Mike Tomlin Press Conference Transcript Thursday Super Bowl XLV


Mike Tomlin Press Conference Transcript Thursday February 3rd Super Bowl XLV

QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE

HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN

(on his relationship with Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert) “Kevin is very easy to work with. He and I share the same attitude in that we don’t care who gets the credit. We simply want to win. He is very innovative, very outside-the-box in his thinking in regards to the things that we need to do. I like the guy, I love the guy, and when you have that type of relationship on a personal level, it makes business that much easier. I think that dialogue and gaining understanding is a big part of working relationships.”

(on how much of the game plan was put in before arriving in North Texas) “For us, we proceeded with the mentality that we were going to arrive here in Dallas ready to play. We approached last week as if we were going to play on this past Sunday, and we are simply re-tooling, evaluating and honing to a fine edge, if you will, our plan with our guys. That’s our approach that we take. It’s the approach we took last time. From that standpoint, we’re comfortable with it.”

(on if it was uncomfortable to take the Steelers’ job because of other candidates) “I like the feeling of being uncomfortable. All competitors do. I love the feeling of uneasiness of addressing a challenge or new opportunities. It was that. Transition is never easy, and I didn’t expect it to be. But I enjoyed it, if that makes sense to you. We’re all looking to grow and challenge ourselves. No question, this opportunity was a challenging one.”

(on Shaun Suisham’s impact) “We enjoy Shaun. He’s an extremely low-maintenance guy. He fits in. All he wants to do is contribute. He’s definitely been a shot in the arm for us. All you have to do is point back to his second week with us, when he banged four 40-plus-yard field goals in Buffalo for us to win. He is a valued member of our team. He’s earned that, and we’re glad he’s one of us.”

(on how he can treat Super Bowl like a regular-season game) “Here’s the thing. When we are doing what it is we do with ourselves, it is. When we are in meetings, when we are on the practice field, when we are preparing ourselves to play, we are not approaching this game any differently than any other game. We acknowledge that some of this is unique, but we embrace that. I’m sure there are 30 teams that would like to have these problems. It is a game from a professional standpoint, and we are going to approach it like we’ve approached the other games. I think that’s why we’re here. But we also acknowledge that it’s different, and we don’t fight against that.”

(on if two traditional NFL teams playing in the Super Bowl makes it more interesting for him) “No.”

(on players’ off-field activities during Super Bowl week) “I am not concerned about that one iota. We were talking about approaching this game like we would any other game. It’s normal for guys to eat dinner, believe it or not, every now and then during the course of the week leading up to a game. So, this week is no different than any other. I understand that some things may be reported and viewed differently, but that’s not our concern, really. During the course of the season on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, or what have you, believe it or not, guys live lives.”

(on former players returning to the Steelers) “I love those guys. One of the things we wanted to do this past offseason was reacquire some guys who we knew about. Larry Foote is a great teammate. He has an unbelievable spirit. He has a can-do attitude. Antwaan Randle El, you can say the same thing. Byron Leftwich, you can say the same things. There is so much involved in the game of football that you can’t measure. The men we reacquired who were former Steelers who were able to come back to us bring some of that to the table. You can’t necessarily measure it, but it’s appreciated and you understand it. It’s a factor from a team standpoint.”

(on Rashard Mendenhall’s season) “He is a young guy who is continually evolving as a player and as a person. That’s one of the things I enjoy about this profession, having an opportunity to be involved with young men who are growing as people and professionals. He’s doing that. He has a desire to be great. He works extremely hard. He is an unselfish, under-the-radar kind of a personality, so you are really happy for him and his success, and hope that it continues.”

(on Maurkice Pouncey not being up for Rookie of the Year and his status for the Super Bowl) “Maurkice Pouncey is, without question, the best rookie football player I’ve ever been around. I don’t care whether or not he wins Rookie of the Year, or what other people think about him. His contributions to this football team have been nothing short of miraculous. We respect him. He loves football. He’s extremely talented, but more importantly than that, he has unbelievable football character. This guy loves what is seemingly drudgery for others. The things that make him a great football player are the things that are special. He embraces it all. He wants to be great. He loves to work, and he respects those who have come before him. I think that’s why he’s had the success that he’s had. In terms of where we are, he is on a running clock at this point, particularly because of his youth. Snaps are needed from a preparation standpoint, in order to be able to play from a standard. We’ll see where it takes us. Of course, he may or may not practice today. Hopefully he does. We’ll see. I know that he’s been aggressive in terms of attacking his rehab.”

(on the status of Aaron Smith) “Aaron is Aaron. He’s better than he was a week ago. You Pittsburgh guys understand where I’m coming from.”

(on the contributions of Emmanuel Sanders) “He’s a rookie (laughs). He has a can-do attitude. I think his approach to his business and his attitude, in terms of what he capable of, is unflappable. That’s impressive from a young man’s standpoint. But more than anything, I think he has a humble approach. He follows his veteran leadership, and he is ready when called upon to deliver for us.”

(on what his pregame message to the team is going to be) “No. I don’t know yet. I don’t do a lot of preparation from that standpoint. I want it to be authentic. I want it to be real. I don’t give a lot of thought to it. I kind of go with the flow, and if it overcomes me, it does. And usually it does.”

(on if his players are using the Super Bowl media sessions as a forum) “I don’t think that they are using this forum as a means to be overly critical of anything. I just think they are simply doing what they are called to do, which is answer questions. Sometimes, I think things are overstated. The reality is that these young men come here every day with the intentions of preparing for this game. In the midst of that, they’re asked to stand at podiums and field questions, and I think they are simply doing that. Whatever’s said is said, but I don’t think there is an agenda in regards to some of those things. I think some of it is overplayed, but that comes with this game. We understand that.”

(on how Matt Spaeth has matured and changed) “Thankfully, Matt came to us as a pretty mature young man. I had the pleasure of kind of watching his success when I was in Minnesota, and he was in Minnesota across town. I have a great deal of respect for him. I knew that he was very well-respected in that region. He hasn’t disappointed. He has a can-do attitude. I call him ‘Robin’ every now and then to Heath Miller’s ‘Batman.’ I don’t know whether or not he embraces that, but he’s a competitor. He’s willing to meet the standard, and those are some of the many things that we enjoy about him.”

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