With the Steelers back on a normal schedule, we had a Mike Tomlin press conference on Tuesday. With many players discussed, it’s time for another players mentioned by Coach Tomlin during his media time. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.
Talking to the Pittsburgh media on Monday, Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool said he was not frustrated with the Steelers offense because it’s too early. Coach Tomlin was asked about the general gauge of the temperature in the offensive room.
“I don’t know about the offensive room in particular. I don’t know if I’d diagnose it that way. I know that we’re all pretty hacked off that we haven’t won the last two games. We realize that football is our game,and our business is winning, so we’ve got to get back to business.”
Montravius Adams & Tyson Alualu
Just before the press conference on Tuesday, the Steelers released a new depth chart that had Montravius Adams is the starting nose tackle over Tyson Alualu. Coach Tomlin was asked what went in to making the change of going with Adams, and in his response Coach Tomlin mentioned Alualu.
“He’s been playing better than Tyson [Alualu], so we just thought that was appropriate.”
In a later question, Coach Tomlin was asked if Adams was a different style of nose tackle thanAlualu and how he fits with the defense.
“You could say that, but not significantly, no. He’s capable of doing the things that we ask him to do. He’s played a lot of football for us. He played a lot and started a lot for us last year. He missed a lot of time during team development that probably slowed his progress. Since he’s been back from injury, we’ve just seen a real uptick in his consistency and performance.”
Saying before he was encouraged with Mitch Trubisky‘s progression, Coach Tomlin was asked I specifically what he likes with the way he’s progressing.
“In all areas. In decision making, where he’s going with the ball, the time in which he’s making decisions, the prudent use of mobility, whether it’s by schematics or by ad lib, but just generally in all areas.”
The Steelers defense has been without the reigning Defensive Player of the Year for two games and will still miss him for at least two more. Coach Tomlin was asked in what ways they are feeling the absence of Watt the most.
“I hadn’t focused on feeling his absence. I really focused my energies on the utilization of guys that are available to us in the best ways to highlight their talent. Sometimes, you can spend a lot of time or waste a lot of time worrying about people that aren’t at your disposal. So, I think that’s my mindset and our mindset as we’re here today, how to utilize the make up of guys that are available to us right now in an effort to play better. Although T.J.’s absence is a component of what’s going on with us, I just think that’s the proper approach in terms of how to look at it and that’s where our energies are.”
Despite having a fumble in the game, the Steelers continue to get quality snaps from rookie running back Jaylen Warren. Coach Tomlin was asked how much Warren can help as a change-of-pace back.
“I think you saw some of that on Thursday night. It’s continuing to shape itself and improve and I like the general trajectory of it.”
In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked if he’s encouraged by the run game and how it’s evolved since Week 1.
“I’m continually encouraged. I think whether it’s components of it, whether it’s individuals like Jaylen Warren carving out a role for himself or whether it’s about groups within the group, like the emergence of the offensive line has been continually better with each and every performance, I just think all areas are pointing to improvement. That’s why we’ve got to keep our head down and keep working and ultimately get results in stadium.”
The big announcement from the press conference on Tuesday was that safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is in the concussion protocol. Coach Tomlin was asked how they will make up for the loss of Fitzpatrick if he is unable to go.
“I’m not ready to suggest that at this point. I’m just acknowledging that he’s in the protocol.”
Pressley Harvin III
Another surprise injury on the Steelers is punter Pressley Harvin dealing with a sore hip. Coach Tomlin was asked if they will need to bring in someone else as an emergency situation.
“That is a potential, but we’ll see what today holds, certainly.”
Note: The Steelers signed punter Jordan Berry to the practice squad later on Tuesday.
The Steelers have the current NFL leader in sacks for the season on their defense in linebacker Alex Highsmith. Coach Tomlin was asked what Highsmith has done that made him a better asset on defense and if he’s noticed a difference in his day-to-day operations.
“It’s just the natural maturation process of a solid young player. He showed signs as a rookie and carved out a role for himself and participated. He ascended in year two when Bud [Dupree] left in free agency. Now, he’s in year three, he’s had a lap around the track as a starter. I think it’s reasonable for him to take that experience and that knowledge and continue to grow. I know his day-to-day work habits kind of display that. So, I don’t think any of us are surprised by what we’re seeing from him in stadium. I really think that’s just the attitude that all of us have largely. We keep our head down, we keep working and we understand there’s a such thing as football justice on the other end of it; you get better.
One player who has been called out by some from Cleveland is offensive tackle Chuks Okorafor who jumped back on a player to finish his block when the player was injured. Coach Tomlin was asked if he saw anything wrong that transpired on the play.
“I didn’t see the component of the play that you mentioned that upset people, no.”
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