Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held is usual Tuesday afternoon press conference today in preparation for the Sunday game against the Arizona Cardinals. Tomlin took questions about the win last week against the Jaguars and updated the status of several injured players headed into week 7.
Below is the audio of the press conference and the main talking points recap from today.[audio:http://www.steelersdepot.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/mike-tomlin-week-7-cardinals-press-conference.mp3]
Tomlin said Troy Polamalu passed his concussion test and looks good to go this week. Should practice on Wednesday. Doug Legursky will be out several weeks with his dislocated toe that will not require surgery and he will be in a walking boot for a while. Chris Kemoeatu, Marcus Gilbert, Jason Worilds and Mewelde Moore could all likely return this week. Mike Wallace has a minor hamstring injury and he could be limited in early part of the week. Chris Hoke is still recovering from a stinger and will be monitored this week. He is termed as questionable right now. Tomlin did not sound hopeful about Aaron Smith, James Harrison and Casey Hampton returning this week.
Tomlin opened by saying it was good to get win and thought they started the game well, but obviously did not finish the game in the manner that they like to.
Tomlin said he thought defensively they lacked the signature play meaning turnovers. On offense Tomlin pointed to the inability to convert 3rd downs in the second half. 2 of 7. Been good on 3rd downs all season up until then. Tomlin said when you add in the roughing the punter call to those two areas you have to opportunity to put together the type of ending performance they had on Sunday.
Tomlin says Cardinals probable very familiar with them. Praised the defensive front a the pass rush ability of ends on the guards. Tomlin went through almost complete Cardinals roster per his usual. Says running back Beanie Wells a big powerful man. Says Larry Fitzgerald one of the best in the world at what he does.
Tomlin says welcome to the club when referring to the juggling the Cardinals have had to do on their offensive line due to injuries.
Tomlin says they have to do better performing on the road.
Tomlin says Ray Horton running a defense similar to the Steelers and that will help some in preparation as guys will get quality looks this week in practice, but the Cardinals will have the same advantage on their side as well.
If Worilds is healthy this week there is a chance he could start at right outside linebacker if he earns it this week in practice. Tomlin was not ready to say who will start right now. Lawrence Timmons would move back inside if that were to happen. Tomlin said Timmons has done some nice things for us, but is still a guy in development from a minute detail standpoint with some of the things that go along with that outside position. Tomlin said obviously those things include creating the splash type plays. Said he is a talented player and that he is not displeased with what he has done thus far.
Tomlin says he can not pin-point the reason for the lack of turnovers. They will not however start taking calculated risk in an effort to create more turnovers. Tomlin said they are playing good defense and that they just need more of those signature type plays.
Tomlin said Polamalu was talking to his wife on the cellphone after the concussion and letting her know he was fine as he has had a history of concussion like symptoms. He was not checking on his bank account and in this era of safety Tomlin hopes common sense will prevail in regards to the phone usage that he borrowed from a team doctor. Tomlin insinuated he did not think Polamalu should be fined for that.
Tomlin says both teams have evolved since two teams met in Super Bowl.
As far as the Jim Harbaugh, Jim Schwartz handshake tiff, Tomlin says he does not practice his handshake and has no thoughts on it. Calls it pretty meaningless and that the story should be the game itself.
More added shortly.