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Mike Tomlin addresses the Steelers’ stable of running backs moving forward

With Coach Tomlin’s press conference being only four hours before the deadline for Bell to report, he reminded those in the media of where he is focused.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m business as usual, focused on those that are here and working and appropriately so. That way I don’t waste my time and their’s.”

I hear you loud and clear, Coach.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers seeking redemption from 2017 in Jacksonville on Sunday, Coach Tomlin is only concerned about the players in the locker room who are available to him moving forward. He began by addressing James Conner’s injury.

“James Conner is still in the concussion protocol, not that that’s a negative. Part of getting out of the protocol is physical labor. We haven’t worked. He’ll be given an opportunity to work tomorrow and I think it will lay all these discussions to bed.”

When asked about depth at the running back position behind Conner, Tomlin reminded everyone the position has been stable all season.

“The running back room is the group that we’ve been working with since the day we checked into Latrobe. So there is no adjustment… addressing the challenges that our schedule holds moving forward”

Coach Tomlin was specifically asked about Jaylen Samuels and his recent production.

“I like his arrow. It’s been continually pointed up. But we expect that from him. He’s met that element of the challenge. He’s been a positive contributor for our efforts. It’s shown on (special) teams, it needs to continue to show on teams. And, obviously, in recent weeks when given an opportunity to touch the ball, it’s shown some on offense as well.”

Tomlin was also asked about the benefits from being able to use all three running back‘s in Thursday night’s game.

“We intended to utilize all backs. We said that prior to the game. We did prior to James’ injury. So there was no adjustment or nothing to that. That was part of our plan.”

Coach Tomlin followed up by addressing how much work the other running backs received due to Conner’s injury.

“I don’t know how much James would have played beyond what he played anyway.”

While Mike Tomlin continually had to address questions about a certain player who is not available to him, one Le’Veon Bell, but he did manage to find a way to praise James Conner’s production.

“I’m proud of what James is doing and has done, and all the work he’s put in.”

Conner and company will get their next chance to show their rushing abilities on Sunday at 1 PM in Jacksonville.