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‘Physicality’ was the word of the day in Mike Tomlin’s Tuesday presser

Not the phrase, “Matt Canada”. Sorry, Steelers fans.

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsbugh Steelers looks on during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 01, 2023 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin addressed the media Tuesday following the Steelers’ deflating road loss to the Houston Texans in Week 5. The theme of that conversation was physicality — not OC Matt Canada.

“There were several things that we felt were very disappointing about the game, I think chief among them was the fact that Houston we thought were more physical than us and played harder than us,” Tomlin said.

“In terms of the structure of preparation, it makes us look at our practice attire. The last couple of weeks, due to a variety of circumstances, short weeks being on Monday Night Football, short weeks because of travel adjustments, et cetera, we’ve been in helmets in preparation. I think the start of that game, us warming up to the physicality component of it probably had something to do, particularly in the early stages of the season, in terms of development and fundamental development, practicing in helmets. I thought they had better pad level, particularly early in the football game on both sides, and I just thought that was a catalyst in how this game got started.”

“You spot people 13, 16 points, and you’re running on the beach at that juncture, and that’s what the game felt like for us.”

Though there was talk of change in regard to the level of physicality with which the Steelers play, and apparently, the desire for more padded practices, there are no changes on the horizon in terms of the division of labor and who is calling the plays, Tomlin notes.