Tomlin Outlines Rams’ Pass Rush As Prime Concern

Ben Roethlisberger stayed clean in Sunday’s win against the San Francisco 49ers.

He can only hope to be so lucky again this week. Aaron Donald and company might have other plans.

Mike Tomlin immediately spoke to the St. Louis Rams’ pass rush in his Tuesday press conference.

“That’s where it starts. The protection of our QB,” he told reporters.

Specifically, it starts with containing Donald. Through two games, the defensive tackle has 2.5 sacks and several other pressures.

“The things I know about [Donald] don’t help me sleep easy.”

When asked about what makes Donald so good, Tomlin compared him to someone Steelers’ fans know well.

“Donald is like James Harrison. He’s not small, he’s short. It provides built-in leverage. It’s an advantage. I know that’s what the tape tells me.”

He also admired Donald’s work ethic, noting he saw him working out at the Pitt Panthers’ facility immediately after his 2014 season, which resulted in 37 tackles, 9 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Through two games, the Rams have eight sacks, seven of those coming from their defensive line. Robert Quinn and Chris Long, both first round picks, have combined for another three sacks.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Zarbor

    The o-line has been doing well so far but I believe this will be their biggest test of the season. A great running game helps the pass rush…..welcome back LeVeon. Not a moment too soon.

    Ben better do his best Tom Brady impersonation and get rid of that ball asap.

  • This may be the best defensive front in the league, O line guys better bring their hard hats to work this week, it won’t be easy.

  • BBrawler

    I am affraid that after having so much success with long balls, Ben will hold it too long against Rams, instead of dumping it to Bell and making quick short throws

  • Todd that dude!

    Should be one helluva test for our O-line. If we can keep Ben upright establish any type of run game early, I can see Ben going deep and being successful. Rams D line is good but their secondary is in the same boat as Frisco’s and we seen what happened there.

  • PapaJuju

    Naw, Ben has learned his lesson. He showed he can do the short game last year.

  • cp72

    Not mention they have Bell coming out of the backfield which creates headaches on many different levels.

  • VIPSteel

    This is the kind of game where we need Pouncey. Cody Wallace will probably be eaten up this week by Donald. Beachum is also gonna make or lose himself some money this week. Robert Quinn is one of my favorite pass rushers because of how fluid his bend is. If Beachum lets him get that edge it’s over. He better come out like he has something to prove.

  • srdan

    That’s scary, cos I watched the Jets last night. If they are as good or better in Missou, it’s going to be a great battle.

  • Abed Medawar

    Their d line got themselves caught upfield too many times and redskins had a great day running the ball. Rams will make adjustments but I can see us using this aggressiveness against them and end up running the ball well. I like us in this game I think it’s a good match up on both sides of the ball and as long as we keep shark and golden off the field like we did Sunday we’ll be ok in the back.

  • Ike Evans

    Donald is going to eat cody wallaces lunch…i hate to say it but him vs pouncey was really something i wouldve liked to see….if beach puts it on robert quinn…PAY THAT MAN

  • Ask Questions Later

    Oh… boy. Crunch time now. It is time to see how much our line has learned from Mike Munchak. Furthermore, it is time to see what Cody Wallace can really do.

  • diaking900

    This is the truuue test for steelers Oline…
    How will they do against the best d line in the league

  • Zach Bolen

    I want to see our O-line smash some helmets into the dirt, every play when Aaron gets up I want him to have to remove a giant clump of dirt from his face mask they need to be mean.

  • RMSteeler

    Time for some 4 wide out sets. A couple of draws out of that look to Bell should slow things down. Ben might have to be practicing some designed roll outs with some double moves downfield.

  • Steve

    Steelers always have trouble going west of the Mississippi. Bell may return but he is not in football shape and it will take a few weeks. In the meantime platoon between Williams and Bell, giving each series off. Surely don’t want Bell hurt right after coming back.

  • Steve

    VIP – The pass rush is always neutralized by play action and screens, which slows the rush down. A good running game also is Great on good pass rushing teams.

  • Steve

    That would be nice, but Beach is like Rodney – Gets no respect.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Watch #26 line up as a slot… I predict 7-10 catches

  • MARK 11

    I was propping up RAMS in off season…but last week’s game (among too any of my losses) I don’t see the possibles right now…is it all on Foles? Either way…our solid D pass rush…getting better needs 3 sacks min on Foles.

  • MARK 11

    Yup., yup. TOTAL AGREE

  • MARK 11

    RAMS on the road will be a great test…really prepping us for against SEATTLE on road later

  • MARK 11

    Hugeeeeeeee brawl! That’s what we want in our real football anyway! That same mindset prepped me for playing RUGBY in college — club side,even though mostly on the B team. I earned my bruises…loved every ache

  • MARK 11

    We have no idea how much training he’s been doing…not same as playing but no way BELL sat on his ass for 2 weeks

  • Zarbor

    Can’t disagree about Bell. Definitely need him to stay healthy.

  • LucasY59

    Bell is in great physical shape (which isnt the same as football shape) and he is young, so I am not worried about him. having DLO (who has been doing well) makes me even less worried

  • LucasY59

    Since Washington (almost used the non PC name) beat them last game, the Steelers SHOULD be able to get a win this weekend (didnt see any of that game but would be studying it closely if I were a Steelers coach) and agree protecting Ben is the main challenge (always one of the most important things to make sure the team has a shot to win) the Rams front 7 are very talented (and after their hangover loss will be motivated) I have predicted a tough close game since the schedule was announced and getting Bell back will hopefully help a lot. IMO they need to control the clock (and try and control the LOS, which might be hard against the opposing D-line) quick short passes to Bell and Brown should be effective, with a few longer plays if the D (secondary) starts cheating up too close.

    I’m not sure what the status of Gurley is for them, but even though he is a great talent, it will be his first game as a pro (and the first time in a game situation since his injury) so I am not as worried about him, Foles can be a effective and accurate passer so putting pressure on him and not giving the recievers too much space and underneath stuff should keep them from putting up too many pts (or at least not as many as the Steelers O if it can continue to fire on all cylinders)