Tomlin's Take: Press conference
By Mike Prisuta
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on ...
Thursday night's preseason finale against Carolina at Heinz Field:
"It's a big week for us, bringing our preseason to a close. It's a big week for a lot of reasons. We got a short week here, last opportunity for a lot of men to make an impression, readying ourselves for September football and at the same time we've got some critical decisions to make as a football team."
On the Steelers' performance rushing the passer in the preseason:
"We've got, I think, roughly 10 sacks in three games. We've got some guys individually that are rushing well, hadn't played complete games. You envision those guys putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. I think (linebacker) LaMarr Woodley has created a lot of pressure in the time that he's played, (linebacker) James Harrison, (linebacker) Lawrence Timmons. (Defensive end) Aaron Smith has two sacks. I like where our pass rush is. If you project the performance of those men over four quarters, I like where it is."
On the possibility of the Steelers keeping four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster:
"We'll cross that bridge, I think, after this performance. That's a decision we have to make at an appropriate time. I think we need to gather all the information based on quality of play and the health of Charlie (Batch) in terms of what direction we need to go in. We'll hold our cards until necessary."
On how much of the 53-man roster will be decided by what transpires during Thursday night's game:
"Most of the time it comes down to about three or five decisions that are 11th hour, if you will. I think that will be the case this time around."
On how he feels Byron Leftwich is progressing and how comfortable he is with Leftwich running the Steelers' offense:
"I think based on what he has done to this point there is comfort, but every day is so important for him because there have been very few days and opportunities. Thus far he has taken advantage of that and has been better and has gotten better. He needs to continue to do that, and Thursday night will be a big part of it."
On whether wide receiver Eddie Drummond can make the team exclusively as a return specialist.
"There's a potential for that. That was our intention when we signed him a few weeks back. His opportunities to impress are dwindling. Thursday night is a big night for him."
Mike Prisuta can be reached at [email="email@example.com"]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email] or 412-320-7923