Tomlin on the Ravens


Coach Mike Tomlin offers some insight on the Steelers' opponent this week – the Baltimore Ravens.
Q. Were the signings of Corey Ivy and Rocky Boiman directly related to improving the kickoff coverage?
A. They are. Basically we brought in two men who are veteran football players and have roughly 150 special teams tackles between them. They have distinguished themselves in that way. We felt that type of action was needed to be taken in this instance.
Q. What does Boiman bring to the table?
A. He is a four-phase experienced special teams guy. He's adept at punt protection, punt and kickoff coverage. He does it all in the special teams game.
Q. What about Corey Ivy?
A. He made his career in this league as a long-time gunner and gunner-defender. He's adept at covering kicks and has roughly 90-95 special teams tackles.
Q. If Ben Roethlisberger plays today, will he be limited in any way?
A. If he's allowed to play, no. And I think that's important, because we can't work in any gray area in regards to head injuries. If he's cleared to play, he's cleared to play. And if there's any hesitation, he won't play.
Q. Is the Baltimore Ravens defense the same that it has been in recent years?
A. They're a talented group. They've had some turnover, particularly at the cornerback position. They no longer have Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle, but that's a salty outfit and they embody the spirit of their leader, Ray Lewis.
Q. Was the loss of linebacker Bart Scott their biggest loss?
A. It was. This guy is a really good football player, of course, and he was a partner in crime, if you will, with Ray Lewis at the inside linebacker spots. But they're getting good contributions from other guys, such as Jarret Johnson at outside linebacker and Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg are back in the interior of the defensive line for them.
Q. What is Jarret Johnson's calling card?
A. Versatility. This guy lines up and come at you from a variety of locations. He can play on the line of scrimmage, he can play off the line of scrimmage. He's rock solid in underneath coverage. He really has put together a well-rounded game.
Q. The Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco, has better statistics this season than he did last year. Can you see more maturity in him as a player?
A. More than anything, you realize his maturity in their play selection. The Ravens don't play it so close to the vest as they did a year ago. He's a guy who is in command the offense, and you can tell it's built around his capabilities and how he distributes the ball, when they're not handing it to Ray Rice.

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