Coach Mike Tomlin assesses the Steelers' performance after the team's 16-7 loss to the Washington Redskins on Friday night at FedEx Field in the 2011 preseason opener:
That was not the kind of performance we were looking for or hoping for tonight. Quite frankly, we got outplayed in just about all areas – blocking, tackling, running, throwing, kicking. That team was better prepared tonight than us, and they showed it. We accept that, and I look forward to this group responding to what we put out there tonight and understand that we have a lot of ground to cover. Such is life. I'll expect these guys to respond accordingly, and we'll go back to work, we'll assess this performance and it needs to be better quickly.
Q. You pulled your starters early in this game. Why was that?
A. I pulled them just like I normally pull them in the first preseason game. I followed the same script for the five years that I've been here in terms of their first snaps in the first preseason game. That is unchanged.
Q. Is there anything positive to take from this?
A. We'll let the tape speak for itself. It always does. There weren't a lot of things to feel good about. Of course, Antonio Brown appears to be in great physical condition, but we knew that before we stepped into the stadium tonight.
Q. Was the major problem on third downs for your offense having to do with blitz-pickup?
A. We had some guys accounted for and were physically beaten. We cut some people loose. It just wasn't very pretty, and we all bear responsibility for that, starting with myself.
Q. Cameron Heyward got a little work on special teams as well as defense. Is that something you could see him doing on a regular basis?
A. He's a young guy who is able and willing. Guys are going to have to ante up and kick in in as many ways as possible. He's willing to do it, he shows an aptitude for it, so we'll continue to work with him and others.
Q. What did you see overall from Heyward tonight?
A. He made a play or two, but to be quite honest with you, that's not the type of performance we're looking for from all of us. I'm not going to try to paint a rosy picture in any form or fashion.