Tomlin Takes

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Tomlin's Takes: Bullets, red zone, on the rise

  • Not holding back: Coach Mike Tomlin will leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding a winning formula, particularly in the postseason. That means putting the best players on the field at all times, even on special teams, where Mike Mitchell saw action against the Kansas City Chiefs last week on kickoff coverage.

"We are at the point of no return in some of these areas," said Tomlin. "We put Mike Mitchell on kickoff last week because we need tacklers. No need to save bullets now. We are in a single elimination tournament. I don't know if we did anything different schematically, but we look hard at the people we are utilizing and put our very best people on the field regardless of circumstances."

  • Lack of execution: The Steelers struggled putting the ball in the end zone against the Chiefs, getting to at least the Chiefs' 27-yard line seven times, and coming away with six field goals and Ben Roethlisberger being intercepted once.

"The reason we failed to score was multiple things," said Tomlin. "Lack of execution and taking advantage of opportunity at times by us and really quality play by them. They did a great job of showing us a few different things. They got their hands up and disrupted one pass and that turned into an interception. There is a myriad of reasons and all of it boils down to execution, lack of taking advantage of opportunity or just acknowledging quality planning and execution by them."

Tomlin said he doesn't anticipate the same type of issue this week in New England.

"I am not ready to address the potential for that in New England," said Tomlin. "I don't prepare for failure. I don't anticipate us being 0-7 in New England."

Leaps and bounds: For the sixth time this season the Steelers will face an opponent for a second time, and when it comes to the second time around they have had success. The Steelers defeated the Bengals, Ravens and Browns in their second meeting in the regular season, and the Dolphins and Chiefs in the postseason rematch.

This week it's a rematch against the Patriots, who beat the Steelers, 27-16, Week 7 of the season.

"I don't think it has anything to do with the second time around," said Tomlin. "I would imagine the people we are playing are going through the same process as relative to us.

"I think over the course of the season we have been a group of individuals that are on the rise. I think we are growing by leaps and bounds, week-in and week-out. I think the guys individually are growing, not only in terms of technical growth, but understanding. That understanding allows them to play better within the group they are working with, to play more definitively, to make quicker, faster, more definitive decisions. I think that has made us better collectively."

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