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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday with Tomlin

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held his weekly press conference in the aftermath of Sunday's debacle against Tennessee.

Here's what we learned:

@ Larry Foote had surgery on Tuesday to repair his torn biceps. LaRod Stephens-Howling will have surgery on his ACL Wednesday, while Maurkice Pouncey's surgery is scheduled for later in the week.

@ Kelvin Beachum is currently listed as the starter at center, but Tomlin isn't closing the door on newly signed Fernando Velasco taking over that spot.

It will depend on how quickly Velasco, who is a true center, can pick things up.

The Steelers would prefer that Velasco start so that they can resume using Beachum as a situational tight end. He's also their primary backyup at offensive tackle.

@ Isaac Redman will get the start at running back.

"He played a bad game. A lot of us did. He’ll be given an opportunity to redeem himself," Tomlin said.

Felix Jones is listed as the top backup, with Jonathan Dwyer listed as No. 3.

Tomlin said he was awaiting an update on the status of Le'Veon Bell, but it does not appear the rookie will be ready to go this week.

@ The news on tight end Heath Miller was a little more positive. Tomlin said Miller will take part in the team portion of practice this week after only doing position drills last week.

That doesn't mean Miller will play this week, but if he can get through practices without any issues, the door is open.

@ Cornerback Cortez Allen will be limited early in the week by his sprained ankle, but could return later in the week.

Lost in the shuffle of last week's loss was the fact that William Gay played a pretty good game, deflecting a pair of passes, including one that was nearly intercepted by Troy Polamalu.

But the Steelers would be better served with Allen in the starting lineup and Gay playing the nickel rather than starting.

@ Kion Wilson will get the first opportunity to replace Foote at inside linebacker, with Lawrence Timmons making the defensive calls as he did after Foote went down on Sunday.

I would expect rookie Vince Williams to push for that starting spot at some point.

@ Jones will take over as the team's primary kickoff returner with Stephens-Howling out for the year.


Anonymous said...

This week should be a good indicator of the Steelers season going forward. Let's give them a mulligan for the first week, they had a bad day and it happens. But playing a division rival who clinched their playoff spot last year at your house, the Steelers should welcome the challenge.

Easley said...

I'm with Anon 2:53. Though the loss was troubling on so many levels and probably no fluke, all you can do is put it behind you and look for a fresh start on Monday night. But if they tank this one...

Anonymous said...

The bizarre thing about that press conference was Tomlin talking about being an explosive play here or there from winning. That is something Tomlin would have never said in years past. Ever. I wouldn't have thought it, even after Sunday's debacle, but upon hearing him try to make it sound like they were competitive with a crappy team and only a play or two away, comes off as hotseat speak.

And not that it matters much, but Kion Wilson said he made the calls when he took over for Foote, not Timmons. Foote went out mid-drive with no play stoppage. If Timmons does have an emergency radio helmet on the sidelines, they didn't get it to him. Pretty sure Tomlin misspoke, though Timmons did have to tell Wilson where to line up on his first play.

Anonymous said...

Continuing that last thought, if Timmons can set the D, wouldn't mind seeing them install a nickel package with Jones playing inside with Timmons.

Anonymous said...

I just want to see them going into the bye at 500.
Regroup, get some key players back and go for broke.

Dale Lolley said...

Actually, they were an explosive player here or there from winning. That was a direct shot across the bow of Emmanuel Sanders, who missed what would have been a 50-yard gain or touchdown on the opening drive.

marc said...

it'l like what i told my oldest son last week after he had a garbage effort in his soccer game:

"every once in a while you will play like crap and not even feel like being there - it happens. what really matters is how you respond. we will find out what you're made of in the next game (which was last night). you either come out and play with guts and heart or you don't. i'm looking forward to finding out."

same goes for the steelers right now. this next game will be a good sign of what this team is all about.

adamg said...

The deep pass to Sanders was one play. Another was the tipped ball that Troy barely missed catching while reaching back for the ball with 1 hand. There was another tipped ball, too, that fell just out of reach of a Steeler db.

Dan said...

Does anyone else regret the Steelers' decision to keep Manny Sanders instead of letting him go to the Patriots for the 3rd round pick this offseason?

I wanted them to do that then, and Sunday's debacle made me even more disappointed. Sanders has a relatively low talent ceiling, has unreliable hands, and occasionally has awful fumbles (like his ridiculous unforced fumble against the Ravens last year).

I'd be much more comfortable with Sanders, Cotchery, and Wheaton / Moye on the field and an extra 3rd in our back pocket. Manny's imminently replaceable, he's likely gone after this year, and the Steelers are not getting anywhere near a 3rd round pick for him.