In a halftime interview with Steelers’ reporter Missi Matthews and in his press conference following their Week 4 preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, 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 on Thursday 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.
There was a difference of opinions among many Steelers’ fans when it came to Devin Bush‘s playing time on Thursday night. While many agreed with the coaches that Bush needed some additional snaps at the pro level since he missed the Week 2 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, others did not want to risk injury in a meaningless game. On the night, Bush had six tackles before exiting the game in the first half.
Coach Tomlin was asked about Bush’s improved communication from the first preseason game to the final game on Thursday.
“It’s continually improving, as is all the aspects of his game. It’s a natural maturation process.”
Ulysees Gilbert III
When is comes to Ulysees Gilbert’s future with the Steelers, many believe he had already earned his spot on the 53-man roster before taking the field against the Carolina Panthers. What may have sealed Gilbert’s roster position was his special-teams play in which he blocked a field goal on the opening drive of the game. Showing great speed an solid pass coverage abilities, Gilbert is an exciting young player who could potentially develop into a key contributor in the future.
Coach Tomlin was asked what he liked about Gilbert’s play in the first half.
“It was a big play in special teams and he’s proven to be helpful in those areas. He’ll probably get an opportunity to help there before he does on defense like all young guys, so it’s good to see him productive.”
If there was any doubt going into Week 4 of the preseason as to who was going to earn the back-up quarterback position for the Steelers in 2019, Mason Rudolph took care of the debate with his on-field play Thursday night. Rudolph put the Steelers in position to score points on all three of his drives, even though one of the field goals was missed. For the preseason, Rudolph completed 28 of 43 passes for 368 yards, four touchdowns, and only one interception.
Coach Tomlin was asked if he liked what he saw from Rudolph during the preseason.
“Largely, yes. As a second-year guy, like we’ve asked all second-year guys, I think he’s taken a significant step. Not only in consistency and production, but just awareness and communication, overall general readiness. Like a lot of the other second-year guys, I thought he came in physically ready form a conditioning standpoint. He carried that knowledge of last year’s journey, so it’s been a good process for him.”
Coach Tomlin was asked a follow up question if he would say where Rudolph is on the quarterback depth chart.
“No, I won’t.”
Mike Tomlin’s halftime interview and full media session can be seen here:
Coach Tomlin at the Half. pic.twitter.com/OpHw42YnOB— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) August 30, 2019