Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held his post game press conference following the 55-31 loss Sunday to the New England Patriots and below is a transcript of what he had to say during the session courtesy of steelers.com.
Mike Tomlin: A disappointing performance, probably as disappointed as I have been especially under the circumstances in terms of how we were able to fight back there at the beginning of the second half. It was a 24-24 game and they handled us and handled us well. We have to accept that and move forward and we will. We give them the credit. They were the better team tonight and the scoreboard and stats reflected that. From an injury standpoint Vince Williams sustained a concussion as did Ike Taylor. Those guys will be evaluated. Marcus Gilbert had an ankle injury.
Are you able to explain how they had so many open wide receivers throughout the game?
Mike Tomlin: No, we didn’t perform well.
You talk about the effort you want to see from this team. Did you see that down the stretch?
Mike Tomlin: Not good enough. Not good enough. It just wasn’t. We are going to comb through this with a fine tooth comb, as we should. Those people that were lacking effort won’t be playing. It’s just that simple.
When you say this is as disappointed as you have been, are you talking about this season?
Mike Tomlin: This season.
Why have Ben Roethlisberger out there at the end?
Mike Tomlin: Because we have to get better and those are snap opportunities to get better. We aren’t turning it down. We aren’t running away from anything. We had the opportunity to work and get better so we did that. The guys that were healthy were going to stay on the grass and finish the game.
You fight back to tie it, and then they go up. Were you surprised?
Mike Tomlin: We didn’t stop them. That’s the bottom line. We couldn’t stop them. We didn’t stop the run, we didn’t stop the pass.
Is the first inclination to stick with it, or do you re-evaluate the process at this point?
Mike Tomlin: You re-evaluate everything, you have to after a performance like that and we will. That doesn’t necessarily mean we will change, or we will change for the sake of changing, but we will look at every aspect of what we are doing and who we are doing it with because we can’t have performances like that.
That was the most points the Steelers ever gave up. Do you chalk that up as a bad loss or does that mean something in the locker room?
Mike Tomlin: It was a 55-point game. I don’t care whether it was the most points we gave up or not, it isn’t any more sickening or less sickening based on those results.
Are you perplexed at all that this is happening or more disappointed?
Mike Tomlin: I am angry. I’m disappointed. We don’t have time for perplexed. We are capable of better than that. We’ve got to be better than that, we weren’t. So we’re going to fix it.
Is that anger reflected in the team?
Mike Tomlin: I am not going to speak for them. I will let those guys speak for themselves.
At 24-24 what was your feeling. Did you feel like you could win at that point?
Mike Tomlin: Absolutely I did. The big punt return was a significant play, but we had overcome some significant plays to that point in the game, but we didn’t.
How does Rob Gronkowski’s play change the Patriots and what happened tonight?
Mike Tomlin: I am not going to speak for those guys. They are capable of speaking for themselves. Their performance tonight speaks for itself.
You had two pass interference penalties on one drive without having many all season. Is that the kind of thing you look at and so those kind of things can’t happen?
Mike Tomlin: It is just indicative of how we performed tonight.
The number of big plays all year is something that you don’t typically do. What is happening there?
Mike Tomlin: I am not ready to characterize the season, but tonight we were out of place. They executed well. That combination was lethal.