- Nobody’s perfect: Rookie
Ryan Shazierdrew heaps of praise for his performance against the Bills, but Coach Mike Tomlin definitely sees room for improvement from the team’s number one draft pick. Shazier had nine solo stops, two special teams tackles and an interception, but he wasn’t perfect.
“It wasn’t hard to find lapses in performance,” said Tomlin. “They had a third-and-27 that they got 24 yards on. They kicked the field goal and that was his coverage. I could go on, but not in an effort to beat him up. It’s just the reality of the process. He’s going to have some good plays; he’s going to have negative plays. Regardless of how much he’s praised and so forth, he’s just got to keep a humble no nonsense approach to this process. To this point he has and I hope that it continues."
Safety valve: Shamarko Thomascontinues to impress during the preseason, making big hits including a forced fumble against the Bills. Tomlin likes what he has seen from the second-year safety, not just in making those plays, but in everything he is doing as Thomas makes a push for playing time.
“I think he’s done a really nice job beyond the splash,” said Tomlin. “I’m talking about the routine things. He’s doing the routine things routinely and that’s what you’re looking for in a guy in his position that he continues to mature and grow. He’s doing a good job of communicating.
“I’m open to all capable men participating in any form or fashion that can help us win and by that I mean there may be certain situations that may lend itself to his inclusion in the package and so forth. We’ll do it for the purposes of winning, not because he’s doing well. That’s just not about him, that’s about anybody.”
The time is now: With only two preseason games to play, it’s time for some players to step up their game. One of those Tomlin was asked about during his weekly press conference was second-year quarterback
Landry Jonesand how he has progressed.
Jones was two-for-five for 53 yards and an interception against the Bills, and also had a fumble, and this week is going to be a key for him.
“He didn’t have a good performance in the last outing and that’s evident,” said Tomlin. “I’m looking for a rebound week from him.”
It’s also a time when not playing can hurt a player, including those who haven’t seen action in the preseason because of injuries.
“It’s the witching hour for everyone who is missing time due to injury,” said Tomlin. “That’s just the unfortunate reality of this in certain situations."