Mike Tomlin’s comments about the preseason and impending roster moves

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held a postgame press conference following Thursday’s preseason game against the Panthers. Here’s a look at the coach’s comments about the the game.

Opening statement

I’m really pleased with the effort tonight. It’s been a long, very competitive process dating back to the spring. We talked all week openly about leaning in, educating, and really putting an exclamation point on the work individually and collectively, not waning.

I thought largely that man for man, the guys did that and did that in a big way. The moments weren’t too big for them and that was encouraging. They did their parts in terms of making these next moves difficult for us and that’s what you want. You want a competitive environment, you want difficult decisions, and I thought the guys did a great job.

We had a number of injuries being evaluated, [Keith] Kelsey with the pec, [Damoun] Patterson with the hammy, Ola [Olasunkanmi Adeniyi] with the hammy, Malik Golden had a significant knee injury, and some other bumps and bruises associated with play. Just really respectful of the effort and relayed that to the men, but we understand what this process is.

We started out with 90 working, becoming 53 and that’s where we are. Appreciative of everything that was done but we move forward. We are getting singularly focused on starting our regular season and our first game. Excited about that as well. I’m happy to address any questions you might have.

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Re: His thoughts on Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs:

You know, much like I talked about the rest of the guys, I thought those guys really did a nice job leaning in. We got four above the line quarterbacks, none of them beat themselves.

None of them waned in terms of their enthusiasm or efforts and that’s good for them and good for us. I really like how those guys played and the spirit in which they compete.

Re: Josh Dobbs focusing more on his arms and not his legs:

I just thought [he showed] a good representation of himself. Sometimes in a practice setting, I just urge the use of legs because it’s a controlled football environment and I want them to focus on an element in practice that’s not as competitive [as] being in the stadium and playing and we play to win.

You have to utilize all your efforts and skills to do that. A lot of that discussion is about the things we try and focus on in a controlled football environment, like practice.

In terms of that position, did you like his demeanor today, like starting the game and the way he was out there?

I’ve liked the demeanor of all those guys, all the way throughout. I think it’s been an asset.

What kind of camp do you think Matthew Thomas has had?

I think he’s been continually on the rise in terms of his performance. He’s got some physical talent. He’s gained more detail throughout. He put a nice exclamation point on his efforts with a ridiculous splash play there in the second half of the football game.

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It seemed like you guys were moving a lot of the young linebackers and safeties all about the field and forcing them to communicate. What’s your feeling on confidence on how their performing so far?

It’s been some good, it’s been some bad. But such is life when you’re talking about the group of people that you’re talking about in today’s NFL. The coordination and the communication necessary with the myriad of things that you see.

It hadn’t been perfect, but I liked the efforts. And we need to continue to grow in those ways and continue to challenge them in those ways because we know what the journey holds for us in that regard.

Do you feel like you’ve got clarification on the new rules and rule changes?

You know, I do. But I think that we’re all going to continually get comfortable with the rule changes and points of emphasis, even into the regular season. That is not unusual, that’s every year. But that’s why they call them rule changes and points of emphasis.

This process to get to 53, do you start immediately now? Do you talk with your assistants, with Kevin Colbert, or how do you handle this?

It is a process, and there is communication involved and it does start immediately.

Transcript provided by the Pittsburgh Steelers

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