Mike Tomlin met with the media on Tuesday, and here’s some quick notes on what he had to say…
– The biggest order of business is the fact left tackle Max Starks did not suffer a high ankle sprain. It was actually a low ankle sprain (actually, he called it an inversion … I’m not a doctor. I don’t know the difference) and he has not officially been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Titans. Tomlin pointed out that reports of a high ankle sprain were flat out incorrect. If Starks can’t go, Tomlin insisted that Flozell Adams will not move to left tackle (“He’s a right tackle,” Tomlin said bluntly) and Tony Hills is in “the pole position” to be the No. 3 tackle (Ramon Foster was also mentioned as an option), which means Jonathan Scott would start in place of Starks. Tomlin said they’re comfortable with Scott.
– Byron Leftwich will do some work this week and test the knee out, but Tomlin insisted that Dixon will lead the team into Nashville. He was also asked about the manufactured controversy that was kicked up last week due to the non-answer he gave during a radio interview, and rambled on for about five minutes about how he’s not going to deal with hypothetical situations, and how the team is still working to get through this situation. In other words: He, again, said a bunch of things without actually saying anything. I’m sure somebody will twist into another controversy that doesn’t exist.
– Casey Hampton will do some work this week and might be able to provide something on Sunday, though, Tomlin didn’t sound very optimistic. He also pointed out the heavy defensive line rotation on Sunday against Atlanta was just a product of “September football” and it’s something they do every year. I still liked what I saw from the backups, including Ziggy Hood.
– Tomlin said he was happy with Antwaan Randle El’s decision making in the punt return game, but also admitted that Antonio Brown is an “attractive option.”
– Following Sunday’s game, I pointed out in my View From 522 that I thought Dixon was making the correct reads (for the most part) and throwing to the right guys, but was simply coming up short on the passes … Tomlin made the exact same point on Tuesday.
– Somebody asked Tomlin about the job Jeff Fisher does down in Tennessee, which is a question that comes up at every press conference every time these two teams meet. I think we get the point by now: He does a good job. Tomlin’s response: “His record speaks for itself, he needs no endorsement from me.”
– Aside from the abilities of Chris Johnson, Tomlin was also praising the Titans secondary, particularly the tackling ability of Cortland Finnegan. He also had positive things to say about the job defensive linemen Jason Jones and Tony Brown have done against the Steelers in the past.
– Tomlin said there were some positives during the Atlanta game but that they weren’t going to focus on them, but instead focus on the areas that need improvement.