Mike Tomlin comments on Steelers win in Cincinnati | Steel City Underground

Steel City Underground

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held a press conference immediately following the Steelers game. Here's a breakdown of of the coach's comments about their performance.

Opening statement

Man, that’s big-time AFC North football. Man, we’re humbled to be a part of this series. We respect it. It’s good for the game of football, and you just saw why it’s good for the game of football. There’s two teams competing their tails off for 60 minutes and fighting for a lot of things.

We kept it real simple today, though, for the victory. We were able to get that done through a lot of effort from all three phases. We made some plays, we missed some plays — that’s life. It’s good to learn while you win. Hopefully we’re finding our rhythm.

Hopefully that is a signature of our game moving forward, that we can learn and win.

I’m appreciative of it today. I don’t have a lot on the injuries. I’m sure there’s some bumps and bruises associated with play. It’s just really good to be back in this building, and be back in this building with Ryan Shazier with us. We love and respect Ryan, and we’ve learned a lot from his struggles since the last time we’ve been here. He’s inspired us. Hopefully he’s inspired many outside of us. It was good to get a win today, and good to have him with us.

Can you talk about that hug you guys had in the pregame and what was going through your mind?

It’s a lot of those moments: it was the first home game, it was when we went to training camp in Latrobe. It happens every now and then. Some things are bigger than football, obviously. This is one of them.

Obviously you’re in the moment, but what kind of appreciation do you have for your guys going to work there in that game winning drive?

I’m not surprised by it. Those guys relish the opportunity to rise up in those moments, whenever those moments are. I thought (having) three timeouts was significant. I’m not surprised when seven (Roethlisberger) and company deliver.

Why not challenge James Conner’s play at the goal line after the 25-yard run?

I didn’t see it. You don’t get opportunities at replay (on the scoreboard) at visiting stadiums.

Can you talk about what comes over Ben in those last 90 seconds? How he can control himself?

It’s probably not what comes over him. He’s probably just himself when others aren’t, in those moments. He’s been in it so many times, he’s built for it, and because of that, we’re built for it.

Can you talk about Antonio Brown’s touchdown? Obviously, you guys were already in field goal position ...

Just two guys that have made a lot of plays together. That just added to their portfolio. You guys have talked a lot about plays they haven’t made thus far. Talk about this one.

Did you feel this game had changed, in terms of after-the-whistle stuff than the past few years?

I don’t know what you’re asking.

I mean, did you feel there was less extracurricular stuff in this one than there has been in the past?

I still don’t understand what you’re asking.

Sometimes guys scuffle after the whistle ...

I’m not talking hypotheticals. I’m talking about what happened in the stadium. Does anyone have any questions about what happened in the stadium?

Regarding your offensive line, I don’t think Ben was touched much today, let alone sacked. Can you talk about the job they did?

They did an awesome job. (Carlos) Dunlap and (Geno) Atkins and company, we talk a lot about them at the top of the week. There’s a reason why the group is 4-and-1 coming into this game. That front has a lot to do with it. We’ve been in some real battles with them. I can’t say enough about Al (Alejandro Villanueva) and (Marcus) Gilbert and company getting up in the face of those guys.

The interior people against Geno, who’s the league leader in sacks. For an interior guy, that just speaks to his talent. I can’t say enough about their efforts, not only in the passing game, but we had some alleys in the running game as well. I thought that that was critical to us being unmanageable in the third-downs, where those guys don’t get an opportunity to make the type of splash that we’ve seen them make in the end of recent games — like the game against Miami, for example. You’ve got to stay on schedule versus these guys —it’s an advantage to them when you’re not. There’s a lot of reasons why you should be excited about the efforts of the men up front.

How would you describe the game James Conner had?

It was appropriate. He had a look in his eye, and he had a good week’s work. James just wants to put his hand in the pile and be one of the reasons why we win. He wants to prove that, like a lot of young guys. JuJu (Smith-Schuster) wants to prove that. They’re getting opportunities to do it, and they’re delivering.

Describe how, going into the bye-week here, you’re a much different football team than earlier in the season ...

We’re the same team with the same warts, trying to get better. It’s much more fun to do that with a W.

Transcript provided by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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