Postgame Takes

Tomlin on availability, unleash mentality & more

Nobody's perfect: The Steelers are 10-0 for the first time in franchise history following the team's 27-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday.

But don't think Coach Mike Tomlin is about to pat anybody on the back, or hand out gold stars, for what the team has accomplished so far.

"We did the job today. We checked the boxes," said Tomlin. "It wasn't perfect. But nothing is perfect about us except our record. We talked openly about that last night. We want to wear it the proper way. We want to step into stadiums and be prepared to fight and compete every week and understand that we are going to get people's best shot. So, I liked the general attitude today. We were able to get the job done and we will get ready for our short week."

A short week is exactly what the Steelers have. They play the Baltimore Ravens, a team coming off an overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans, on Thanksgiving night at Heinz Field. Tomlin knows it's going to be a battle and is excited for what is ahead on a night when all eyes will be on the AFC North. 

"We are back in the AFC North, in the hot kitchen on Thursday night and we are honored to do that, to entertain on that special day and be a part of that," said Tomlin. "We don't take that for granted. We have some work ahead of us."

Having a day: Terrell Edmunds was asked by a reporter during the week leading into the Jaguars game about being one of the guys on defense without any splash plays, including no sacks. He quickly reminded the reporter that he does have a sack, and on Sunday he reminded Jaguars quarterback Jake Luton that he can make splash plays too.

Edmunds had two interceptions against the Jaguars, while adding four tackles.

"This guy has logged a bunch of snaps," said Tomlin of the young safety. "I think his best ability is his availability. When you look at his career, as a young guy he has logged a bunch of snaps and over the course of time he has gained quality experience because of it. He has taken that experience and continually made himself a better player really in all areas. In run/pass recognition…I can't say enough about his run game fits and the way he is playing in that element of the game here in 2020.

"But largely his game has been on the upswing because he is a young guy who is diligent and a young guy that is very available. And when you are very available and diligent it's reasonable to expect your play to improve and his has."

Riding the wave: The Steelers defense continues to be a dominant force, wreaking havoc week-in and week-out on opponents. And that was once again the case on Sunday against the Jaguars.

The Steelers intercepted Luton four times, the other two at the hands of Minkah Fitzpatrick to give the team 15 interceptions on the season. Stephon Tuitt recorded a sack, giving the Steelers a streak of 67 games with a sack, two away from tying the NFL record. Luton was stymied by the defense all day, finishing with a quarterback rating of 15.5.

Overall, it was another day of Steelers defense. 

"The guys are playing hard, and playing fast and collectively well," said Tomlin. "We're getting turnovers. I think the catalyst for it all is the guys are playing extremely hard and fast. That as a collective. I think that creates the frenzy that provides the wave that we ride."

Coach Tomlin on injuries:
"Zach Gentry had a significant knee injury in game. I will have an update on that I am sure for you tomorrow. All of the others were minor bumps and bruises associated with play, even Joe Haden. He was able to go back into the game after he sustained an injury. But with bumps and bruises on a short week we aren't taking anything for granted. We'll assess those and update you guys appropriately and put together a plan that is focused on the healthy guys. I think that is the appropriate thing to do on a short week."

Follow-up question on JuJu Smith-Schuster's injury:
"I don't think it's anything major and that is why I just associated it with the bumps and bruises of play. It could be a factor for him, it could be a factor for others dealing with a short week."

He said it:
On if they unleash the defense more going against a young, inexperienced quarterback:
"No, we just have an unleash mentality regardless of who we play."

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 11 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field

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