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Mike Tomlin Press Conference – Week 17 – Browns


Makes me shake my head that all we had to do was win one of those Ravens games and life would be much simpler right now. Now we have to do the whole “if so and so loses to so and so, and so and so beats so and so, and my second cousin’s friend Ray sees his shadow, then we get the bye week in the playoffs” thing. Awesome.

Comparatively speaking, Tomlin was pretty pumped about the win against the Rams. He says any time you shut out an NFL opponent, it was a good week. He gave props to Trai Essex right away for being willing to come in to the game and play center for Doug Legursky, who was injured very early in the game. He says it was a special afternoon for Essex. Tomlin also gave props to a lot of the guys who have come off of the practice squad and helped us win games. Particularly John Clay, who ran in a TD from 10 yards out on Saturday, and Cromartie-Smith and Ivy who have both made contributions on special teams. Tomlin says it’s a testament to the Steelers’ “program,” which he says he believes in.

As far as injuries are concerned, Tomlin says Doug Legursky is probably a week away from playing. He says Big Ben, Pouncey, Emmanual Sanders, and Woodley all have a shot at playing this week. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette tweeted this week that the Steelers want Big Ben to play for at least half of the Browns game this week so he isn’t coming in to the playoffs after sitting for two weeks straight. Memo comtinues to work his way back from his MCL sprain.

Tomlin aknowledges all of the scenarios in which the Steelers’ playoff chances could be effected by other teams, but says they all depend on them winning this week, so that is what they will focus on. As our readers probabably already know, The Bengals are playing for a spot in the playoffs. They are playing the Ravens. A Ravens loss + a Steelers win = 2nd Seed Bye. That is a losable game for the Ravens.

The Browns team the Steelers will see at 4:15p EST (new time!) on Sunday will not be much different from the Browns the Steelers saw a couple of weeks ago. Most importantly, Seneca Wallace is playing QB for the Browns, not Colt McCoy. Tomlin has respect for Wallace and his veteran savvy. Hillis has been a little hotter since we played the Browns  last, and the Steelers will have to tend to that. Tomlin calls them a top-10 type defense. Not sure how accurate that is, but the offense shouldn’t have big problems moving the ball, even with Charlie Batch at the helm for half or all of the game.

Questions:

Tomlin was very happy with Batch’s performance last week, but insists it doesn’t change how they think about his role in regards to Big Ben.

Tomlin says “we’ll see” about Marcus Gilbert working his way back in to the lineup. “Nothing surprises me when it comes to rookies.” He added, “Talent is one thing, what you’re willing to do is more important to us.”

Presser was short and sweet, without very many questions. Made me wonder if the reporters we walking on egg shells after being walked out on last week. Going in to the playoffs with some momentum winning games will be a great thing, regardless of the fact the final two wins would be against the Rams and Browns. Here’s to hoping for a first round bye.

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