- Tomlin addresses blunder: Coach Mike Tomlin opened his weekly press conference addressing the issue that occurred on the kickoff return by Ravens’ receiver Jacoby Jones, which has garnered a lot of attention and expressing his embarrassment over the issue.
“My descriptions of my actions on that play are a lot of things… embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal, a blunder,” said Tomlin. “I take full responsibility for my actions on that play. I acknowledge that my actions unfortunately became part of the play. I embrace that as head coaches we are held to the highest standards of conduct and I realize that blunder fell woefully short of that expectation.”
- Actions not intentional: Tomlin also stated that in no way was it an intentional act on his part as he would not do anything that would compromise the integrity of the game of football or the National Football League.
“I think my biggest error on Thursday night is not realizing that play jeopardized the integrity of the game from a perception standpoint,” said Tomlin. “That is a mistake on my part. Since I left the stadium it’s been shocking to me that my actions have been perceived in any way intentional. I would never do such a thing. I would never consider doing such a thing. It was a blunder.”
- Energy on beating Dolphins: At 5-7 the Steelers still have a shot at the postseason in a tight AFC race, but when asked about what value that gives the team this week, Tomlin said the focus is strictly on the Dolphins.
“It’s all the value we need because the reality is we have enough information to understand we don’t need to look outside of what it is we are doing right here, right now,” said Tomlin. “That is preparing to play and defeat the Miami Dolphins and that’s where our energy should be.”
- Injuries mount on line: The Steelers offensive line has been hammered with injuries, with
Kelvin Beachum, David DeCastroand Mike Adamson the injury report, as well as the team losing Fernando Velascofor the season. Tomlin said that others are now expected to step up, including Cody Wallacewho will start at center.
“We’ll make due as we always do,” said Tomlin. “We’ll start with the healthy people. We acknowledge that there are some issues in that area that we are working on. We have capable professionals that we believe in and given a week to prepare we expect quality performance.”
Rule review expected: Running back Le’Veon Bell’s one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Ravens was reversed because of the rule that a player can not advance the ball when his helmet comes off. Tomlin said he expects the rule will be reviewed at the end of the year, something that is commonplace with new rules.
“I think that is always the case whenever we institute a new rule,” said Tomlin. “There is a review process at the end of the year to assure we are getting the intended result and the rule is worded in a manner in which we desire it to be worded.”