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9 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin in Tuesday’s press conference

The 2023 regular season is underway. After a successful trip to the West Coast, the Steelers are back into their normal weekly routine again. As is typically the case, head coach Mike Tomlin took to the podium on Tuesday to address in the media for Tomlin Tuesday. With plenty of questions asked by those in attendance, it is once again time for a players mentioned article. Remember these are players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.

With so many players, I’ll stick to just the questions.

Diontae Johnson

Coach Tomlin was asked why the penalty against Diontae Johnson was not a dead ball foul.

“I asked that but in the midst of all the discussions and ongoing things they never got back to me to explain the reasons why. One guy said it was considered a continual act. But I never had a conversation with the white hat specifically regarding it.”

Najee Harris

After mentioning in his opening statement that there was something with Najee Harris earlier in the game that should have told the Steelers players they weren’t going to get away with much after the whistle, Coach Tomlin was asked if one of the referees came over and said they were going to flag something.

“I’m not going to get into the details of our discussions, but there was enough of a discussion there at the early stages of the game that I knew the tenor of the group.”

Kenny Pickett

Coach Tomlin was asked how or if he can qualify the difference with Kenny Pickett in the first half compared to the second half.

“You know, I’m sure it’s a lot of things and, you know, we’re going to continually work for more fluid and productive starts. But it’s a component of it that’s not new, and that’s his ability to rise up in moments. We valued that in the draft process. It was one of the things that made him attractive to us. We’ve talked about it a lot in this setting. I’ve watched him do it when he was a Pitt Panther. And so, I don’t know that any of us are surprised by his ability to make the plays that he makes when it really gets thick. I just think some people are built like that. Some people relish the opportunity. Some people really smile in the face of adversity. Some people are competition junkies, and I think he’s all of those things. But that’s not something that we’re just discovering, as I mentioned, it’s something that we knew, even prior to him being a Pittsburgh Steeler.”

In a later question, Coach Tomlin was asked about the results of Pickett and the team in the fourth quarter and what makes them stand up in that moment.

“We’re not scared. We play to win. We don’t play not to lose.”

George Pickens

Coach Tomlin was asked about not scoring points in early drives and if he has considered changing the way they script things to start. In his response, he specifically mentioned a play to George Pickens.

“No, because sometimes it’s just that we got to do what we’re doing better, you know. We had a third down that we had a matchup that we certainly wanted. We had George Pickens on Witherspoon, and we threw the ball out of bounds for example. GP (George Pickens) caught it, but it was out of bounds. Had we connected that and ran in and scored, you and I might not be having this discussion. So no, it does not require a change of agenda or anything. Maybe just keep the ball inbounds for example, or maybe on the second play of the game, we missed a pickup and Kenny (Pickett) got sacked. And I think it was second and two and it produced a third and long. If we handle a routine pickup. It doesn’t require any changes. We just need todo routine things routinely at the early stages of games. And those are just two examples of why I’m resistant to the discussion. I’m not going to comb through it with afine-tooth comb for you and talk about the reasons why we do what it is that we do, but rest assured we’re thorough in our process and our approach and when it’s time to change, or if it’s time to change we’re not resistant to it. But we also got a certain level of commitment to work and an improvement through work as well, individually and collectively.”

Pat Freiermuth

Coach Tomlin was asked if the tight ends were not involved much in the game on Sunday because of the lateness in the week of Pat Freiermuth’s injury or if it was a game plan specific issue.

“It could be a myriad of things. It could be any of the two things that you mentioned, or it could’ve been what the LA Rams were doing relative from a game planning perspective. I know we were excited about having Diontae (Johnson) back. And so, you know, I make no excuse for their lack of inclusion. We’re doing what’s required to win football games.”

Dan Moore Jr.

Coach Tomlin was asked about the impact of having Dan Moore back in the lineup and what he thought of the way he’s played.

“I thought he was really solid, not only his play, but his demeanor. He brings a grown man approach to it. Thought he was really good.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked if there was any debate about if Moore would play if he were healthy.

“I wouldn’t peel back the curtains for you if there was a debate.”

Patrick Peterson

Coach Tomlin was asked how he felt about the flow of his secondary with Patrick Peterson moving around a lot.

“That’s why we brought Pat here. Pat’s a veteran player, he’s smart. If you remember, we moved Cam Sutton around a lot. Essentially, he is Cam Sutton. And so, position flexibility was an attractive component to the acquisition of him.”

T.J. Watt

With James Harrison going into the hall of honor this weekend, Coach Tomlin was asked about what characteristics Harrison and T.J. Watt may share that made them such great players.

“Share? Man, it’d be easier to talk about their differences (laughter). I’ll tell you this, similar in approach, in terms of commitment. If you know either guy on what they’re willing to do in preparation to tee up a performance, not only in the course of a game week, but I’m talking about over a course of a 12-month calendar. Over the course of their careers, is unique. You don’t get unique results by doing regular processes. Those two dudes have a commitment to preparation and the development of their games, and the maintenance of their bodies, and the preparation to their bodies, which is unique.”

Connor Heyward

Coach Tomlin was asked about what Connor Heyward has shown this year since he’s got more opportunities with Pat Freiermuth being out of the lineup.

“You said it, ‘Pat’s (Freiermuth) out.'”

Mike Tomlin’s complete press conference can be seen here:


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