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Tomlin: 4 things you must know vs. Panthers

  1. Feeling the pain: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said on his weekly radio show Tuesday that he is still "very sore" from the hit delivered by Ravens' linebacker Courtney Upshaw, which drew a 15-yard roughing the passer call. Coach Mike Tomlin isn't surprised by the fact that Roethlisberger was still feeling pain.

"I'm sure he was," said Tomlin. "That was a significant shot. It comes with the territory and that is something he has embraced over the years."

Tomlin said the hit didn't have an effect on Roethlisberger's performance the rest of the game, which included him missing some open receivers and it not being one of his better performances.

"He is not going to make excuses and I am not either," said Tomlin. "He is capable of playing better and we look forward to working hard so it occurs this weekend."

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Tackling the tackling issue:** Missed tackles plagued the Steelers in the team's 26-6 loss against the Ravens, but it's something that they continue to work on in practice, even if they aren't actually tackling. Instead of it being about the hitting, it's about working the scheme and the approach to tackling.

"Often times is about a plan or an approach and having a hard-core plan and recognizing the positions that your position puts you in, the manner which you approach the ball from a variety of positions on the field and having a plan to execute fundamental tackling accordingly," said Tomlin. "I think the more that you play, the more you are in positions on footballs and you are approaching the ball inside out, you learn to maintain that consistency, or you learn to chew up the free grass associated with a guy who has to cover great distances. All of those things can be done in a practice setting without actually tackling, and we have been emphasizing that. We'll continue and we'll expect the tackling to improve because of it.

"It's just about improving on a day to day basis and some fundamental things individually and collectively."

  1. Too early to judge: After two games the Steelers are averaging 10 penalties per game, nine against the Ravens and 11 in the opener against the Browns. Last year the Steelers averaged five penalties per game, and Tomlin thinks it's early to be judging how the average will play out by season's end.

"We are two games into this one," said Tomlin. "Hopefully by the time we are able to compare this year to last or any year over a 16, 19, 20 game schedule we will have a better showing than we have to this point."


Ready to rebound:** There are going to be good days and bad days for players, and the Ravens game wasn't a good one for tackle Marcus Gilbert. Gilbert allowed two sacks, but Tomlin said it wasn't necessarily something he did wrong, but rather the play of Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil that helped lead to the issues.

"You play 60 plus snaps and you give up two sacks, it's a bad game," said Tomlin. "It is what it is. That's the nature of our business and I am sure as a tackle that is a challenge he embraces. A lot of it was Dumervil related, who is a pretty good player and has been for a long period of time. You are talking about guys like Marcus who has to rebound, but you have to acknowledge they play some pretty stiff challenges week in and week out.

"I am not concerned about Marcus and his ability to rebound from that and his mentality in regards to that. I expect him to come fighting back like Rocky."

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