Coach Mike Tomlin takes a look at this week's opponent – the Kansas City Chiefs
Q. It's loud for the visiting team in Arrowhead Stadium, and the Steelers have played here often enough to understand that. Is this going to be a silent-count game?
A. Potentially, but we have control over how loud the stadium is by how we perform, particularly initially. I've been talking to the guys a great deal about that. Of course, we're prepared to deal with it because we have to be. We have to make crowd noise a variable that's irrelevant in terms of the outcome of this game.
Q. What have you seen from Tyler Palko?
A. He is very mobile, he makes quick decisions, he's a very talented young man. We expect him to continue to grow from his first outing. We have first-hand knowledge of this guy and what he's about from a football-character standpoint. All of the things are positive in that area. We wish him well in his career, but just not tonight.
Q. Do you expect to see Kyle Orton much tonight?
A. We don't have control over that. If they choose to play him, we'll deal with that in some form or fashion. We're ready for anything. We'll play Len Dawson if they put him in tonight.
Q. How would you evaluate the Chiefs' offensive line?
A. They do a nice job. Brandon Albert, it starts with him, but they just have a bunch of guys who work hard. I know Bill Muir, their offensive line coach, and they're going to get hats on hats, not turn people free, and just fight extremely hard. All the things they have shown – both of their running backs are averaging over 4.0 yards a carry, and that speaks highly for what the line of scrimmage is about and what they're doing there.
Q. Dewayne Bowe is averaging 15.6 yards per catch and also leads the Chiefs in receptions with 48. What makes him special?
A. This guy has distinguished himself as a red zone threat over the past few years, he's a Pro Bowl caliber player. He's big and he's strong, and he's tough to deal with, but the Chiefs have added another man in Jonathan Baldwin who has similar characteristics.
Q. What does Steve Breaston add to the Kansas City offense?
A. He's their catch-and-run guy. He runs the shallow crossing routes, he breaks down the pressure packages. They get the ball in his hands quickly, and they expect him to be a winner against bump-and-run coverage. And he consistently does it.
Q. The Chiefs are ranked No. 13 in the AFC in rush defense. What is going on there?
A. I think safety play has a lot to do with that. Eric Berry was their bell-cow coming into this season, but he got hurt early on in this process and since then it has been a revolving door of men playing the safety position. When you have that kind of revolving door at that position in the NFL, chances are you're not going to have consistent run-fits, and that will cause problems for you.
Q. What about the Kansas City cornerbacks – Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers?
A. They're exceptional. This group has played together for several years now, and both of those guys are coming into their primes of their careers. Both guys are very ball-aware and have very good ball skills. Brandon Flowers particularly has played very good football this year.
Q. Can you see the impact of coordinator Romeo Crennel on the Chiefs defense?
A. No question, and it starts with the fact that they're good on third down, particularly on third-and-long. If you get behind the chains vs. this group – I know we've had some success in recent weeks in converting third-and-long situations – but it's going to be the deep end of the pool for us if we're in third-and-10 or more vs. this group, and Romeo Crennel is the reason why.
Q. Doug Legursky is going to be the starting left guard against the Chiefs. Is this part of an ongoing youth movement?
A. I wouldn't necessarily call it a youth movement. We're just doing what we deem necessary in terms of us winning. Doug has played good ball for us, as has Ramon Foster. Doug is healthy now, and so we're going to let him play.
Q. In your opinion, is Ben Roethlisberger's thumb injury an issue for this week?
A. I think it's going to be a non-issue in terms of his effectiveness. No question it could create some discomfort, but that won't be a deciding factor in how he performs or in the outcome of the game.
Q. As the head coach, do you find yourself having to walk that fine line between keeping the players fresh and keeping the team's focus?
A. I don't worry too much about that. If you're coaching focus in terms of what's in front of us at this juncture chances are you're not going to be successful. I am aware of it, but more than anything I like to focus my time with providing the guys with what it is they need for us to continue on this journey that we're focused on right now.
Q. There has been a lot of attention focused on the team's low number of takeaways so far this season. Is the defense overdue?
A. I don't buy into the overdue philosophy. I believe you create your own opportunities, and I know that we're working hard to increase those. Now we've had an up-swing in that area in recent weeks, and it needs to continue.
Q. Has the video shown any reason for the lack of takeaways?
A. It's nothing mystical. I think you increase the opportunities for turnovers if you're continually on the details, play extremely hard and you finish plays. We're just working to do those things in those areas. Being comfortable with the details of your assignment is part of it. We've played a lot of people, and the more those people get comfortable with the details of their assignments, the more you'll see production in those areas.