Tomlin 9-25

HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN SEPTEMBER 25, 2008

Coach Tomlin: I thought it was a good practice today. It was good to get Deshea Townsend out there today and watch him run around a little bit. We will continue to watch his progress as we will the others as we push closer to game day. I'll answer any questions.
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Any chance of Bryant McFadden starting?

He is the starter right now. He has performed at a high level and Deshea (Townsend) is not 100 percent ready to go. Right now we are just trying to see if Deshea (Townsend) is capable of playing for us at this point. So we are not questioning McFadden starting for us.

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Is Troy Polamalu OK?
I think he is. He is going to be able to go tomorrow. He needed a couple of days to get the quad contusion settled down. I think he is ready to go. I know he is chopping at the bit. Maybe it is just us exercising a little caution at this point, which is ok by me. He will practice tomorrow.

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How is his hamstring?
It is more of a quad contusion, bruise.

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Is it the same leg as the hamstring?
I don't know. He is better to answer that than I. It gets confusing, left leg, right knee. I have a lot of people to think about.

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Re: Bruce Arians taking blame for loss against Philadelphia:
If that is his statement, I am sure he stands by it. I am less concerned about that and more concerned about making the corrections collectively and getting ready to perform on Monday. That is in out rear view mirror. We can waste all of our time talking about what happened in Philadelphia. Or we can waste time patting ourselves on the back talking about what happened against the Texans. We move it behind and we move forward. That is where we are. I agree with it.

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Are you trying to limit and focus this week?
It is a philosophical belief that I have when you are not on the screws and you talk about multiple people working together. You reduce to make sure people are on the same page and as you have that understanding and comfort of confidence in the group, you then go back to doing what it was you were doing and go back to the standard. That is the philosophy I believe in and that is the philosophy we are taking.

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Do you plan to go with five defensive lineman?
Potentially.

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Do you like what you have been seeing in practice with Rashard Mendenhall
I have and really it goes back to the last couple of weeks. He has had some good practices. He is growing every day and that is what we look for from those young guys. He has done that. Hadn't had an opportunity to deliver in a big way on the game field, but we will see this weekend. But we do like where he is.

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Will Mendenhall return kickoffs?
He is catching them this week. But it also depends on how many we will get during the course of the game. We know that Mewelde Moore is capable in that area as well.

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Re: Ray Lewis talking about Mendenhall's fumbles:
We expect it, it is obvious, it is on tape. We haven't talked extra about it whatsoever. It is part of being a professional. We are interested in ball security and not because Ray Lewis said so. I am familiar with that more than anything. I think he was just responding to a question.

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