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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday with Tomlin

Mike Tomlin met with the media today in advance of the Steelers' huge game with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and had plenty to say.

In regards to the decision to play Mike Adams at right tackle last week at Atlanta over Marcus Gilbert, who practiced Thursday and Friday, Tomlin said Adams looked better in practice than Gilbert, who has been out three of weeks with an ankle injury.

That will be looked at closely again this week.

@ Tomlin said similar decisions will be made with James Harrison and Ike Taylor, though I'm hearing the Steelers aren't in a hurry to push either one back into the lineup.

That's somewhat surprising with Harrison in particular. But the Steelers are working toward getting Jarvis Jones back on the field more moving forward.

Tomlin said he's been pleased with what he's seen of Jones since he's returned from injured reserve two weeks ago.

@ Tomlin said he's been happy with how his team has responded in what is, essentially, the first playoff-type race for a number of the younger players.

Remember, the Steelers have had a lot of turnover from the last time they made the playoffs - 2011 - and for a number of these guys, this has been their first exposure to this type of atmosphere.

"I just liked the way out young guys, in particular, wore the urgency of the moment," said Tomlin.

@ Tomlin also commented on Shamarko Thomas' lack of playing time saying that he's stuck behind some veteran players, and more importantly, "His progress was slowed in the middle portion of the season. He had a high-ankle (injury) that not only caused him to miss some games but miss some quality practice time and limit that practice time. ... this journey that we're on is much like a moving train. Sometimes injuries get you off that train and it's difficult to get back on."

@ Tomlin spoke similarly of rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier, who has played sparingly the past two weeks despite now being recovered from an ankle injury.

Shazier also missed time earlier in the season with a knee sprain and Tomlin said he's been pleased with the play of Sean Spence and Vince Williams.

And then there was this telling statement, "Detail, detail, detail. It's more about that for a young guy than the physicality of it anyway. ... If you don't understand your leverage and where your help is, you are going to be exposed. So much of that is above the neck and so much is displayed in a practice setting."

In other words, the Steelers haven't been happy with Shazier's practice and preparation.

This doesn't mean he's a bust or anything like that. Remember, Troy Polamalu took a year to get up to speed in the Pittsburgh defense, as well. And Williams struggled last season when he was basically thrown into the lineup in place of injured Larry Foote. But he's stepped in and played very well this season.


joe said...

i think most fans are wondering about shamarko. polo, the vet, is playing poorly, rotate shamarko in at times.
or is he useless ??

Anonymous said...

I could buy into the 'Details, details, details' monologue if not for seeing big play after big play after big play given up on defense by seasoned vets. It hasn't so much been the rookies/youngsters burning them.

Just sounds like Tomlin trying to send a message to the whole team thru his treatment of the young guys.

Reminds me of a game Greg Lloyd made a critical mistake and Cowher was livid with him. But because it was Lloyd, Cowher ripped a new a-hole into the scrub standing next to Lloyd. Message received by proxy.

Since Tomlin doesn't have any more ping-pong tables to take away, he's punishing the kids to get the larger point across to the whole team. So it seems. Details, details, details. They all need em. Not just the kiddies.

Anonymous said...

I take his 'Details' comment as the young ones are probably giving up (Defense)or screwing up (Offense) more big plays in practice than we're seeing on game day from the Vets or they are showing a lot of mistakes that could turn into or cost more big plays on game day. From what I have read recently 'Details' seems to be aimed at Shazier.


Dale Lolley said...

They're not going to take Polamalu off the field for a guy who's missed half the season because of injury. Period.

No, the details, details, details was pointed right at Shazier.

Patrick said...

I feel like Shazier thinks he is too much of an athlete to be on the details. Not good, but lets see where he is in a year.

The D'Anthony Thomas guy on KC really highlights the miss on Archer.

ibygeorge said...

"wore the urgency of the moment,"
You have like the way Tomlin expresses the way he sees things.
The Steelers favorite rushing play the tight end power cover left, although it wasn't used much the Falcons pretty much shut it down except for the umpteen yard TD run by Bell late into the game. I hope Falcons didn't create a learning experience tape for the Chiefs and Bengals.
The speedster WR really give our corners problems, especially when there's a QB that can throw like Ryan did to Hester. I'm glad we're done with Ryan.

marc said...

ok, I'm having a bit of a problem here that my pea brain can't wrap itself around.

tomlin appears to be pleased with how those in front of shamarko Thomas are performing. he appears to be pleased with how the young LB'ers are performing. he appears to be pleased with how the young guys are responding to the challenge, overall.

has the expected standard of how a defense should perform changed? has it been lowered so that when tomlin says he is pleased it means he pleased they are performing at a lower standard than that which was expected a few years ago? is he pleased shamarko is not performing well enough in practice to warrant more playing time in the games? same with shazier.

these types of comments are difficult for me to understand when the defense is 29th in yards per pass attempt, 27th in yards per rush and has also surrendered the most big plays in the league. what is he pleased with? what standard is he using? (I'm not being sarcastic with "the standard" comment, it is a legit question of mine).

shamarko can't crack the lineup of a poor pass defense and your top draft pick can't crack the lineup of a poor rush defense. I wouldn't be pleased with any of that.

Anonymous said...

Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff know way, way more about the Steelers than anyone here including Dale Lolley, you can second guess and nit-pick every thing he says to death but it doesn't mean anything.

BlackNGold said...

Yeah I guess what it comes down to marc is that despite the things you said, they are 9-5, in the midst of the playoff hunt and have a good shot at winning the division.

Anonymous said...

Just because Mike Tomlin knows more about football that doesn't mean he can't make mistakes and doesn't deserve to hear about it when he does.

Bill in DC said...

This team is 9-5. We have a record of 15-7 since last year's horrible start. It may or may not get hot enough to make a run in January but they are a damned good team. Maybe not a great team. But they are moving in the right direction.

Yes, we'd like to be better than 9-5 with the loss to the Buccaneers being the most glaring example of a game we should have won.

But seriously, no one knows how to draft, evaluate talent or coach?

A few weeks ago everyone was so convinced that NE had placed a spy with us then called him back.

People don't talk about how NE misses on WR draft after draft after draft and we find them in the 4th and 6th rounds.

At least we are not a team where a serial killer blended in just fine.

Anonymous Brian said...

If he's a decent starting safety next year, then it doesn't matter in the long run.

But it is weird that S. Thomas is not allowed to see a SINGLE SNAP on defense until Polamalu retires, especially when the secondary has been having so many problems. (It's not like the veterans' full practice time - except for the senior citizen days off on Weds. - is preventing them from being out of position sometimes too.) No one's saying he's some kind of Dri Archer-esque messiah, just wanted a look-see.

Did Thomas have a high-ankle this year? I thought that was last year, and this year was two hammies? I'm not in on the details either.

marc said...

I think some of you are misinterpreting my comments. I'm not complaining about their record, the season, or saying tomlin is a bad coach.

I just find his comments odd considering the performance of the defense this season.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind him talking them up. The offense mustered 20 on the Falcons and they still won, so they did something right.

adamg said...

I've been hearing and reading a lot about Troy losing a step or not being able to cover WRs anymore. I've watched him since he was a rookie. Unless my memory is really failing, Troy has rarely been asked to cover WR/TEs. He's almost always always been used as what college football calls a "monster" or "hero", a hybrid LB/SS designed to roam all over the field and make plays.

Bill in DC said...

Marc: that was more of a general reaction to the tone of comments overall.

I feel like to little credit is given to Tomlin and staff. It also feels to me like this is a team on the assent. If ben, brown, bell and Bryant remain healthy this is an offense that can win a super bowl. Especially if Haley can get archer into the mix -- which I wonder if that might be a post season wrinkle.

Not that I think the organization should be unquestioned but the general tone of comments can be a bit much. Which is shocking on the Internet, I know.

rvaccare said...

To say Tomlin must be pleased with the safeties because the young guys are not getting any playing time is fallacious. It just means they are playing better than the young guys, albeit not necessarily playing very well.