Tomlin on the Browns, Ben, Hoyer


Q. What's your sense of what you're going to be facing in terms of the atmosphere in Cleveland today?**

A. I don't know if I have any preconceived notions in that regard. I know Steelers Nation always shows up a little bit more than I usually anticipate. I guess if I'm anticipating anything, I'm anticipating that.

Q. Players and coaches have changed, many of them weren't even born back in the day when there was real hatred in these Steelers-Browns games, but the people who sit in the stands remember that.

A. I never worry about the people in the stands. That really has no bearing on what's going to transpire on the field, or any bearing on what actually transpires on the field. I don't know the thoughts and feelings of those people. I do know that Jim Brown is not playing for the Browns today, so I'm excited about that.

Q. When one team loses to another team a lot, does that have any carryover from one generation of players and coaches to the next?

A. I don't know that it does for the teams. The guys on our team don't carry the baggage of the past. The guys on their team don't carry the baggage of the past when you really think about it. Does Brian Hoyer care about how often the Steelers beat the Browns over the last decade? Does Terrance West care? Does Ben Tate really care about that? They don't. By the same token, we have a lot of young guys playing significant roles who really don't care about the amount of success we've had against the Browns. That's really irrelevant to Le'Veon Bell. So from that perspective, I think it's different for the player than maybe it is for the observer or the fan. The players don't bring the type of baggage, the emotional baggage of history that oftentimes the fans and the people watching it and following it do.

Q. Is there anything you can take from the opener against the Browns and use in the preparing for this game today?

A. Certainly. There's a lot more tangible, real evidence of what a team is once you get into a season as opposed to the opener. You're betting on the come a lot of times in the opener, or piece-mealing personality together based on the things they're working on during preseason football games or portions of preseason football games. We're now looking at a month of real video of Cleveland Browns offense and defense and special teams in real football games. There's definitely more of a sense of who and what they are this time around than there was in the opener. You couple that with the fact there was a new staff and a lot of new personnel, there's a lot more known things for us this time around than there were in the opener. I'm sure they could say the same thing, but probably to a lesser degree because we're a staff that has been together and a team largely that has been together in a lot of ways. This game will be different, and different in a lot of ways, just because of that information.


Q. What do you need from Ben Roethlisberger in a situation like this?**

A. Just to be his best self. To be him, do what he does, which is take our team into a hostile division environment and lead them to victory. He's measured by that. He embraces that. And I think ultimately that's what the game and the position of quarterback is about.

Q. Tell me something about Brian Hoyer that's not on the scouting report.

A. He's got a quiet confidence about him that you'd never know unless you had been around him in a work-like setting. Not arrogant. But definitely doesn't take a backseat to anyone. We signed him in a situation where he came in to be a short-term fill-in, third, fourth quarterback, and he did not have a third, fourth quarterback mentality. And this had been a guy who was unemployed for several weeks when we acquired him. It's a real confidence, and I think he's displaying that as he plays. And that's one of the things that allows him to deal with some of the things he's dealt with – the Manziel distractions, and so forth. He's got real confidence, and I think it helps him.

Q, How did that confidence manifest itself while he was in Pittsburgh?

A. The command of the scout team offense, and the approach he took to that business, and the ownership that he took, not only for his own play but the play of the other 10 guys in the huddle. And how active he was in helping the defense prepare. But really it showed itself in everything he does. He fits the description in that regard.

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