Rotation continues: Coach Mike Tomlin normally opens his press conference with an evaluation of the previous game and injuries. On Tuesday, before getting into that mode he tackled two topics. One penalties (which you can read about here) and the other the rotation at cornerback.
Artie Burns, Coty Sensabaugh and Cameron Sutton have all been getting snaps at the right cornerback spot, and the plan is for that to continue until one of them steps up and takes control of the starting spot. Burns started the first two games, while Sensabaugh started against the Buccaneers. Sutton started at left corner last week with Joe Haden sidelined with a hamstring injury.
“We’ve given up some big plays, particularly at the cornerback position,” said Tomlin. “We’re playing a number of people. We’re just going to continue to play a number of people until someone distinguishes themselves. They’ve all had their moments, them being Artie, Coty, and Cam Sutton. We’ve been playing them all. We’ve given up some balls down on the grass really in just about every instance. We’ll continue to play all three of those guys. All three of those guys work hard. They’re putting themselves in position to make the plays, but they’re not making enough of them. Until we get that the rotation will continue.”
Haden returned to the lineup against the Bucs, and Tomlin felt he was a stabilizing force in the secondary.
“It was good to have Joe back in the game,” said Tomlin. “I think his presence was felt, and felt early in the game. The first third down, being ball aware and breaking up the pass and then going on and having the type of game he had. It’s good to have him back in the fold as we sort through some unsteady times at the spot opposite of him.”
Stepping up: Matt Feiler made his first start at tackle, filling in on the right side for Marcus Gilbert, and only his second NFL start in Monday night’s win against the Buccaneers. Feiler stepped up big, and Tomlin actually thanked a reporter for asking about Feiler’s performance, saying he would be remiss if he didn’t acknowledge the job he did.
“I thought Matt did an excellent job,” said Tomlin. “Not surprised by it. We don’t take our contributions from our starters in waiting for granted. We expect those guys to perform well. At the same time we appreciate it. Guys like B.J. Finney over the last several years has had an opportunity to prove that he is capable in those ways. Matt hasn’t had a lot because we have had guys like Chris Hubbard. For him to get an opportunity, I think that is his second start, to come in and play the way that he played and be a part of a winning performance is big for him and big for us.”
Having confidence: The struggles continued for Chris Boswell against the Bucs, missing a 47-yard field goal and an extra point, both of them hitting the upright. Boswell is one for four on field goal attempts to date, and has missed two extra points, stats which aren’t the norm for the dependable kicker.
“He is a heck of a kicker. He is our kicker,” said Tomlin. “I am concerned about the ball not going in. I am not concerned about him. I have a great deal of confidence in him. He will get it turned around. I will acknowledge that it hasn’t been where we need it to be thus far.”