Tomlin talks Steelers vs. Packers at Heinz Field


Opening Statement: **Good afternoon, I just want to address some topics regarding the Green Bay game. We are excited for the opportunity for to perform at Heinz field in front on our fans. That's why I have my Steelers Nation Unite shirt on. It's always good to be in front of them, starting out our relationship with them for 2015. We will look at the stadium's renovation in terms of how it plays out during the game for us. But largely, the evolution process continues for this group. It is a significant step for us in terms of details and what it is in some of the things that we are looking for that I will tell you here in a few minutes. From a play-time standpoint we are going to take the same approach that we took a week ago in that all the healthy guys are scheduled to play. We are going to look to play the first wave of guys more than we did a week ago, the extant of that is not a cookie cutter discussion, and it really depends on who you are taking about and the position that they play. Sometimes it's just based on things that we want to see from individuals, and sometimes it's about the relative depth of a position. So we won't move groups in that regard. You've seen throughout the course of the year that we haven't done that in some instances and have given some young guys extended looks, and in some other instances we've pulled some veteran guys out, things of that nature. That will continue. The big thing is that we get enough looks at a lot at guys that we can make proper evaluations off of and also we give the guys what they need to continue to grow and develop and push towards game readiness in some instances. Some guys need more reps than others for obvious reasons, youth and so fourth, so we are going to provide that. Some guys that we can characterize as out at this point in terms of lack of participation in this week: Lawrence Timmons, I am not overly alarmed with his turf toe but he hadn't practiced this week. We will exercise some caution. Josh Harris hasn't practiced this week. We won't anticipate him working. David Nelson is out also. Vince Williams is really starting to get close with his hamstring but probably not close enough to participate. And C.J. Goodwin hasn't worked a lot this week and we shouldn't expect him to preform in the game. An injury update, Senquez Golson had shoulder surgery this morning. I don't have an update. Obviously we will do what is appropriate after visiting with the surgeons post operation, but it has been a good couple weeks for him. We had known that surgery was probably something that was going to be necessary from the time that he got here but being a young guy and being in this environment we thought that a lot could be gleamed from that and thought that it could be a great experience for him whether or not he was participating. That's why we waited to get the surgery. He's been in this setting and been in the meetings and been wired in by being an active participant. Hopefully these couple weeks have been beneficial to him but as we exit here we thought that it was appropriate to go ahead and get that fixed so we did. Maybe I will have an update for you the next time we get together after I visit with the doctors and get some details there but we did get him fixed. The big thing in this game is that we are going through more of a process of preparation for this game than we have other games, working off the cards and looking at the opponent and their personalities. I expect that to be reflected in our play, not to discount or make excuses for lack of education in the other performance because this is very much apart of the process. Part of not game planning and preparing is stressing to see who understands fundamental rules football, who can play things based on rules, who understands the rules, who can play above the line without a game plan specific thing. To be honest, for us to be successful we have to be good at both. We have to have a great football general understanding to be able to play rules ball and be able to play unseen because obviously you can get into the stadiums and see some of those type of things. But also we have to be able to prepare and show that preparation from a detailed standpoint and from the execution of a game plan standpoint relative to what we anticipate from an opponent. Those types of things are going to be what makes this interesting and that are going to make this outing a little bit more significant than the other as we continue this process. These are some of the things that we are excited about. We expect to play some more experienced players at special teams than we have at the first couple of opportunities. I wanted to take some time to get to know some young people and put them in positions during the first couple of weeks. There are some known guys and some commodities in the special teams game that we haven't given a lot of special teams work to this point. We are going to start that process in this game, guys like Robert Golden, Terence Garvin, Sean Spence, Will Johnson, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Antwon Blake, Dri Archer and guys of that nature are going to see more special teams work then they have seen. In some instances you are going to see some of their first work on special terms in a stadium. These guys have been working in a camp-like setting. To a degree we know what they are capable of more than some others that we have focused on. But we are not going to take anything for granted, we are going to take those guys to the stadium and put them in situations and watch them preform. We are also highlighting some position flexibility things. We value position flexibility in guys that are capable in doing more than one thing and we are starting to see some of that, some of it by design and some of it by the attrition the game presents. We will look at Chris Hubbard at center. He has been working a lot at guard but has practiced some at center and has some of that in his background. We will take him into the stadium with that. Alejandro Villanueva is going to play some at right tackle. He has worked a lot at left tackle. He'll be exclusively at right tackle this week so it's going to be opportunity for him there. Tyler Murphy is working exclusively at wide out this week. He has done both in terms of quarterback and wide out and he has progressed well. We just want to see what he looks like at the wide receiver position after a week of exclusively working at that position. He has had a good week and we will look to see if he can take it into the stadium. Ian Wild has done some nice things at inside linebacker. In the earlier portions of camp he was getting an extended look at safety do to short lines at that position and he really represented himself in a positive way. Now we have some short lines at the inside linebacker spot. He has a history in that area and shown some really good aptitude and we'll see if he can take some of that into a stadium. So position flexibility is another thing that we are looking at. A lot of things in the fire but such is life this time of year. I am excited about doing it in Pittsburgh and doing it in Heinz Field in front of our fans.

Are you anticipating that Golson might be back?
I don't want to speculate until I visit with the doctors. He is probably out of his surgery now but I haven't talked to those guys.

Had that injury not happened, would you still have looked to get Brandon Boykin?
We had communicated with those guys for some time in that regard. Speculation is never a good thing. Hindsight is always 20-20. We had some interest in Boykin regardless.


What did you see from Villanueva last year that made you transfer him to the offensive line?**
He is a big guy and has the frame of an offensive tackle. He has that in his background, he is a smart guy and he is a driven guy. Obviously it takes some special characteristics to do some of the things that he has done in life, outside of football. All of that in itself showed he could potentially be able to do some of the things that we have seen him do.

Based on what you have seen in camp how do you feel about the depth of the defensive line?
I think that I am still gaining a level of confidence in understanding in what we have in that. Because I am still learning about the guys and so I think that we are writing that script. Like I said the other day, we have three full games left to play so I am not trying to paint with a broad brush at this juncture. I truly believe that there is going to be enough snaps that the picture will make itself clearer over time if we don't rush to judge. I have been pleased with some of the canadites working in that area obviously it will be excited to get them back in uniform in this game and they are probably one of the central figures in regard to depth. But we will let those guys write the story.

How is the competition shaping up at punter?
I think both Brad Wing and Jordan Berry have had their moments. I didn't know much about Jordan, but I've been very impressed. We will continue to work them with Wing getting the first half in the first two games and Berry getting the second. You have to acknowledge that holding is an element of it as well and both guys have represented themselves well in that area.

Do you evaluate punters more out here or during games?
Both. Out here you are looking for a large body of work that displays consistency and during games you want to see them rise to the moment.


The Pittsburgh Steelers participated in their second to last training camp practice.

Do you know if the new addition to the stadium will have any impact on the wind?**
I don't overanalyze, because I don't kick. But, I expect the ball to go through the uprights.

Was the idea to always transition Ian Wild to linebacker?
No. We acknowledged that he had a background in both areas, but I think that was most intriguing about him was his special teams background. He's a football player first and a position guy second, similar to a lot of our guys. But, he's an above the line special teams player.

What have you seen from Kevin Fogg?
He makes plays on the ball and has a can do attitude. I really think he's displayed a consistent mental toughness that you value. We will continue to give him quality looks so he can display his talents.

Is this a game where you might be rotating some of the younger guys in against an offense like the one the Packers have?
We don't care who we play. We just focus on us and how we execute and play. Obviously, it will be a great test to have a guy like Aaron Rodgers and a team of this quality facing us at this juncture, but it doesn't dictate our plan.

Would you like another week out here?
I could play out of Latrobe. I love the environment and the singular focus associated with training camp, but I'm guessing not many share my perspective.

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