Tomlin Takes

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'Tomlin's Takes' on quick turnaround, Ben & more

Quick turnaround: Coach Mike Tomlin opened his press conference on Monday admitting he didn't even have time yet to watch the tape from Sunday's win over the Baltimore Ravens as there isn't much time as they take on the Minnesota Vikings on the road on Thursday Night Football.

Everything is moving full speed ahead, with no time this week to look back and reflect on the win.

"There are a lot of things that have our attention, but probably the most important aspect of it is our approach to business this week," said Tomlin. "The things that we value in preparation and how we allocate our time and the things that we push to the front of the line in terms of preparedness. That's a critical component of it.

"When you're playing on a Thursday night, you're working on a short week. It's unrealistic to think that you can get all the things done that you desire to do, but certain things carry a higher priority than others. Those of you that have been around us know that situational football is a component of that. Those weighty downs, those possession downs, short yardage, red zone, goal line, etc. We've got to make sure that we have a good comprehensive plan in those areas regardless of circumstance.

"So, we roll our sleeves up and we go to work. We're excited about doing so and look forward to getting back in the stadium here rather soon."

This isn't Tomlin's first rodeo when it comes to quick turnarounds for a Thursday night game, but each one of them can be different based on the team's circumstances.

"It just really depends on your present circumstance when you get to these games," said Tomlin. "The overall health of your team, where it is occurring in the journey. There are a lot of variables. I don't deal with it in a cookie cutter fashion. I look at the present circumstances and the makeup of this group.

"For instance, last year we had a very veteran group in a lot of ways. This year, we have a very young group in a lot of ways. So even if some of the other variables are very similar, it probably leads you to approach it in a different manner just because of the lack of experience of many of the key components of our group. Whether they're new to the National Football League or new to us, it's still a challenge."

Having a ball: He has done it time and time again, and on Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger orchestrated the 11th game-winning drive of his career against the Ravens in the fourth quarter/overtime. It's the most game-winning drives by any quarterback vs. any opponent.

Roethlisberger completed nine of 10 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, along with converting on a two-point conversion while amassing a 158.3 passer rating.

After the game, Tomlin gave Roethlisberger the game ball for his performance.

"I've been in a lot of circumstances like that with him and he usually does what he did last night," said Tomlin. "And not only that, but he relishes those opportunities. You want to educate young players too. I'm sure Ben's got a lot of game balls at the house, but it was also a point to be made to the young player: what's desired and expected. Our young players get an opportunity to learn a lot from guys like Ben and Cam (Heyward), not only in terms of how they conduct themselves and the things that they say, but how they perform and how they perform in those thick moments. You get to be Ben, you get to be Cam, for a reason. Because of your ability and your willingness to consistently rise up in those moments and deliver."

Not an insult: Last week several former Steelers were critical of the team's performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, saying it wasn't up to the standard.

And honestly, current players and coaches uttered the same thing.

After defeating the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, another AFC North foe, Tomlin talked about the rivalry between the two teams and how it brings out the best in the black and gold and added that he hopes it was a game that the alumni look at differently.

"Just the competitiveness," said Tomlin. "Whether we like it or not, I'm talking about us and the Ravens. We're tied together. There've been some significant games. It's about the men that have played in these games, the standard that they hold the current players to. Guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and others, guys on this side like Alan Faneca, Troy Polamalu, those gold jacket types that have had an opportunity to watch for 15 years that really kind of set a standard in the series that we all have to play to and uphold, and we are appreciative of that. Hopefully, we made those Steelers alumni proud with our efforts tonight."

On Monday, Tomlin was asked to follow up on his comment about making the alumni proud and if he took their critical comments personally.

"I don't view it as an insult," said Tomlin. "I know many of the men and I know the spirit in which they deliver the message is motivational. If they were wearing helmets and in the locker room, those are some of the things that they would be saying. It's motivational. It's a brotherhood. It's a fraternity that, unless you're involved in it, it's difficult for you to understand. But definitely not seen as insulting in any way."

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