In his press conference following their Week 2 preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media and briefly answered questions. Coach Tomlin was asked about specific players in regards to their in-stadium play, or lack thereof, on Saturday night. This list isn’t to suggest these players were the only ones who stood out, but highlights players about whom Tomlin was asked questions.
Vance McDonald also in uniform, but it looks like rookie TE Zach Gentry is down— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 17, 2019
In the Steelers first preseason game, Zach Gentry caught three passes for 17 yards and a touchdown. Unfortnately, Gentry failed to practice most of the past week and was held out of the game Saturday night. With tight end depth a definite concern, Gentry’s long-term health could become a problem the Steelers may have to consider in terms of additional roster moves.
After specifically addressing the situation with Devin Bush not playing, Coach Tomlin was asked about the status of Gentry.
“He’s out out with injury.”
Josh Dobbs in at QB. Mason Rudolph goes 10-15 for 77 yards. And one TD scoring drive. #Steelers— Chase Williams WPXI (@chasepwilliams) August 18, 2019
Much like last year, Mason Rudolph got the start for Week 2 of the preseason. Dealing with a delay to start the game due to weather, both the Steelers and Chiefs sputtered offensively in the first quarter. As for the first opportunity of the second quarter, Rudolph led a 14-play touchdown drive which was capped off with a Jaylen Samuels 14-yard scamper into the end zone. During the drive, Rudolph converted two different third and eleven plays, throwing a 22-yard pass to James Washington and a 13-yard completion to Xavier Grimble.
Coach Tomlin was asked if Rudolph has separated himself from the other quarterbacks who played on Saturday.
“Not as we sit here right now.”
Bud Dupree & T.J. Watt
Not only did the Steelers outside linebacker starting tandem of Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt start the game, they played pretty much the entire first half. The Steelers only had five outside linebackers dressed for the preseason game, one of which joined the team three days earlier. With Anthony Chickillo going down to injury, the starting duo received a decent workload. Between the two of them, they registered two tackles, two sacks, and two passes defensed.
Coach Tomlin was asked about what he thought of his starting outside linebackers.
“I thought they brought great energy. I thought they were productive. That was good representation of them I thought.”
Earlier in the week, Mike Tomlin stressed the importance of young players being available in order to be properly evaluated. While one player he was referencing, Sutton Smith, still could not suit up for Week 2, Diontae Johnson made his much anticipated NFL debut. Starting off shaky by fumbling a punt which he recovered, Johnson soon showed why he was taken in the third round of the draft. With three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown, Johnson had his first trip to the end zone taken off the board with a controversial offensive pass interference which was surprisingly upheld upon review.
Coach Tomlin was asked this thoughts on Johnson and how he fits into the Steelers’ offense after his first game.
“It was a good start for him, but we’ll see. It’s a good place to build upon. A good initial start.”
Forgot to include Ola Adeniyi, who is reportedly out with a torn meniscus. #Steelers— Josh Rowntree (@JRown32) August 18, 2019
While reports have emerged stating Ola Adeniyi’s surgery on Friday was for a torn meniscus, the Steelers have yet to acknowledge anything in regards to his injury. Had it not been for a now-removed social media post, there is the chance Adeniyi’s surgery may not have been known at all to this point.
Coach Tomlin was asked about the status of Adeniyi’s injury.
“He’s out right now. I’ll have some information for you probably next week.”
Mike Tomlin’s full media session can be seen here: