‘Can’t Say Enough About Highsmith’: Tomlin Commends OLB, Multiple Defenders For Playmaking Monday Night
The Pittsburgh Steelers got the big win against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night, defeating their AFC North rival 26-22 in a slugfest where both teams suffered several notable injuries. Pittsburgh came out on top with several splash plays coming from its defense, including touchdowns by OLBs T.J Watt and Alex Highsmith.
Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the splash plays that the defense provided and if he noticed anything additional to Watt’s game with Pittsburgh’s two other star defenders, DL Cameron Heyward and S Minkah Fitzpatrick out of the game. Tomlin instead complimented two other defenders who came up big in the game, commending them for stepping up in wake of multiple injuries to Pittsburgh’s star defensive players.
“Guys made the plays, man,” Tomlin told the media via video from the Steelers’ YouTube channel. “They did. Can’t say enough about [Alex] Highsmith. He had a pick six and a big sack fumble. We got contributions from a lot of areas, man. Just appreciate the efforts. Larry Ogunjobi played a lot of snaps, man. Hadn’t practiced a lot but had to absorb a big-time responsibility because we were playing without Cam. And so, there’s a lot of guys to be congratulated for their efforts in playmaking.”
Highsmith had himself a game to remember, stepping up in a big way with two of Pittsburgh’s Pro Bowl defenders out of the game (Fitzpatrick left in the second half with a chest injury and did not return). He picked off a pass early in the first quarter, retuning it for a touchdown. He later forced a fumble on a sack of Browns QB Deshaun Watson on the play of the game. Watt recovered the loose ball and took the fumble recovery to the house for the go-ahead score. After inking a lucrative contract extension this summer, Highsmith proved that he was worth every penny Monday night, providing that game-changing play opposite Watt and showing that the two will be a dynamic duo for years to come in Pittsburgh.
Tomlin also mentioned DL Larry Ogunjobi who had a big game against the Browns, recording four total tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack, and a fumble recovery on the night. He led the way in snaps for Pittsburgh among interior defensive linemen, doing so while dealing with a foot issue that has been bothering him for several weeks. Still, Ogunjobi showed up and showed out against his former team, proving the impactful play on the interior that the team sorely needed with Cameron Heyward missing the next two months while on IR with a groin injury.
Pittsburgh is dealing with a lot of injuries on their roster, particularly on the defensive side of the football. However, several players stepped up when called upon Monday night, needing to make plays for Pittsburgh to walk out of Acrisure Stadium with a victory. They did just that thanks to the defense’s efforts and the splash play provided by numerous defenders to get Pittsburgh to 1-0 in the AFC North race.