- Hit a hot topic: Linebacker
Terence Garvin’s hit on Bengals punter Kevin Huber, causing a broken jaw, on Antonio Brown’s punt return for a touchdown on Sunday night has been a hot topic of conversation. Garvin was not penalized for the hit, in which he leveled Huber.
Coach Mike Tomlin said that Garvin’s job is to be a final line of defense in blocking for the returner, but the way the play transpired in the split second he had to make it is not the way the Steelers coach players to do so.
“What he is coached to do, and what transpired on that play are two different things,” said Tomlin, who said punters are protected in a similar fashion that quarterbacks, receivers and others are. “From a structure of a call standpoint the position that he was in to be a final blocker is what he is coached to do. The nature in which the block unfolded is not what we are looking for, not what we coach and not what he wants. That play hit pretty quickly, was right back up the field at him, and it transpired the way it transpired.”
- Weather outside is frightful: Tomlin knows the conditions won’t be ideal in Green Bay this week, as they never are in December, but he isn’t as concerned about the temperatures as he is the conditions.
“Less about temperature and more about weather conditions,” said Tomlin. “Whether it’s wind or surface area, those are the things, the elements you spend time discussing. The temperature is going to be irrelevant. I imagine it’s going to be the same temperature on their sideline as it is on ours.”
- Out of the Woods: Nose tackle
Al Woodsstarted against the Bengals with Steve McLendonout with an ankle injury and Tomlin said that Woods’ performance was “above the line.” While McLendon is expected to return this week, Tomlin likes what he has seen from Woods.
“He is a guy like many guys in his circumstance who is getting an opportunity due to the misfortune of someone else,” said Tomlin. “He is getting better with it. I thought this performance was better than the last. I thought his pad level was good. I thought he came off blocks and was productive in some areas. I am excited about him.”
- Staying consistent:
Cortez Allen, who started the last two weeks at left cornerback, has been one of the leaders in the secondary in tackles both weeks and his play has picked up as the year has progressed.
“I think he has been continually arrow pointed up since he came back from his injury, which is often the case with young guys” said Tomlin. “He missed some time in training camp and the early portions of the season with an injury. As he’s played and played continually his play has gotten more consistent over the course of the season.”
QB won’t impact preparation: The Steelers don’t know yet if they will face Packers quarterback Matt Flynn or if Aaron Rodgers will return from his fractured collarbone. No matter who plays, it won’t affect the Steelers preparation.
“We are going to prepare for what they do schematically because I don’t think it changes much regardless of who is playing quarterback,” said Tomlin. “Schematically how they call plays I don’t see much change in the way they approach the game of football. It’s not going to affect our preparation in the planning stages of the week, but as we get closer to game time we will hear about levels of participation and make whatever adjustments we need to make.”