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Thread: Tomlin's Presser From Earlier Today (Nov 10th)

      
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    Default Tomlin's Presser From Earlier Today (Nov 10th)

    Coach Mike Tomlin: Good afternoon. As I stated last night, that was a big win for our football team. Something thatís absolutely necessary. Youíve got to be able to go on the road and win against quality opponents, thatís something we havenít done until last night. Thankfully we were able to get that done. Solid contribution by a lot of people, perseverance. Not the kind of fluid start that you look for offensively or defensively for that matter. They went down and kicked a field goal to start the game. Guys were resilient, they didnít blink, they hung together and as the game wore on I think they imposed a will on the game. Thatís what good teams have got to do. Hopefully thatís a signature moment for us. Hopefully what we do from here on out will kind of define that, which brings us here to today. Weíve got a big AFC North matchup this week versus the Cincinnati Bengals who are top of the division. A very hot football team, I respect those guys. Carson Palmerís the guy that directs them. Heís a winner, heís a competitor. When you look at what theyíre doing offensively, theyíre running the ball with Cedric Benson and Carsonís [Palmer] moving the chains on get-off downs and scoring touchdowns in the red zone. I think theyíre number one in the NFL in red zone offense. When youíve got a guy thatís running the ball the way [Cedric] Bensonís running the ball and youíre efficient in terms of putting seven points on the board when youíre in the red area, youíre going to win a bunch of football games. Thatís going to be a big challenge for us. This week, when they get down there, make them kick field goals. Of course weíve got to do a good job of tackling. Cedric Benson is running with a mission. He ran through Baltimore pretty good and thatís not something you hear said too often. Very durable, tough, great pad level. Theyíre feeding him and feeding him well. Guys like [Andre] Caldwell are emerging. If you talk about some of the differences and things that you see since the last time we played them, I think [Andre] Caldwellís really emerging as a go-to target for Carson Palmer. Defensively, I think the young corner tandem is playing really well. Leon Hall, [Johnathan] Joseph. I think they have four picks a piece. Aside from the interceptions, theyíve been rock solid in coverage, itís allowed them to put a bunch of people in the box, theyíve gotten after peoplesí run games, made them one dimensional; playing spirited and together. Weíve got our work cut out for us. We got a short week in which to do it. Preparation is going to be quality based instead of quantity based. Coming off a road game on Monday night, might exercise some precaution and protect some veteran players tomorrow, I can anticipate doing that, but weíve got to get ready. Weíve got a big game at home. Weíll be back in Heinz Field in front of our home fans, AFC North critical matchup. Not much clarity in terms of injury issues, just hadnít been back in town long enough, Iím sure as the afternoon wears on weíll hear about minor bumps and bruises during the football game. The only significant injury was Carey Davis. Donít have an update on him but I can pretty much imagine itís going to be tough for him to participate this week. Usually when you pop a hamstring and youíre unable to come back in a football game, very rarely are you capable to participate next week.

    You mentioned this briefly in your opening statement. Do you take the time to differentiate not just what you did last night but how you did it? The way you closed out the game, the way you took control of a game on what you say a big stage?

    Itís encouraging, but itís only going to be significant based on what we do from here on out. Itíll be a game or a moment that weíll be able to point back to of significance if we use it and move forward and let that become our consistent personality in terms of how we finish football games. Weíre going to need to those kinds of performances as we continue down the road because each week, with each win, these games get bigger.

    Do those kinds of things tend to serve as building blocks to get you to where you want to go?

    I always proceed with caution with that mentality. Iím less concerned about what weíve done in the past and more concerned about what weíre going to do in terms of meeting the challenges that lie ahead. I think itís great for the group, I think it builds confidence, but what we do is ultimately going to determine what that moment or how that game closed out is going to be perceived.

    Can you talk about the performance of your defense and the importance of Dick LeBeau and the adjustments he continues to make and made last night?

    I donít know that we made any adjustments last night in the midst of that, really. I just thought we had a pretty good plan, they had a pretty good plan. Denver you have to give those guys credit. They came out and made some plays on us early. We stuck to that plan, we respected those two runners and what they were capable of doing with those two guys. That was first and foremost, to slow down [Correll] Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno. Once we were able to do that, I thought we were able to get consistent pressure up the middle of the pocket with some of our blitz packages. Guys like James Farrior and Keyaron Fox really created a lot of disruption. Even though neither guy registered a sack, they created disruption. They broke the pocket down. Guys did a nice job of complimenting that with solid coverage on the back end. And as the evening wore on, we were able to gain a significant advantage in that regard.

    How difficult is it to stay patient when it looks like, they keep converting, yet somehow you guys know that itís eventually going to run out?

    You know, thatís the name of the game. Youíre not always going to have it your way in the National Football League. I wish that were the case, but weíre realistic people. Those other teams-they work too. Theyíre prepared. Every now and then, theyíre going to move the chains or run up the scoreboard on you. Weíve got to trust one another and our plan, and generally, as a football team, we do that.

    Speaking of being patient, you struggled offensively for two quarters, and then the four-play, 80-yard drive-was it the no huddle? Was it the bunch formation? Was it getting the running game going? What changed?

    I really just think it was finding our rhythm. Iím not naÔve; weíre a team that was coming off of a bye. I thought that it was really important that we find that rhythm. It probably took us longer than we would have liked. We didnít possess the ball that much in the first half. Whenever you have a pick-six and the other team is moving the ball some offensively, youíre going to spend a lot of time watching. We did that. We were able to establish our rhythm and get some things going and move the chains a little bit. We fell into a comfort zone. Even with that first drive of the second half being a sack-fumble which they returned for a touchdown, I still felt pretty comfortable that we were finding our rhythm and moving the ball. And the subsequent drive confirmed that.

    As far as [Cedric] Benson goes, what do you see now that maybe was not apparent when he was with Chicago?

    I really didnít study him that much when he was in Chicago. I know that heís a talented guy, he was maybe the 4th pick in the draft. So pedigree is not a question. Heís experienced some adversity, I think all men grow and learn from adversity. Itís obvious that heís done that, and heís matured, just based on the result of his performances. Heís an inspired, motivated runner, and it shows up on tape and Iím sure that theyíre glad to see that heís in that state of mind at this point.

    Is it maybe a similar story to what you guys have seen in Rashard [Mendenhall], maybe finding his way through the NFL after having success in college?

    Two totally different guys, I think, and two totally different scenarios. Rashard is a young guy that came onto a good team. Young guys donít get their turn right away when they come to good teams. They have to earn it, they have to wait. Heís done both, and now, heís taken advantage of it.

    Was last night a statement game, in your opinion?

    Again, I think itís only a statement game if we run with it. It was a good game, Iím not going to make more out of it than what it is, to be honest with you. If we proceed and continue to grow and get better, itís a game that we can point back to when the dust settles in March or February. But at this point, Iím not ready to say that.

    How much different are the Bengals on defense from what you saw on tape last season and if theyíre a lot different, who do you think made the biggest difference?

    I donít know that theyíre very different in terms of what theyíre trying to do. I think there are a couple things. Number one, I think continuity is big. Coach Zimmerís been there now, and anytime youíve got continuity, itís a plus. The better that you understand the minute details in your assignments, the better chance you have to execute them. It creates flash plays, which of course is what theyíre creating. But theyíre also added some high-quality players. Guys like Tank Johnson, high-round draft picks, getting good corner play. Their corners are growing into veteran players-I think itís year four, year three for their young first-round corner that they have. I think all those things make them an emerging, rock-solid group. Itís just part of rolling your sleeves up and going to work every day. And obviously, theyíve done that.

    If thereís one thing that you guys absolutely have to do better than last time to beat these guys, what would it be?

    Just play 60 minutes of football. I hadnít really pondered that thought at this point. More of an information gathering mentality, looking at how theyíve changed and emerged since the last time we played them. But knee-jerk reaction would be just to be prepared to play 60-plus minutes of football, which, of course, is what we did not do last time.

    What do they have behind Chris Henry? What will they go with behind him?

    Iím sure theyíre going to answer that one, but theyíre getting contributions from a lot of people. Laveranues Coles, [Andre] Caldwell, like I mentioned-of course, [Chad] Ochocinco is one of the top guys in the league in terms of catches and yards. Heís scoring touchdowns for them. Theyíre not going to have a shortage of potential targets for Carson Palmer. They have a high-round draft pick in Jerome Simpson, I think from Coastal Carolina, thatís a young guy about the same age as Caldwell. I imagine heís working hard every day and might be ready to seize an opportunity. Carsonís going to have somebody to throw it to.

    Does a win change the way you approach this week? From how much time you spent on last nightís game, or do you move right into Cincinnati?

    Right into Cincinnati, you have to. Time is of the essence. Weíre on a running clock. Weíre 30-plus hours behind those guys from a preparation standpoint, and you have to respect that. Not going to complain about it, we have no control over that. The standard will be the standard for us on Sunday, so we better work today and tomorrow of course moving forward when we get our guys back in the building. But make no mistake, we have to work hard. But we also have to work smart, quality over quantity. You have to be very thoughtful about the looks and reps that we provide our guys, because we acknowledge the wear and tear that playing on Monday night does to you.

    Are there any signs of [Travis] Kirschke and [Lawrence] Timmons coming back?

    I donít know at this point, and really, donít know because we havenít had an opportunity to visit with those guys since weíve returned from Denver. Iíd imagine that theyíre going to be closer. When I get that information, Iíd be happy to share it-or not.

    This was kind of a two-team race last year between you and Baltimore. How much more interesting is it in the north now that the Bengals are a player this far into the season?

    Itís really not surprising that theyíre a player in the game. They got their franchise quarterback back. Theyíre gaining continuity on defense. They picked up Cedric Benson, who ran very well over the second half of last year. Heís back. So itís not surprising that theyíre in the mix. We know what Baltimore is about and what theyíre capable of. I think that everybody in this division takes a great deal of pride in the quality of the teams in this division and how we play football in this division. Iím sure I speak for the entire division when I say weíll put what we do up against any division in football. Itís going to be an exciting game inside of Heinz Field, one that weíre going to be excited to be a part of. Classic AFC North warfare.

    Does Stefan Logan have the green light on every kick, or maybe would you like him to use a little bit more discretion?

    Weíre going to play to win. And as long as heís catching the ball, above the waist, inside of the framework of his body with a forward movement mentality, heís got the green light to play to win. And thatís what he did last night.

    What do you like best so far from what youíve seen about Rashard Mendenhallís running style, and what are some things that he still needs to get better at?

    I think heís doing a nice job of seeing blocks develop, and very rarely is he missing holes. The vision aspect of the game that has very little to do with physical skill, I think heís doing a nice job of. I think heís finishing off runs. I think that when he gets into the second level, into the secondary, heís doing a nice job of making what could be 8 to 10-yard runs into 20 to 25-yard runs. That speaks to his pedigree and what heís capable of doing. But Iím sure Rashard will agree with me when I say that he can grow in all aspects and areas of his game. This is a young guy. The more he plays, heís going to improve. The more he walks into this building, right-minded, ready to work, on a daily basis, the more he will improve. We like what weíre getting from him with regards to that.

    There was one that he broke last night that he took out of bounds at the end of it. Is that a good play sometimes, or would you prefer that he gets every yard he can?

    Itís not as significant as one might think. It wasnít inside of five minutes, so the clock continued to run. But that kind of speaks to what I was talking about earlier. Everything is a learning process for young guys, but we like where he is.

    With Carey [Davis]ís injury, thereís now a former Pro-Bowl guy from Penn State who always wanted to play here and is now available. If this guy called you and came to your door on bended knee and said he was a changed man, do you guys have interest?

    I donít discuss free agents, because that opens Pandoraís Box. We could be talking about anybody thatís unemployed. I tend to focus on the guys who are in our locker room and on our team right now.

    Unlike past years, Carson Palmer (at least on two occasions) has made huge fourth down runs-one won the Cleveland game, and he had a big fourth-and-one run. Is that something that you just have to give to a quarterback, or is that something you can prepare for now that he appears willing to take off if he has to?

    You have to respect that, and you have to rush with that in mind. I was just looking at the Baltimore game this morning, he pulled down a third-and-six. This guyís playing with an edge. Heís missed some football. Heís committed to driving this team. Guys of that mindset will move the chains by any means possible. So we have to respect that element of it as we prepare, and ultimately as we play and rush them.

    Did you like what you saw out of Ziggy [Hood] last night?

    I did. I thought it was above the line. Like Rashard and like young guys like Mike Wallace who are playing a bunch for us, their best days hopefully lie ahead, as long as they remain humble and continue to work. I thought he was disruptive last night. His pressure created that interception return that Tyrone Carter had. But heís still a guy in development, a guy who will be the first to tell you that. Heís working extremely hard, and Iím more pleased with what he does in here throughout the week than I am with what he does inside of stadiums at this point.

    Has the emergence of Wallace-do you see any other defenses having difficulty deciding who theyíre trying to take away, as far as your receivers go?

    No, I think theyíre still committed to taking away Hines [Ward] on third down, and not letting Santonio [Holmes] get over the top. Heís still earning his stripes, his reputation doesnít precede him in that regard. Heís got some Super Bowl MVPs that he plays with, heís got a rock-solid veteran tight end that he plays with. Iíd imagine that heís down the to-do list for a lot of people when they play us, but he is making plays when given the opportunity.

    With Champ Bailey going on Santonio and Santonio catching all six balls his direction, what does that say about him?

    You know, Santonioís a competitor. He probably wouldíve been insulted if Champ hadnít looked him up. Thatís the mentality of those guys that play the game. Heís doing a nice job for us. And Iím equally as pleased with some of the things that heís doing that donít necessarily show up. I think heís playing a complete game, I think heís doing a nice job of blocking in the run game and some of our perimeter screen game for Hines and others that we throw the ball to. Heís really maturing as a player.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    bdeff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tomlin's Presser From Earlier Today (Nov 10th)

    Good read thanks Nky

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    Default Re: Tomlin's Presser From Earlier Today (Nov 10th)

    Quote Originally Posted by bdeff View Post
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    Good read thanks Nky
    No problemo...
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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