Tomlin on the New York Jets

Coach Mike Tomlin looks at this week's opponent – the New York Jets:

Q. Was fatigue at all a factor in the Steelers' performance in the second half in Denver?

A. We're not going to allow that to be an excuse. The reality is, and what I focus on, is the result, and the result was not a positive one. We didn't execute, particularly in the waning moments of the game both offensively and defensively. We accept responsibility for that and we are accountable for that. Hopefully, that's a lesson learned for us as we move forward and face today's challenge.

Q. Ben Roethlisberger took responsibility for the pick-six that clinched the outcome in Denver. Were there other factors contributing to that play?

A. Minimal. He accepted responsibility for that, and we respect him on many levels and that being one of them. We'll learn from that and move on.

Q. The Steelers ran the ball on seven of their first 10 snaps in Denver. Is this going to be the formula today?

A. We're capable of being whatever we need to be and set tones that we deem necessary to be successful in situations. That's what we thought would be a good start for us in Denver, based on the fact we were in a hostile environment and it was our first game. This week might be different to be quite honest with you.

Q. Did the Broncos do anything special to slow down the running game?

A. No. We just feel like we're capable of being better. Obviously when we got going there and were moving the ball effectively with our no-huddle, I thought Ben did a nice job of including some runs and we were effective with some runs. We just have to continue to work and grow as a football team, particularly in that area.

Q. How would you assess Jason Worilds' performance in Denver?

A. It was acceptable, and more important than that, it was a good start. He showed a decent level of conditioning for a guy who hadn't played, and we expect the arrow to be pointing onward and upward with him, not only in terms of his physical conditioning, but also in terms of his overall play and production.

Q. Larry Foote had a big game in Denver. Did you see that in any way as him stepping forward as a leader on a unit playing that night without James Harrison and Ryan Clark?

A. No, I just think that is what Larry is capable of contributing. He's a veteran guy who has been here. He knows how to play and has made plays for us in the past. I'm more interested in seeing other guys like Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley join him in that area.

Q. Did Peyton Manning surprise you by not showing any rust despite missing all of the 2011 season?

A. Not really. This is a guy who plays the game very well, probably better than anyone above the neck. So much of his game is predicated on that, and so we anticipated him being efficient and effective and being himself, which he was.

Q. After watching the Jets on tape, do you see a tougher Mark Sanchez this year?

A. I've been asked that. I have a great deal of respect for his overall toughness – I've never questioned that. I've spent my time focusing on the differences in the Jets as a team and as an offensive unit. They've got a new coordinator. I think a bunch of the things said about Sanchez are a function of being a quarterback in New York.

Q. Do you see the role the Jets have for Tim Tebow growing as the season wears on?

A. I think it will as situations dictate it. Obviously, the Jets were in control of the game (against the Bills), and when you're in control of a football game a specialty package is a thing you might save for later, or for a rainy day, if you will. Hopefully it'll be a little more rainy for them in Heinz Field this week than it was vs. the Buffalo Bills last week.

Q. Last week, Jets rookie WR Stephen Hill caught both of Mark Sanchez's touchdown passes. What has he brought to the Jets offense?

A. He's a big-bodied young guy. He's got great top-end. He's very good at catch-point,  particularly down the field in combat situations. He's a big guy who plays to his size and is proving himself to be worthy of being a high draft pick.

Q. What makes Jets center Nick Mangold so good?

A. The fact that he's extremely crafty. When you think about some of the things that guys like Kevin Mawae has done over the years, Mangold is quickly becoming that kind of guy. If you make a physical mistake, he makes you pay for it. He has little tricks of the trade that only experience provides. He's just a quality, talented player who has been doing it for some time now, so he has those crafty tricks of the trade that make him even more effective.

Q. The Jets brought in LaRon Landry during the offseason, and he's a tough guy. Is that what he brings to the Jets defense?

A. He's such a legitimate tough guy that it's infectious. It bleeds over into the people around him. He has a definitive playing demeanor, and it's one that I respect. He plays the game extremely hard and fast, and always has played it that way, whether with LSU or the Washington Redskins. I expect their group is going to mirror him in some ways.

Q. What are the keys to this game for the Steelers?

A. More than anything, we have to do a nice job of controlling the turnover battle. It was definitely a shot in the arm for the Jets last week – the three first-half interceptions by that cornerback group, one of which was a pick-six, were critical. Obviously, we have to be sound in the special teams areas, because I thought that punt return for a touchdown last week also was critical for them. Of course, situational football is always going to define us. But more important than anything else, we can't turn the football over, and we have to be in the fight and understand this is going to be a physical matchup.

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