HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLINFriday, August 1
Coach Mike Tomlin: It wasn't our sharpest performance tonight. I just stressed the point to the team that we have to be ready to go under all circumstances. We have to be at our best. We have very few 1 p.m. kickoffs with this football team this year. We'll get another opportunity at a night practice here in a few days, and it has to be better for us from an execution standpoint, from an attention to detail standpoint. I liked the energy, I love the way the guys compete but not our best performance from a technique standpoint here at camp. Of course, every time we come out we want to be better in that area. I didn't think we did that tonight, and sometimes that happens. We have to evaluate it, make corrections and move forward. I think we'll do that. On the injury front, Anthony Smith wasn't able to finish earlier today, so he's still out with the groin. Sean Mahan was out with some back discomfort. Mike Humpal tried to go, but wasn't able to finish with his hamstring. I think Ben Roethlisberger has a slight right groin. We'll see where he is. Santonio Holmes had a death in the family, and he had to attend to that. We expect him back on Sunday.
What was your opinion on the backs-on-backers drill?
I thought it was very competitive. That drill is moving in the direction that we want it to move. Of course, that drill is geared toward the linebackers, but I thought the backs did a nice job of stepping up and competing.
How about the job that Lawrence Timmons did in that drill?
Lawrence is a guy on the come. We challenged him to be at his best. He's a second-year guy along with everybody else in his class, and I really think he has embraced that challenge. He's a talented guy, as you guys can see, but he's not a finished product by any means. But he does have an attitude to come out here and get better every time we work.
Are you pleased with the direction of your linebackers?
I think we're building some depth. We have some young guys who have to step up and understand the speed of the professional game and what we require them to do. We have the makings of a good, solid unit there, with some depth. But the young guys have to come on.
What do you think about the atmosphere here at night practice?
It's special. It takes you back to your high school days. I think guys really enjoy it. It's great to come out and perform in front of our fans, and hopefully they had a good time tonight. Some guys, like Kyle Clement, this is the biggest crowd he's ever played in front of. It was a good evening.