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Coach Tomlin's Post Game vs. Browns

Head Coach Mike Tomlin:Well that was exciting, wasn't it? It's great to get a win. We did what was necessary. The game was a tale of two halves but I like the team's ability to smile in the face of adversity, but to go beyond that (and) to stand and make significant plays at significant moments on defense, really to get the ball back and obviously on offense to put ourselves in position to kick the game winner; and then the field goal unit executed there at the end. A lot of positives to pull from a circumstance like that (but) obviously negatives to get in those circumstances, but it's great to make the necessary corrections with a 'W.' We'll do that and we'll do that in a quick fashion. We have a short week as we push on to Baltimore. It's great to start this thing off 1-0 and particularly 1-0 in the AFC North. A couple of injuries: Shamarko Thomas wasn't able to come back into the game, he's got an Achilles injury of some kind. He'll be evaluated. Dri Archer had an ankle injury. He'll likely be evaluated as well. He was unable to continue. Other bumps and bruises associated with playing. Obviously we have a short week so those could be significant. We'll keep an eye on that and push forward.

Did the no-huddle give you problems in the second half?
It did and we gave ourselves some problems. I have to compliment them for their execution. They did a great job but I also would like to complement our guys for doing what was necessary amidst a lot of negativity there in the second half.

Was their success in the running game able to set up the play-action?
I thought the significant element of it was the play-action. They were getting chunks and flipping the field. We were working on the long field and they were working on the short field. They found rhythm with the running game, but it was the chunks and the misdirection game that was creating real issues for us.

How did you pull your team out of a tailspin?
It's fundamental. Every time the ball is snapped it' an opportunity. It's a clean slate. We can't tote baggage. We can't do it when things are positive, we can't do it when things are negative. It's about playing good, fundamental football and guys delivering timely plays. And you have to take some calculated risk. I wasn't interested in giving up possession of the ball. We faked a punt. It didn't produce anything, but it did produce field position. It didn't produce anything in terms of a score. Sometimes you take the calculated risk associated with those things, but it ultimately comes down to guys making plays and hopefully significant ones.

Did the Browns defend Antonio Brown differently in the second half to take him out of the game?
They possessed the ball offensively (laughing) and that's a great way to take Antonio out of the game. They moved the chains, they got first downs (and) they possessed the ball. I don't know what the time of possession was in the second half, but I'd imagine that was an element of it.


The Pittsburgh Steelers faced off against the Cleveland Browns in their 2014 regular season opener at Heinz Field.

Were guys getting caught out of position defensively rather than them just being more physical?**
Again, I'll let the tape tell the story, but obviously when they do some of the things that they've been able to do in the second half it's probably a little bit of all the above that you suggested.

What did you think of Will Gay's performance?
Will is one of those solid veteran guys. He's steady eddy and not only in terms of the splash plays (regarding) the pass breakups and stuff that you see, but he's a hub of communication in that sub-package defense. Those slot corners, a lot of things are going around them and he's a savvy veteran one. One that's very consistent and durable. He's always available to us and we appreciate his contributions today.

Was the fake punt your call or the up-backs' call?
I called it.

Re: The fake punt:
They had been ten-up challenging us trying (and) trying to make us reduce our gunners. We weren't interested in reducing. They came down (and) we took what was given.

What did you think of Markus Wheaton's performance?
I'm not surprised by what he's capable of. I think you won't in anybody in that locker room that's surprised by what he's capable of. But he's still got to do it. Due to injuries and other things he didn't get a change to do a lot of it a year ago, but we have a great deal of confidence in him. He does in himself. We expect that type of performance. When they're doing things to work to minimize 84, guys like 11 (Wheaton) and 15 (J. Brown) have to rise up. We got some quality plays out of them today.

Would you have gone for it on fourth-down if it was fourth-and-one instead of fourth-and-five in the next to last series?
I don't know. We'll never know, will we?

Did this game feel any different than others?
It's the home opener (laughing). If you're not excited you're in the wrong line of business. It was an eclectic atmosphere, our fans were awesome, it was a beautiful day (and) we're honoring the great and legendary Coach Noll. There's a lot of things to be fired up about. I'm just glad on so many fronts, like I mentioned above, that we were able to get a victory.

Re: Le'Veon Bell's performance:
He's a guy for all situations. I think we've been pretty clear about that. We're not surprised by anything that he does. He's a quality, young player and we expect that type of performance from him.

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