The highly anticipated start of the 2013 NFL season is just days away, with the Steelers kicking it off on Sunday afternoon against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field at 1 p.m.
The roster appears to be set after a plethora of moves over the last few days, and Coach Mike Tomlin is ready to get rolling with the group he has assembled.
“I am excited about the start of the 2013 season,” said Tomlin. “Preparation has already begun. We had a very productive day here at the South Side facility (Monday). We had a bonus-type day. We introduced some core things regarding our plan, introducing our guys to the matchups and significant matchups that could be important in terms of determining the outcome of the game.”
The focus going into this week’s game continues to be taking care of the business at hand, which was also the case throughout training camp and the preseason.
“I like our preparation,” said Tomlin. “We are focused on what is going to be required for us to do to win this weekend. We’re going to take a business-like approach to it like we did in the preseason.”
The Steelers are coming off a disappointing 2012 season when they finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs. Many are looking for improvements up and down the roster and Tomlin said time will tell where and if they have grown.
“I think that’s going to be determined once we step into the stadium,” said Tomlin. “I’m not in the business of measuring it or comparing it. I’m in the business of getting this team ready to play a football game and I’m excited about doing so with the group of guys that we’re working with this year.
“I’m not into all the comparisons and so forth. That’s not high on my priority list. What is high on my priority list is preparing these guys to beat the Tennessee Titans.”
* * *
There will be some new faces on the field on Sunday including punter
“He is a high-pedigree guy, one that was highly regarded out of Michigan,” said Tomlin of Mesko. “He’s a long guy, a left-footer. He is no stranger to the elements, having kicked in New England in the professional ranks and at the University of Michigan. All those things were attractive to us. We are excited about getting him into the fold and him being a reason why we are successful here this weekend and beyond.”
Mesko will handle the holding duties and Tomlin doesn’t think the adjustment to a new holder will be a problem for kicker
“I’m not overly concerned about it,” said Tomlin. “Shaun Suisham is not a high-maintenance kicker from that standpoint. I think he has already had three holders in the short period of time that he’s been here, due to instability at our punting position. We’re going to work at it this week.
“We’re going to give it its due diligence, but not something that’s overly worrisome. Mesko is a professional and that’s one of the reasons why we acquired him.”