HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN Sunday, August 17
Coach Mike Tomlin:I'm very excited because we brought to a close what I think has been a very productive camp. The guys are probably excited that it is over. But seriously great work, we are looking forward to putting this phase of our team building behind us. We understand that we are still a work in progress. Even though we are moving back to Pittsburgh, we will keep stacking the bricks of the foundation of our football team here in '08.
A couple quick things on the injury front, a lot of things of course are status quo. Cody Boyd is day-to-day. (Keyaron) Fox is also day-to-day with his back. (Mike) Humpal is day-to-day with his neck. (Ryan) Mundy came out of the boot and ran a little bit today. We will continue to bring him back. Scott Paxson is day-to-day with stingers. Carey Davis wasn't able to finish with an illness. It was a stomach illness, he should be fine.
Of course, we signed Orpheus Roye, a veteran defensive lineman guy who knows how to play the game. He is a professional. We are able to put him in the mix due to the injury of Kyle Clement. We will see what he is capable of doing and work him out. He had a very solid workout and seems to be in pretty good shape, so we will continue on him the next couple of weeks and see if he can find a seat on the bus, if you will. It was great to have Charlie Batch out here, watching us work today. He is a big part of our football team and it was good to see his smiling face. I will answer any questions.
How is Byron Leftwich coming along?
I think he is having a very good week. It was a tall task that we gave him last week until we got him prepared to play. We expect him to take another step this week. I thought he did a solid job last week, but I'm expecting bigger and better things this week.
What is your assessment on this camp so far?
I think it has been very productive. Part of camp that we talked about is coming out of this thing a unified, hard group that is moving in the direction that is ready for battle. I think we are in the process of doing that. Ultimately these camps are measured by wins or losses. We will look back in the spring and evaluate this camp.
Was there anyone who stood out?
Well you know, we are still evaluating the process. There are some guys who did a nice job, but one thing about camp is that there are good days and bad days, people make plays, people make mistakes. It is a growing process and we are still in the midst of it.
Deshea practiced at safety. How is that scenario playing out right now?
Really it is status quo. Deshea (Townsend) is our corner and B.Mac (Bryant McFadden) is the nickel. Deshea has position flexibility. Like William Gay, there are corners who are safety capable. We like to give them a couple of snaps every now and then to make sure that they remain sharp.
Can you tell us what you plan to do after this final day of camp?
Sharpening our swords of battle, football is a violent game. Football is a physical game. It takes skill and technique. We have to continue to hold that element of our game. Penalties are a great indicator of sloppy technique, if you will. We have to continue to hold the helmet of our game because at the end of the day, it is a skilled game and I think this team is going to have to suffer.
Is it possible for you to hold a roster spot for Charlie Batch?
We will make that decision when we have to. Right now, we are just evaluating everything day-to-day. There are so many things that could happen between now and when we have to make that roster cut that it is a waste of time to speculate on those at this point. People can get hurt, and so forth and so on, so we don't waste time worrying about that at this point.
Do you expect Troy (Polamalu) to start practice Tuesday?
Yes, I think that he is. He is going to run some. He ran some again today. We will see where he is on Tuesday.
Do you think that he (Troy Polamalu) is underappreciated around the league, perhaps?
I guess you'd have to ask the league that. I know that we appreciate him. He is a valued member of this team in his offense specifically. I know 7 has an appreciation for him, as does the coaching staff.
*Jeff (Reed) was talking today about the holders and a few punters. We know they aren't all going to stay here but who might be the back up holder?
We have a secret weapon and his name is Hines Ward.