As the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers began their work on the practice field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Monday for their final preseason game, we were also graced with a media session from head coach Mike Tomlin. Despite his brief responses, it’s time for another installment of the “players mentioned” article. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.
It was no secret the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line struggled in their second preseason matchup, and head coach Mike Tomlin did not shy away from the issue. Coach Tomlin was asked about left guard Kevin Dotson as he saw his first action of the preseason and how he thought he performed.
“I thought he did some good things.”
On Monday, the Steelers made another move on the offensive line in signing offensive tackle Adrian Ealy, which makes the third new offensive lineman signed in the last week. Coach Tomlin was asked if picking up Ealy was a response to what he saw on tape.
“I don’t send messages; I just make moves.”
In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked what he’s hoping Ealy will bring to the team.
One player who missed practice on Monday was inside linebacker Devin Bush. Coach Tomlin was asked if Bush was dealing with an injury.
“He’s got an ankle today, but it could be described as day-to-day.”
A player who surprisingly did not play any snaps on Saturday night was offensive tackle Joe Haeg. Coach Tomlin was asked if Haeg was banged up as well.
“He’s got a concussion and he’s in the protocol. I think he’s getting close to a return but I’m not a medical expert, I’ll let those guys handle that.”
Calvin Austin III
After being asked about players who were missing practice, the questions transitioned to players who have yet to appear for the Steelers this preseason. Coach Tomlin was asked if he was hoping to get rookie wide receiver Calvin Austin back this week.
“I’m hopeful, yes.”
In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked if he thought Austin might be back.
“I’m not a doctor, so we’ll see. I just pretend to be sometimes when it benefits me.”
Another player who has yet to apear in a preseason game for the Steelers this year is outside linebacker Alex Highsmith. Coach Tomlin was asked if he thinks Highsmith will play on Sunday.
“Like always during this process, I don’t eliminate anybody at this stage of the week. It doesn’t make sense to. We’re optimistic and hopeful about all injured guys participating this weekend and we’ll make whatever necessary, appropriate moves as the game gets extremely close. It doesn’t benefit us to make moves and back ourselves into a corner with the game this far away.”
John Leglue & J.C. Hassenauer
With the offensive line struggling, it is sometimes the quality of the reserves pushing the starters to excel which can cause improvement. Coach Tomlin was asked what he has liked from John Leglue and J.C. Hassenauer as they were players who started games last season.
“You know, I like the experience they’ bring, but it needs to show up more on their tape.”
Mike Tomlin’s media session can be seen below: