Here’s a look at what Mike Tomlin said during his weekly press conference.
Jeff Reed is gone — the Steelers have signed Sean Suisham.
Tomlin on the Raiders offense: We’re familiar with Jason Campbell. He throws a great long ball. Louis Murphy, Heyward-Bey and Ford give them solid receivers. Tomlin likes the Raiders tight end Zach Miller as a complete player. The Raiders have a deep group of running backs led by Darren McFadden. Michael Bush gives them a power back and they have a well-rounded fullback that they utilize well. They pound you with the run and throw the ball vertically while mixing in plenty of trick plays.
Tomlin on the Raiders defense: Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour are solid on the defensive line. Rolando McClain is a good rookie linebacker and the secondary has plenty of big fast men who can run. They can cover whatever group you put out there because they have size and can run.
Tomlin also said that the Raiders special teams have been a difference maker for them.
This is an opponent we need after the loss. It’s an opportunity to be competent. Have to be accountable for what we did against New England. It was “below the line.” Tomlin said he hopes the Steelers will learn from it.
Injuries: S Will Allen (concussion) is questionable. CB Crezdon Butler (quad strain) is questionable. We’ll see where Brett Keisel, Lawrence Timmons and Chris Kemoeatu are.l They will hopefully be back, but that will be evaluated during practice. Hines Ward should play this week.
With Reed it was more an accumulation of his misses than any one miss. Tomlin said “the kicking position is unlike other positions where you can bench someone and go to the backup. We’re respectful of the work that Jeff has done here.”
Suisham is experienced and has been with the Steelers before. He’s a veteran guy.
Tomlin says his off-field antics didn’t play a part in the decision to cut Reed, (which may be true, but it also is what he would likely say if it did play a part). Said Suisham is a good kickoff guy as well.
Ward was diagnosed with a concussion and has cleared his post-concussion tests. But Will Allen was cleared and then was pulled when he experienced more headaches.
Ward passed the concussion tests during the game, but the Steelers were going to be cautious.
Drops indicated the Steelers aren’t catching the football like they need to. Tomlin says “I’m a results oriented guy.”
No changes at cornerback. Our pass defense is a culmination of a lot of people, Tomlin said. A lot of the things in that game were underneath throws that are not involving cornerback play. We all accept responsibility for the problems.
If Kemoeatu is back he’ll play at left guard. If not, Foster will be back there and Scott will remain the left tackle. Thought that Scott-Foster were serviceable, but it wasn’t enough. “The same could be said for my performance,” Tomlin said.
Brady was making quick decisions which negated the Steelers’ rush. It was a complete body of work and efficient performance. What Tomlin does not explain is if the underneath routes aren’t the cornerbacks fault and the rush is negated by quick passes, then how are the Steelers supposed to stop this approach going forward.
Saw everything that the Patriots have done before. They did what they do better than the Steelers did.
Brees and Brady did different things. Brees is a movement guy who changes the launch point. His effectiveness is based on his mobility. Brady’s strength is making quick decisions.
When you get behind, you have to take some shots which helped the Patriots’ pass rush. But they also did a nice job rushing the passer. “We have some unflattering tape out there if teams are looking at how to attack us,” Tomlin said.