Mike Tomlin Press Conference Transcript Wednesday Super Bowl XLV


Mike Tomlin Press Conference Transcript Wednesday February 2nd Super Bowl XLV

QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE

HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN

(opening statement) “Thanks to coach (Gary) Patterson and everyone at TCU. They’ve done an awesome job of going above and beyond the call of duty in terms of making us feel welcome. If you spend any length of time with coach Patterson and his outfit, you see why they’ve had the success they’ve had. They’ve just been awesome and we’ve been highly accommodated, not only in facilities, but in hospitality. We are appreciative of that.”

(on if the weather is a factor in preparation) “The weather has probably been a blessing. We are probably more familiar with these types of weather conditions. We are just going to do what we’ve been doing here the last several weeks in terms of preparation with the understanding that we are going to play inside.”

(on the Steelers’ game preparations this week) “There has really not been much football the last couple of days officially. Monday, we arrived and had to get settled in at the hotel and get familiar with our surroundings and dealing with some logistical things. Yesterday (Tuesday), was basically devoted to accommodating you guys (the media). Everyone has been working individually, or unofficially, on continuing to hone our skills and our plan. Really, today is the first action of continued preparation.”

(on Casey Hampton’s weight and how he will be used on Sunday) “Casey’s weight hasn’t been a issue since we had a confrontation a few years ago. He’s done an awesome job. I think it is a maturation of a player. He is a veteran player. He loves playing this game. He realizes that he wants to play it as long as he can. And maintaining his condition over a 12-month calendar is a big part of that. I think Casey is embracing that, and his play is benefitting from it.”

(on the Cowboys as ‘America’s Team’ and Steeler Nation) “That’s irrelevant to us. Dallas is ‘America’s Team,’ and we have Steeler Nation. We like Steeler Nation. So be it.”

(on helmet safety) “I don’t know specifically about some of the intimate details in terms of what makes them safer, or things of that nature. I’m not privy to all of that information. The reality is that if we have products out there that we know are safer than some of the products being used, I don’t understand why we don’t mandate that people use the safest equipment available. I understand that there is probably some politics involved in that. I take a minimalistic approach to looking at some of those things. If we have products out there that are extremely safe, why don’t we use them?”

(on how aware he was of the accomplishments of previous Steelers’ coaches) “I am very conscious of the legacy that is the Pittsburgh Steelers. I simply want to add to it. That drives me on a daily basis. I have big respect for the men who have had this job before me. All I want to do is to do the job in terms of upholding the standard that is the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

(on the influence of Tony Dungy on him) “Professionally, he subscribes to servant leadership, as do I. I think that is the most striking similarity. He and I communicate from time to time, but usually it’s not about the profession. We have a personal relationship, of course. We tend to talk about things of that nature, and family.”

(on Rashard Mendenhall’s development) “He was a 20-year-old, third-year junior when we drafted him. We like that. He’s grown into a mature man and player. He continues to get better. One of the things that we like about Rashard is that he is an intelligent individual. He’s got a desire to be great. He doesn’t ride the emotional rollercoaster. He has a legitimate, sound perspective on all of this. He’s mature beyond his years from that standpoint. But there is no question that he is a guy who is still in development as a player and a person. He’s 23 years old now. It’s been fun to watch, and I’m sure it will continue to be fun to watch him grow and develop.”

(on his players visualizing plays) “I’m a big proponent of giving guys an opportunity to do whatever it is they think are necessary for them to be ready to play. I don’t have a lot of structure as we get close to game time, particularly with a veteran-laden outfit that we have. I just provide the avenue. If they want silence and solitude, I’ll provide it.”

(on the Steeler way of doing things) “It’s passed down from generation of Steelers to generation of Steelers through stories and actions. The young guys who are brought in are taught how we do business. People embrace it, and they enjoy it. It’s something great to be a part of. It comes from the Rooney family.”

(on the Steelers’ philosophy of success he learned from the Rooney family) “It is really simple. They stay singularly focused on the things that matter, which is winning and doing it in an upright and straightforward manner and trying to do it the right way. It’s not only in those words, more importantly, it’s in the actions, not only from an interview process or an initial process, it’s something that goes on every day over the last four years that I’ve been there.”

(on how the offensive line has overcome adversity) “They’re survivors. I think they are extremely well-coached. I think coach (Sean) Kugler has done an awesome job with that group. They deserve credit as well. They prepare, they embrace our motto that ‘the standard is the standard.’ Guys have stepped up and proved they are capable of being reasons why we win. It’s a good group, it’s a close-knit group, but more importantly than anything else, they subscribe to that standard.”

(on similarities with the Packers on defense) “Although schematically both systems are very similar, both are geared to fit the specific skill set of the men who play. They have a unique sub package or interior football player in Charles Woodson. They do things that highlight his skill set. There are similarities, but when you really get down to the minute details of what makes them go, or how to attack them from a schematic standpoint, you recognize that what they do is different from what we do.”

(on Mike Wallace’s progress throughout the season) “We as coaches will pull anything as a motivational ploy. Mike understands that. Mike has a physical distinguishing characteristic. Of course, he’s able to take the top off the coverage. I’m just in my way trying to encourage him to be a complete player. He has a desire to do that. He wants to be a great player. We all know that if he is going to have a chance to do that, it is going to be because he has a complete, well-rounded game. He plays with the ball, he plays without it. He can run a variety of routes. He’s good in the run game. All of those are things that he is trying to develop, and he’s doing a nice job of it thus far.”

(on his first impression of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau) “I thought he was a nice man. My first impression of Dick LeBeau was when I was 25 or 26 and I was coaching at the University of Cincinnati, and he was with the Bengals. I used to use their offices to sneak into (Cincinnati) Reds games. I used to run into him every now and then, and I was really impressed about he went out of his way to be welcoming and nice to me — a young coach from across town.”

(on if James Farrior will deliver the final message to the team) “This guy has a unique spirit, and a great energy. He sets the pace for our group, and has done so all year. So, he’ll continue to do it as we push forward toward Super Bowl Sunday.”

(on what has surprised him about the Packers) “I don’t know if I’ve been surprised by anything. I know that they are well-coached. I know that they have really good talent in all three phases, and they are playing to it. They’ve overcome some adversity, but you don’t get into this game unless you do that. So, I can’t tell you that I’m really surprised by anything that I’ve seen from them.”

(on how he got the Steelers’ young receivers to come up big) “It hadn’t been a conscious effort, at least from my standpoint. We do have some veterans at the position, guys like Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El and Arnaz Battle. These young men have really earned their stripes and earned an opportunity to contribute. So it hadn’t been like anything that we had to force in order to get here. Those young men have earned an opportunity to contribute, and they’ve done a nice job of it.”

(on Maurkice Pouncey’s status) “I don’t know. We haven’t practiced yet.”

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