Audio from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin post game press conference following the 2010 season, week 17 41-9 win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday January 2nd, 2011. Transcript to follow soon!
Mike Tomlin: Boy! Mission accomplished for us. We came to Cleveland to claim the AFC North crown and we were able to get that done. We are excited about that. We’re proud to be AFC North champs and we are also excited, of course, to get the bye week, it is much needed. I guess anybody can use that and we’ll take advantage of it. We, of course, have some veteran guys that we would hope will come back to us from a health standpoint. The injuries in the game appear to be minimal. CB Bryant McFadden is probably the most significant injury. He had an abdominal injury of some kind and we’ll get it looked at. He wasn’t able to return. The rest of the injuries are the minor bumps and bruises that come along with playing. I love the spirit of the men in that locker room. These championship hats are hard fought for, of course. I am just proud of them. This is just hardware along the way, though, in terms of what we are trying to get done, of course, and we’ll get back to work on that next week.
Question: On how much he emphasized the importance of this game to the team during the week
Mike Tomlin: It was the elephant in the room. Not a lot needed to be said about the stakes. You guys the media made that obvious, so thank you.
Question: On the decision to play S Troy Polamalu
Mike Tomlin: The doctor said he was healthy enough to play, so we played him.
Question: On the importance of divisional play
Mike Tomlin: Until today, I wouldn’t have said that we played well within the division but that we did enough to win and that’s what this league is about. We’ve got a great deal of respect for the people in our division. We know them and they know us and our battles are always hard-fought. We did enough in most instances to come out on top. I think today was the first game where we felt like we played close to what we are capable of in division play.
Question: On the two big plays at the start of the game
Mike Tomlin: I liked them a lot. The one interception was Troy Polamalu being in the right place at the right time. I think the ball came off TE Ben Watson’s hands. On the other play, we intended to go with that play regardless of field position to start the game. Ben Roethlisberger can put them out there and Mike Wallace can go get them.
Question: On the emotional roller coaster of the season
Mike Tomlin: It hasn’t been an emotional roller coaster. We knew what was in front of us, we knew the obstacles, we knew that some of the adversity was created by us, but we’ll meet it head-on. We’re still in the process of doing it.
Question: On the importance of the bye week
Mike Tomlin: I’ll take it under any circumstances because it’s one less game that we have to play to get where we want to get.
Question: On the importance of the divisional championship
Mike Tomlin: It’s just hardware along the way. We’re excited about it, of course. It’s a prerequisite to be where we want to be. We wanted to play in the playoffs and we wanted to do so at home and you have to be divisional champs in order to do that.
Question: On the significance of the win
Mike Tomlin: We needed to win the division and, in order to do that, we needed to win today. So from that standpoint it’s significant.
Question: On the injury to C Maurkice Pouncey
Mike Tomlin: Yes, he’s fine.
Question: Was it a stinger?
Mike Tomlin: No, I don’t know exactly what happened to him. He’s going to be fine.