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Tomlin Takes

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'Tomlin's Takes' on Snell, sacks & drops

Seeing the good: Following Wednesday's win over the Baltimore Ravens, Coach Mike Tomlin definitely wasn't in the celebratory mood, even though the victory improved the team's record to 11-0.

After having some time to reflect on the game, and look back at some contributions, he did find some positives in the win.

"I can't say enough about the individual efforts of Benny Snell, particularly his run demeanor at the end of the game. That is a guy who was really competing, but doing the fundamental things you need a guy at his position to do. He took really good care of the football from a security standpoint. He showed situational awareness a couple of times staying in bounds when he was along the sidelines.

"We had some quality combat like catches from interior guys. I can't say enough about that significant play James Washington made. I thought (Eric) Ebron made some significant plays at the early juncture of the game. I thought JuJu (Smith-Schuster) was ridiculously consistent in his play and has been. There were some things to draw from."

Tomlin also gave praise to center J.C. Hassenauer, who stepped in and started after Maurkice Pouncey was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List.

"I can't say enough about the efforts of J.C., playing center for us at every snap on short notice and really doing a good job, particularly from an assignment standpoint," said Tomlin.

Sack attack: The Steelers have registered at least one sack in 68 straight regular season games (2016-2020), the longest streak in franchise history and the longest active streak in the NFL.

They are just one game away from tying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who hold the NFL record with 69 consecutive games with a sack, done between 1999-2003.

Tomlin, who was on the Tampa staff during part of their streak from 2001-03 as the defensive backs coach, knows what it takes to have a streak like that.  

"Quality players. It starts there," said Tomlin. "Guys like Bud (Dupree) and T.J. (Watt) and Cam (Heyward) and (Stephon) Tuitt. They provide a wave that we ride. They are good individually. They are good collectively. They are consistent in terms of their performances. I have been a part of several groups like that. I was fortunate to be a part of that Tampa group that this group often gets compared to. That is something they both have in common. They have great individual rushers that show up week in and week out. I am fortunate enough to have that perspective.

"The thing I think about when I think about the two groups are the quality individual rushers who rush well together collectively. We've got guys you can characterize as really good individual rushers, but they rush very well together. The understanding of the larger body and how they fit into it makes it happen for them and that is what provides consistency."

Youthful group: One of things Tomlin mentioned in his postgame presser was the drops made by the receivers/tight ends. Tomlin said it is part of the growing pains with a younger group.

"Sometimes when you have a youthful group you see variance in performance," said Tomlin. "We know that we have a youthful group. You don't necessarily accept it. You just acknowledge that it's a potential. For those of us that have been in the business a number of years, sometimes it's associated with maturation. We'll just keep working."

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