Head Coach Mike Tomlin: That was a good start for us on a lot of fronts. This is going to be a good take for our football team to make corrections. Of course we are far from perfection. That is why we go through this process. We saw some things that we don’t like – 12 men in the huddle and delays of game – things of that nature that are a part of August football. Those are things that we need to put behind us to get to 200-level problems, if you will. We saw some positive things and some young men who distinguished themselves. We had some guys who made plays inside stadiums for us, and it was enough for us to win. From that standpoint it was good, but by no means are we going to wear our hands out patting ourselves on the back. We have a lot of work here in front of us, and we will continue to work our football team to build for the ’09 season.
Question: Did Limas Sweed carry his strong play into the game?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: Really, it was what we expect from him. We are not going to be pleasantly surprised by production from that young man, or any of them for that matter. There is a standard of expectation around here and we expect them to exceed it. I thought that he did a pretty good job tonight.
Question: Does Isaac Redman know how to get into the end zone?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: It was relative. Hopefully we will get some more looks at him against some varsity guys, if you will. He did a nice job with what he was faced in front of tonight. We are not going to make too much out of it. We will continue to work and move forward.
Question: Did you want to see your return guys get more opportunity?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: We take it how we can get it. There was some good situational football. We didn’t get a bunch of returns, but we did get a chance to evaluate Joe (Burnett) in some areas. He of course fair caught a ball inside the nine-yard line. He didn’t fair catch another attempt which allowed him to be a blocker. He got a successful block which allowed the ball to roll into the end zone. Those are just as important as fielding and running – some of the decision-making that comes with being the punt returner, if you will. We had the same thing on kickoff returns. We didn’t get a bunch of looks, but we did get to see some judgment issues. We had guys standing in the end zone when the ball was five-and-a-half yards deep, and so forth. That is as big a part of the process as seeing the guys with the ball in their hands.
Question: Was that a good play to fair catch the ball on the nine?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: Absolutely.
Question: Can you talk about the play of Bruce Davis?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: I make no bones about the pressure that I apply to second-year men so that they jump forward in a big way. It is no different than what we asked of Lawrence (Timmons), (LaMarr) Woodley, (Matt) Spaeth, William Gay and those guys to do a year ago. We expect this class to distinguish themselves if they want to be a part of this thing.
Question: How did you assess Rashard Mendenhall?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: I thought he made some nice runs. I would like to see us control the line of scrimmage a little better as a unit. I thought he represented himself quite well for the first time out. We have a ways to go as a football team.
Question: Did your young defensive backs make some good plays for you?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: Yeah, you knew they would. That was the nice thing about playing an explosive team like Arizona here this early – you knew you were going to come out and get an opportunity to get to see these young defensive backs play. For the most part, I thought they did a nice job. They kept the ball in front of us. That is a prerequisite if we are going to be good. We have to do a better job of catching it when we get our hands on it. That will make us great. For the most part, I thought it was a pretty good part.
Question: Was it nice to see Daniel Sepulveda boom the ball?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: It was just good to see him in uniform. It is not a good feeling to look around and see a fourth-round punter in street clothes. It was great to see him in uniform. He kind of gave us what we think he is capable of giving us.
Question: Was scratching Brett Keisel a last-minute decision?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: It was. He got kicked in the calf yesterday morning at practice. We looked at it and he ran on it prior to the game and was still feeling it. We thought we would exercise a little bit of caution and not play him tonight. We do not expect that to be serious at all. Hopefully we can get him back out there running on Saturday.
Question: How did Ziggy Hood do for the first time out there in a game?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: Again, I have to watch the tape. He flashed and made a couple plays. I will have to hold judgment until I see how he does the mundane things – the ordinary things that don’t comprise highlights. How is his get-off, how is his pad level and how is his hand-usage. Those are the things that are going to get him into the rotation.
Question: How did Dennis Dixon do with the mundane things?
Head Coach Mike Tomlin: He had some good moments and he had some moments where you would like to see him make a few more plays. I thought we had a couple guys keep down the field on some play actions that you would like to see one or two connected on. I liked his presence and I thought he handled the group very well. We had a delay of game in there. For the most part, like I characterized to the team at the beginning of this, I thought it was an acceptable beginning for us and something we can build off of and move forward from.