COACH MIKE TOMLIN NOVEMBER 2, 2009
Coach Mike Tomlin: Had a good bonus day today, kind of getting started laying the foundation of our plan this week playing the Denver Broncos. We did some base blitz things, some seven-on-seven, some team. Tomorrow will be a normal Tuesday in terms of player's day off. We'll come back here on Wednesday and continue on with the process of formulating a game plan. Schematically things that are match-up oriented we will go through our normal process as we always do. It's good to be back at work. I thought the guys were energetic, a much needed rest. It was a great break in the action for us. We are ready to get back on it and continue this journey that we are on.
Where was Willie Parker today? *He had an illness today and was running a fever so we sent him to the docs. We didn't want him to deliver anything to anybody else. I anticipate him being fine.
Is he the only one quarantined?
He is the only one who is sick today. I wouldn't necessarily call it a quarantine.
Can you give an update on Lawrence Timmons and Travis Kirschke?
Both of those guys are questionable here at this point. Again it's the early part of the week. There is a little bit more optimism in regards to Lawrence than Travis at this point. We'll let it play out as we always do.
Has a decision been made on Ryan Clark playing or not in Denver?
Here is the situation with Ryan. Ryan and myself met with a team of physicians on Thursday. He has received medical clearance to play in this football game, so now the decision lies with he and myself. We are going to weigh all of our options and evaluate this thing as we proceed throughout the week. It's not a decision that needs to be made now as opposed to later. We understand the elements of what he is dealing with. I am sure at some point this week he and I are going to sit down and decide what actions we are going to take. But he has received medical clearance from the docs and that was step one to even consider the possibility of allowing this man to play. His physical health, his well-being is paramount. We are going to attempt to do what is right. We are going to weigh all of our options and come to a decision here at some point this week. I really haven't put a timetable on it at this point.
Is it possible he could say I want to play and you would say no?
That's a possibility. Sure.
From your experience, is it tougher to breath in Denver?*
I don't have a problem breathing when I go to Denver.
Have you noticed a difference there?
Santonio Holmes also has said he has the sickle cell trait. Do you do anything special in his case?
It's more than the sickle cell trait. There are a lot of people that play football in Denver with the sickle cell trait. Ryan is a unique case where it is the sickle cell trait and a combination of something else, which I am not educated to speak on. But it is the sickle cell trait in combination with some other pre-existing medical issue that creates it. Santonio is not in any unique risk unless he too shares that same medical situation, which I believe at this point he does not.
What do you need to hear from the doctors to allow Ryan to play and what does he need to hear to say he is willing to play?
I think before we considered anything, we needed to hear just that. 'Okay, Ryan, you are at no medical risk, or no extra medical risk to participate in this game than anyone else is.' He and I have received that, but we are still going to proceed with extreme caution. That's what we are going to do. We are not going to hurry the process. We are going to proceed through our week. He is going to take in information and reps and prepare to play in the football game. His back-ups are going to do the same and at the appropriate time we will sit down and come to a decision.
Do you work other guys in at practice in case he doesn't play?
Ryan is healthy enough to practice so we are going to let him practice. We are going to be prudent as well and give other people some reps. Those guys defensively are interchangeable. They are always prepared to play. We play Deshea (Townsend) at safety. We play Keiwan Ratliff at safety, Ryan Mundy, T.C. (Tyrone Carter). Troy (Polamalu) hasn't practiced a lot here this year so it has provided opportunities for those guys to ready themselves for action. So that's less of an issue than it could be if Troy practiced a lot this year. Those guys have got an extended amount of reps in terms of preparation to be prepared to play football games. Practice is one thing, game is the other. We won't answer those things until we play Monday night.
Who will start if Ryan doesn't play?To be determined. I still haven't determined whether or not Ryan's not going to play.
Is Eugene Bright a defensive end or a tight end?