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Tomlin Takes

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'Tomlin's Takes' on Ben, Marcus & focus

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Not his first rodeo:** Ben Roethlisberger had the worst performance not just of the season, but his career, against the Jaguars earlier this year when he threw five interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns, in a 30-9 loss at Heinz Field.

Coach Mike Tomlin said he isn't worried about Roethlisberger being overly focused on trying to make up for his own poor performance when the two teams meet on Sunday in the AFC Divisional Round.

"Ben has played ball a long time," said Tomlin. "This is not his first rodeo. His attention will be properly focused on winning the game and not responding to some regular season October performance. He has just been in too many stadiums for that."

  • Up to speed: The Steelers ran the ball only 20 times in the loss to the Jaguars earlier in the season, with Le'Veon Bell carrying the ball 15 times for just 47 yards. The team was without tackle Marcus Gilbert in that game, sidelined with a hamstring injury, but he is now back and the starting line is intact.

"He has done an awesome job of getting back up to speed," said Tomlin. "Marcus missed a lot of time this year for a variety of reasons. We were comfortable with Hubb (Chris Hubbard) and the work he provided us. I am not looking for any significant difference there in terms of how the game might unfold because of that availability. I am glad to have Marcus back and glad that his play is trending in the right direction." 

Elite eight: Tomlin is no stranger to leading his team to the postseason, having done so eight times in his 11 seasons at the helm. But no matter how many times he has been there, he doesn't take it for granted.

"We are extremely excited about being in this tournament," said Tomlin. "We don't take it for granted. There are 24 teams that are on vacation. There are eight teams remaining. It's great to be within that eight. We are singularly focused on this week and specifically the journey that is the preparation of this week. We are excited about stepping into Heinz Field and playing playoff football in front of Steelers Nation."

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