Following their practice on Friday, head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media and answered questions in his scheduled weekly press conference. Coach Tomlin offered up some information as well as being asked about specific players. This list isn’t to suggest these players were the only ones who stood out in recent team activities, but highlights players about whom Tomlin specifically mentioned and ones where he was asked questions.
Did you know Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked more times (501) than any active quarterback. And is third all-time behind Brett Favre (525) and John Elway (516). But, in the past 3 years, no fulltime starting QB has been sacked fewer times than Roethlisberger (62).— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 22, 2019
It has been the trend since the 2016 preseason. Ben Roethlisberger has only seen action in the third preseason game over the previous three years, playing for no more than three offensive series. With the third week of the preseason finally upon is, many had assumed Roethlisberger would get the nod to start against the Tennessee Titans. What was once an assumption became a certainty, barring unforeseen circumstances, when head coach Mike Tomlin noted Roethlisberger’s status during his opening statement.
Coach Tomlin addressed the quarterback situation and Roethlisberger’s estimated participation before he began taking questions.
“Ben will play. We don’t have a specific detail of division of labor at this point in terms of quarterback participation beyond that. Who’s going to play, how long they’re going to play. Our energy right now is just that first group and Ben, and getting those guys in the game and getting some exposure there and hopefully get some success and move on from there.”
Ben Roethlisberger wants his receivers to pick up on hand signals and subtle indicators before the snap. I asked James Washington how that’s going for him. #Steelers @937theFan pic.twitter.com/ThxejWkuj6— Josh Rowntree (@JRown32) August 21, 2019
Even though James Washington has put together two straight high-quality performances so far in 2019, they will soon be forgotten if Sunday night brings a lackluster stat line. Washington performed admirably in the 2018 preseason as well, but failing to establish a rapport with Ben Roethlisberger during the regular season left Washington with only 16 receptions on 38 targets for the season. With Roethlisberger already complimenting Washington on his offseason growth and his work ethic both mentally and physically in training camp, seeing some cohesiveness between the quarterback and receiver on Sunday would go a long way.
Coach Tomlin was asked about Washington’s desire to be a more complete receiver in his second year.
“That just comes with being a second-year guy. This is not his first lap around the track. He’s done these things before and I think it’s reasonable for him, and for us, to expect growth in all efforts.”
Steelers OLB Ola Adeniyi had surgery this morning per his social media account. No information provided by the team yet. Adeniyi had a tremendous 3 weeks at Saint Vincent for training camp.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 16, 2019
A week has passed since Ola Adeniyi posted and then removed the information about having surgery on his social media account. In the time since, the Steelers have yet to acknowledge anything about the situation. Coach Tomlin has gone as far to not include Adeniyi in any discussions about players being ruled out of Sunday night’s game.
Coach Tomlin was asked if he could provide an update on Adeniyi’s injury.
“I hadn’t asked. I’m sure we’re going to provide some clarity there and all. I’ll provide you guys some detail as it becomes required.”
Other News & Notes
Mike Tomlin said first units will play in the third preseason game against the Titans. He did not disclose how much Ben Roethlisberger will play. Won't rule anyone out due to injury. A few will be game-time decisions.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 23, 2019
Tomlin said he will leave "the light on" for any injured players to get on the field against the Titans. Joe Haden, though, said a few minutes ago that he doesn't expect to play. He has only done individual work this week as he recovers from ankle contusion.— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 23, 2019
Said the Titans secondary will be a good challenge for the new Steelers WR corps.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 23, 2019
The place kickers and punters will each play a half. They had been alternating kicks.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 23, 2019
Mike Tomlin’s full media session can be seen here: