Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin met the media on Tuesday for his first regular season press conference in preparation for the Sunday game against the Baltimore Ravens. Below are the talking points from the presser along with audio.[audio:http://www.steelersdepot.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/mike-tomlin-week-1-ravens-press-conference.mp3]
Tomlin opened up by saying it is an awesome challenge this week.
Tomlin says he is a little more uneasy than he normally is about this game because of all the new players the Ravens have. He said the Ravens might now more about us, than we know about them heading into this game.
Tomlin did normal praising of Ravens offense and defense and said he expects Ravens defense to still be quite salty. A lot of new things to familiarize themselves with about Ravens.
Chris Carter is the only significant injury headed into the game with his hamstring injury. Ike Taylor is getting his pin out of his thumb today and should be good to go. Bryant McFadden should also be good to go as he appears to be recovered from his hamstring injury. Tomlin says James Harrison is likely sandbagging in regards to the health of his back. Harrison likes to play and Tomlin expects Harrison like play. McFadden had good work on Sunday and Monday.
Keenan Lewis would replace McFadden if the need arises. William Gay will play inside. Gay shows good awareness said Tomlin, is combative against the run, shows blitz capabilities. More like a safety the position that Gay plays said Tomlin.
Says they are going into the lions den into Baltimore. Says two teams on the track and see you Sunday.
Tomlin knows Matt Birk will be ready to play for Ravens.
Tomlin knows that age of the defense is something that is talked about, but he does not see age or dollar signs when looking at them. Tomlin does take age into consideration though in regards to rest he will give them throughout a game, but says he also does for guys in their 30\’s on the offensive side of the ball as well. Tomlin says that is what coaches do and that he tries to provide players with what they need to perform and perform at a high level. Tomlin feels good in regards to his first wave defensively, but also in the guys that back them up as well. Tomlin says we are, who we are and that they are not fighting any stereotypes. Tomlin says keep talking about their age because that makes his job easy.
Tomlin said he believes Emmanuel Sanders is ready to go and called him a smart guy on and off the field.
Tomlin would not commit to Jason Worilds or Lawrence Timmons should Harrison have to come off. He said Worilds has improved quite a bit and Timmons is an option, but he expects James to be James.
More talking points coming.