Tomlin wanted to start by making an assessment of last weeks game. Basically, Tomlin says what we’ve probably all been thinking: That was ugly. He points out that on 3rd downs we were particularly bad, maybe the worst of the season, and we had lots of trouble getting seven points once getting in to the end zone. Tomlin did say that there are some positives to take away from the game, that young guys like Wesyle Saunders and Antonio Brown are stepping up and playing great football.
Injuries: Woodley is back in practice and looks to be getting closer to game ready. His performance throughout the week will determine his playing time next week. Foote has a hamstring but minor, and so does Chris Carter, who is likely questionable at best for next week. Troy has not had any concussion-like symptoms since returning to the facility. Pouncey has a stomach virus. He has lost “a significant amount of weight” and will have to be out at least a couple of days to try and get better. Sylvester and Battle will be working out this week and Tomlin will base their availability on their performance this week.
On the upcoming Bengals:
Andrew Hawkins seems to be developing in to a great WR and a consistent winner for the Bengals. He is a Wes Welker-type player. Other players include those Tomlin talked about before the last Bengals game. Dalton is looking solid, great pocket to throw from, and the defense is strong. This is not an easy team to beat right now and both teams are playing with the playoffs at steak, per Tomlin. It’s sure to be a great AFC battle.
Tomlin gives the credit to the Bengals D on the Steelers’ inability to convert on 3rd downs, especially as it pertains to shutting down the Steelers’ wide receivers. Tomlin insists that the Steelers have been very good on 3rd down in the past, but they want to make sure this problem doesn’t repeat.
On Troy’s injury, Tomlin says Troy was trying to get back in the game, and insists that he wasn’t experiencing any symptoms almost right away after coming out of the game.
Wallace has been catching fewer balls over the past couple of weeks, and Antonio Brown has been catching more. Tomlin says he believes the reason is a combination of defenses adjusting since Wallace’ss big first half of the season, and that Wallace is starting to drop more passes lately. Wallace was hard on himself after the game for his drops, and Tomlin says he’ll let Mike’s play speak for itself.
Personally, I think it all comes down to the offensive line. We were dominated at the line of scrimmage last week, and it’s the reason we could never really get the offense pumping. The loss of Pouncey as well as the addition of the recentley benched Chris K. made it feel like early in the season, when the Oline couldn’t block anyone to save thier lives. Only slightly different now…
This week is another big week with a conference game against the Bengals. It’s a must win for the Steelers in order to at least stay neck and neck with the Ravens. As long as the Steelers keep on winning, I am sure the Ravens will be crushed under the pressure of having to win all the time.
Catch the full press conference on Steelers Depot.
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