HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN Sunday, August 10
Coach Mike Tomlin:I thought we had a very good turn the page day for us today and by that I mean we came in this morning, we evaluated our performance from the game, studied the tapes, and hopefully made corrections this afternoon with the attitude that was geared toward getting better. I thought we did that. I liked the energy and enthusiasm, especially considering some of the number of snaps some of those younger guys played defensively in the game. We had a good day today. On the injury front, Kyle Clement has a right knee. We will get it an MRI and know more tomorrow. Humpal has a stinger; he had that in the game and came out and tried to practice today. He had another one today and we will get him looked at in the morning. Hartwig is simply day to day, he has a little bit of discomfort on his knee. We expect him fully to go tomorrow. Ryan Mundy has a high-ankle that could be longer than we expected. He could possibly miss the next two preseason games. He is in a boot to try to speed up the healing process. But we know with high-ankles to anticipate maybe a couple weeks with him. Jeremy Parquet has a foot, he is day to day. Charlie Batch has surgery scheduled for Monday, tomorrow at noon, to get him fixed up with Dr. Bradley. Everyone else is status quo. Any questions?
Have you made any decisions on the quarterbacks?
Well, we worked out Daunte Culpepper and Byron Leftwich today. Both guys were impressive, both guys are in shape and looked good throwing the football. We will make the decision here soon about which direction we will go in terms of those guys.
Do you expect to have one on the practice field tomorrow?
We will see, potentially.
Where did you work them out?
We worked them out at an undisclosed location, a step ahead of you guys.
You brought Casey (Hampton) back today. What are your thoughts on why today, how he is doing and what you expect?
Significantly, what we did when we put him on PUP, it was the Sunday that we reported. Last Sunday, we met and evaluated the progress. We met again today, evaluated the progress and felt that it was up to snuff. I was very impressed. He is down a significant amount of weight. He is ready to go, but by no means is he a finished product. He will continue to get extra work after practice as we continue to push to where we want to be. The whole emphasis is to make sure that he is the most dominant nose tackle in football. He understands that and is committed to that. I like where we are. We are on the planet, we are moving in that direction, so today was a big step in regards to that.
How much weight did he (Casey Hampton) lose?
An undisclosed amount, it was a significant amount and I was satisfied with the progress so far.
You signed a new punter?
Yes, Mitch Berger was brought in today to compete with Paul Ernster. I think it is important. We have two veteran guys that have kicked in the National Football League. They are going to battle it out, kick for kick, over the next three weeks. Whoever our punter is will have earned the job and I think that is important.
Would you like to see them move into kickoff and take that off of Jeff Reed if possible?
That is a non-factor in determining who our punter is.
Are you still looking at other players when the first cuts come in?
Potentially, we will see how this competition goes.
Can we get an update on (Troy) Polamalu?
Everything is status quo with him.
Just to be clear, you have not signed anyone as quarterback?
No we have not. I have my phone in my pocket though.
*Do you think it will come down to contract?
It will come down to several factors. You know, this is a unique situation. They are both capable men and they both did a nice job today. We will see where it goes.
*Do you think this will be tough to be a temporary situation for anyone?
I am not the one to answer that. Maybe when we hopefully sign one of these guys, they can answer that.
*Are there health concerns on either guy?
Not at this point, no.
*I'm not a medical guy, but is surgery usually required for a collarbone?
I'm not a medical guy either, but I assume so, yes.
Is the timetable on Charlie (Batch) still four to six weeks?
We will know Monday, once the procedure is done. I think that is the fairest thing to say at this point.
Is there any chance that you will sign both of these guys?
It is highly unlikely.
On the play that Charlie (Batch) got hurt, should there have been a time out called? Mewelde got out there a little late because he didn't hear the play?
We don't make excuses, only results. There was a miscommunication between those two men and Charlie ended up with the football.
With the quarterbacks, you have your choice, do these guys both want to come here?
That process is ongoing. I don't want to speculate at this point. I have been out here on the practice field for the last couple of hours. You know how these things are. Potentially things have changed in the time that I've been out here. I will gain more information I'm sure, here in a few minutes. When I get it, you guys will get it.
*Coach Tomlin: *We made an agreement with Byron Leftwich to sign and be a quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers. We have some familiarity there, because Ken Anderson, our quarterbacks coach, worked with him down in Jacksonville. He's a young guy, had a great workout here this afternoon, is very lean, looks to be in great shape. He's a smart guy, a been-there, done-that guy. He's been a franchise quarterback for a playoff-caliber team. We're fortunate to be able to add a guy like him to the mix, and we look forward to putting him in the group as quickly as we can. Hopefully we can have him up to snuff so he can participate as soon as Thursday night in Toronto.
*Why has he been out of football?
Your guess is as good as mine, based on what I saw today.
Is Leftwich a 4-to-6 week guy as No. 2, or does he have a chance to hold that job?
We're just going to let the play talk. You know how we do. We're going to evaluate what we see based on performance. At this point, he is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. We have a level of expectation, he has a level of expectation. Hopefully they meet and he goes out and plays well and then those are good problems to have, problems we'll address at the appropriate time.