Audio from Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Cleveland Browns Post Game Press Conference

Audio and video from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin post game press conference following the 2009, week 14 loss against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday December 10th, 2009. Transcript to follow! No audio yet, you didn\’t miss anything though, trust me.

[flv: 480 368]
[flv: 480 368]

Mike Tomlin: To cut to the chase, we fell short in all three phases tonight. We knew we had to stop their perimeter run-game and wildcat football. We weren’t able to do that. They got on the perimeter and hurt us for big chunks. They controlled the time of possession and converted first downs and critical moments in that area. We knew we couldn’t give up the critical return due to the nature of the weather. We gave up the big return and got them started and it put us behind the eight ball. Offensively, the protection of our quarterback was a big time issue. We couldn’t move the chains on third down and we couldn’t establish a rhythm. We couldn’t get the run-game going that we felt pretty good about going into the game. That about sums it up. When you get beat in all three phases, schematically and performance-wise, we are all to be held accountable, and we are. I like the fight in the group and I trust they will continue to do that. It is a close-knit group and I trust that they’ll stick together. But fighting and sticking together are not going to win football games. Performance and preparation will. We have an extended week here in preparation for our next performance so we better make moves to get that done.

Question: (On not using the run-game as much on third downs)
Mike Tomlin: Hindsight is 20/20. I thought we used it a few times to start the second half. Early on, we had some looks that we wanted to catch them on and thought we could get the ball out of our hands quickly. We lost a few opportunities and guys didn’t come open and we got sacked.

Question: (On what was responsible for the sacks)
Mike Tomlin: It was communication there, initially. Once we got some things communicated, I thought we were soft at times and we lost a few individual battles. The protection of our quarterback is an ‘11-man and our staff’ job. We all take responsibility for that – players and coaches.

Question: (On if the sacks affected Ben Roethlisberger)
Mike Tomlin: I’m sure they did. But again, he is a tough guy so I don’t think it shook him in any form or fashion. Not having an opportunity to operate in those conditions is tough.

Question: (On being able to pin-point the reasons behind a five-game losing streak)
Mike Tomlin: We have found new and different ways to not rise up in critical moments and we are losing football games because of it. It happened in all three phases.

Question: (On anything surprising out of Joshua Cribbs)
Mike Tomlin: No, they did a lot of different things with him the first time we played them. He is a special player. He came out of some tackles and we did not do a good enough job of tackling. He did a nice job – they did a nice job.

Question: (On possibly kicking away from Joshua Cribbs)
Mike Tomlin: We actually, believe it or not, were attempting to put the ball on the sidelines. In weather conditions like that, it’s hard to control the flight pattern of the ball. That is what happened a few times when the ball ended up in the middle of the field. Not one time did we intend to put the ball in the middle of the field with that guy (Cribbs) because of the history we have with him.

Question: (On possibly making wholesale changes to the team)
Mike Tomlin: We wanted to get (CB) Joe Burnett in the mix and we did. He played at least four series in the football game at cornerback. We were trying to get his feet wet and exposed to some football. We wanted to use Santonio (Holmes) as a situational punt returner to try and provide a spark there. We used Rashard Mendenhall on third downs because of the spark he provides. None of those things were a factor in determining the outcome of the football game. We will continue to take that approach moving forward.

Question: (On what the team showed him tonight)
Mike Tomlin: I thought they fought, like I said earlier. I thought that they stuck together but it wasn’t enough to win the football game. This is a results-oriented business. That is a prerequisite for winning. I’ll encourage them and expect them to continue to do those things. Fighting and sticking together is not going to win football games. We are going to look beyond that as we prepare for our next opportunity to play.

Question: (On if preparation is an issue)
Mike Tomlin: You don’t feel that it is in the midst of it, but like I said, this is a results-oriented business. If the results are not what you desire, then you have to look at all elements of it and preparation is a part of that.

Question: (On if the Steelers are a playoff team)
Mike Tomlin: Man, we haven’t won a game in five weeks. We are just trying to win a football game.

Question: (On if this is a low point for the season)
Mike Tomlin: That is a safe assessment.

Question: (On the injury to DE Brett Keisel)
Mike Tomlin: He had a stinger and once he regained strength, he was able to get back in the game. I think that was the only injury that we dealt with of any significance tonight.

Question: (On despite the record, is this still a good football team)
Mike Tomlin: It is about where you are right now. Records are one thing, but it’s about momentum. That’s why the second half of the season and December football is so important. Based on recent trends, in terms of our record and how we’ve played recently, you cannot say that. I’m being very honest in terms of where we are right now.

  • Mario

    just run the same news conference over and over, TOMLIN says the same F*&^%$# things…blah, blah, blah… talk is cheap, you haven’t changed a damn thing, 3rd & 1, pass, sack…he keeps taking responsiblity for things yet same shit, different game/opponent…some heads SHOULD roll this offseason but i’m not holding my breath, thank god the PENGUINS are giving us a reason to be a proud burgh sports team…

  • Lance Breakiron

    Insanity has been stated as doing the same things over & over and expecting different results. When our offense started the game with two running plays (GREAT RUNNING PLAYS) that setup 3rd & 1 yard,,,, I was so pleased! Then I saw Ben in shotgun, and thought to myself, this is insane! Wow, I wish I were a defensive captain in the NFL and playing the Steelers! BIG BEN’s jersey was not#7 on this play, it read “sitting duck”. And that pretty much sums it up. I thought Willie’s legs looked fresh! On his,,,,3 carries? Mendenhall all of a sudden turned into back that runs straight ahead, hole or no hole he hits it. His stats are evidence of this. One last note for our backyard quarterback,,, there is no shame in throwing the ball away Ben. In fact, the NFL has setup the rules for you to do it all the time without a penalty. When the insane Arians puts that sitting duck on your jersey, please feel free to throw it away every now & then. Your sacks cost us this year in many ways. Field position, field goals, and third & fourth down with a mile to go!!!! Kansas City, Oakland, and the Browns? Wow, who would have guessed it? These teams have figured out BIG BEN, keep him in the pocket, and he is done. Defense,,,, Mr. Harrison, you let Cribbs get outside of you! Woodly,,, Good game! I think Farrior is done! In the past the Steelers front office was great at seeing when a linebacker is past prime, his time has passed, please make the right decisions this off season. Not every player can be franchised! A bad season for the black and gold! Mr. Rooney come back to the Steel City where you belong!

  • Mike Alexander

    Bottom line: The Super Bowl Champs have come to expect to win because of their past success. Cowher use to say ” It’s a thin line between winning and losing in the NFL” I’m a huse Steeler fan…Hopefully, they can pull it together before the end of the year. A losing season may be in order for success next year

  • Bear

    Wow I think Steeler’s fans are getting spoiled I am a die hard fan I will not falter in that. We played bad last night we’ve gotten beat 5 times in a row maybe forget all the years with slash at the helm losing was our motto. Where there is a will there is a way stranger things have happened shake it off go back to the run we got to mix up the back field stop trying to score and win games in the last 3 minutes we have been in this mode for 2 years now hell the super bowl was won in the last minute we need to eat some clock and play football. The Farrior comment pushed me over the edge you got to stand behind these guys or just call yourselves Redskin fans. The defense needs a break they are on the field 3 out of 4 quarters we are a very explosive offense and think we can score when we need to we need to all the time string together longer drives and eat the clock that my friends is why we are getting beat we let them have enough time to do it.

  • admin

    It is not a question about being a true fan, Bear. Farrior has deteriorated greatly this season. It is all on film. He may not be cut because of a great salary cap hit or no salary cap at all, but he needs a role more geared to running downs.

  • projectkam

    Maybe some new cb? if you really break down the defense almost every play our cb’s and safety’s get burnt. Offensively been needs some quick slant plays he only makes a play on his feet once every 50 throws thats not good enough considering half out of the 50 he is sacked. All in all this is a good learning experience. finish out the season strong get ready for next season. By the way mario tomlin says the same thing week in and week out because every week it’s the same problems. Don’t worry though we will be back to dominating games again next year after the coaches start breaking down the game films in the offseason they will see this isn’t smashmouth Steelers football.

  • Steve

    What I see is that towards the end of the game we seem to be going into zone defenses. To me, a zone defense is the same as a prevent defense. They are both designed to prevent you from winning. It appears that our defensive schemes are too complicated for our players resulting in blown coverages and scoring drives for our opponents. I am of the belief that a receiver needs to be covered by at least one, dedicated defender. From what I’ve seen, the backs seem to have a hard time figuring out which one of them is supposed to cover whom. At this point in the season, I would think we would have that completely figured out by now.

    Offensively, give up on the running game completely. It rarely works, most especially on first down. Let Ben throw it all the time. I like his passing percentage and I think we’ll get better results. Anyway, that’s my take.