HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN
October 16, 2008
Coach Mike Tomlin:Good afternoon. I felt like we had a very productive practice today. It was the first time here in a couple of weeks where we had an opportunity to carry our pads; meaning wearing shoulder pads and helmets at practice. Coming off of the Baltimore game, a Monday night game, we had a short week and didn't feel like it was prudent to do it that week; then we had the bye and we had a bunch of guys get healthy. I thought that it was spirited, there was nice pad level and there was action in the trenches.
Is there an update on Willie Parker?
Right now he is day-to-day; he wasn't well enough to go today. We are still hopeful towards Sunday, but maybe not as hopeful as we were earlier in the week.
Does it seem like you guys are as healthy as you expected coming out of the bye?
No, but that is probably always going to be the case. Hamp (Casey Hampton) worked some today in a limited capacity. He felt pretty good; we will see where he is in the morning. Other than that, some of the other guys that we targeted for coming back, are back; Brett Keisel, Nick Eason and so forth. We experienced some injuries in Jacksonville that were new and we are dealing with; like Dallas Baker, like Keyaron Fox. That is the nature of the game; you know how we approach that. The healthy guys are the Steelers in the huddle who will represent us; the standard will be the standard.
Will Willie need more than one day at practice to play?
We are just taking it day-by-day. We will see where he is in the morning and we will make the judgment whether or not we activate him as we push closer to Sunday. I think that the big thing is that we look at how he is in the morning and see if he is capable of practicing tomorrow. That is where we are at; it is a day-to-day situation.
What are the new punt returner's (Jayson Foster) chances of playing?
He is a practice squad player; one who is giving us a great look in practice.
Can you talk about Marvel Smith?
Again, he is not well enough to practice today; we will be hopeful tomorrow. We will see where he is in the morning; he is still experiencing some discomfort.
Did Willie do something in practice to his knee?
He was working out on Tuesday; he made it through Monday's practice fine; worked out on Tuesday and he felt some discomfort when he came in on Wednesday. He took a small step backwards if you will so he wasn't able to practice yesterday and we didn't practice him today.
Why hasn't Nate Washington gotten a look as a return game?
He has no experience in regards to that, even at Tiffin. He is not the biggest-framed guy; you do not see a lot of guys of his stature returning kickoffs. He might have a punt return-capable body but he doesn't any experience professionally or in college.
Did Jeff (Reed) kick at all today?
He did, and he kicked well actually. His was one of the injury situations we have been pleasantly surprised with this week; it looks like he is going to be fine.
*Will Max Starks start at left tackle if Marvel Smith cannot go?
He has looked good; but we all know that there is a difference between practice and Sunday afternoon at one o'clock. He is working well, communicating well with the other men; we are just pushing him to preparing for Sunday; should we have to call on him, we will expect him to deliver.
Will Reed be well enough to place kick and kick off?
What will be the running back rotation?
It will be just like it was in Jacksonville. Mewelde Moore will be the primary ball-carrier and he will be supplemented by Gary Russell and Najeh Davenport.