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Mike Tomlin Press Conference Transcript Following Steelers Loss To The Bears


The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped to 0-3 on the season thanks to their 40-23 loss Sunday night to Chicago Bears and below is the transcript of the Mike Tomlin press conference following the game courtesy of steelers.com.

Mike Tomlin: Obviously, you’re not going to win football games when you’re turning the ball over in the manner in which we did. It produced direct points. It produced other point opportunities. You’re not going to beat anybody in the NFL playing like that. We’ve got to get better. We know it. We understand it. It doesn’t make it any less painful but that’s just the reality of where we are. Not enough tonight. Not enough to overcome that. I don’t know if it will ever be enough to overcome that type of turnover deficit. We’ve got to take better care of the football. We acknowledge that those guys are one of the best in the world at getting it. We talked about it all week, but it did change the outcome of this football game, and for that we were below the line, obviously. We’ll continue to move forward in an effort to get better in that regard. Outcomes of games are simple in the NFL. It’s black and white. You’ve got to ring the scoreboard up, you’ve got to maintain possession of the ball and you’ve got to stop people. Obviously, we’re not putting together enough of a combination of those things to be victorious at this point.

Did you see some positives from the offense, or is that almost negated because of the turnovers?

You can’t turn the ball over like that. Obviously, there were some positives, but way too much negative, particularly from a turnover standpoint to be victorious, and that’s what we come in here to do is to win.

Re: Rotating the tackles:

They hadn’t played well enough to justify otherwise. We’re going to look at viable guys. We’re going to turn the stones over in an effort to find a winning formula, and we’re not going to be bashful about that. Kelvin Beachum has earned an opportunity to play in the rotation. He did tonight because of it.

Is it possible that because of the way the offense struggled in the first two games that when Ben Roethlisberger sees certain opportunities he is not as careful as he might be?

No, I don’t believe that’s the case. We played to win tonight. We didn’t bring the baggage of past performances, per say, with us. We have to do a better job of taking care of the football, period.

As a coach you know what needs to be done and you can make the changes. How do you process what you can do to keep everybody focused on what you need to do to get out of this?

I expect them to. I’m not going to encourage them to. I’m not going to pat them on the back for sticking together, for continuing to work or for being mentally tough. I expect them to, and that’s what I just told them in there.

How did you think Heath Miller looked? Was he on any sort of a snap count?

He was on a snap count for obvious reasons. It was his first action. It was a good start. We’ll continue to progress with him. Obviously, it’s a positive thing having him back in uniform. He was an asset to us tonight.

You have a different week this week with going to London. What is the challenge there?

It’s not different for us until we get there. We don’t go until Thursday after work is done. So, between now and then it’s business as usual. That’s the approach we need to take. We’ve got a lot of work to do, obviously. So that is the approach we’ll take. We’ll deal with London when we get there.

You didn’t use Felix Jones after the fumble. Was it because of the fumble?

That was an element of it. Obviously, he took a legitimate hit there and we wanted to make sure he was okay. He was. He did get back in the game, but not a significant opportunity to contribute after that. Obviously, the game got a little bit one-sided at that point.

Was it just one of those nights in terms of Roethlisberger’s performance and turning the ball over so much?

We’ve got to take better care of the football. I’m not trying to characterize it in any way other than that.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Reader783

    It’s a struggle to find 5 wins on this schedule right now the way we’ve played, and to think I saw 12 wins when the schedule first came out. I know we’re capable of much more than what we’ve done, but obviously not our year with this offense. Hard to believe we were in the Superbowl in 2011.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    We are our worse enemy the offense give up too many turn overs and our def cant get turnovers wonder who wins this battle in practice the offense or defense

  • Bradys_Dad

    There is plenty of blame to spread around. Sure you can pick a play or 2 and say “there’s progress,” but overall we just sucked. From the head coach to (probably) the ball boys, we sucked. No sugar coating this one.

  • steeltown

    You cant turn the ball over against Chicago, they’re dangerous

    On a night where Felix ran for over 4yds a carry, A.Brown had nearly 200yds receiving, Ben had over 400yds passing and we held both B.Marshall and Forte to under 100yds.. the only way to lose is to lose the turnover battle..

    and WE DID

  • Shannon Stephenson

    the bad thing has been it is a every week standard.

  • ty simpson

    Ben was atrocious. After all that talk about providing leadership he opens the game with a fumble, overthrowing his receiver on what would have been a touchdown, and throwing a pick? Tonight was not an o-line.problem…

  • Silky

    Lets be real! The real problem is Roethlisberger’s and the freaking turnover. He prevented us from getting into the playoffs last year with his interceptions against weak teams and came into this year doing the same $hit. This offense has potential but you need a smart QB to lead these guys. This guy is a veteran and team captain but plays and make dumb mistakes like he’s been in the league for two years. We need a new QB. This guy is overrated and can’t throw a short accurate pass to save his life. He also fails at getting the ball out of his hands quick enough to avoid sacks. This is going to be a long painful season until we bench this guy.

  • rizzo29

    5 wins you serious, be happy if they can scrap out 1 win

  • Luke Shabro

    The standard is the standard. Not going to win game like this. We gotta do a better job of blahblahblahblah. I just can not believe we can’t get one damn turnover.We can give plenty away but getting them seems impossible. I’m not one to jump off the bridge this early but I’ll point out again that this is how Jim Caldwell and Bill Polian got ousted.

  • Luke Shabro

    “The standard is the standard”

  • Luke Shabro

    On a side note I may be mistaken but I did not see a lot of Wheaton. How many snaps did he get?

  • Callentown

    I agree with you but also think the O-line has plenty to do with it. The tackles are just not ready, or maybe never will be.

    Also, Ben has not looked right since he was injured last year.

  • T R

    at this point i don’t care about getting a damn turnover.. We just gotta stop turning the ball over our damn selves.

  • r4kolb

    Seriously….I’m as frustrated as any Steelers fan but to blame Ben for the loss is ludicrous. TiVo/DVR the game and watch it. The poor guy has NO time and is constantly dealing with people in his face, at his legs, on his arms. I’m sure Dave will break it down but we have a horrible line save for DeCastro and Velasco. He hardly ever has a clean pocket to throw from. Give the guy a break. I don’t think Brady, Manning, Brees, any QB would be successful with this O-line. Also I don’t know how many would have been able to throw for over 400 yards with this line either. The blame goes all around. Coaching, D not being able to get turnovers, play calling by Haley, I could go on and on. Ben is the least of the problems we have.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    To be sitting on 0-3, when 3-0 was a REAL possibility it maddening. And I think we would be there if we just DON’T cough up the football! It kills momentum, and it hands the game to the other team on a platter. You can talk about the O-line and the run game all day long, but save that for when we get edged out by just an all-around better team. If we don’t turn the ball over, I believe we would have beaten the Titans, Bengals, and Bears.

    We clearly have a few areas that need overall improvement, but Ben is to blame more than ever. Especially for last night. Two fumbles and two picks? I cannot and will not defend that. Brown had more receiving yards than Cutler had passing yards. Marshall and Forte were kept in relative check. So why the loss? Hang onto the f**king football. How hard is that?

  • WilliamSekinger

    I just don’t agree. The play of the o-line has caused most of the turnovers you are talking about.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    The O-line hasn’t played great, and they DO need to improve, but they are NOT responsible for THIS many turnovers. Ben didn’t get the ball knocked out, he DROPPED it. Three times. And threw two picks. O-line or no O-line, that’s pretty sh*tty football. Hanging onto the football is THE most basic thing. The line has their issues, but they can’t be blamed for Ben’s hands.

  • r4kolb

    Replay the game if you can…on his one pick he had to throw off his back foot due to pressure. The fumbles were with Bears all around him. Agree he needs to do a better job but not all his fault. Maybe you think we should start Gradkowski? If so don’t worry, with this O-line he will be in soon enough after Ben goes down w an injury.

  • WilliamSekinger

    You should watch again. One fumble was a bear defender knocking it out as he wrapped up Ben, the other was knocked out by his own lineman being pushed back into him.

  • Ken

    ATTENTION STEELERS! FIX THE LEFT TACKLE SPOT AND YOU WILL BE SUPRISED ON HOW THAT HELPS EVERYTHING ELSE. YOU CANNOT WIN IN THIS LEAGUE WITH A BAD LEFT TACKLE.

  • ty simpson

    Thats where ben has steeler nation mesmerized.hedoes NOT HAVE TO throw the ball off his back foot into the arms of the opposition. He can throw the ball away. He can released the ball earlier than hedoes instead of trying to get his name in the paper. He can play fundamental footballand not have the ball easily swattedout of his hands

  • TheBlitz

    I think you are overreacting a bit because of the loss. The OL play is bad but to say Ben is at the bottom of the blame pole is not a fair assessment. He is not at the very top, but certainly amongst the leaders in the blame category. Especially last night with 4 turnovers.

    Regardless of how bad everyone else’s look around him, he has to do a better job protecting the football. It’s best to take a sack or loss yardage, instead of turnovers that result in direct points for the opponent.

    He is the leader and captain of this team and he needs to play like one by protecting the football. He’s turned the ball every single game. This has been a trend with him since last year after his injury and it has to stop.

  • http://edsjournal.com/ Crowljor

    Agreed, With no one on the same page and Ben being a bit nervous in the Pocket. It looks like a Mid 1980′s season.

  • http://edsjournal.com/ Crowljor

    I agree some what this but it is not all Ben’s fault here. It is an Offensive Coordinator not allowing Ben to be Ben and a offensive Line that should be the best but are the worst. Be is trying to be something he is not and When a Defense can’t stop the run or even create a turn over what do expect.

  • http://edsjournal.com/ Crowljor

    not enough

  • Mike Carroll

    Not sure, but it sounds like you might be saying the Bengals and Bears don’t necessarily have all-around better teams, to which I would disagree. Both of them clearly have better rosters than the Steelers and that is a function of how the Front Office has assembled the team, especially the un-Steeler-like approach they’ve increasingly taken the last several years. It could be they’ve finally reached the breaking point.

  • Chad H

    Turn overs lost this game. 70% OL fault and 30% on Ben. The fumble by Felix was a good job by the bears. Then we sit Felix who was having a good game?
    I believe we have lost 8 of the last 10 now.

  • http://www.amazon.com/The-Sibyl-Reborn-ebook/dp/B009KNQHSM James P. Kelly

    What frustrated me re Ben wasn’t his obvious fumbles as much as his inexplicable lack of ‘touch’ or accuracy when throwing passes that traveled less than ten total yards (often much less). For some reason he feels he needs to smoke the ball on flares or underneath crossing patterns, and the receivers have no chance to corral the ball unless it hits them in the strike zone. Instead, he compounds the problem by leading them too far or throwing it too high. The second (or third) or third time he did that last night to A Brown was a total shame, as Brown would have taken the rock deep into the red zone and maybe scored. Instead, it brought up 4th down and we kicked a field goal to pull to 27-23.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    What I’m saying is, I’m waiting for the game where fans can honestly say, “We got outplayed by a better team.” Hasn’t happened yet, because this team is too busy beating themselves. They’re literally HANDING the other teams points. If the Bears are a better team, then I would rather the Steelers lose because of it. Instead, they get beaten because they coughed up the football in embarrassing fashion. Tell me I’m wrong.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    The oline played actually better this game than the previous two yeah they had their mishaps but keep in mind these are the bears thats known for their defense like we are granted they got pressure on the qb but so did we our problem is the turnovers first drive moving the chains offense looked decent turnover second have first drive turnover it seems like whenever we gain yards to score we cough it up no matter. how bad our offensive line looked last night we still had a chance to win but the turnovers killing us time after time

  • Mike Carroll

    I know everyone will crap all over Ben today, and that’s fine he has not played well enough this year. But, I like how Ben plays the game and always have. As bad as the offense has been this year, I actually think they are going in the right direction, just not getting it done yet. What they were doing at the start of last year was a mistake and I hope the team has the fortitude to stay on the track they are going now.

  • Bob Graff

    That’s what bad teams and poor players do “beat themselves”

  • rizzo29

    Yes, It,s the sad truth going back to the end of last year,preseason, now first 3 games,things haven,t changed,just getting worse.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Hey, Colbert gave up a sixth for that ball boy, he looked really fast.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    did it a bunch. Weaton had about 20 yards of green in front of him and had already beaten his man…laser from 10 yards away goes incomplete on thrid down.

  • Bob Graff

    This team is very poorly coached. Haley and his buddy from the Chiefs [Bricknell] must go and be replaced by high quality coaches.

  • Mike Carroll

    I would say the Steelers need extraordinary performances from Ben, Troy, Woodley and Timmons on a weekly basis to win games. Ben certainly has not delivered, but have any of those other players? My main point is they have become far too dependent on a handful of players and no longer have a deep roster as they did back in their Super bowl years. Let me ask you, when the Steelers used to deliver splash plays and scoring from their defense, were they better than the team they beat or was the other team handing them points?

  • Matt Searls

    Top 5 draft pick.

  • http://www.amazon.com/The-Sibyl-Reborn-ebook/dp/B009KNQHSM James P. Kelly

    Exactly! That had me groaning and pulling out my few remaining hairs. That was also the last (and only) ball thrown to Wheaton…and it wasn’t his fault!

  • Mike Carroll

    Disagree. Haley and Ben on are on the same page this year and the Steelers are going with the formula Ben has won it all with before. Ben and the team just are not getting it done yet this year.

  • sean mcmartin

    Question 5 just confirmed my suspicion. Tomlin expects the team to self motivate..he needs to go and is HUGE reason the Steelers suck right now.
    It’s obvious the players are not motivated and showing up for a paycheck..
    Time to put Tomlin on notice and make him come to life on the sidelines..you would never see cowher just standing there like a store mannequin when the team is falling apart..

  • Mike Carroll

    For the second week in a row, I saw all three phases of the team play hard and never quit. Unfortunately, the roster is very thin right now.

  • WilliamSekinger

    You are right. When a Cower built team fell apart, he quit.

  • sean mcmartin

    The ball boy or one of the vendors might have been an upgrade at tackle. No O-line , average talent..since they need a full rebuild, and have no Money for FA’s. and are at the cap..I’d say four to five years before they are competitive again.
    Ben goes into every game knowing it could be his last..

  • sean mcmartin

    mike wallace could run under some of those passes..made ben look good.

  • Bob Graff

    The Steelers were usually playing from in front and were forcing the the other teams to push and play out of character, this is what creates turnovers.

  • Coach K

    They should have NEVER let Bruce Arians go. HUGE mistake. Arian’s and Big Ben were always on the same page.

  • Shawn S.

    Call me crazy but… I see us getting better every game. I think we have decent talent, but our main problem is mental right now, both for players and coaches. The CONCENTRATION and CONFIDENCE is just not there. The only one playing with both right now is Troy. But that can be fixed, and quickly. I like the progress I see from game to game, and am optimistic that things will come together.

  • Chad H

    Agree and let’s start by getting rid of Head coach, RB, OL and OC coaches. Counting preseason we have lost 12 of last 14.
    Can’t keep your job if you keep losing.

  • sean mcmartin

    Tomlin has been no master motivator.

  • RWWJR

    Dude, he was running for his life on almost every play. It doesn’t matter whose running the ball or quarterback. Every teams defensive line that we have played against has had their way with the young guys up front.

  • Steve G.

    Nonsense. You are speaking with you heart and not your mind if you seriously believe they should bench Ben. Eli Manning was shut out yesterday with no TD passes against a backup secondary for the Panthers all because he finally had to face the type of pressure that Ben has felt nearly his entire career in Pittsburgh (and that’s with 2 great and one good receiver, all over 6 feet). Ben has been sacked the most of any QB since he came into the league, and is pressured nearly every play, and the majority of that is not because he holds the ball too long, but because the O-Line blows! Brady, either Manning and even Rodgers all struggle when they don’t get time to throw and have DEs around their feet all day, yet Ben still makes plays. Add to that the fact that the Steelers let their best wideout go in the offseason, leaving him with a bunch of overrated wide receivers that are all under 6 foot (I saw Cutler makes some throws to Marshall last night that would have been incomplete if made to Antonio Brown). That leaves Ben very little room for error when he throws. Finally, remember that the team has no running game to speak of, and that Haley just does not seem to have a feel for the players he is coaching with respect to what they can and cannot do. Add all of that up, and I do not think that Ben is overrated at all. If anything, he is underrated for doing what he does with the talent he has around him and an O-Line who couldn’t stop my six year old at this point. I have faith that this young group of lineman can actually grow up through the course of this season and gel though, like what happened to theO-Line in 2005. If they do, and if Bell can give us some semblance of a running game, I believe you will see a lot less turnovers and a lot more points on the board for the Steelers.

  • Dorothy Little

    I agree

  • Dorothy Little

    I agreeTomlin not a great motivator,

  • Dorothy Little

    Bill Cowher spitting & yelling at players did help their performance

  • Steve G.

    Agree 100%!

  • Steve G.

    I know about the offensive woes, but the defense needs to take a hit as well. It needs to create more turnovers. It is not easy for a team to go out there and play turnover free ball. It is what you strive for, but it rarely happens, even for great teams. So as a fan you almost have to expect there will be at least one. This means that we will nearly always lose the TO battle because our defense CANNOT GET ANY. Also, when was the last time we won the sack battle? It seems like this team lives off of its reputation when it comes to placing pressure on QBs. We are not tops in the league anymore in that department, which is just sad for a Steelers team. It seems like our DEs and backers are always a split second too late to get the sack. Have offenses finally figured out most of those zone blitz schemes on which Lebeau built his reputation? Finally, how about we get a big stop WHEN IT COUNTS? Last night I saw a team scratch and claw to get the score to within one touchdown. They then proceeded to allow Cutler to go right down the field to put Chicago up by 14 again. It was a backbreaker and, the game was over at that point regardless of whether Ben fumbled or not. The exact same thing happened in the Super Bowl against the Packers…..the defense did nothing when they needed a big stop to allow the offense back on the field with momentum. With all of that I think that this defense needs to take a few hits as well for last night’s performance. I know their stats overall look pretty good, but stats can be deceiving.

  • James Leonard

    You are so right and I blame Tomlin!

  • Troy

    Mike Tomlin,is a sorry motivator and I wish I could had been Dan or Art Rooney in the owners box last night,seeing what i saw the next day he would be in my office and I would tell him that his job is on the line,if that we do not make the post season again this year he was out as head coach,because you can see he is not motivator like Noll or Cowher.As for Halley he needs to go as well maybe everyone in that coaching staff needs to go accept for the defensive coordinator.The defense played a lot better last night but still needs improvement but better.
    As fore the weekly” Gold & Black Pantie Award “it is hands down that big dumb Rothlisberger,is the cause of the Steeler lost last night gets it all by him self this week,Carrying the damn ball like a loose load of bread and two picks at that man up Rothlisberger you are the cause of last nights lost.And just because you won two super bowls this is a what have you done for me lately league and after three games You,Tomlin and Halley,need to go your ten years in it is time for a new quarterback and head coach to come in.You both have gotten too comfortable and as a long time Steeler fan I am sick of the way you handle the ball and the unmotivated of coach as Tomlin.
    If you guys do not make the post season and your on pace not too I hope Dan Rooney,cleans house from the head coach on down because this has too stop and that is the bottom line.

  • Danny Schafer

    A lot of people trashing Ben! wow! If his RBs could hang onto the ball, and his O line could give him 2.5 sec to throw the darn ball, maybe he could save face.

  • Danny Schafer

    Ten year? Lol, you mean tenure, right? Yes Ben sucked last night, But so do all the great QBs when there O line is a complete disaster.

  • Michael Waddy

    The Steelers looked better last night but still there is a lot of work to be done. The offensive line is not consistent enough they have to bring it on every play they are the engine that makes the team go by opening holes for the run game and protecting Big Ben. They have to pick up the Steelers identity of hard hitting and never giving up. We have lost 3 games only and there are 13 games left. When I first looked at the schedule I was counting on a at least 13 win season. They just have to go out and take it one game at a time don’t look ahead just concentrate on the game at hand one game at a time I believe they can do it.

  • Danny Schafer

    Ok Pittsburgh, you cry babies. The Steelers, aside from the NY Yankies and the Lakers, are probably the most well respected and winningest organizations ever! So you are in for a long season, too bad. Now you have a small taste of what Browns fans go through. This team is banged up and there is confusion in the offense. But you, the fans were the ones who bailed on your team in week one. It was a one score game and you all were up and outta that stadium faster than sh%t. I have been a fan of the steelers since Avoid LLoyd and Bubby Brister. This team has talent and will put together some wins this year. Just support your team. Yes be pissed at the coaching staff, but easy on Ben. That guy deserves a metal for the hits he is taking.

  • Steve

    I thought the running game was decient against Chicago.

  • Steve

    I guess he deserves a metal for all the turovers he made last night also? Ben is making way too much money for the sorry performance he gave last night. He had plenty of time and was off target too often. Yes he passes for over 400 yards but that was negated by giving the ball away.

  • Danny Schafer

    you said it best. He had to throw the ball soooo much because he has no RBs who can run or hold onto the ball, plus he has arguably the worst o line in football. The offense is predictable and one dimension and cant put it all on #7. Ben really isnt a top paid quarterback.I can probably name 10 or more higher paid QBs than him.

  • Steve

    Actually the Steelers ran the ball pretty well. Dwyer and Felix had some nice runs, too bad Felix fumbled. Dwyer mad some very nice block giving Ben more time, it’s good to have him back. I thought the offense had the Bears clueless on what was coming, pass or run, which helped each, but the blocking was terrible.

  • Danny Schafer

    There is no doubt they can move the ball.They just turn it over way too much. I dont see any improvement in that area for three weeks and it worries me.

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