- After further review: Following Sunday's 55-31 loss to the Patriots Coach Mike Tomlin said changes would be made if he saw a lack of effort from players. After looking at the game tape on Monday, Tomlin said what he saw was they were simply outplayed by New England, and effort wasn't the issue.
"We were beaten soundly in the game and dominated in a lot of facets," said Tomlin. "I had concerns about the quality of effort after a performance like that. After combing through the tape there were no blatant breaches of that. I think that is your knee-jerk response after a performance like that when you are defeated in that manner, to look first at those things. There weren't any blatant breaches of effort.
"More than anything we were beaten. As humbling as it may seem we can grow from this and move forward."
- Answers not far away: Tomlin said he feels the answers to turning around the Steelers 2-6 season are still right in the locker room, but at the same time he hasn't ruled out making changes to the roster if it helps the team.
"I am not opposed to and am open to exploring any potential answers in terms of getting consistent, above the line play for us that produces victory," said Tomlin.
Shortly after making his comments, the team signed cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke and released corner Isaiah Green.
Ben plays, AB held out:** Tomlin explained his decision to keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in on the final drive against the Patriots while down 55-31 with just 2:41 to play.
"We are a group that still believes some good football is ahead of us," said Tomlin. "We are also a group that needs to improve. That was an opportunity to continue to do that. The healthy guys were going to stay on the field and play with an attempt to move the ball and get better."
Receiver Antonio Brown was kept on the sidelines after he and Roethlisberger appeared to be talking prior to the final drive. Tomlin said keeping Brown out will have no impact on his playing time moving forward.
"That was my decision," said Tomlin. "We weren't getting quality execution from an assignment standpoint. It created an interception. As opposed to continuing to absorb negativity from that standpoint potentially with some of the things we were doing in the no-huddle offense I chose to remove him from the game. It was my decision."
- Taking a hit: Roethlisberger has been sacked 31 times through eight games this season. Tomlin was asked if it's realistic for the 31-year old quarterback to continue to take that kind of punishment and be productive into his 30s.
"I hadn't pondered any big picture things along those lines," said Tomlin. "I know he is capable of playing winning football for us this week. That has been my focus.
"When you are 2-6 damage to the quarterback is a part of that. It hasn't unfolded the way we would have liked to this point. The quarterback's play is always an integral part of that."
Troy will keep being Troy: Safety Troy Polamalu is given a lot of freedom in the Steelers' defense, and when it works, he is a huge threat. Polamalu admitted to making some judgment mistakes that hurt vs. the Patriots, but Tomlin said that's no reason to rein him in.
"Troy is a versatile guy. He has a unique skill set," said Tomlin. "We need that skill set to do a variety of things for us. He didn't play as well as he would have liked or we would have liked in the last football game. He will continue to play safety for us, he will continue to play linebacker. He will continue to play deep, play in the box, continue to cover in zones and man and blitz as well."