PDA

View Full Version : Tomlin: Starting lineup changes possible for Steelers; Press conference transcript



Captcoolhand
12-07-2009, 12:59 PM
Major changes could be coming to the Steelers as they try to snap a four-game losing streak and salvage their season.

Coach Mike Tomlin said today he will evaluate all aspects of his team and strongly hinted that changes will be made to the starting lineup and particularly at cornerback.

"We can't stay status quo in terms of how we're approaching this thing and expect the pattern of behavior and outcomes to change," Tomlin said today at his weekly news conference. "That's unrealistic, that's hoping. I'm not a hope-mentality person."

Asked how changes would go over on a veteran-laden team, Tomlin said, "I think they understand it and I think to a degree they'll agree with me."

The 6-6 Steelers will likely be without veteran wide receiver Hines Ward Thursday night in Cleveland.

Ward sustained a mild hamstring strain near the end of the Steelers' 27-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders, and the injury will probably sideline him because of the short week.

"He's going to be very questionable for this game," Tomlin said.

Strong safety Troy Polamalu (knee) has been all but ruled out for Thursday's game though Tomlin said he expects defensive end Travis Kirschke (calf) to return to action.

Cornerback William Gay will take a battery of neurological tests this week after sustaining a concussion against the Raiders. Tomlin has not ruled him out of the Browns game.

Even if Gay is able to play in Cleveland, he may not start.

Tomlin said rookie cornerbacks Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis will be given long looks as the Steelers try to shore up their shaky secondary. Tomlin acknowledged that even veteran cornerback Ike Taylor's job isn't safe as he ponders significant changes.

"I don't like where we are," Tomlin said. "Obviously we are a very average football team as we sit here today."LINK (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_656616.html)still no Troy neither :duh:

At this point, the whole secondary should be wondering about their jobs right about now. I'm sure if he could, he would fire them all.

KSSteelerfan
12-07-2009, 01:11 PM
Sounds like to me were screwed in our secondary unless the players with less playing time step up and show us the fans what they got......Hines out.....not good....Troy out....not good.....us beating the brownies at this point? questionable at best.....I never thought that I would say that much less admit that!!:banging:

Captcoolhand
12-07-2009, 01:25 PM
Coming into Sundays game before the Raiders we were favored by 14.5 points..... We are now going up against an even worse so-called team with the Browns and now we are only favored by 9.5-10 pts as of today...... :duh: Go Figure!

I watched the Browns game yesterday after the Steelers and have to adimt, I was pretty impressed at how well they held their own playing against the Chargers.

LatrobePA
12-07-2009, 01:28 PM
Let the fun begin!

Bench: Ike, Gay, Mundy, Farrior....I'd start there!

K Train
12-07-2009, 01:29 PM
i honestly believe that no matter how bad this team is they are promised 2 wins per year, i do not expect to see a loss to the browns any time soon.

this is coming from someone who called the chiefs winning and is not even a little surprised about the raiders winning

Steel Trap86
12-07-2009, 01:35 PM
This is a tough blow with Ward's "very questionable" status as well as the secondary problems, but I still say the Steelers will beat the Browns, even without 86 and 43.

TampaSteelGirl
12-07-2009, 01:44 PM
I would not want Troy to play this game...I will be ok with him sitting out one more week. Would rather play him 100% against the Packers, Ravens and Dolphins and IF we get into playoffs have him there...no sense in rushing him in out of desperation. Glad to see Kirschke coming back. Eh we will be ok without Hines for a game, we have Holmes, Wallace, Heath and perhaps Sweed took notes from Coach Tomlin to Mendenhall (one more crappy game and you're out!!) could see a good game for Sweed this week. Just worried about that secondary not the offense. Would like to see Burnett this week. :imho:

Captcoolhand
12-07-2009, 01:48 PM
I want to see us beat the Browns just so when Mangini gets fired after this season, they can say, "there goes another coach for the Browns that couldn't beat the Steelers"...:lol:

steelersgal86
12-07-2009, 01:48 PM
I want to see us beat the Browns just so when Mangini gets fired after this season, they can say, "there goes another coach for the Browns that couldn't beat the Steelers"...:lol:

:clap: love it!!!!!:yellowthumb:

Big T
12-07-2009, 01:53 PM
I don't like the idea of benching Ike and starting Burnett and Lewis...Ike has been decent all year but has had a few bad games in a row....and that long TD was definitely not Ike's fault. There was supposed to be a saftey in the middle and Ike clearly took away the outside allowing him the middle of the field because Ryan or Tyrone were supposed to be there.

We'll see I guess....I loved their(Burnett and Lewis) potential during TC and the preseason so hopefully they can step up.

Zachintosh66
12-07-2009, 01:57 PM
Farrior? for who Fox... your crazy! Fox isnt starter material... Everyone is being to hard on Farrior b/c of were missing 2 Pro Bowl players and have a scrub at CB. Farrior is still the leading tackler and signal caller on the D. A broken down DL and a sorry *** secondary has left our LB crew "out to dry." They wouldnt of pd Farrior if they thought he was losing a step. And thinking about putting in a lifetime special teamer in his spot (Fox) is completely ridiculous.

K Train
12-07-2009, 02:20 PM
really if they drafted like i thought they should this wouldnt be a problem.

Mauluga=stud
Gilbert>Hood
Sammie Lee Hll=Stud
DJ Moore=Stud
Macho Harris=Solid

i mean i know its easy to say now, but look at my mocks if you want to....all these are on it, all these guys are successful, impressive in spot duty or starters, and the bums that we drafted.....arent

LatrobePA
12-07-2009, 02:23 PM
I love Farrior, but he's getting winded and playing at a lower level, split time with Fox....

Steel Trap86
12-07-2009, 02:26 PM
That Ray Mauluga is a freak and so far 6-0 in the AFC North. I would have liked to pick up Brian Cushing also.

K Train
12-07-2009, 02:28 PM
cushing is a 43 LB

that is based on guys that were available, not guys i thought they should have moved up to get *cough* oher *cough*

K Train
12-07-2009, 02:28 PM
cushing is a 43 LB

that is based on guys that were available, not guys i thought they should have moved up to get *cough* oher *cough*

Captcoolhand
12-07-2009, 02:54 PM
SteelCity Insider.com (http://pit.scout.com/2/926910.html)......



Mike Tomlin, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

Good afternoon. Very disappointing defeat of course yesterday. I think it’s appropriate at this point to acknowledge we have an undesirable pattern of behavior, which produces a series of outcomes that are not what we’re looking for. Moving forward this week and beyond, we can’t continue to do what we’ve been doing and assume that that pattern of behavior is going to change and those outcomes are going to change. So we’re analyzing all aspects of what we’re doing here, specifically this week, and are going to be aggressive in terms of looking at potential changes in not only what we do schematically, but who we have do it in all three phases, because it’s appropriate. I think that is evident. We have some things from a personality standpoint that are occurring continuously that are not acceptable. We’re not making plays at the end of the game, particularly defensively on the back end – opportunities to close the game out from an interception standpoint, allowing people to get big plays on us. Offensively we’re squandering scoring opportunities. We had two opportunities in the red area that were unsuccessful yesterday. We got stopped on fourth and half a yard on a quarterback sneak. We threw an interception on first down in the red area that took other points off the board. We were in very reasonable field goal range, got sacked on a third down that put us on the outer perimeter of field goal range, which of course we missed. When you’re squandering scoring opportunities offensively, you’re giving up plays and not making plays at critical moments defensively, you have a pattern of behavior that’s unacceptable that’s going to produce losses, which is what has happened. We acknowledge and accept responsibility for that. We’re going to take appropriate action. At this time I think appropriate action is looking at doing some things differently and potentially with different combinations of people. So, it gets increasingly difficult because we’re working with a short week – we understand that – but so are the Cleveland Browns. We’re going to proceed and prepare and ultimately try to find a formula that produces a win for us, which is what we desperately need.

From an injury standpoint, in the game William Gay sustained a concussion. We’ll take him through the procedures we take guys through coming off a concussion. He’ll take a battery of tests which will determine whether or not he’s able to practice. If he’s able to practice, we’ll check him for levels of discomfort and see where it takes us here early in the week. Hines Ward had a mild hamstring strain on the second-to-last play of the game when he caught that out around midfield. So, he’s going to be very questionable for this game. The hamstring is mild but we’re working on an extremely short week. We’ll see where it goes, but not favorable for him. Some existing injuries, we’re going to size Charlie Batch up for a soft cast and I think we’re going to get some participation out of him at practice, or at least attempt to. Travis Kirschke appears to be ready to go from the calf strain that he sustained a few weeks back and was able to play, and then wasn’t able to play in this game. Hopefully that’s one that’s behind us. Rashard Mendenhall has a minor ankle sprain or swelling. It may limit him tomorrow but he’s going to be fine and ready to play in the football game. Troy (Polamalu) is continuing to be evaluated. I don’t think he’s going to play in this football game. Questions.

Q: Who starts at cornerback in place of William Gay?

A: It’s going to be Joe Burnett. Keenan Lewis is going to get an opportunity to play. We want to see both of those guys. They’re young guys; they’ve been working. We want to see both of those guys play.

Q: You want to leave Deshea Townsend in the dime?

A: Yes.

Q: What about some of the other changes?

A: You know, it’s very early in the week. If we were at the normal Tuesday press conference I’d probably have more information for you in that regard, but we’re in the early stages of development of our plan as I sit here right now, but I assure you there are going to be some.

Q: Will there be many?

A: Whatever we think’s appropriate in terms of giving ourselves a chance to win based on the matchup with the Cleveland Browns, so subtle in some areas, maybe not so subtle in others. But I am acknowledging that I am very open to that.

Q: On defense?

A: All three phases.

Q: Could you talk about the mental wounds that need to be healed?

A: You’ve got to acknowledge that the potential that this can be kind of a shaken group. We’ve swallowed a lot of late. We’re going to have to become one with ourselves, if you will, individually and collectively. I’m going to be looking very closely at these men and it’s going to provide quality information for me in terms of who legitimately is mentally tough and who can stand the test of some adversity, because we have some, and who’s going to lead the charge more than anything, in terms of getting us out of this and winning a football game. I’m going to be very interested in who those people are, and who those people aren’t.

Q: Did they lose equity they may have earned after winning a Super Bowl?

A: Certainly, but I didn’t carry the equity into this season. I think I’ve been pretty clear about my mentality in regards to that. I’ve said since day one that each season is one that’s very different and that what we do stands alone, even if a lot of the people are the same people. Nothing stays the same in this game. Players are ascending players or descending. People catch up with schemes; schemes evolve. Playing and coaching, this thing is ever changing. We acknowledge that, so you’re always slow to talk about equity from season to season in terms of some of the things that lead to discussions of decision-making. I’m more concerned with the equity that’s built over the course of a season.

Q: Are you satisfied with the leadership you’re getting?

A: We’ve got quality leaders. We do. We’ve got quality guys. It’s not about the type of leadership that we have, the type of people that we are, or the type of football character that we display, it’s about making plays. It’s about the performance. Who we are and what we do are two different things. I’m going to call on that leadership and really look for others outside of those known leaders to provide quality leadership. At times such as this, everybody’s capable of being their best selves and positively affecting an environment or work situation.

Q: How is Mike Wallace progressing? And is he capable of taking on an expanded role if Hines can’t go?

A: Mike is a reliable young guy. He doesn’t blow a lot of assignments. He’s proven repeatedly that the situation isn’t too big for him. I imagine that will continue and, I imagine that if Hines doesn’t play, his role will be expanded in some form or fashion, but I also acknowledge that we may use Limas Sweed in some of the big-body things that Hines Ward does, because Hines Ward is a unique guy in terms of what he does for our football team in both the run and the passing game. It may require more than one person to fill that void.

Q: Why is the fourth quarter the problem after three good quarters? What changes?

A: I don’t know if anything changes other than the fact we’re not making the necessary plays to close out games. I think that that is the story of the National Football League. I think most games are close or move in a certain fashion for three, three and a half quarters, and I think the cream rises at the end. Obviously we’re a very average football team as we sit here today, and our recent record might indicate that’s a kind assessment of it. I’m just being very realistic about where we are and I think we all need to do that because that’s going to give us the necessary clarity to change it.

Q: Will you go with three wide receivers or add a fourth?

A: We’ll possibly add a fourth depending on Hines’s availability.

Q: Do you get involved a lot schematically? And will you increase that?

A: I do and I will because it’s appropriate at this time.

Q: What was the cause of the miscommunications in the secondary?

A: I think there were maybe one or two instances, which is probably normal for a 65, 70-play football game. I’m not going to let that be an excuse for our inability to close out or finish games. We’ve got to put guys in better position to make plays. We’ve got to do that.

Q: Will the lineup changes be finalized shortly?

A: Maybe Thursday 6:30. The hay’s not going to be in the barn this week. We’re going to keep baling it until the 11th hour and some change if possible.

Q: Will Troy’s availability depend on playoff possibilities?

A: No, his availability is based on his health and we’re not going to let circumstance change that approach. That’s not the right thing to do, so when he is ready to play we’ll play him.

Q: Would you consider not playing him the rest of the year depending on how his health coincides with playoff chances?

A: (Shakes head sideways, chuckles) I play to win. I play to win. If that scoreboard’s on, we’re playing to win. Last I heard they’re going to have it on.

Q: As defending champs, have you seen more determination from opponents, particularly in the fourth quarter?

A: I think it’s something that comes with being a Steeler, that people understand how we play the game. I don’t know that it’s necessarily championship-driven. I’ve always felt that way. I know when I worked with other teams, the week you played the Steelers you knew what kind of football game you were going to be in. It’s something that you can’t put a price tag on. It’s legacy. So I don’t know how much the championship itself weighs into that. We always prepare with the anticipation of people being at their very best and us getting their best shot. Ultimately we like to think that that doesn’t determine the outcome of football games, that our plays does. I’m a believer in that.

Q: Did Limas have a chance at that last catch?

A: I thought he did. Of course, the play wasn’t made. Given the circumstances, that’s about as reasonable an opportunity as you’re going to have to make that play. When you talk about Hail Marys, if you will, a bunch of bodies coming to a point in the end zone, we had a 6-4 guy at the point with a pretty clean look at it. You like your chances under the circumstances, but let’s face it, those aren’t very good circumstances when you’re doing that.

Q: Why haven’t we seen Keenan Lewis earlier? How’s he progressing?

A: He played in our opener and sustained an injury, missed the next several games due to that injury, worked his way back into another opportunity to play, and really, in recent weeks, he hadn’t dressed the last two games because we wanted big-bodied special teams guys available and suited – Carey Davis, for instance, who we thought was critical as a punt-protection guy to block Ed Reed and his up-and-under punt rush. Each week we evaluate the matchups in all three phases. Some of them are special teams. Sometimes the nature of the matchup dictates that we have a big-bodied special teams man suited as opposed to a little-bodied special teams man. We like some of the things Keenan has done. He’s been consistently on the rise since coming back from that injury, but due to matchups he hadn’t been suited the last two weeks. Obviously, if William Gay doesn’t play that won’t be a factor in determining whether or not he plays this week. He’ll have an opportunity to play.

Q: Even if William’s healthy and plays, is that position open?

A: You know, I think at this point we need to see what those young guys are capable of doing and see if they can make a play for us. Of course, Joe had an opportunity to make a play that should’ve finished that football game, and he didn’t. But we’ll give him some more opportunities.

Q: Were there missed assignments on the winning touchdown? If so, what happened?

A: Yeah, we did. We had a couple guys out of place in terms of applying pressure to the quarterback with a blitz package. We did have all the eligibles covered. It wasn’t anything from that structural standpoint, but we didn’t get what we want from blitz-entry standpoint, and it created an opportunity for the quarterback to step up in the pocket and find Louis Murphy in the left corner of the end zone.

Q: Should one of those corners have been back with Ryan Mundy?

A: Certainly. Yes.

Q: Ike Taylor also has had a chance to make some plays and has not. Will he also be part of this equation of possible changes as well?

A: Certainly. Certainly. I think that’s appropriate that we look at giving guys some opportunities to see if they can play. What that means or to what extent that means changes will be made I think is a little premature, but I acknowledge that that’s taken place.

Q: You used David Johnson more at fullback. How did he do?

A: It’s been good. I like how he finished the game. I’d like him to start faster. He’s a young guy that I think early on in the game appears to be testing the waters, if you will, and he just needs to jump in. That’s part of youth at times, but he’s got to grow up. He’s got to come out of the tunnel with a higher tempo than maybe he did yesterday. It got better as the game wore on, and I think our results got better because of it, but early on not enough of what we’re looking for. The third-down play before the fourth-down quarterback sneak being an example of that. He’s got to punch holes in fronts, particularly in third-and-one situations to allow us to move the chains. We don’t see any reason why we can’t always move the chains on third down and one.

Q: Is it possible that Troy’s presence is that important?

A: I’m not going to make excuses for my level of expectation. I think that we’re capable of playing winning football with or without Troy. Are we different? Yes, because Troy’s a unique individual. He brings a unique skill set. Maybe the ceiling is different, but the floor, the standard of expectation, is the same, that we’re capable of playing winning football. We’ve played winning football without him. We went and played winning football in Denver without him [?] on the back end. So, I don’t worry about that. I tend to focus my energies on the guys that do play and their level of preparation and their level of play, as opposed to the guys who are unavailable. You can waste a lot of time on guys who are unavailable. I don’t want to waste that kind of time.

Q: How will this group respond if there are changes?

A: They’re pros. I think they understand it and I think to a degree they’ll agree with me. That’s the nature of this thing. We can’t stay status quo in terms of how we’re approaching this thing and expect the pattern of behavior or outcome to change. That’s unrealistic. That’s hoping. This is not a hope business. I’m not a hope mentality person. I think our guys are of the same mindset, so I don’t expect any surprise or discontent in regards to this approach, to be quite honest with you. ......

BlitzburghRockCity
12-07-2009, 03:48 PM
It's about damn time, but it's too little too late if you ask me. Ike has been average at best, Gay is terrible, Carter is worthless, Clark is good but drops countless sure interceptions, Farrior is behind a step almost every play, inconsistent pass rush, the list goes on and on. It's high the lineup get shaken up and people start realizing how bad we suck, and get it fixed!

Zachintosh66
12-07-2009, 03:53 PM
I love Farrior, but he's getting winded and playing at a lower level, split time with Fox....

Regardless... Farriors lower level is still above Fox's highest... gimmie a break on Fox.

LatrobePA
12-07-2009, 04:01 PM
Regardless... Farriors lower level is still above Fox's highest... gimmie a break on Fox.

Fox is the only reason we won the Vikings game, remember they were driving, not too bad in my book, far from a Pro Bowler but not a bad player!

Ibleedblk&gld
12-07-2009, 04:30 PM
this is from james walker on espn.com

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/6508/what-are-the-steelers-changes

coldrolled
12-07-2009, 04:55 PM
I want to see us beat the Browns just so when Mangini gets fired after this season, they can say, "there goes another coach for the Browns that couldn't beat the Steelers"...:lol:

Mangini has and excuse he has 3 quality players. he should stay another year.

Arians has a 100 million dollar QB and an awesome line up of talent and we play like the browns.

And you idiots are blaming the defense.

Please people. Really.. Think about that.

Ibleedblk&gld
12-07-2009, 05:14 PM
Mangini has and excuse he has 3 quality players. he should stay another year.

Arians has a 100 million dollar QB and an awesome line up of talent and we play like the browns.

And you idiots are blaming the defense.

Please people. Really.. Think about that.

idiots? wow guy...i'm pretty sure the majority of us have expressed our anger toward arians play calling...and most of us have called for his firing months ago (even this past offseason)...but we're idiots for blaming the defense? so you don't blame our secondary for blowing the lead in the 4th quarter in 5 of our losses?

LatrobePA
12-07-2009, 05:23 PM
Mangini has and excuse he has 3 quality players. he should stay another year.

Arians has a 100 million dollar QB and an awesome line up of talent and we play like the browns.

And you idiots are blaming the defense.

Please people. Really.. Think about that.

Idiots?? Nothing like calling the kettle black! Yes with this years defense our O needs to score more points to win, but they did, and week after week the D lets the game slip by!

coldrolled
12-07-2009, 05:54 PM
Idiots?? Nothing like calling the kettle black! Yes with this years defense our O needs to score more points to win, but they did, and week after week the D lets the game slip by!

sorry.. just really pissed off.....

franchise3
12-07-2009, 09:16 PM
Regardless... Farriors lower level is still above Fox's highest... gimmie a break on Fox.

We are not giving you a break on Fox. I have no idea why you don't like this guy. He has been one of the very few bright spots on our defense this year. If someone asks me today what player I am the most happy this season on defensive side, I would say Kirschke and then Fox, Hampton and Timmons in no particular order. Sure I think that Harrison has been better but let's talk about improvements and expectations here.

SteelerRush
12-07-2009, 09:17 PM
Mangini has and excuse he has 3 quality players. he should stay another year.

Arians has a 100 million dollar QB and an awesome line up of talent and we play like the browns.

And you idiots are blaming the defense.

Please people. Really.. Think about that.
Your right this offense has enough talent to score at least three touchdowns a game. The problem is when we do we give up three touchdowns and a field goal. That is why everyone is bashing the defense. Our offense has blame on them too. They have too many penalties at critical plays in the game and we wind up leaving the other teams offense with short field position. Even good defense can't stop that all day.

One for the thumb
12-07-2009, 10:53 PM
Coming into Sundays game before the Raiders we were favored by 14.5 points..... We are now going up against an even worse so-called team with the Browns and now we are only favored by 9.5-10 pts as of today...... :duh: Go Figure!

I watched the Browns game yesterday after the Steelers and have to adimt, I was pretty impressed at how well they held their own playing against the Chargers.

I am surprised we are favored after sundays debacle

LatrobePA
12-07-2009, 11:06 PM
We are not giving you a break on Fox. I have no idea why you don't like this guy. He has been one of the very few bright spots on our defense this year. If someone asks me today what player I am the most happy this season on defensive side, I would say Kirschke and then Fox, Hampton and Timmons in no particular order. Sure I think that Harrison has been better but let's talk about improvements and expectations here.

Thanks, I'm glad I'm not the only one!!

Zachintosh66
12-07-2009, 11:52 PM
Fox is the only reason we won the Vikings game, remember they were driving, not too bad in my book, far from a Pro Bowler but not a bad player!

No... Fox was just in the right place at the right time... ball went right to him... COMPLETE LUCK!

K Train
12-08-2009, 12:04 AM
he still made the play, theres alot of times you see that ball get dropped

Mike Tomlin
12-08-2009, 01:24 AM
There's nothing wrong with Farrior people are still hungover because of that play Rice made last week. I think Fox is ok but you can't start him over Farrior. Again if our offense took advantage of the redzone chances in any of these games the 4th quarter wouldn't matter. With Troy out they should understand that late in the game their going to pick us apart. When the other teams O sees our blitzes all game the will find a groove eventually, in the past we had Troy to bring that spontaneous element to our D to keep them off balance. Even without Troy if the offense converts those redzone points we can let the dogs loose.

franchise3
12-08-2009, 07:45 AM
There's nothing wrong with Farrior people are still hungover because of that play Rice made last week. I think Fox is ok but you can't start him over Farrior. Again if our offense took advantage of the redzone chances in any of these games the 4th quarter wouldn't matter. With Troy out they should understand that late in the game their going to pick us apart. When the other teams O sees our blitzes all game the will find a groove eventually, in the past we had Troy to bring that spontaneous element to our D to keep them off balance. Even without Troy if the offense converts those redzone points we can let the dogs loose.

Farrior has been underperforming the whole year; way before Rice play.

LatrobePA
12-08-2009, 08:48 AM
Only the coach can make the changes, us PC coaches can only sit watch and bitch!

I can only hope they get it fixed asap!!

Mike Tomlin
12-08-2009, 09:10 AM
Farrior has been underperforming the whole year; way before Rice play.
I don't see it.

playboy pryor
12-08-2009, 11:08 AM
Farrior needs to be out on passing plays on 3rd down. he's lost a step!!!!!

DanRooney
12-08-2009, 12:30 PM
Guys for all practical purposes we should be rooting for Cleveland. We need a stud in this years draft if we want to go back into the 08 form on D

weidnerr
12-08-2009, 12:43 PM
Fox deserves more playing time and Farrior can use the help. It will keep them both fresher for the 4th quarter. Fox has the speed on 3rd downs. Please stop dropping Woodley in pass coverage. That will never be his strength! Either blitz him or swap him out on 3rd downs.