Tomlin 8/19


Coach Mike Tomlin:I thought that we had a very good work day today. We had great tempo and enthusiasm. I liked the practice etiquette; we are learning how to serve one another offensively and defensively. We show teams with different scout teams if you will. I thought that tempo and attention to detail was very good. I thought it was a productive day because of that. Some injuries: Cody Boyd is still limited with a shoulder; (Mike) Humpal probably will not play this week with his neck; (Ryan) Mundy is still working himself back from his high-ankle, he is out of his boot working and is day-to-day – he probably won't play this week as well. On the positive side, we got Troy (Polamalu) back out there today. He ran around and looked pretty good. We will continue to take that day-to-day. We will see how he feel tomorrow morning and then go from there.
Are you limiting Troy at all?
We are. We are being cautious about how we get him back out there. We can't take steps backwards as we proceed. We are very cautious with that.
Is there a chance that he might play on Saturday?
There is a chance. Again, more than anything, it is how he feels tomorrow morning when he comes in here. That will dictate the next step that we take in terms of tomorrow and the next day, etc.
At what point do you think you will name a starting center?
Hopefully after this weekend but we will see.
Can you talk about going back to Minnesota?
It is an exciting trip for me because I have some good friends there. Although I wasn't there for a great deal of time, it felt good to be a part of what we were building there. I thought that it was going to be potentially special. I root for those guys because they are close personal friends of mine. It is professional of course on Saturday night, but it will be great to see them all – players, coaches and front office people.
Who will start at center Saturday?
(Justin) Hartwig will start at center Saturday. We will continue with that this week to give him another opportunity to get some good cohesion with those guys. It is easier for Sean (Mahan) because they have 17-20 games dating back to last year to get an understanding between him and Kendall (Simmons) and so forth. We feel like in order to get a better evaluation, Hartwig needs more time.
Are you happy as a whole coming out of camp?
I am. By no means are we a finished product, but I like some of the things that we are doing. It looks like we are in the second year of a system and we are taking the giant strides that we need to take. Ultimately we will be judged by how we perform inside of stadiums in September and October; we understand that. However, we like where we are at this point.
Do you prefer two quarterbacks or three quarterbacks on your roster?
Generally I am a three quarterback guy. Like we said, we have some options there. Those options will be dictated by a lot of factors. We will weigh them all and make the decision at the appropriate time.
Why do you like three quarterbacks?
I just like a guy in development on the come. Three guys doesn't mean that they are all on the roster. You have practice squad capabilities and so forth if guys are practice squad eligible. We will weigh all of those options.
Considering that they did it in college, is a spread offense with Dennis Dixon and Rashard Mendenhall at all possible?
In some form or fashion it is. Professional football is professional football and there are subtle differences between that and the college game. Some of the things that you can do in college football are because of the hashes and so forth; you can put people on an island that you can't put people on in the National Football League. The ball is always in the middle of the field. On top of that there are very few athletic mismatches on an NFL field like you can get in college football at times.
Do you have any comment on today's passing of Freedom graduate John Challis?
I am really at a loss because I didn't know. My condolences (go out) to his family.

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