Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin met the media for his post game press conference following the 13-9 win over the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland.
Tomlin said it was good to get the win in a division town and now they have their marching orders to head to Denver and take on the Denver Broncos in one of the two AFC wild card games. Tomlin said the Steelers suffered several injuries in the game of which several are minor. The knee injury to running back Rashard Mendenhall unfortunately is not minor according to Tomlin. Tomlin said they will get the knee looked at again when they get back to Pittsburgh, but warned everyone that they should not expect him to participate next week. Tomlin said their is potentially an ACL tear in the knee of Mendenhall. Tomlin said experience tells him that when a guy goes down in the open grass with no contact, it is generally not good.
Tomlin says they are excited about being in the field of 12 and they will move forward into the playoffs. Tomlin said running back Issac Redman was not demoted and that they were just using two guys because of how the nature of the game unfolded. Tomlin said obviously they would like Redman to hold onto the football better than he did at the end of the game.
Tomlin said he is not ready to rule out free safety Ryan Clark next week just yet because of his Sickle cell trait and the risk playing in the high altitude of Denver.
You can listed to the audio of the presser below:[audio:http://www.steelersdepot.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/mike-tomlin-browns-post-game-press-conference-17.mp3]
Mike Tomlin: Now we push off. We got our marching orders and we are on our way to Denver. We had some injuries sustained in the game, many of which are minor. Of course the Rashard Mendenhall injury is not. Potentially that is a knee. We’ll get that taken a look at when we get back to Pittsburgh. You should anticipate that he will not be participating next week for us. Some of the other ones are potentially still in play. We’ll deal with those things. We are going to rally back in Pittsburgh and meet tomorrow afternoon and talk about plans and times and so forth. We are excited about being in the field of 12. We turn the page now, we move forward into the single elimination tournament. We are excited about that. We are comfortable in that arena. And we look forward to pursuing the Lombardi.
Question: Did John Clay move up the depth chart or was that just today?
Tomlin: There weren’t many other names on the depth chart. It was just the circumstances today.
Question: Will you be less likely to go to Isaac Redman?
Tomlin: He carried the ball quite a bit. Over the second half of the game there was no demotion there. We were just utilizing two guys. He had 19, 20 carries. It’s just the nature of how the game unfolded. Obviously we would like him to hold on to the football better than he did there at the end of the game.
Question: Does it look like an ACL with Rashard?
Tomlin: Potentially. We need to take a look at it. It’s not good when a guy goes down in open grass not touched by anyone. Experience tells me that’s generally not good.
Question: Can you talk about how the defense stepping up, especially after the fumbles?
Tomlin: It’s that time of year. They have got to respond in that manner. We expect them to. We appreciate the fact that they delivered, but that’s the level of expectation, particularly this time of year.
Question: Can you talk about Hines Ward’s milestone?
Tomlin: We tip our cap to Hines. We are excited and happy for him and proud of him. What a tremendous accomplishment. We are talking about a small few. Let’s face it, if we are talking about anything and we are talking about Hines Ward and professional football, he is in a category with a small few.
Question: Any chance you will get Mewelde Moore back?
Tomlin: We’ll see. Of course there is a possibility for that. Of course there is a possibly of some others, LaMarr Woodley and others. We’ll take the healthy ones and proceed. We won’t bat an eye in that regard. We understand where we are. We will play and play to win. The guys that will be suited are the guys that will represent us and play to the standard.
Question: What will be the status of Ryan Clark playing in Denver?
Tomlin: We’re going to meet with the doctors at some point tomorrow or Tuesday. It’s a discussion. Last time we went we exercised some precaution. We choose not to play him, but we worked him out extensively to see how he responded to that. We gathered information and data in that regard. Now we get an opportunity to utilize that. Now we will put some heads together. When I am talking about heads I am talking about medical experts, not myself. We’ll see what the medical experts have to say and then we’ll go from there.
Question: What are your thoughts on facing the Denver Broncos?
Question: Can you talk about Ben Roethlisberger’s health?
Tomlin: Of course he is not 100 percent but there are many guys out there that are in uniform that aren’t. That is the nature of the game, particularly this time of year.