Audio from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin post game press conference following the 2009, week 6 win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday October 18th, 2009. Transcript to follow.
Mike Tomlin: It’s great to bring a good weeks preparation to close with a victorious game. A lot of things were done at a high level, but of course, we continue to fall short of perfection. We acknowledge that. But we don’t evaluate on Sundays, we play on Sundays and we get back in the lab on Mondays and look critically at our performance. As I sit her today, I acknowledge that ball security is something we have to improve at. It leads to turnover ratio, which we haven’t been great in. Probably in the bottom third in the league in that, I don’t know specifically where we are. When you lose the turnover battle the chances are you potentially expose yourself to losing football games, but we were able to win today. Big plays on offense. Ben [Roethlisberger] did a nice job along with a lot of other people. We got some critical stops. We’ll take the win and move forward.
Question: Are there any injury updates?
Mike Tomlin: Nothing of any significance. Everyone that went down in the game came back into the game. I’m sure we’ll have a minor list tomorrow but nothing as we sit here today.
Question: Did you expect to see Josh Cribbs to play at the quarterback position so much?
Mike Tomlin: It didn’t surprise us due to the number of adjustments they have in their lineup. The tight end being inactive and things of that nature would lead you to believe potentially they were going to do some Wildcat. So we prepared for it during the week. Just because you prepare for it doesn’t mean you can stop it. 16’s [Josh Cribbs] a special guy as we continue to see in a lot of different phases. I respect him.
Question: Do you feel good with your record at 4-2?
Mike Tomlin: We don’t care where we are. We’re just going to try to continue to get better and win when we step into stadiums. We were able to do that today. We’re not big picture guys, it’s going to all sort out in the wash. The thing is as we continue to push through this journey we better continue to be on the rise. That’s our focus.
Question: How was watching Ben Roethlisberger today?
Mike Tomlin: He’s really good, he’s in total command of the offense. It’s fun to watch at times.
Question: Did he take over with an audible on the first touchdown when he waived Bruce Arians’ play?
Mike Tomlin: No, these guys have got coach-to-quarterback communication at times. I don’t know, he might have been waiving off the personnel change. I don’t know specifically who made the call, I really don’t care.
Question: Did the Cleveland Browns key in on the running game?
Mike Tomlin: Well they’ve got a big guy in the middle there 92 [Shaun Rogers] who’s pretty good. It’s a pretty good place to start in terms of that, but they did. When people do that, we’ve got to be willing and capable of throwing the ball vertically down the field which is what we’re able to do. We don’t care by what means we move the chains or light up the scoreboard, as long as the job gets done. A lot of times what we do is dictate it by what our opponents do and we’re O.K. with that.
Question: Did you put Mewelde Moore in the fourth quarter due to ball security being an issue?
Mike Tomlin: No, Mewelde’s [Moore] earned the right to play. We feel very comfortable with what he’s capable of doing. Had an opportunity to finish the game out with him. He’s a very decisive, deliberate, one-cut runner. The kind of guy that’s capable of moving the chains in those circumstances, so we gave him the football.
Question: How did Troy [Polamalu] look in his first game back?
Mike Tomlin: I thought it was a good start. I think how he feels tomorrow will be critical as we move forward, but good to see him back out there. Good to see him with the ball in his hands.
Question: What about Willie [Parker]?
Mike Tomlin: Same thing. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, but good to get him back in the fold and working.
Question: Were you happy with [Travis] Kirsche’s step in for Aaron [Smith]?
Mike Tomlin: Just a knee jerk response today; Yes. Again, we’ll let the tape do the talking for us and I’ve yet to evaluate the tape and the minute details that are critical to playing that position well. That’s what Aaron [Smith] excels at. We’ll wait until we look at the tape before we pass the judgment on the quality of their play, but overall as a unit, I thought we were above the line.
Question: How long is Hines [Ward] supposed to hold on to the ball after the missed touchdown?
Mike Tomlin: There was an emphasis a few years ago of maintaining possession of the ball through contact of the ground and I think that was the issue there. There were no qualms with that. I’m still trying to figure out what happened with that Ryan Clark interception. If anyone understands that one, explain it to me.
Question: They said his momentum caused the touchback.
Mike Tomlin: I have no idea what Walt [Anderson] was talking about