Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held his pregame press conference today prior to the Thursday night game against the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
Audio is below:
Tomlin opened by saying this is the last opportunity for a few players to make their case to make the 53 man roster.
Ike Taylor, Chris Carter and Jerricho Cotchery will not play Thursday night and several players like James Farrior, Troy Polamalu, Casey Hampton, Bryant McFadden, Maurkice Pouncey and a few others could be regarded as questionable right now.
Tomlin said Charlie Batch will start with first group at quarterback and Ben Roethlisberger will sit the game out. Dennis Dixon Dixon will play as well, but distribution of reps for each has yet to be decided.
Tomlin says the amount of plays the starters will play will be based on performance and he will play that by ear.
Tomlin noted that Stevenson Sylvester was on the outside looking in last year at this time and his play in the 4th preseason game convinced the coaches to keep him over Patrick Bailey. He also said Stefan Logan also made the 53 man roster a few years ago in the final week of preseason.
Tomlin said he would like to get a look at Mario Harvey and Cortez Allen if they can get on the field Thursday night. He said it will be unfortunate if they can\’t go.
Trai Essex will get snaps at center Thursday regardless if Pouncey plays or not as he has been getting work there this week.
Doug Legursky is getting his opportunity to work with the first team at right guard this week.
Tomlin said he has not counted the positions up for grabs on the roster as it is in his opinion that every spot is up for grabs.
Jonathan Dwyer will get some burn Thursday night at running back as will John Clay and possibly James Johnson.
If Emmanuel Sanders is healthy, he will play.
Tomlin said he does not have a cookie cutter mentality in regards to players build, especially guards.