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Tomlin on hammers, Josh, Martavis

Q. Did the video from the game against the Bills present you with a lot of "teaching opportunities?"

A. This time of the year, whether the video is positive or negative it provides those kinds of opportunities, but particularly so under those circumstances. There were a lot of things to address, technical things, effort things, attention to detail things. It was a good video to watch. Mental and physical things, and that's usually the case. Usually when things unfold in the manner in which they did in Buffalo, it's a myriad of things.

Q. If the video is a teaching tool, and the performance was largely negative as it was against the Bills, does the tool become a hammer that you use to hit the players over the head?

A. Sometimes. Sometimes not. Sometimes you just teach. Basically what I try to do is provide this group with what it is I feel they need at a particular moment. Sometimes it's a hammer, particularly when it's those circumstances, but sometimes it's not.

Q. What's the distinction in your mind, as to when it's a hammer or not?

A. It's not something I can fully express in words. It's a feel. It's knowledge of the group individually and collectively, and you gain that knowledge over time spent. I really don't think a lot about it. It's really innate for me.


Q. Will Mike Vick get more snaps tonight against the Panthers?**

A. He will, and he's got a full body of work this week in preparation. Last week, it was about getting him in the stadium and getting his feet wet. This week it's going to be more detailed and more expansive in what we're asking of him.

Q. This preseason finale against Carolina has a history of its own. It's the last opportunity for many of these players to show you they deserve a spot on the roster, is it not?

A. It's the last-stop café for a lot of men. It's one of the things that makes this interesting. I really value this week and what this game means. As a matter of fact, we tell our guys that this preseason game is weighted differently. They have an opportunity to make a strong statement in their last chance to play, and really that represents a lot of the pressures associated with playing NFL football. So we don't seek comfort in that regard. We acknowledge what it is: a last opportunity to state a case, and the men who are capable of putting together the performances to do that display the mental toughness that's going to allow them to help us.

Q. Since there is only a seven-day period between the end of the preseason and the start of the regular season with that game against New England, will you rest your starters tonight?

A. We're not going to play them, a lot of those established guys, and really it's a blessing in disguise, because this opportunity is about stating a case. It's going to be extended play for a lot of those guys trying to state a case for themselves. I look forward to our veteran players supporting them.

Q. Have you ever been around a football team that lost two placekickers in three weeks?

A. Not to my knowledge, but it may have gone on around me when I was a position coach and I would have been a lot less concerned than I am now (laughs).


Q. What does Josh Scobee bring to the Steelers?**

A. He's a been-there, done-that guy. He's a known commodity in this business. The body of work he put together in Jacksonville speaks for itself. We're excited and feel blessed to acquire a man like that, with that type of credibility, under the circumstances.

Q. In your handling of the Martavis Bryant situation, did you find yourself becoming more of a father than a coach?

A. There are elements of that in any discussion, but when we're talking about substance abuse, we have to acknowledge that the discussion is much bigger than football. What we're talking about here is this young man's life, so I take off my whistle in those circumstances and provide him the guidance and support he needs in that area.

Q. You said you take your coaching whistle off for a situation such as that, do you feel confident when you're talking to someone in this situation that you're getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

A. No.

Q. When dealing with your own children, maybe they have a "tell" that alerts you when they're lying.

A. These guys do, too.

Q. How do you go into that situation, then?

A. I have 53 individual relationships, or at this time of the year, I have 75 individual relationships, and I base my approach on those individual relationships. I might approach that interaction differently, depending upon who it is.


The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Carolina Panthers.

Q. In dealing with this type of situation, when do you cross over from concern to we're-moving-on?**

A. Usually that's painfully evident. It's not something I sit around and think about or plan for, but when you're there you know it.

Q. Tyler Murphy has shown some nice athleticism. Might this provide an opportunity for him at wide receiver?

A. More than his athletic ability, he is embracing the nuances that come along with the position. He's got a background at quarterback, but he has the athletic skill that lends itself to maybe a position change, but not if his mind's not for it. To give him credit, his mind has been for it.

Q. How can a fifth preseason game help the 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers?

A. It's just another opportunity for a young guy to have his arrow pointed up. There have been a lot of guys who have had ups and downs during the preseason, and this game just gives them another opportunity to step into a stadium and prove they have rebounded from it. Case in point is Jesse James. He had a less-than-ideal Hall of Fame Game, and his arrow is gradually pointing up since then. To step into a stadium again and add to that body of work benefits him and benefits those like him.

Q. Based on the ability to prepare for the opener of the 2015 regular season, when do you think is a fair date for the Tom Brady suspension to be resolved one way or the other?

A. I don't care. I really don't. I don't have control over it. I don't understand the process. I haven't followed the process in great detail. I'd imagine we'll find out when the Patriots find out, and they're probably more interested in finding out whether he'll be available than we are.

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