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Tomlin Takes

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'Tomlin's Takes' on balance, celebrations

On the run: The Steelers have stuck to their ground game the last two weeks, and it's paid off. Against the Bengals the breakdown was 43 running plays, and 25 pass plays, including Robert Golden's pass on a fake punt.

Le'Veon Bell had 35 carries for 134 yards, his second straight 100-yard plus game.

Coach Mike Tomlin said it's a combination of what is working, as well as what the opponent is giving them, that plays into the decision of going run heavy or pass heavy, but balance is the main focus.

"We seek balance," said Tomlin. "That balance allows us to be successful regardless of circumstance. Our personality the last couple of weeks is a reflection of us, but it's also a reflection of the variables that the week's challenge presents. We were run heavy because we feel confident in our ability to run the football and the blocking of the guys up front, but also the matchups we had lent us to those things. I think if you want to have any type of sustainable success in this league, in any phase, you better have balance. You better be able to do multiple things, with multiple people, and that's what we're hunting."

Celebrate good times: The NFL backed off a little this year on throwing a flag on touchdown celebrations and the like, and it's created some fun, but also some confusion. Against the Chiefs two weeks ago Le'Veon Bell was penalized, and later fined, for his celebration when he boxed with the goal post. He said he didn't know at the time that he couldn't use the goal post as a prop in that manner.

Tomlin said celebrations are something he doesn't mind, as long as the players are smart about it and stay within the rules.

"We revisited the concept of celebration and the reality is I don't think any of us are really solid on what the rules are because of how the change happened," said Tomlin. "It happened late in the spring after the meetings. To get consistency and clarity in that area I think is important for us."

Things went much better against the Bengals after JuJu Smith-Schuster's 31-yard touchdown, when he played a game of hide-and-seek with Bell.

"For those that celebrate, it's important that they err, and err on the side of caution if necessary," said Tomlin. "I have no problem with the celebrations. JuJu's cute and all of that, provided it doesn't cost our football team. I think they are doing the necessary research to make sure they are within the lines. I don't anticipate that being an issue moving forward." 

Picking it up: Tomlin always says he likes to see how his players and team respond to things, especially adversity, and from the sound of things Eli Rogers has responded in a perfect manner. Rogers was inactive for two games after fumbling a punt against the Bears, but has been active the last two weeks.

With Tomlin revealing that Smith-Schuster is in concussion protocol, Rogers could be someone they go to more this week. Either way, Tomlin likes what he has seen from him.

"I like the work that he has done," said Tomlin. "That's another guy that has been doing really well at practice and really focused and I am excited about him getting an opportunity whether JuJu is available or not. I like the overall trajectory of his game, particularly in recent weeks."

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