Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talked to the media today during his usual Tuesday press conference this afternoon to talk about the 23-20 loss Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens and preview the upcoming road game this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Tomlin also updated the injury report heading into the game this week. You can hear the audio of the press conference below and I will be updating the post with the main talking points from the presser.
As far as injuries goes this week, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had his knee scoped and will be out a couple of weeks now. It was deemed a success per Tomlin. Punter Daniel Sepulveda had successful surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus in his knee. His season is of course is ended. Tomlin says they were fortunate to get Jeremy Kapinos back in the fold. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery has some swelling in his knee that might limit him at the start of the week. Linebacker Stevenson Sylvester also has some knee swelling. Wide receiver Hines Ward is doing well with his concussion-like symptoms and it shouldn\’t slow him down in any form or fashion Tomlin said. He will be reevaluated on Wednesday. They will take a look at linebacker LaMarr Woodley and where he is at in regards to his hamstring injury just like last week. Participation during the week will dictate his availability per Tomlin. Linebacker James Harrison had no issues coming back from his injury to speak of. Linebacker James Farrior will have his availability determined depending on his level of participation this week as he tries to return from his calf injury. Tomlin later added that wide receiver Arnaz Battle has a hamstring strain and will be monitored this week as well.
Tomlin said they came in reviewed the tape from the Ravens game on Monday and it stung as much yesterday as it did Sunday night, as it should. Tomlin said they made more plays then they did down the stretch.
Tomlin says Bengals playing really good team football right now. Says they are number two in the league in defending the run. Says linebacker group also built to stop the run. Offensively for the Bengals Tomlin said the story is the young talent. Says Andy Dalton is doing a good job protecting the football. Says A.J. Green has freakish skills.
Tomlin said on the Ravens final drive that he thought there were opportunities there to make some plays to potentially end it. He thought they had them moving pretty good in the pocket early in the drive. To make a long story short, the Ravens made the necessary plays and the defense missed making them by a hair. Said Ravens were schematically good with routes and getting rubs.
Tomlin said he thought Jason Worilds did some nice things in the game and he thought he played with good tempo and was physical. A great place to begin, but still room for growth with him. Worilds could start again depending on the status of Woodley and Farrior.
In regards to the delay of game penalty late in the game against the Ravens, Tomlin said they were going to try to utilize a cadence with Kapinos like the Steelers did against the Cardinals and try to pick up 5 extra yards that way. Tomlin was explaining that process to Kapinos and quite simply did not get it lined up in time. Tomlin said he was not interested in burning a timeout there because of the time left in the game. He decided to punt after the penalty and put the Ravens 90 plus yards away. He said he was comfortable with the end result, but of course the process could have been cleaner. Tomlin says he should have handled it better, but he didn\’t. Tomlin says he was never interested in kicking the field goal.
As far as the possibility of being short wide receivers this week, Tomlin said if something needs to be done, it will be done in house. His response was to a question on the possibility that Tyler Grisham could be activated to the active roster this week from the practice squad.
If Farrior is able to return this week, there is a possibility that Lawrence Timmons could be moved to left outside linebacker.
Tomlin said Chris Hoke was good to go last week, but he chose to dress just 5 defensive linemen instead to get some extra helmets added at the linebacker position and special teams standpoint.
Tomlin said Ward was fighting to get back in the game Sunday night, but they will always do what is best for him even though he might not like it.