Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Post Game Press Conference Transcript Following Titans Loss

Coach Tomlin: Obviously a disappointing opener. Enough misery to go around in all three phases. Unacceptable performance. I won’t accept it. This team better not accept it. We’ve got some work to do. We sustained some injuries in the game but really not an excuse. The guys that played had opportunities, and we didn’t play well enough. We didn’t coach well enough. On the injury front, Shaun Suisham injured his hamstring in the pregame. He was able to get through today. We’ll see what that holds. Maurkice Pouncey injured his MCL and his ACL. Obviously, he’ll be facing a surgery.

[LaRod] Stephens-Howling had a knee injury. He’s being evaluated via the MRI. Cortez Allen had a right ankle sprain and Larry Foote ruptured his bicep. Of course, that will require surgery as well. Those that played, not good enough. We won‘t accept it. We turned the ball over, particularly in the red area. That’s a significant swing. They were able to run the ball at times on us, particularly in that red area. Just not acceptable. Obviously, some errors in the kicking game. We’ve got a lot of work to do. Nobody cares about our problems. They’re glad we’ve got them. We need to understand that. We need to stick together and persevere.

Re: It looked like on the play where Isaac Redman fumbled there was some confusion:
There was. We had a miscommunication in terms of the personnel group. Once we got an understanding of what the issue was, we realized it was irrelevant in regards to the play. But, obviously, we didn’t execute the play well. So, not good.

Should there have been a timeout called there? The huddle clock looked like it was down next to nothing.
No, we were close there. We felt comfortable with what we were looking at. Obviously, in hindsight, we would look a taking one there based on the result of the play. But, again based on the discussions that we had with an understanding of what was going on, we felt comfortable. Obviously, we didn’t get the play executed.

Can you comment specifically on the performance you got from your running backs and maybe why you didn’t see the need for Felix Jones?
We just didn’t get enough going with any of the running backs. The game circumstances dictated that we do some things, no-huddle and so forth. He’s been here for a short period of time. That maybe had an effect on our utilization of him, particularly down the stretch. But just largely not good enough.

What would have kept the offense from going down field more? That seemed to be the only thing working.
Our quarterback was getting hit some. It wasn’t a clean pocket. Obviously, we had Kelvin Beachum in there at center. We needed to be able to run the ball and stay on schedule. We weren’t able to do that.

Just to clarify, the injuries that require surgery, are those season-ending?
I would assume so, but that’s an assumption at this point.

Was Will Johnson available? Why didn’t he play at all?
He was available to us. By the time we determined he was available, it was the latter part of the week. We had a plan kind of in place. He was there if we needed him. Obviously, due to game circumstances we didn’t get a chance to utilize him much. He did participate on special teams.

It looked like David DeCastro got Pouncey’s knee. Why would that happen?
I have to look at the play. I just caught a glimpse of it on the replay. It’s an unfortunate incident. Obviously, it’s not something that David is intentionally trying to do. It really is one of the casualties of the game football. We’ll take a look at it, and maybe have a better understanding of the reasons why after we do.

You called this performance unacceptable. What kind of consequences does that mean for the team moving forward?
We’ve just got to understand what the standard is, and that’s not up to the standard. We better work to play to it. We’re capable. We’re good enough to win football games. We’re good enough to win that game today, not taking anything away from the Tennessee Titans. They did a great job. We did not.

Why wasn’t the running game there when Pouncey went out?
We didn’t execute. They did. They had a nice plan. Our plan could’ve been better under the circumstances. Obviously, we had intended on using Kelvin Beachum some at tight end. When he had to go in at center, that changed. We didn’t adjust well enough. I take responsibility for that.

What was the biggest letdown today?
I really haven’t taken time to ponder that. I paint with a broad brush when I say that the performance is unacceptable. We’ll have better clarity and I’ll be able to provide those better answers for you after having watched the tape.

Is the injury to Stephens-Howling less serious?
He’s being evaluated as we speak. So, I don’t have a definitive explanation of what his injury is at this point.

Are you comfortable with Beachum at center moving forward?
I’d have to look at the tape. Obviously, he did an admirable job under the circumstances, but tomorrow is a new day. It’s the top of the week. We’ll make the best decisions for us, globally speaking.

  • cp72

    We are just terrible offensively. Throw in the fact that we just lost our best lineman for the season and its looking like we might win 6 games. God it was like watching the last 8 games of last season all over again. We have not been the same since we made the decision to let Arians go……

  • itsgonnalast

    I was thinking the same thing. The offense was so much better before Todd Haley took over.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    next man up the standard is the standard….who is the next man up what is his standard and why is it so low?

  • Marcus

    When you have 0 success running the football, never fear just keep running it and wasting downs. I will never understand this logic. They averaged 1.5 yds per carry. That is a joke. What happened to protecting Ben, and developing a better run game? It actually looks worse if that’s possible. Short dink and dunk passes, that is what they have to. Keep Ben from getting hit, and keep from having to rely on that awful run game. Why run the ball 30 x’s a game if you’re awful at it? Use the pass to set up the run, and quit running the ball cause you think you have to. It’s so predictable.

  • frednash

    dave bryan

    correct again

    fred qualifies on injuries

  • Nolrog

    The offense was just fine last year before Ben got injured. He was having his best year, and people were talking about him as a possible MVP candidate. After he got injured, he came back too soon, and the O has been horrible.

  • Nolrog

    >>> never fear just keep running it and wasting downs.You make it sound like they ran the ball 40 times. They ran 15 times in a game that was 10-2 into the 4th quarter.

  • Mkeller

    It’s only going to get worse. Pouncey won’t be the last injury on the line. It’s as dire as I’ve ever seen it. I don’t see any silver lining in this at all.

  • Jack Gardner

    Fire Haley!!! This is ridiculous! His play calling is awful! What the dump were we thinking when we let BRUCE GO!?!?!!?

  • r4kolb

    Is it just me or is anyone else tired of Tomlin and his dumb as* clichés? I was waiting for him say ” Next man up” or “We will unleash hell next game”. Yeah we all remember how the week after you “Unleashed hell” you went out and laid a turd against the Raiders. I personally wonder if his message is getting tired with his players. Even I knew they should have called a timeout before the fumble. I was yelling it at my TV. At some point he needs to be held accountable for the piss poor coaching job, and at times, really stupid coaching decisions he makes.

  • Mkeller

    Not true. Ben was going well the running game was terrible. If a miracle doesn’t happen on that Oline Ben will be back on the sideline in a neck brace, knee wrap and shoulder sling. I’m seriously worried about him next week. Cincy will be out for blood coming of an out of conference road loss and it being their home opener against a division rival. They’ll be thinking knock out blow.

  • Venkar

    Its the beginning of a long year. The defense actually looked OK. The loss of Pouncey led to the offense being out of sync both running the ball and in pass protection. Lets wait and see when Bell and Heath come back and the line plays together for another game.

  • sean mcmartin

    As a Steelers Fan, I too have a standard..And Tomlin is not Cutting it with three years of “the Standard rhetoric” after every loss.

  • marvin87

    this is a 3-13 team, just wait when we start losing more starters to injury. oh yea no way halley makes through the season. horrible just horrible. maybe 2 yrs of top 5 picks and some comp picks for lost free agents is the new plan. just tank baby….

  • r4kolb

    And with the #1 pick in the 2014 draft the Pittsburgh Steelers take……..

  • Joey

    That his play calling was ridiculous and predictable. Seriously, just one game, with a few key losses to injury.

  • Mkeller

    A long couple years. Look at next years salary cap combined with the amount of key free agents…it’s a disaster. Really looking for some semblance of a direction. There really just isn’t one.

  • rizzo29

    It,s not just one game it’s a trend now losing 3 of 4 last year all preseaon games and now today,s embarrassment, sad how they have fallen,

  • Drew Shirk

    Sad to say it looks like the Steelers season is over. To be crippled by two season ending injuries in the two areas that lacked any sort of depth will be too much to overcome.The line was extremely thin to begin with, but center was our strongest position, but also our weakest depth wise. It doesn’t matter to me that the whole AFC north went winless and the Pats looked awful. Even if we somehow manage to limp into the playoffs (extremely unlikely), we won’t go anywhere.
    Sorry to be a naysayer, just really bummed

  • Jeff Johnson

    Todd Haley is just not the right OC for Ben and his style of playing

  • Jeff Johnson

    Harrison will be thinking about payback and they may sick him on Ben

  • Jeff Johnson

    Its going to be a long season. Down time for this organization until they build a good group like the Bengals, 49ers, and Seahawks have after having many down years

  • rizzo29

    Could be the the end of Ben next week

  • Josh Knepshield

    Cortez Allen, Jarvis Jones, Lamarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, Cameron Heyward, Steve McLendon, David DeCastro, Ben Roethlisberger, Le’veon Bell, and Maurkice Pouncey. This team will be fine in the future

  • T R

    and you dont think we wont be out for blood. please thats the games the steelers win…

  • Bell Cow

    We suck…. This might be the worst offense in the league. I predicted 9-7, I may want t change that to 6-10.

  • Jeff

    Hey Coach T, let’s raise the standard to something above piss poor!

  • Jeff

    Anyone have an idea of what the 2014 draft class looks like? I think we should prepare for a top 10, possibly top 5 pick.

  • Jeff

    I’m thinking 6-10. A strong possibility we start 1-3 or 0-4.

  • Gautama Om

    Agreed. I’ve been honest and justly critical of Tomlin’s work since being handed over a SB contender when he showed up. All I’ve gotten is fans calling me clueless because he won a SB or even worse calling me “racist”. Fans can choose to ignore all they want but there’s been a continual slide in this organization since he took over that SB contending team. Yes he won a SB but that was a SB contender at its peak and 2008 there’s been a continual gradual decline.

    Most of the fans are still behind him but wait another year or two. Only then will they grasp that Tomlin doesn’t have focus, organizational abilities, and most importantly VISION of what he wants his team to be. Definitely not a visionary. You obviously can see lack of organizational ability by the way the team has played unprepared , this or last year. You can see the lack of clear vision for the team by his ever changing of being tough on players one year, lenient on players next year and then tough on players again the following year. He was way too young and with too little experience when he took over.

    He sounds great and all in an interview but really lacking on ability to execute.

    P.S. for those racists I’ll be honest and say I’d rather have Ozzie Newsome as our GM and that jerk John Harbaugh any day over what we’ve got.

  • Bell Cow

    Worst offense in the league. Seriously…

  • Pete

    It was interesting to see that Howling cannot block at all. At least Dwyer could block. Poor Ben. I hope they figure that out because no RB should be in there if he can’t block. It’s only one game but I’m seriously worried. The Steelers offense was not able to score any points until the Titans sat back and rushed only 3 linemen. That’s not good. Time for the rookies to step up.

  • Bell Cow

    Teddy Brigewater and we trade Big Ben for a 2nd, 4th, and 2014 3rd round draft pick. Bon sense in keeping him.

  • T R

    OMG no i wont see that i will be at the bottom of Pittsburghs 3 Rivers Lakes..

  • I did NOT want this to happen, nonetheless…when I said this team was one injured offensive lineman from losing Ben (eventually due to injury), I never guessed it would be Pouncey and in the season’s first five minutes. On the positive side, Troy look great!

  • Eric

    I am really bummed too and did not like what I was seeing on the home field today, but we are tied for 1st in the division and 50% of all NFL teams will have a 0-1 record by tomorrow night. Anything can happen and that is why they play the games. If things do not get better soon, I will get on the ledge with you, but right now, things are bad, but it is way to early to push the panic button.

  • Ike Evans

    The standard is the standard…smh get some F$&#ing players @$$hole !!! How about that….who’s holding this guy to his standard? who’s holding todd haley to his standard? Because I saw guys on defense playing their asses off and its disrespectful to them to let this clown todd haley handcuff the best player on our team….they switched to this dink and dunk stuff to protect ben…well guess what? its not working…Colbert picked the wrong guys…switch it up…do wat ben does best….and people calling for Arians…OH SHUT UP ARIANS SUCKED TOO AS A COORDINATOR!…..Tomlin couldn’t hand pick a good coach if chuck noll, Jon Gruden, John Madden, Vince Lombardi, and Tom landry were standing in front of him

  • Ike Evans

    Arians sucked too….he wasn’t calling the plays in Indy last year after chuck went down….he’s a shit play caller…his system is better but ONLY if he have a good o-line ….which we didn’t….Haley’s system is ass on top of a bad oline on top of the fact he’s a shitty play caller…on top of the fact he tries to overpower ben…on top of the fact that tomlin doesn’t play the best player he plays who he likes (see jon dwyer, Jarvis jones, cam heyward, steve mclendon)

  • Douglas Andrews

    Why did we let Dwyer go….I had a feeling Redman wouldnt work out. Does he even put any fear in a Defense?

  • sean mcmartin

    Maybe. Tomlin seems to have trouble getting them bloodthirsty these days.
    Need an ex NFL LB to run this crew.

  • joed32

    The whole defense held up pretty well 14 pts and Tennessee had TOP of 34 minutes. Even Gay played pretty well. The Offense was offensive.

  • Who are the six teams the Steelers are capable of beating?

  • JPDQ

    There are some good players on that list, but some average ones too. No way Allen, Heyward or McLendon strikes fear in the hearts of any of our opponents. And Bell hasn’t done a thing thus far except get injured.

  • JPDQ

    Jadaveon Clowney. The offense is gonna be mediocre until we get a new system and QB in there. That’s not a knock against Ben at all, cause the guy will always go down as one of the toughest SOBs to play football, but he’s peaked and on the down side of his career. By the time we get some legit components around him and figure out what kind of offense we want to be, it’ll be too late. Better to stock up on the defense and try to win games that way.

  • JPDQ

    Does that mean you accept and acknowledge the standard, or no?

  • JPDQ

    I think the players legitimately like playing for him, I really do. But there hasn’t really been that “panic button” moment yet in MT’s career where he’s gonna have to stop hiding behind empty talking points and actually rally his team. And that time is coming… very soon. Whether he can do it or not will decide his future, in my opinion. As a guy who has lost pretty much all respect for MT as a COACH (cause I think he’s a stand up guy and a professional) I’ll be curious to see how that plays out.

  • JPDQ

    While I completely agree that Tomlin is overrated in his motivational skills, in-game strategy and ability to prepare his team (see: losing to inferior opponents year in and year out), I’m not gonna go so far as to say that I’d rather have the Ravens coach and GM… that’s a bit much for me.

    I also agree there has been a continual slide over the last 3-4 years. Part of that is Ben getting older and suffering years of injuries, part of of it is our inability to decide what kind of offense we want to be, and part of it is not restocking the talent pool at the level we’ve been spoiled with over the past ten years or so.

    Teams go through cycles; it’s the nature of professional sports. Just frustrating to have a franchise talent like Ben and squander it in his prime years.

  • JPDQ

    That’s my fear as well. I think we’ve both documented our concerns here with this team’s inability to stay healthy. The eternal optimists will always see it as “a streak of bad luck” or being “snakebitten,” but year in and year out makes a trend. And for the coaches to not prepare for this scenario is just ignorant and unforgivable.

  • Bumpyjenkins

    Ben, I love ya but no one goes for your pump
    fake anymore. You have to throw 50% of your passes “NOW”. According to film, I know you will still have
    the ball at 4 seconds. With your line,
    that’s an eternity.

    Our O-line is not skilled and that’s the GM’s
    fault firs and the coaches second. Look
    at Tyron Smith of the cowboys. His technique
    is, grab inside the pads and hold on. Our guys lunge and duck.

    You cannot develop a running game with guys who
    can’t run. GM’s fault because he knew he had bad runners last year. And don’t give me leveon bell as the saving
    grace because there still isn’t a backup.

    Isaac Redman has “THE” slowest first step of any
    running back in the league.

    Leabeau’s defensive tendencies have been on film
    for 30 years. The same areas are
    open. The short out. The deep out the TE
    across the field behind the corner and in front of the safety.

    Tomlin may have to make the tough call about Haley’s
    offense (if it’s truly his or someone hired him to create an offense). This
    offense has stunk for 25 games now. 8 preseason and 17 regular season games.

    Hey Steelers, no one is afraid of you anymore.

    I wish tomlin spent as much time teaching techniques
    to his lineman as he spends thinking of quotes.
    sharpens iron” , “We don’t live in our fears, we live in our hopes”, “I thought that his pedigree showed”. (those quotes
    are like adjectives, we need some verbs).

    We “seem” to have a good rookie class, add to it
    with another free agent, preferably a lineman.

    Keeping people on the roster like Paulsen and
    wimper says something bad about the front office. Giving us this political “speak”
    that Paulsen is good is quite insulting. You knew you had a tight end that blew
    out his entire knee a few months ago and you add to your roster by getting a
    guy you let go and now he has a lisfranc injury.

  • Bumpyjenkins

    ahhh the “D” was not that good. a grade “C” AT BEST. Not one turnover on locker??? wait to see what happens with him next next against the titans.

  • Bumpyjenkins

    I really don’t think tomlin is picking these coordinators. it’s all political corporate crap. kevin colbert is like that Sr. Manager at your job that tells managers below him what to say and do and then tell the little people that the organization felt this way. just a puppet. Not that he’s the next bill walsh, but the talent he has to coach is subpar for years at offensive line.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Mclendon played well yesterday. I don’t care if they strike fear if they do their job well. I’m sick of everyone calling Heyward a bust. He has been borderline beastly when on the field. Just check pro football focus.

  • Josh Knepshield

    The Steelers will figure this out and end 10-6. Remember when everyone said we couldn’t stop any body after the broncos loss in the opener last year. LOL

  • sean mcmartin

    I acknowledge Tomlin uses the same line as billicheat.
    what I watched Sunday was extremely sub-standard.
    Tomlin cannot lead a team. It will show when the Steelers play a top team.always some dumb moves and calls or no calls. he just watches the game unfold and gives us some double talk about the standard and never mentions he made another mistake. being booksmart and interviewing well seem to have made Tomlin some money . Now time to step aside and let a real coach take over. don’t care what color they get, just get me a coach who can lead and motivate.

  • sean mcmartin

    You gotta hope Rooney is pissed off at Tomlin, he asked him to improve the running game and protect Ben. Neither has happened. and they are even worse.