is that of Chris Carter, who is battling a hamstring. When asked about James Harrison’s comments that he is not yet fully healthy, Tomlin stated that he’s “sandbagging” and that they expect him to be at his best against the Ravens. This comes with a sigh of relief because it seems like all of those injuries are behind us. Tomlin said that McFadden probably would have played last week if it were regular season, but they wanted to take advantage of the time that had to makesure he is totally healthy. Ike Taylor will be getting the pin taken out of his broken hand, but they do not expect him to be limited in any way shape or form come Sunday.
A few quotes from Tomin:
“They probably know more about us than we know about them.”
Tomlin, mid-speech about all of the Ravens’ new weapons.
“We are who we are, we aren’t fighting any stereotypes.”
When asked about the age of the defense, Tomlin responded like so, going on to say that when he looks at these guys he doesn’t see age, he sees a defense that is performing on an incredibly high level, and they play at the standard that is set for them.
“He shows good awareness, he’s combative in the run he shows blitz capabilities, but more than anything the ability to play in the slot, usually is exemplified by what a guy is able to take in and understand…To be quite frank with you it’s probably more like Safety as a position than it is like Corner, and he’s shown an aptitude for it.”
Tomlin when asked about why William Gay plays in the Nickel packages so much.
“Who’s angry, who’s not, what’s said, what’s not said…We all know that’s going to be irrelevant when this ball is kicked off at 1 o’clock on Sunday. The root of the matter is, we have two very good football teams with the same intentions, and that is to dominate the AFC North and put themselves in position to chase the Lombardi.”
Tomlin finished by saying it will be a humbling experience to play on the anniversary of 9/11, and that they hope that they can in some way honor them with the way they play on Sunday. “It will be a humbling honor.”
Visit Steelers Depot to listen to the full presser.
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