Tomlin Takes

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3 takes from Tomlin on Chiefs game


Ringing the Bell:** Running back Le'Veon Bell is eligible to return this week from his three-game suspension when the Steelers host the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on Sunday night, and Coach Mike Tomlin made it clear that you will see plenty of him.

"We are going to let practice be our guide in terms of that division of labor," said Tomlin. "His level of conditioning is not a concern to us. A guy that is highly conditioned over a 12 month calendar. We have seen him every day, he has been a part of us, and he has been in the building. He is up to speed on what we are doing from a schematic standpoint and really in tune there. We will see how sharp he is physically once we get on the practice field. But rest assured, you are going to see Le'Veon Bell and probably a lot of him on Sunday."

  • Dictating the calls: Game situations can often dictate play calling, and that became the case on Sunday against the Eagles. The Steelers ran the ball eight times in the first half, but running back Le'Veon Bell had only two second half carries. Tomlin explained why the Steelers kept the ball in the air, throwing it 26 times in the second half to only the two running plays, and it was mainly because the Eagles scored on the opening drive of the second half.

"We weren't doing a good enough job of stopping them," said Tomlin. "Had we gone out and probably stopped them on the first possession of the second half, we probably would have continued in a more balanced approach offensively. But when that game went to 20-3 it was a little bit different than 13-3."

Making progress: Cornerback Justin Gilbert, acquired via trade from the Cleveland Browns, hasn't seen a lot of playing time to date but that could change soon. Tomlin said he is happy with the progress he is making as both a kick returner and in the base defense.

"He works that area (kick return) just about daily," said Tomlin. "He is doing nice things for us in practice not just in special teams, but getting up to snuff on defense. He is past the learning what to do stage now and moving onto the critical element of gaining enough detail to be successful where we are comfortable and he is comfortable. I like the progress he has made so far."

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