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Mike Tomlin Tuesday: You have to work in concert as a football team

With no more press conferences from Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin in the foreseeable future, we’ll look back at some of interesting quotes from the 2019 season

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Once again, it doesn’t seem like a Tuesday unless we are graced with words from Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin from his weekly press conference. Even though we got a surprise appearance on ESPN’s First Take on Monday which provided plenty of quotes, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting quotes Tomlin has given us this past season.

We’ve experienced several “Throwback Tomlin Tuesday” quotes so far this off-season. So far we have re-lived the following:

A nose guard is like Blockbuster video
We weren’t ready for prime time tonight
So that’s how you lay an egg
We’ve got to make plays
I’m not a doctor
We’re excited infusing him into the fold

As we continue trough the 2019 season, let’s go back to the post-game press conference following the Steelers Week 3 loss in San Francisco. During the question and answer period, coach Tomlin was asked the teams inability to finish the game off since they were leading n the fourth quarter.

“Like I outlined,” Tomlin replied, “We got turnovers in the first half, we settled for field goals. They got turnovers in the second half and scored touchdowns. Thus the outcome.”

It was the story of the game. Even though the Steelers were +3 in turnover margin, they were -8 in points off of turnovers. The Steelers kicked two field goals off the first two turnovers, but when they received the ball they were already in field-goal range. Between the two drives, they managed only one first down. As for the other three takeaways, they were deep in Steelers’ territory and kept the 49ers from putting points on the board. Regardless, it takes multiple aspects of the team working together to maximize takeaways.

“When you get them down, you have to work in concert as a football team,” Tomlin explained. “And they worked in better concert than we did. When we put their defense on a short field in the first half, they made us settle for three. When our defense was in the short field in the second half, they got touchdowns.”

The most painful of the turnovers the Steelers surrendered was after recovering a fumble at their own 14-yard line with less than seven minutes remaining in the game. The Steelers cashed in back-to-back 5-yard gains from a James Conner rush and reception for a first down. Unfortunately, the next play was a James Conner rush to the right in which he lost 2 yards as well as the ball. The 49ers took over at the Steelers 24-yard line with just over five and a half minutes to play. Even though it appeared the Steelers had held the 49ers to a field goal just before the two minute warning, a defensive holding penalty gave them new life and two plays later they scored the go-ahead touchdown.

Tomlin made sure to reiterate it was a team effort when it came to the turnover situation. It was not just the defense failing to stop the 49ers after each turnover, but the offense’s inability to do something with the ball after the defense forced the takeaway.

“And so it’s all of us collectively. That’s football teams. We didn’t do enough today to win it. We didn’t work in concert to accentuate the positive, we didn’t work in concert well enough to minimize the negative.”

It was a tumultuous game for the Steelers in Week 3 of 2019. Notoriously struggling on the West Coast with a quarterback making his very first start, it was a tough situation for the Steelers to overcome. But with the defense coming up with five takeaways, the Steelers had their chances to pull out the victory against the eventual NFC representative in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately they came up just short.