Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's take
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin weighs in on a number of issues heading into this weekend's game against the Green Bay Packers:
On how he would judge his team:
"You know what kind of team you are if you look at the record and turn the tape on."
On whether, with a longer week, he will make more personnel changes:
"We may, and let me say this, because I think it's important that you guys understand that I don't have ulterior motives in terms of making moves. I'm not a guy that tries to sends messages by making moves or stir things up, if you will. ... Any changes we make will be done with the emphasis on winning."
On why the offense went shotgun on third-and-1 early against Cleveland instead of using a power formation and trying to grind out a yard:
"No question, in hindsight we probably should have. ... In that particular instance, we were going with the wind, so we had an opportunity, in our estimation, to pass the ball. We didn't expect to get sacked. ... At that point, we deemed it appropriate to hold on to some of our run-down calls for the second quarter or later in the game with maybe an opportunity to protect the lead, to keep the clock running and run the ball on third down."
Did Ben have an off-night calling protection schemes at the line of scrimmage?
"We all had an off-night. You look at the first third down of the football game. As primary receiver, Hines Ward trips over one of the interior nickel guys and falls coming out of his break, or else he's going to be open for an out route. The secondary receiver, Heath Miller, they did a nice job covering him. Then our center, Justin Hartwig, got beat pretty cleanly by Corey Williams."
On what's motivating the team going into this game:
"We need to prepare better and play better in front of a quality team in front of our home fans. We've lost two games in a row in front of our home fans at Heinz Field. They deserve better than that."
On whether throwing on third-and-1 represents a lack of confidence in the offensive line to get movement:
"I think it does — particularly when you throw on third down and don't move the chains. I can understand that assessment of it. We haven't been as dominant as we'd like to be running the football on third-down-and-1 or third-down-and-2. I think Rashard (Mendenhall) is 6 of 12 on the season in less than 2 on third down. Fifty percent is not good enough."