Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday with Tomlin

The big injury news Tuesday was that both Doug Legursky (shoulder) and Jonathan Scott (ankle) are questionable to play this week at Houston.

Rookie RT Marcus Gilbert is expected to be OK.

Mike Tomlin did say that if Scott can't play, Trai Essex will start at LT. They'll leave Gilbert at RT.

Ramon Foster would replace Legursky.

Tomlin did say that the Steelers aren't interested in bringing in a starter-type offensive lineman at this point. IF they sign somebody this week, it will be another Jamon Meredith-type player, somebody who will help them practice during the week.

© Tomlin said he didn't have a conversation with Emmanuel Sanders regarding his failure to tap the Colts' Joe Lefeged down following an interception.

He said Sanders immediately acknowledged his mistake on the sidelines and he didn't feel the need to harp on the obvious.

© One mistake Tomlin did acknowledge today was his timeout with eight seconds remaining prior to Shaun Suisham's game-winning field goal.

Tomlin thought he had another timeout remaining - in case of a botched snap - but he forgot he lost a timeout when Scott was injured with less than two minutes remaining.


Robert K said...

Not interesting in bring in an olineman? I can understand that. Its not like the oline situation is holding the whole team back.


How could we cut our two starting tackles from last year and think we would be fine? I know Free agency is a dirty word for the Steelers but it was the free agent Flozell who saved our season last year.

Eric T said...

Robert, who would you bring in? What street FA, who has missed training camp and 3 weeks of the season is going to come in and start AND be an upgrade at this point?

Dale, was the Wallace injury the reason they stopped looking for him after the 1st quarter?

Hopefully Sanders reaction to his mental mistake will be satisfying to the masses.

Dale Lolley said...

No, I think the injury to Wallace came in the fourth quarter.

As for releasing Starks and Adams, that was a salary cap move. The Steelers felt Colon was the better player and, more importantly, better long-term player. He got hurt.

But they don't have a ton of cap space right now.

superfan99 said...


I'm pretty sure the Wallace injury came on his last reception of the day, right before the two-minute warning. He took a pretty tough hit and never returned to the field.

I think the only way the Steelers bring in a starting-caliber O-line free agent is if they lose another player for the season. They aren't going to pay Flozell Adams because Scott is out for two weeks.

Eric T said...

Did Tomlin address why they stopped looking for Wallace? And am I reading between the lines correctly in that Ben's decision making has not been as good as the coaches would want, especially with pre-snaps reads/audibles?

marc said...

i get why the front office released players for cap room to sign key defensive guys.

is it safe to assume, with several veterans most likely coming off the cap next year, the steelers may be a more active participant in free agency to bring in a starting caliber offensive linemen?

it just seems that they have o-linemen you would consider good backups, but no necessarily quality starters.

superfan99 said...

It's the Steelers, they're not going to be chasing free agents during the offseason.

datruth4life said...


I absolutely agree with what Bob Labriola of said today about the Colts game. He said that the only way that the Colts could make the game close against the Steelers was to have Freeney and R. Mathis dominate. And the Steelers played right into their hands after being up 10-0 when Ben held on to the ball too long and allowed Mathis to run from his left end position (after initially being blocked by M. Gilbert) to the right side and strip Ben. After that, the Colts rec'd life and the pass rush frenzy was on.

After that strip, I was sitting at home on my couch thinking the same thing. Just do NOT let Mathis and Freeney dominate and be difference-makers and you have a win. And adding more injury to insult (besides losing the 3 OL lineman) neither Mathis or Freeney played the whole game. They mostly played on 2nd and 3rd down.

Why not throw the ball when both are on the sideline on 1st down and run the ball when they are in the game on 2nd & 3rd down? If not run, then a quick pass to get the ball out of Ben's hands.

The Colts offense wasn't going to score without help from turnovers so even if you don't pick up the first downs, you are up 10-0. If you don't make it, just punt the ball. This wasn't a smart game by Ben or Arians. Of course, the surprise was that the Steelers couldn't run the ball and the Colts could. With that being said, the Steelers only have themselves to blame for allowing that game to be as close as it was.

datruth4life said...

I really don't know what they can do about the OL at this point. That Colon loss was HUGE. As Rick Pitino would say when he was coaching of the Celtics to his players, "Larry Bird and Kevin McHale aren't walking through that door to save us." Seems that OL is what is for this year.

adamg said...

Mitchell and LeBeau are going to have to make some adjustments on the DL. Up until the Balt cut block frenzy, Hampton was pretty much an immovable object in the middle. Now teams that don't normally do it are chop blocking Casey and denying him the ability to slide up and down the line clogging up running plays. Maybe DL is going to have be more aggressive off the ball rather than the more passive, just occupy blockers for the LBs role they have now in the defense.

sleelcan said...

Upon further review,2 observations:one, Marcus Gilbert played a very solid game. two, how long before Brown becomes the #2wr? At this point I honestly think Ward is hurting the team more than helping. (lack of production) And please dont tell me about leadership and blocking. Thats all well and good, but on field production will always be #1.

Anonymous said...

datruthlife, agree about everything on Freeney and Mathis. That team doesn't have much other than Manning, especially on defense, but those two can certainly take over a game if you let them. I've seen them do it even to the patriots and Brady. And our steelers fell right into it sunday night

does not excuse the terrible oline play/players we have, but they make it look much worse

Ward should definitely by the #3 receiver. Rotate Antonio and Sanders for the #2, Ward will still be on the field a lot as the #3 anyway

Sanders and Antonio play great competing with each other. Give fuel to their fire

Anonymous said...


"Mitchell and LeBeau are going to have to make some adjustments on the DL" I completely agree. I think it is time for Big Snack to take out Yanda's knees. See how he likes it. The NFL and their double-standards have demonstrated that some players are protected and some are not. Cut blocking, while technically legal, is dirty. Time the Steelers made a statement or our vaunted DL will continue to get pushed off the line and one of our guy's future will be in jeopardy.

G-Blog said...

I feel for Big Ben man wow he is going to get eaten up by Mario Williams! Why do they never get O-line help for him or at least try.

HACK said...

I like how they said that. "we won't be bringing in any starter type Olineman"

Heaven forbid there are starter quality linemen on the team

adamg said...

There are things offenses can do to mitigate OL problems, like short drops and quick passes. Did you catch the timed replay on SNF of Manning's decision making? Less than 1 second after dropping back, the ball is out of his hand. When was the last time Ben did that?

Dale Lolley said...

Manning also threw what, 20-some interceptions last year. Ben is on pace for that, but he's thrown one in the past two games.

The Steelers use three and four wide receiver sets so much, it doesn't matter who starts. It's not important.

adamg said...

Interceptions are part of the package when a team is one-dimensional like Indy or NE. In Manning's case that was a little over 1/game. The Colts are clearly willing to make that trade-off to run the offense they do.

There's no doubt BA/BR could choose and practice plays and then call them that would put the OL in a better position to succeed, but they don't want to.

Anonymous said...

*The Manning timed release thing wasn't from snap to release. It was entirely his throwing motion, nothing else. From the time he began his wind up to release.

*I didn't really have a problem with the play calling when Mathis/Freeney were out. But those times when they were on the sideline, I'd rather they went no huddle to keep them there.

*I love LeBeau, but if he has a flaw imo, it's that he's too close to his players to render an honesty eval. Same case might be made on the other side of the ball too.

Anonymous said...

*expanding on what I meant with that last point, it seems Arians is acutely aware that his self preservation is directly proportional to the amount of butter he applies to Ben's bottom daily. Thus, Ben will never evolve/grow as a QB with a sycophant as his OC who is too afraid to push/challenge/correct the guy he feels controls his fate.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale is the fans perspective that Scott is a bad Lt wrong? Also you think that Mendy will be with the Steelers beyond the present deal.

bruinmann77 said...

I am curious why didn't BA call a game plan to avoid that. Isn't that the Job or the OC.
Any chance we see Meredith getting on the field this week. I also read that Essex is better at LT than any other position.