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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday with Tomlin

Mike Tomlin in his opening statement said the Steelers are going to play to win and not experiment with their lineup. But that didn't mean he didn't have to answer a number of questions about possible lineup changes for Sunday night's game against Cincinnati.

To be clear. The Steelers have never made changes just "to get a look at a guy," at the end of the season. If they didn't play starters in the regular-season finale, etc., it was because they were resting starters for a playoff game or because the starter was injured. That's the way it was under both Bill Cowher and Chuck Noll. That's the way it will be under Tomlin.

For those who think the Steelers should, say, start Landry Jones at quarterback over Ben Roethlisberger to "see what they have," there's this:

"I am continually evaluating young talent in the midst of doing the things we desire to do, which is prepare and win this week," said Tomlin. "It's not like it's a one or the other proposition. The evaluation of young talent is not only within stadiums, it's also within this building in terms of some of the things they do on the practice field. That's forever. It's always ongoing. I really think it's kind of naive and not realistic to assume that you either do one of the other."

@ The Steelers appear to be pretty healthy going into Sunday's game with Cincinnati.

Brett Keisel and Kelvin Beachum will be limited early in the week, but could return by week's end to play.

And Tomlin said LaMarr Woodley, who was limited Sunday because he hadn't played in nearly a month, should be a full go this week.

It will be interested to see what the Steelers will do at outside linebacker. The guess here is that they use a lot of the hybrid package they've drawn up to have Woodley, Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones on the field in sub packages. Cincinnati uses enough three receiver sets to justify that option.

Mike Adams also played well at left tackle last week, but I think the Steelers will go back to Beachum if he's healthy.

@ Ray Graham was released off the practice squad so that the Steelers could sign defensive end Hall Davis.

Davis, a fifth-round pick of St. Louis in 2010, has spent time with five NFL teams.


marc said...

well, since tomlin says it is not "one or the other" then I assume they will get landry some playing time in a real nfl game since his only evaluation has come in the form of practice and what he does inside the building.

Anonymous said...

I saw Landry Jones at the driving range the other day, he could hit that ball a mile, straight too. Let's put a few trees, a couple of lakes and an OB in front of him and see how he does.

Anonymous said...

I for one don't want to end the season as we started. Let's finish strong.. enough talk about looking at players that have never played one snap in the NFL...

I hate hearing about Todd H. being on the chopping block, but it was Dick L defence that gave up the most points that Maimi scored all year.. AND IT WAS IN THE SNOW!!

Enough is enough,


Anonymous said...

Never thought I'd say this:
I hope Steelers don't use a high first round pick on a left tackle

I feel weird

-Zac in Tempe

Anonymous said...

If Tomlin and the coaches are always evaluating players during practice maybe they should try harder cause the fact that Jarvis Jones was starting over Worlids seems like a joke right now. And don't get me started on their "evaluation" that Mike Adams was ready to start at LT.

Practice and games are nothing alike.

Dale Lolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale Lolley said...

Jones was starting because he was making some plays early on and Worilds was not.
I spoke to Worilds about it and he was struggling with being on and off the field so much. He couldn't get into a rhythm.

Anonymous said...

I think what is scaring some Steeler fans here is that they can see a high draft selection within reach. Then, a 3 game winning streak puts the Steelers back in the middle of the pack again. If it were me, everyone who hasn't played gets to play. Why? For evaluation, to protect the health of the starters and to ensure a good draft slot. That's why I'm not an NFL coach. I understand where Tomlin and the players are coming from: Would you want to see this team quit, give up, intentionally not show their best effort? Of course you wouldn't and that's why it's not going to happen.

But just to give some comfort, the Steelers won't be beating the Bengals and if GB has something to play for and Rodgers back, put that one in the loss column as well.

Noel said...

Win win win, I don't want a team that accepts loss. The mindset has to be on winning. A few draft positions aren't worth it. It hasn't gotten Cleveland anywhere. I want them to go down swinging.

Dale Lolley said...

What's the difference between pick 10, where the Steelers are at now, and pick 14? Not a lot, especially when some teams are going to reach for QBs at the top.

marc said...

8-8 picked 17 last year, I believe.

NineFingers said...

Isn't it true that we're technically still alive for the playoffs. I'm so sick of any Steelers fan suggesting that we play for the draft when we still have a chance (any chance, even if only mathmatically).

I could be wrong but I believe if Tennessee, SD and NYJ simply lose the games they play to team with better records, Baltimore loses 2 of 3 (vs Det, NE, Cin) and Miami loses 2 of 3 (NE, Buf, NYJ...NYJ must win for tiebreaker reasons) AND the Steelers win all 3. The Steelers would be in.

It's not likely but its about as probable as a 5 pass final play with no time left to win a game which we all witnessed on Sunday (minus the toe out of bounds).

Even if the Steelers are mathmatically eliminated, I still want them to win as many games as possible. The draft might be nice, but it's not the cure all, there are plenty of good players and plenty of busts all over the draft.

marc said...

to be clear, i do not want them to tank for the draft. but, i do think these last three games are a good chance to get more playing time for guys you know will be on the team next season and will be counting on to produce.

there's nothing wrong with working landry jones into a game in the 4th quarter if it's out of reach or giving him the whole final game if the playoffs are definitely out. could anyone be worse than clark at safety? would it be bad to insert wheaton at least 50% of the time as the third WR. his speed alone may help open up the run game. not saying bench all the starters, but get these other guys in there and let them play for crying out loud. no, wait, how about they stash them on the bench for another year. that has worked out quite well.

Anonymous said...

No use crying over spilled milk but It still kills me that we let Keenan Lewis leave w/o even an offer and choose an old diminishing Ike Taylor instead. Don't get me wrong Ike's been great for the franchise but Lewis could've been kept for a reasonable price. He's been lights out for the saints this year. Bad move, just sayin

Dale Lolley said...

They simply couldn't afford Lewis. You say a reasonable price. But they couldn't afford to top 5 years at $26 million that New Orleans offered without cutting more veterans. And he would have wanted more than what NO offered to return. He wanted to go to New Orleans.

Anonymous said...

With respect to the difference between picks 10 and 14, 4 picks in that part of the draft can make a huge difference.

For example, in a stretch of 4 picks, you could have a Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch and Darrelle Revis come off the board, as you had in 2007 in the 4 picks preceding the Steelers' selection.

Anonymous said...

Yea. Like cut Ike Taylor and use the money to get a deal done with Lewis. Keenan Lewis is a top corner in the league, 5 mil a year with a low signing bonus is peanuts. The front office should've locked him up. I'm with anonymous 12:45

Anonymous said...

No one is advocating that the Steelers try to lose. Just that they start some younger players (the future) over veterans. AKA Smamarko Thomas plays over Will Allen. Maybe you get Wheaton a few more snaps over Cotchery, who might leave the team. Maybe give someone some snaps in place of Clark, who isn't playing well.

You still coach and call plays to win. Just using young players who you know will be around in the future to contribute to a championship.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:03 said:

"For example, in a stretch of 4 picks, you could have a Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch and Darrelle Revis come off the board, as you had in 2007 in the 4 picks preceding the Steelers' selection."

This situation is sadder than most people realize. The Jets moved up to grabbed Revis based on something Tomlin said that indicated to them that the Steelers were interested in Revis. Didn't mean much draft day, but looking back on it, I'd rather have Revis than Timmons. Just another example of Tomlin playing checkers while everyone else is playing chess.

BTW, I agree with most of the posters here, play the young guys to give them experience.

Dale Lolley said...

And they got Lawrence Timmons, who has been a very good player for them.

As for Revis, the Steelers were not drafting him unless the top LBs were off the board. They were going LB that season because it was the greater need. In fact, they went LB, LB.

Tomlin talked about Revis at his press conference a week before the draft because he was asked about him. That hardly represents chess and checkers.

James said...

Finally!!!!! Somebody is willing to blame the correct coach: Charles Richard "Dick" LeBeau. Even though everyone has been blaming Todd Haley (and i really don't like him either) it seems to me that either his schemes are too old or his players are. Either way I am sure he has great influence on what is happening on his side of the ball. And, please no more talk about evaluating players, they play and I watch to see them win games. If not i might as well be a brown's fan.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Timmons has been a very good player for the Steelers. However, the Steelers were interested in Revis and were disappointed when the Jets made the move for him, so they opted for Timmons. I don’t know who the Steelers had rated higher, but if the Steelers were truly interested in Revis, Tomlin’s response should have been “we’re not looking at cornerbacks as a great need right now, next?” Never played poker I guess. A tandem of Ike and Revis shuts down most passing attacks allowing the rest of the defense to focus on the TE, the run and most importantly, the renaissance of Blitzburgh. Again hindsight, but I don’t make this stuff up to make Tomlin look stupid:

“There was no secret on how much the Steelers and Mike Tomlin wanted Revis on the team. It went the same way for Revis as well he was hoping to be a Steeler. He was told that if he was on the board at 15 that he was the pick no matter what.”

Anonymous said...

Revis would not have been a good fit in Pittsburgh. He would have wanted way too much money and after a few years he and the Steelers would have had a standoff that would have made the Wallace one seem kind.

Great player, but no CB is worth what he was paid. He took up so much salary cap he hurt the team more than he helped it.

Anonymous said...

It’s all conjecture at this point, good offseason talk, which is what we are in. Revis may or may not have been great in LeBeau’s zone defense, maybe just very good. Maybe Revis enjoyed play in front of his family and would offer a hometown discount. And if he didn’t, who do you offer the big contract to, Revis or Ike? All speculation.

What bothers me about the article is the following statement:

He (Revis) was told that if he was on the board at 15 that he was the pick no matter what.

What purpose does that serve? To be fair to the Tomlin era, I believe that Cowher said something similar to Chad Pennington, then picked Plaxico.

Anonymous said...

Actually, in thinking it through, it might have been a smokescreen in Pennington's case.

Dale Lolley said...

You mean like Terrelle Pryor saying Tomlin told him he wanted to draft him?

Yeah, because coaches never tell players that kind of stuff, even if they don't intend to do it. That's where the smokescreens come into play, not during press conferences. Trust me, Revis was on their board, but Timmons was higher.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft? So maybe what Tomlin was actually saying was he wanted to draft him if it was in a value round? Anyway, Dale, I do mean this with all sincerity, I do trust your saying that the Steelers had Timmons rated higher than Revis. Just a nice dream to think of the Steelers having two shutdown CBs on the field at the same time.

joe said...

not giving a guy like wheaton more snaps over the last three games doesn't make sense to me. he will be a big part of the offense next year. so it makes sense to get him some more snaps at the expense of sanders, who more than likely will be gone.

giving him a few more snaps isn't giving up, it is trying to help him for next season.