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Tomlin on win over Cardinals

Posted Oct 23, 2011

Opening: It’s great to put together a winning performance on the road. It’s something we hadn’t done definitively to this point. I like our efforts on all three phases. We made the necessary plays. We had some signature splash plays on defense. We made critical third down conversions on offense in the second half, things we didn’t do a week ago. All positive signs. Largely we are pleased to come into a venue like this and get a “W” and move on. From an injury standpoint we are pretty clean. Hines (Ward) had an ankle and was unable to return. We’ll see as the week goes on. You know Hines always finds a way to defy logic when it comes to injury and so forth. We will definitely leave a seat on the bus for him. We’ll see where next week takes us.

Can you talk about Ben Roethlisberger’s play?
He was very good. The thing I like he did was, of course he did his usual as far as buying time and creating plays, I like the way he utilized the backs as plays broke down. I thought that was an opportunity for us. I thought they had some critical conversions and nice plays, positive plays, just dumping he ball to 33 (Isaac Redman) or 34 (Rashard Mendenhall) or 21 (Mewelde Moore). I liked that.

Can you talk about the young receivers, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, and how they are playing?
Those guys did that last year. We don’t view them as young guys anymore. They have to deliver plays for us. I think they understand that. I think they embrace that.

After the 2-2 start, how do you evaluate the last three games?
I don’t overanalyze it. They have been winning performances and that is what is required for us in order to be the kind of team we desire to be. We aren’t perfect by any stretch. We are improving. We are finding ways to win along the way. Arrow is pointed up and we need to continue to move in that direction.

First down from the five, what makes you go deep on that play?
Mike (Wallace) had some opportunities. Mike is a talented guy. You know he can run by you, but he still finds way to do it. It’s like kicking the ball to Devin Hester. I am glad he is on our team.

What was wrong with Aaron Smith’s neck?
He has to have surgery. I don’t have the details. He was experiencing some discomfort and pain. He thought it was a function of playing. Once he hurt his ankle he thought it would calm down. After a period of time it didn’t. He consulted with our doctors and let them know what he was experiencing. They evaluated it and looked at it. They determined it needs to be fixed.

Your thoughts on Ike Taylor’s play?
Very competitive. That is the way he’s been all year. Ike is a guy that welcomes those challenges. He has a humble, blue-collar work ethic and approach to his business. You like guys like that on your team that are competitors, don’t run away from challenges. Obviously the great Larry Fitzgerald is a challenge.

Do you have any clarity on how good your secondary is or will that come next week?
No. We’ll see I’m sure here real soon.

How important was it after they scored the touchdown that you came back with a field goal and a touchdown right away?
It’s important that we work in concert, as units, when things are going well to stack positive things on positive things. Likewise when things go south it’s important you pick each other up. I thought that was an instance where it happened. They had a little broken play, a little check down to LaRod Stepehns-Howling, he’s a talented guy. He went the distance on us. Nice response from our offense in terms of putting that fire out. That is what team is about. Hopefully that is a window into what we are capable of as a 53-man unit.

How important was the early turnover?
We’re not going to make a big deal out of it. We have a desire to get turnovers, no doubt. That is a signature of great defense as far as we’re concerned. But if they are not coming, we are not getting the opportunities, we are not cashing in on it, we still better get off the field. We are still capable of making the necessary stops to be a good defense. It will be a welcome sight when those turnovers start coming in bunches. That was a good one today.

Can you talk about Steve McLendon making his first career start?
He is new, but he is not new to us. They have a lot of respect for what he is capable of in that locker room. Our offensive linemen, that is one of the guys they kind of whisper about being tough to block. He had the opportunity to step in the stadium and do it today and I thought he represented himself very well.

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