Coming off a tough and emotional game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18, playoff implications were at stake, and the Pittsburgh Steelers came out victorious! Head coach Mike Tomlin spoke with the media once again on Tuesday afternoon about just that, and what we can expect from the team this week.
Tomlin opened up his press conference addressing the latest injuries on the team. That included defensive back Arthur Maulet (concussion), rookie running back Najee Harris (elbow), inside linebacker Robert Spillane (knee), wide receiver James Washington (Reserve/COVID-19), rookie left tackle Dan Moore Jr. (ankle), and rookie center Kendrick Green (calf).
Harris, Spillane, Green and Moore are all expected to be limited to start the practice week, but coach Tomlin is optimistic about them all having a chance to play on Sunday. Maulet is currently in concussion protocol.
Tomlin later addressed his thoughts about the team’s latest win against Baltimore. He felt that defensive back, Cam Sutton‘s late-game interception and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s late-game poise and play down the stretch aren’t getting enough recognition. For now however, Tomlin expressed that the team is simply living in the moment, but they haven’t forgotten about their Week 16 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tomlin started off talking about the Chiefs by first highlighting their special teams play and how they have a bunch of talented wide receivers in that department. He also made note of Chris Jones and former Steeler Melvin Ingram III on defense, as well as the versatility of the “Honey Badger” Tyrann Mathieu.
Last but not least, of course coach Tomlin mentioned quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, and the challenges he brings by extending plays for his team. The Steelers are very aware they will once again have their hands full, but aren’t shying away from this next opportunity to go on a possible Super Bowl run.
In some of his closing comments and answers to reporters’ questions, Tomlin was asked about his thoughts on the ending to the Las Vegas Raiders – Los Angeles Chargers game:
“I missed the end of it, I dozed off. I knew I had a work day waiting on me. Or I assumed that I had a work day waiting on me. I think at one point, Oakland [Las Vegas] was up by 15 and that number made you somewhat comfortable. I’m probably better off not having watched it.”
Tomlin also expressed how impressed he’s been with center J.C. Hassenauer after he was asked about his play in recent weeks. He noted that offensive tackle Joe Haeg has been a “swiss army knife” with his ability to play multiple positions upfront (similar to his comments earlier in the season about rookie defensive back, Tre Norwood), and Tomlin also said that he’ll let the punting battle between Corliss Waitman and rookie Pressley Harvin III continue to play out this week.
Watch the full press conference here:
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 11, 2022