The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-0, but the global fan base was certainly left scratching their heads after the team’s Week 2 win over the Denver Broncos. There were times when the game looked to be in hand, but the end result was a 26-21 game which was way too close for comfort.
Once the players left the field, Mike Tomlin addressed the media and, as he normally does, put the win into perspective.
“We made the necessary plays. We understand early in the season we are not going to be perfect. We were good enough to win.” Tomlin said via Zoom. “We will make the necessary corrections tomorrow and then push forward.”
While being “good enough to win” is great, Tomlin also realizes his team left a lot of plays on the field, and helped the Broncos remain in the game longer than they should have.
“We helped them some. We have a lot of growth ahead of us but it’s good to grow while you win. Today, I thought we were loose with the ball some. We turned the ball over, particularly at a significant period in the game.
“We were highly penalized. We’ll look at the penalties and look to play cleaner. It was an Achilles heel for us today. It extended drives. It allowed those guys to remain in the game.”
Tomlin was specifically asked about the team’s Special Teams units, an area where Tomlin’s teams have lacked in the past, and he applauded Danny Smith’s units and what they were able to do in Week 2 at Heinz Field.
“I am really excited about it,” said Tomlin of the special teams play. “I thought Diontae [Johnson] was dynamic. I know we got a penalty on that punt return. But we had explosive plays in the return game. We had some splash with some other guys. I like the overall trajectory of it and we have to continue to grow.”
Offensively the Steelers scored 26 points, but they did it differently on Sunday. Most notably they did it with a rookie right guard, and a backup right tackle. Tomlin was pleased with the performance of both Kevin Dotson and Chukwuma Okorafor, but wasn’t about to heap praise their way until he checked the tape.
“I’ll wait to look at the tape in terms of evaluating it,” said Tomlin. “I just appreciate the effort and attitudes, particularly of the young guys. Kevin Dotson starting his first game and missed time in team development. You have to tip your cap at him for his efforts. Chuks, we know what he is capable of, so we are not surprised by his performance. It was enough to win. We will comb through it in the a.m. and get critical.”
Towards the end of the post-game press conference, Tomlin was asked about the aggressiveness of the defense, and whether it is sustainable considering how it can leave the secondary exposed.
Tomlin’s response was simple...we are an attacking group.
“We’re capable of bringing anybody, except the field corner,” said Tomlin. “That is our philosophical approach. We are a blitz group. It’s tough to bring the field corner because of the distance he plays from. Anybody else is capable of coming and that is just the code that we live by. It’s our personality. We’ll bring anyone. We’re an attacking group.”
The Steelers now turn their attention to the Houston Texans who will invade Heinz Field in Week 3 for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold.