Audio from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin post game press conference following the 2009, week 11 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday November 22nd, 2009. Tomlin stated that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may have sustained a concussion and left guard Chris Kemoeatu sustained an MCL sprain in his right knee. Transcript to follow.
Mike Tomlin: Really it is quite simple; I take responsibility for that performance. I have to have this football team better prepared to play and, ultimately, we have to play better than what we played today in that stadium. We are capable of much more than that. You have to tip your hat to the Chiefs because they played well enough to win, but that is not what we are capable of and that is not us, it won’t be us. It was us today and as a guy that stands out front, I accept responsibility for that. We were highly penalized and we turned the ball over in the red area. We gave up big plays and we gave up a kick return. When you do those things, regardless of time of possession, yards or what have you, you open yourself up to defeat and that is what happened in that football game.
Question: What happened to QB Ben Roethlisberger and is he okay?
Mike Tomlin: I don’t know that. He took a blow. Needless to say, it was a concussion-oriented thing so I doubt he was going to come back into the football game. I don’t have a lot of information in terms of where he is or his level of availability, we will have more information as we proceed. DE Chris (Kemoeatu) had an MCL sprain, I don’t know the extent of his injury but we will see when we get back. The rest of the things appear to be minor.
Question: What happened on the kick return touchdown?
Mike Tomlin: It just appeared that we missed two to three tackles on the play. You guys saw it the way I saw it. We missed two or three tackles and when you do that, a guy has a chance to go yard on you. It continues to be below the line and we will continue to work.
Question: Did you sense that your team was not prepared?
Mike Tomlin: Actually, I did not, but the execution would indicate the case. That is where I judge the preparedness, ultimately, on how we perform. The performance was below the line so the preparation must have been.
Question: Is it your opinion that this game should have been won in regulation?
Mike Tomlin: There were many opportunities to secure the outcome of that football game. Overtime or in regulation, we didn’t do it, they did.
Question: Where was field goal range in overtime?
Mike Tomlin: We were at the outer edge of field goal range. We were at about the 36-yard line and we were only comfortable from about the 33 roughly to the 35. We tried to get a perimeter run to get down inside that range and we got dropped for a loss. Ultimately we had to punt the football.
Question: You don’t usually give up big plays, what caused it today?
Mike Tomlin: It was characteristic of the day. We were below the line in a lot of areas. I accept responsibility for that. What we won’t do is point fingers, what we won’t do is come apart. What we will do is get back in the lab and prepare for our next challenge and stand in the face of this adversity. These are the kind of men we have in our locker room. I assure you that.