Coach Mike Tomlin takes a look at this week's opponent – the Arizona Cardinals.
Q. After the game against Jacksonville, you said the defense lacked "a signature play." What did you discover was the problem?
A. I don't know that there is a problem. I'm just acknowledging that we're not producing the splash plays right now. We have a formula around here that we believe in: we believe that splash plays are produced by ordinary work done extraordinarily well. So we're just focused on the details of what we're doing and on the urgency and the speed with which we're doing it. We increase those things, not change what we do, and we believe those signature plays will come.
Q. With the injuries to Casey Hampton and Chris Hoke, is Steve McLendon going to have to take all of the snaps at nose tackle today?
A. He better be prepared to do so. Steve's been around. He's not new to us, he's new to this opportunity. We're excited about giving a man like him an opportunity to show and perform for us. We anticipate him playing and playing well.
Q. Since Brett Keisel's return from a knee injury, the defense seems to be invigorated. Is he a difference-maker?
A. He really is. You're talking about a Pro Bowl selection from 2010, a guy who feels the urgency of moments. We, quite frankly, ride a wave of energy that he provides.
Q. Against the Jaguars, the offense converted only two of its third-down situations in the entire second half. Was it execution?
A. It always is execution. Some of it was self-inflicted. You can't get a delay of game penalty on third-and-2 to push it to third-and-7, and things of that nature. We're capable of doing better. We did in the first half, and I expect the guys to do the same in this game.
Q. Ben Roethlisberger was lobbying this week for more no-huddle. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
A. That's a good thing from my perspective. You're talking about a competitor at the quarterback position who wants the ball in his hands and wants to have more control over how games unfold – those are positive things. But we make decisions with our football team in mind, not necessarily the needs and wants of one man.
Q. Mike Wallace is coming off a hamstring injury, so will that reduce the vertical passing game?
A. No, it may just simply provide an opportunity for some other guys who may be capable of getting behind defenses, like No. 88 and No. 84. We're not going to change how we play football, but if circumstances force us, we may change the people doing it.
Q. You had a roughing the punter penalty in the second half against the Jaguars. What did you see from the video?
A. Just that. We aggressively went after the punt. We had something schematically that we felt extremely comfortable with. It came through. The punter made a minor adjustment and slid to his right and was able to get the ball off, so you have to credit him. But we can't run into him when that occurs. We can be aggressive and smart at the same time. We are professionals, and that's what I expect them to be.
Q. The game will be played indoors today. Does that affect the game plan on either side?
A. Not as far as I'm concerned. We're looking to eliminate variables that don't matter, like where you're playing and the conditions in which you play, whatever. If we're going to be the kind of team we desire to be, we're going to eliminate those things.
Q. The face of the Cardinals franchise is Larry Fitzgerald. Are you going to use Ike Taylor against him today?
A. A lot of Ike on him, but it will be Ike and others. That's not a one-man job. Of course we all know what Larry Fitzgerald is capable of. Quite simply, he's one of the best in the world.
Q. What separates Fitzgerald from other elite NFL receivers?A. He's a big guy with little guy skills, in terms of body control, in terms of being able to bend and re-direct, and of course his hands are second to none.
Q. Has Kevin Kolb stabilized the Cardinals' quarterback situation?
A. I think he has. I think he's being inclusive in how he's spreading the ball around – it's not just Larry Fitzgerald – which is sometimes what you see when there is transition or the introduction of new people. He's including guys like Early Doucet, who is leading the AFC in third-down receptions, and Todd Heap when he has been available. Kolb has done a nice job.
Q. Beanie Wells has six rushing touchdowns already. What kind of a player is he?
A. He's a tough, physical, big, explosive runner. He's a quality player. I think it starts there for us, in terms of turning their running game back, which features him.
Q. Over on defense, is Calais Campbell the Cardinals' top player?
A. Campbell is a good player, but you have to give the nod to Darnell Dockett. Here's a guy who is a perennial Pro Bowl player. The last time we saw him, down in Tampa, he had three sacks against us in the Super Bowl.
Q. Lining up behind those guys is safety Adrian Wilson. What kind of player is he?
A. With Wilson, you're talking about stability, because that guy has been back there since 2001 and has done it at a high level. We have a great deal of respect for him, not only as a player but just his professional approach to the game. You'll see today that his right arm is heavily bandaged. This guy is playing with a torn bicep. We do nothing but honor and respect the tough men who play this game, even our opponents.