Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin met the media on Tuesday for his weekly press conference to talk about the win Sunday over the New York Jets and discuss the upcoming week 3 game against the Oakland Raiders. Below are the talking points along with the audio.
Tomlin started by saying the win against the Jets was not a perfect one, but what did stand out to him was the ability to execute in the second half in third down situations on both offense and defense. He said that the offense did a good job possessing the ball on the long scoring drive and that the defense was able to get off the field in the second half on third downs as opposed to the first half.
Tomlin said that they have to do a better job on first and ten and second and medium situations on both sides of the ball. He noted that the running game needs improvement as they haven\’t run the ball as well as they would like to. He said that he is not interested in assigning blame it that regard and that he will take responsibility for it. The reality is that there is room for growth, Tomlin said. Everybody has a hand in improving it in the near future.
Tomlin moved on to give the injury update on Troy Polamalu (calf), James Harrison (knee), running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee), Marcus Gilbert (groin), Jonathan Dwyer (toe), Heath Miller (rib) and Stevenson Sylvester (knee) and you can read that report here.
Tomlin moved on to talk about the Raiders on both sides of the ball and he noted that Carson Palmer probably has as much experience as any quarterback in the league at facing the Steelers defense and their pre snap looks and blitz packages. Tomlin noted that Palmer is using his running backs very well out of the backfield in the passing game in the West Coast type system that they run and said that all of the Raider running backs have long speed that are capable of taking a ball to the house.
Tomlin went on to compliment the Raiders defense and special team units before moving on to take questions from the media.
Below is the audio of the press conference and I will add more talking points in a bit to this post.
Tomlin talked about the Big Nickel package that they chose to use against the Jets on a few plays and he said that it provides versatility for them on defense as it allows them to matchup from a personnel standpoint in the secondary with skill, but also to maintain their big body presence in addition. Tomlin says they also have the ability to use three corners and one safety in that package in the base defense as it is a way to address the same issue. He says that they want to be as multiple as they can in order to combat teams that want to establish the run against them with multiple wideouts on the field at the same time. Tomlin claimed that more new defensive packages are on the way this season, because they have to have a variety.
Tomlin praised the play of newcomer DeMarcus Van Dyke thus far on special teams. He said that the things that attracted them to him are the same things that attracted them to Cortez Allen or Curtis Brown. He called Van Dyke a long, fast kid with man coverage ability. He said that he is thankful to have three young corners from a draft class just a few years ago that are working to improve on a daily basis.[audio:http://www.steelersdepot.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/mike-tomlin-raiders-press-conference-tuesday.mp3]