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Tomlin’s Tuesday Tidbits: Everything Else Mike Tomlin Had To Say (Sept. 19th)


Something new we’re doing for Steelers Depot. Every Tuesday is a Tomlin Tuesday, his noon press conference outlining what happened the previous weekend and focusing on the upcoming one. While we’ll write about the most notable things Tomlin had to say in separate articles, we’ll throw in a couple of smaller nuggets of information in this post. A one-stop shop for the rest of what Coach T had to say.

And if you want to hear the full press conference, hop on over to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ YouTube channel by clicking the link here.

Before we get into tidbits, here’s everything we’ve written so far today.

Injury Roundup: Steelers ‘Feel Good’ About Minkah Fitzpatrick, Could Play In Week Three

Tomlin: Steelers ‘Need To Get Our Mojo Back’ On Offense

‘Two Is A Pattern’: Mike Tomlin Concerned With Offensive Struggles, But Not Eyeing Wholesale Changes

‘Can’t Let It Paralyze You:’ Tomlin Knows Slow Start Could Hurt Confidence Of Young Players

‘We Don’t Begrudge Them For That:’ Mike Tomlin Appreciates Fans’ Passion In ‘Fire Canada’ Chant

‘It Hasn’t Been What We Desire’: Mike Tomlin Critical Of Pittsburgh’s Running Game

‘Significant Player:’ Mike Tomlin Knows Jaylen Warren Brings Juice To Steelers’ Offense

No Answer, No Excuses From Gunner

Mike Tomlin was asked if he had a conversation with WR Gunner Olszewski after the latter foolishly caught a kickoff inbounds that was heading to the sideline, which would’ve resulted in a penalty that brought the ball to the Steelers’ 40. Instead, the ball was spotted at the Steelers’ 9-yard line. Tomlin said he did not speak to Olszewski about the play.

“Sometimes I don’t ask questions because I don’t want to hear excuses,” Tomlin told reporters.

Olszewski departed the game later in the first half after taking a hard hit on a play he fumbled away. He is currently in concussion protocol. Olszewski was active and only returning kicks due to RB Anthony McFarland Jr. landing on IR with a knee injury.

Schematics Shape-Up

Tomlin alluded to the need for the Steelers, on offense and defense, to do a better job anticipating and adjusting to schematics, signaling his coaches aren’t preparing and handling those things well enough.

“We have to anticipate schematics of those that we play against a little bit better,” he said. “Displaying anticipation is a component of preparedness.”

Tomlin later referenced challenges the Browns offered from a “run structure” standpoint that Pittsburgh struggled with. He didn’t mention if he was referring to the Browns’ offense or defense — sadly, it could’ve been a comment on either — but it appears to be regarding the Steelers’ offense. At halftime and after the game, Tomlin noted the Browns’ five-down front as one reason for the run game struggling. It was something we even noted in our scouting report.

“They’re actually presenting some true five-down looks too, 5-2 fronts that you don’t see that often.”

Pittsburgh has rushed for 96 yards through its first two games. Only the Minnesota Vikings have been worse.

Change In Venue, Change In Problems

As he always does, Mike Tomlin outlined the Steelers’ next opponent, the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night. But he also noted this will be Pittsburgh’s first road game of the season after spending the last two at the friendly confines of Acrisure Stadium (unless you’re Matt Canada). Tomlin noted the unique challenges it can bring.

“We could have new sets of issues this week because of venue location playing on the road, and some of the things that come with that,” he said. “We can’t experience that before we respond to it.”

Pittsburgh went 5-4 on the road last season. The Raiders are also 1-1 on the season fresh off a blowout loss on the road to the Buffalo Bills Sunday, 38-10. In fact, Sunday night will be the team’s first home game of the season. Last year, the Raiders came to Pittsburgh and lost on Christmas Eve.

Tomlin Explains Challenge

For the first time since 2020, Mike Tomlin won a challenge last night when he forced a review of QB Deshaun Watson’s fourth-down keeper. Initially ruled a first down, the refs reversed it when they determined Watson had fumbled with the ball recovered by DL Larry Ogunjobi.

Alas, Tomlin wouldn’t go two-for-two. He lost his second challenge on this Amari Cooper catch on third down on the sidelines.

Tomlin explained he threw the flag because he thought Cooper didn’t have his right foot down before securing the ball.

“I just didn’t know when he had possession of the ball or whether they thought he caught it cleanly because of the disruption provided by the corner,” Tomlim said. “It being a field-position play, they were backed up as significant they were as it was in the game. Wasn’t about to let them get by without confirming,”

After review, the ruling stood.

Rush The QB. Rush The QB.

The old Bill Cowher phrase to Greg Lloyd. Alex Highsmith made more plays in coverage last night, a pick-six on the first play from scrimmage, but Tomlin joked his paycheck comes from sacking quarterbacks instead of intercepting them.

“Appreciative of his coverage, but we pay him to get to the quarterback,” he said. “We change things up every now and then for balance. We’ll ask him to drop, we’ll ask T.J. to drop. Um, but you guys know what they do. Um, they’re EDGE rush men.”

Highsmith did plenty of that, ending the game with two quarterback hits, a tackle for loss, and the game-winning strip-sack fumble that T.J. Watt recovered and scored.

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