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Thread: Tomlin preaches discipline

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    Default Tomlin preaches discipline

    Tomlin preaches discipline
    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Mike Tomlin knows there's a fine line between being aggressive and undisciplined, and the Steelers coach believes that the preseason is the perfect time to teach his players the difference.

    "I make no bones about it: I'd rather (have to) say, 'Whoa!' than 'Sic 'em,' " Tomlin said. "We need to say, 'Whoa!' "

    They should after watching the Denver film.

    The Steelers had six penalties, including four personal-foul calls on defense, and a pair of costly interceptions in the first half of the 34-17 loss to the Broncos on Sunday night at Invesco Field at Mile High.

    "You're not going to win on the road when you turn the ball over, particularly pick-sixes, and when you're highly penalized," Tomlin said. "Hopefully, we'll learn from it. That'll definitely be our intentions as we move forward. I think the first part of being a tough team to beat is not beating yourself. That's what occurred (Sunday) night."

    With five cuts coming today and the final 53-man roster to be determined later this week, Tomlin wants to get a message across prior to the preseason finale against Carolina on Thursday night at Heinz Field: jobs are at stake, and aggression will be rewarded, just not at the expense of mental mistakes.

    "Some decision-making issues, some of them aggressive-oriented, preseason-oriented, guys trying to make a splash, if you will, make an impression," Tomlin said. "Those are aggressive areas, ones you can live with as a coach and teach off of and learn from. We'll do that."

    At a time when the NFL is contemplating eliminating two preseason games and expanding its regular season to 18 games, Tomlin stressed the value of playing games before the final roster is set. It allows players to make mistakes and coaches to tinker with their lineups.

    "That's one of the reasons why I think preseason football is important: You teach," Tomlin said. "Guys get an opportunity to go out and execute, and with that initial execution there are errors. Hopefully, the snaps that the preseason provides allows those errors to disappear.

    "I know we need to be working in that regard. I liked the way things had been going until (Sunday) night. We took a step back (Sunday) night. Such is life, when you're on the process that we're on. We better not take too many steps backwards. We better learn from the errors we made (Sunday) night and move forward, and I trust that we will."

    If that message is targeted at one player in particular, it should be second-year cornerback Keenan Lewis. With Bryant McFadden out with a pectoral injury, Lewis got the starting nod but was called for a pair of unnecessary roughness penalties for late hits, one out of bounds and another after the whistle. Lewis wasn't alone in drawing 15-yard penalties, as inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons was called for roughing the passer and outside linebacker James Harrison for unnecessary roughness.

    It wasn't just relegated to defense, either. Third-year quarterback Dennis Dixon threw one interception in the end zone, and another was returned for a touchdown when rookie receiver Emmanuel Sanders ran the wrong route. Fellow rookie receiver Antonio Brown made a mental error when he fielded a punt at his own 1-yard line and returned it to the 4.

    "We made a lot of stupid mistakes," wide receiver Mike Wallace said. "We killed ourselves. It's not like they beat us. We beat ourselves."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Tomlin's take[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    On reports that Ben Roethlisberger will meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday, and that the Steelers quarterback's conditional six-game suspension could be reduced to five games:

    "I have heard absolutely nothing regarding the Ben situation. As far as I know, it is status quo. Until we hear from the commissioner's office, we're going to proceed with that assumption. I've heard nothing."

    On whether the Denver loss created any clarity at quarterback:

    "Not for me. It's a process. Every step we take, there's clarity. We continue to push forward towards that. I like the way men are working. We'll continue to do so. I think our preparation and, ultimately, play this week will be the final determinant."

    On how much the starters will play against Carolina on Thursday:

    "That's not my philosophy, in terms of giving the starters a week off. I've never done that. We're going to play. We're not going to play as much as we played (Sunday) night, but we're going to play."

    On whether evidence of a strong single-game performance, like Jonathan Dwyer's at Denver, is factored into the final roster:

    "We judge on the complete body of work, not only what you do inside stadiums, but what you do in Latrobe, what you've done in all aspect of this preseason process. That's what we look at. We don't worry what other people might think or judge. We want to do what's best for us putting together the best 53 we can put together."
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