HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN Saturday, August 16
Coach Mike Tomlin:I thought we had a very productive practice this afternoon. It was one of our sharper practices of training camp. I thought it was very encouraging. There were some technique things and guys competing. It is nice to turn the page and get back out here and do it again. I have some quick injury updates. Patrick Bailey can be characterized as day to day with a knee. John Dekker has torn his right ACL. We are going to wait about seven days and he will have surgery so that will be the end of the year for him. Keyaron Fox is day-to-day with back spasms. Scott Paxson is day-to-day with some stingers. Hines Ward is going to be fine. We were just resting his ankle a little bit today. He will be back out tomorrow. Cody Boyd can be characterized as day-to-day with his shoulder. Andre Frazier is the same way with his shoulder, day-to-day. (Mike) Humpal again is day-to-day with his stinger. We took a step forward with Ryan Mundy today; we got him out of the boot. We are hopeful that he will be able to participate this upcoming week but we will see where he is. Troy (Polamalu) had a nice day running today; we will run him again tomorrow. Hopefully, the target is to get him out there and practice on Tuesday. That's about it, I will answer any questions.
Did you settle in on the center spot yet?
No. We are still looking at those guys. Both guys, I thought, played well. They did a nice job and we will continue to work. I think it is important we get a true evaluation of the position by allowing Justin (Hartwig) to continue to work with the first group and get some cohesion things and some communication, some silent count issues, but I like where both of those guys are. I think we have two viable options here.
*Can you talk about the cornerback and how Deshea (Townsend) is looking?
Deshea is back, which is good. He has been experiencing some discomfort in his groin and we decided to exercise a little caution and shut him down last week. He felt okay today and is getting back on the J.O.B.
*Can you explain about all the linebackers you have, all the youth and experience?
I think it is awesome. We have a good group of guys working there. We have some tough decisions to make at that position, not only in terms of who makes the team, but how we sort them out. They are good problems to have. They guys come to work everyday and we have some talent.
*As far as the battle at cornerback situation, would you categorize it as open now?
Well, Deshea (Townsend) is a quality guy. I think he is the guy. He was just feeling some discomfort with his groin. He is going to be okay.
*You had a lot of return guys on the field last week, what are your thoughts on how that is shaping up and the punt return guys?
I like where this is going. We have some guys in here, they are viable options. We are trying to give them all a look. There probably aren't enough looks for anybody, but that is just the nature of it. It's competitive, not only in terms of what they do in stadiums but what they do out here. We are going to add a new guy to the mix this week. We are going to give Santonio (Holmes) a punt return or two.
*What is the deal about Carey Davis, why was he back there?
He is an off return man, but the nature in which they were kicking the ball off dictated that we even them out and he was able to get a few balls. But primarily he is a back field escort, if you will.
*Can you talk about the risk of starters as return guys?
These guys are competitors. They play. Of course there are risks and rewards with everything that you do. I grew up in the generation where Darrell Green was a situational return man for the Redskins and when he went back there it kind of electrified the crowd. Hopefully we have a vision of maybe that developing with Santonio (Holmes). We will see how it goes.
*What is the pressure on him not doing it regularly and then all of a sudden you throw him out there?
I think he craves that kind of pressure. That is what kind of makes him who he is.