HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN Monday, August 11
Coach Mike Tomlin:I thought we had a very good day today. We came out and had two productive practices. We turned the page from what's behind us from last week and we are ready to move forward. I thought we were better today because of that. They guys had great spirit in the morning and in the afternoon. On the injury front, Charlie (Batch) did have surgery. We don't know more than that right now. It was at noon today and we will have more information on that later. Kyle Clement has a knee sprain. We don't know how long he will be out. With (Mike) Humpal, we are continuing to evaluate his stinger situation. And of course you guys know about Ryan Mundy; he has a high-ankle sprain. All of the rest of the guys are status quo. Deshea (Townsend) is experiencing a training camp groin. We are just trying to protect him here today. I will answer any questions.
Why are we out here in the rain?
Because you guys saw how we played last year. You know, we are going to play in the rain from time to time. We can't let rain stop us from what we need to do. We will play in all sorts of circumstances; hot, cold, wet, dry. As long as it is not lightning we need to get our work done.
Do you think there are other NFL teams that do this?
I'm not worried about a lot of other NFL teams, I have this team. You know, our guys know that we come out here to work. This can't make us stop. We have to compete. We have to stay on our feet. We have to catch the ball. We have to defend. There are no excuses because it is highly likely that we are going to play a rain game this year.
How did Byron (Leftwich) do today?
I was impressed simply by the fact that he was quick to study. You saw that he was able to step out there and step into the huddle, get lined up and deliver the ball around. He has a very sharp guy, that's obvious. Of course, he has a ways to go in terms of catching up, but I thought it was a very good start today.
Some of your players were lobbying for a movie day, can you talk on that?
That's elevator music, you know. You hear it but you don't. This is training camp. It's part of training camp. As long as they are having fun with it, you know, the ball snaps, they are running and hitting, and doing what we want to do, then that's great.
Is Troy (Polamalu) getting any closer to being back?
I assume he is, but when that will occur, I don't know at this point.
How are you getting ready for the next preseason game? How important are these practices?
Actually, we are still focused on Steelers versus Steelers. We will prepare for Buffalo and be ready for those guys, but it's not a complete game preparation, as we would prepare for an opponent during the season. Our focus is getting better and competing Steelers versus Steelers and trying to sort out who our best people are. Tomorrow we will come out and work toward Buffalo a little bit, but the business of today was about guys getting better.
Do you think Casey (Hampton) will see playing time Thursday?
As of right now, it looks like he is knocking the rust off pretty quickly so we anticipate that he will participate on Thursday unless we have some kind of set back between now and then.
*How did Sean Mahan play in that first game and what are your thoughts on that battle that is unfolding right now?
I thought he did a nice job, as did Justin (Hartwig). Of course, this week we are going to start Justin and take a look at him. It's just running its course. I think we will have more information after we play Thursday night.
*Is he okay, (Justin) Hartwig?
Yes, it was definitely a day-to-day thing. He was just experiencing some discomfort. He came out today and was able to fully participate.
*Any chance that Leftwich will play Thursday?
You know, just one foot in front of the other. He could very well be in the game under some situational football circumstance. It's one thing to come out here and execute huddle calls and it's another thing to conduct a two-minute drill and things of that nature. We will continue to evaluate him and continue to push as much football at him as we can and make that determination. But as of right now, he appears to be a quick study and I would guess that he will be able to play on Thursday.
*It looked like (Rashard) Mendenhall was running hard today, lowering on his shoulder, do you agree?
Yes, he is.
Is that any different from the game?
Have you mentioned James Harrison in your injury report?
I did not. Somebody kicked him in the shin this morning and there was some swelling, but I think he will be right back out tomorrow.
So we're just focusing on Steelers versus Steelers right now?
Yes, even though it is a short week, it's a non-issue for us. Today was about Steelers versus Steelers and coming out here and competing together. The actual two-a-days of training camp, the dog days. Tomorrow we will devote a little time to Buffalo. It's not a true preparation week as if we were playing a legitimate in season opponent. That's what a lot of people do. Hopefully Buffalo is doing that so they don't have us schemed up too much.
How did Daniel Sepulveda's surgery go?
Well, as far as I know. Again, it's less about the surgery and more about the rehabilitation at this point. The surgery was a success. I think the rehabilitation will determine the overall success of the procedure.