Tomlin 1-15

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STEELERS vs. RAVENS AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2009 KICKOFF IS AT 6:30 P.M. HEINZ FIELD

Head Coach Mike Tomlin  Thursday, Jan. 15

Head Coach Mike Tomlin:I thought we had a good practice today. We took the necessary steps that you are looking for between a Wednesday and Thursday. We were a little more crisp in all areas, a little better understanding. Hopefully we will do the same tomorrow.

Did Troy Polamalu practice today?
Yes. As a matter of fact he wasn't limited in any way. He had a pretty good day.

What is Justin Hartwig's status?
The same as it was at the beginning of the week. He is going to practice tomorrow. He participated on a limited basis today. It's not going to prevent him from playing in the game. It didn't prevent him from playing in the last game. We're being cautious at the end of the week and trying to put him in the best physical shape we can get him in, but at the same time be prepared to play. He is a veteran player. We are a few weeks into this thing now. The physical reps he will get tomorrow hopefully will be enough for him.

Do you think you have a health advantage or is everyone banged up at this point of the season?
The 11 on the field represent us. The 11 on the field represent them. Our standard won't change in terms of what we expect from ours and I'm sure theirs won't either. Injuries won't be a factor in the football game.

Was Willie Parker full-go today?
Yes he was.

The locker room has been quiet this week. Do you say something to the players about watching what they say?
No. It's how we do business. You don't wait until you get in these kind of games to make those coaching points. I'd be negligent if I did. It's the things we talk about along the way, the kind of personality that we want to have, not only inside the white lines but outside.

Now that you have been here for two years, do you have a heightened sense of the excitement and what all of this means to Steelers fans?
I don't. I know that I don't because the people I know tell me their perception of it. I live kind of an insolated life here in Pittsburgh. I go to work and go home. Not that I don't appreciate it. I just don't get an opportunity to witness it first hand. It's humbling to know that what we do is important to people, that we can entertain them and give our fans what they want. I have a sense of pride in that. Do I witness it or am I aware of it, probably not.

Can you talk about Sean McHugh's journey – from being cut by the Lions before the season to now playing in the AFC Championship game and what he means to the team?
Of course we are glad that we have him. He has been a good addition to our team. He has a unique ability to play on the line of scrimmage as an in-line blocker, as a tight end and in the backfield as a lead blocker. It is really kind of a unique skill set, one that you look for. He is a willing worker, he is a good teammate. I know the guys enjoy him. He had been a nice addition. We are glad he was available. His story is like a lot of stories in the locker room. There are fewer first-round draft pick, fanfare guys. There are a lot of guys that have stories like Sean McHugh and James Harrison and so forth. That's what makes this game and this league special.

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What have you learned about Dick LeBeau since you have been here?

I don't have enough time. Dick cares about people. He doesn't take that ingredient out of his recipe when he comes to work. Because of that it's special along with all of the other outstanding characteristics he has.

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