Don’t blink: Starting off the season with a 0-1-1 record is definitely something that can create adversity for a team, but for Coach Mike Tomlin it’s all about how you respond to that adversity. And he fully expects his team to respond against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.
“We can’t blink in the face of adversity,” said Tomlin. “There is always going to be adversity in these journeys. We’re starting in the face of some. You don’t get to pick and choose the adversity you’re facing.
“When you face it I know that you better respond to it appropriately. That is what we have been talking about as we prepare for this next game is the response, not the reaction. Reaction is without thought at times. It’s emotional. We want to respond to the adversity that we are facing. We want to proceed with thought. We want to put together a good plan and use guys in the right way in an effort to increase our chance of victory.”
AB’s impact: Antonio Brown had nine catches for 67 yards against the Chiefs, but was targeted 17 times. It was a similar scenario the previous week against Cleveland when he was targeted 16 times and had nine receptions for 93 yards.
It’s not a situation where Brown isn’t able to get separation or anything, it’s more about teams focusing on stopping the all-everything receiver.
“People I would imagine spend a lot of time, particularly in the offseason, working to minimize Antonio’s impact in football games,” said Tomlin. “Particularly people you play in the early portions of the year. They get the schedule and know they know they are going to see you.
“I wouldn’t overreact in any way to what’s transpired with his usage or what people are doing to defend him. The more we play those things level themselves out. This guy is a significant guy. He has been a significant reason why we have been successful around here. He is going to continue to be. It’s just things that happen at the initial portion of the season as you work to gain traction, as you see some new and different things people have been working on, as you see some of the things that people are doing to minimize his impact on the game.”
Expecting more: The Heinz Field crowd didn’t hide their displeasure with punter Jordan Berry on Sunday, when they showered him with boos after he had a net average of 31.6 yards on five punts.
Tomlin didn’t hide his displeasure either when asked if he was comfortable with him as the team’s punter.
“I am not comfortable with the results I’ve seen thus far,” said Tomlin. “It’s got to be better. I thought field position was significant in terms of how that game unfolded. Net punting. They did an awesome job and we’ve got to do better.”
Tomlin did acknowledge that Berry was directed to punt out of bounds in an effort to minimize the impact of returner Tyreek Hill, but it wasn’t as effective as planned.
“We were trying to minimize their return man’s impact on the game for sure,” said Tomlin. “Even with some of that directional stuff I thought we could have been better. It’s reasonable to expect us to be better.”