Audio and video from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin post game press conference following the 2009, week 13 loss against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday December 6th, 2009. Full audio and Transcript to follow!
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Mike Tomlin: You know, really not a lot needs to be said in regards to how that game ended. I’m not going to make any excuses for it. We didn’t make a play. We didn’t make a play to win that football game defensively.
Question: How were they able to throw on your defense?
Mike Tomlin: Your guess is as good as mine. We had opportunities to make plays on the ball, we didn’t. We fell down, they caught the ball, we didn’t.
Question: Can you say you’re more disappointed than anything?
Mike Tomlin: That would be a safe assumption.
Question: Do you think your pass rushers were tired in the fourth quarter?
Mike Tomlin: You know, we had appropriate pressure on them at times. Particularly on that last drive, they were in max protection mode. They had quite a few guys in there from a protection standpoint and when you do that, they’re going to get time to deliver the football, that also means they have a limited number of options down the field. Those limited number of options were still able and capable of making the plays.
Question: Was there any discussion beforehand regarding Jeff Reed’s missed 53-yard kick?
Mike Tomlin: No, we felt good about Jeff [Reed] being able to hit that based on his pregame performance and his history, we wanted to give him an opportunity to do that.
Question: Is Ike [Taylor] supposed to stay inside of that 75-yard play?
Mike Tomlin: He’s supposed to stay inside of him, inside of that man and potentially could pick up some help from the backside. Off course, neither happened.
Question: How do you keep it together now after four losses in a row?
Mike Tomlin: We have to. They’re professional, I believe that they will. That’s a uniquely close group. Our performance is below the line, but that’s just our performance, it’s not who we are. I’ll reiterate that point to them as we prepare for a short week to go to Cleveland, but I wont be surprised that that group is able to stay together. Ultimately our focus and our energy needs to be on winning a football game, finishing a football game.
Question: Do you see your team in the playoffs?
Mike Tomlin: I’m just trying to win a game. What’s the whole Coach [Jim] Mora response to that question? That’s where I’m at.
Question: What can you do down the stretch to make plays?
Mike Tomlin: Where going to turn over stones, but we’ve had opportunities to make plays. We’ve got to make them. I’m sure those opportunities will continue to be presented to us and we’re either going to make them or not. We make them, we win. If we don’t, we’ll lose again.
Question: Do you feel like the team left the baggage [of losing] behind today?
Mike Tomlin: I don’t know that it was a result of any baggage that we brought into the stadium, I just think we played poorly at a critical time, so you lose when you do that.
Question: Are there changes that you have been considering that you’ll make now?
Mike Tomlin: I don’t know about changes, possibly. Yes.
Question: You ran the ball more after halftime, is that due to changes in the game plan?
Mike Tomlin: No it wasn’t a change in game plan. We intended on doing that. We thought that we could find some running lanes. We wanted to put the ball in Rashard’s [Mendenhall] hands. He’s one of our better guys, he was able to find some rhythm and get some things going, so we did.
Question: How to get back on track regarding a short week.
Mike Tomlin: The big thing is that we get prepared for the Cleveland Browns. What’s going on with them since the last time we played them schematically and so forth, personnel-wise, the matchups and then ultimately get our football team back in the building and get about the business of making the necessary adjustments from within in order to put together a winning formula for Thursday night.
Question: How’s William Gay?
Mike Tomlin: I’m going to have further information in regards to him later. Looks like he sustained a concussion of some kind out there. I don’t know to what extent at this point. He appears to be the only injury of any significance at this point.
Question: On the Ryan Mundy penalty, do you think he was too anxious?
Mike Tomlin: That’s today’s NFL. The official thought it was unnecessary, so he threw the flag.
Question: Did Ike [Taylor] mistime the interception on the one play?
Mike Tomlin: He didn’t catch it, their guy did.
Question: Can you assess Ben’s [Roethlisberger] performance after coming back?
Mike Tomlin: I thought he did some good things. Of course, he moved when he had to move, gave us an opportunity to win the game and that’s how we’re all measured. I thought he gave us a shot, but ultimately we were unsuccessful.
Question: Did Ben Roethlisberger slip on that fourth down play in the first half?
Mike Tomlin: I think he did. You’re talking about on the sneak? Yea, he did. We’re going to play aggressively on those downs and distances, try to put seven points on the board, but it didn’t work out in that instance.
Question: Did Ben [Roethlisberger] call his own number on that one when he ran for about seven yards?
Mike Tomlin: No, what happened is he audibled and he and Rashard [Mendenhall] weren’t on the same page and he ended up with the ball in his hands and was able to make something out of it, got a first down.
Question: On the unnecessary roughness play, is that an adjustment that you’ll have to make?
Mike Tomlin: I don’t know that we’ll adjust in terms of how we coach and how we play. We’ve just got to play smart. We’ve got to play aggressive, but we’ve got to play smart. Sometimes those things happen. I didn’t see a good enough picture of it to have a judgment on it other than it’s an unfortunate thing at a critical junction of a football game.
Question: To you anticipate Troy [Polamalu] coming back for the next game?
Mike Tomlin: I don’t know that at this point. On a short week I doubt it, but we’ll see.