Postgame Takes

Tomlin: 'We're not looking for perfect'

Coach Mike Tomlin might have said it best postgame.

"It wasn't a perfect performance by any stretch, but we're not looking for perfect," said Tomlin. "We're looking to be good enough to win."

And that is exactly what the Steelers did on Sunday at Heinz Field defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-29, to go 4-0 for the first time since 1979.

"I'm really excited to get the victory," said Tomlin. "It's never easy in the NFL. Got to give Philadelphia a lot of credit, man, they tested us. Their ability to convert third downs offensively I thought was a significant component of the game. Some of it was self-inflicted by us in penalties and missed tackles and so forth. You've got to give their guys credit. They had a good plan, good execution of the plan, and that allowed them to maintain possession of the ball and keep us at bay and stay in it.

"But I like our guys. Collectively, they fought well together. They complemented one another in all three phases of the game. Had a lot of good contributions from a lot of people. Young guys getting an opportunity to contribute.

"(Chase) Claypool, obviously, was a guy that had a big game. But more subtle contributions like Kevin Dotson being called up to step up for David DeCastro. We appreciate the development of those guys. We've got to continue to grow and develop as a team, not only in terms of skills relative to our positions, but our division of labor, our understanding of situational ball. All the while, we've got to do enough to win in the process, and thankful we've been able to do that."

Claypool tied a Steelers record for most touchdowns scored in a game with four, and most points scored in a game with 24. The rookie receiver has made a quick impact on the offense, but Tomlin said it was a team effort that led to that.

"Let's be honest, a lot of it might not even have to do with him and his skillset," said Tomlin. "We've just got a well-balanced attack. We've got guys that people have to account for, guys like JuJu (Smith-Schuster), guys like Diontae (Johnson) and (Eric) Ebron. I just think that he's probably a good matchup for whoever people have assigned to him from a man-to-man standpoint.

"That's the strength of having a deep group of guys that are capable of making plays. Week in and week out, there are going to be different guys that step up just based on the matchups presented. He had a good matchup this week.

"The strength of our pack is the pack, and to have quality depth in guys that are capable of making plays, he was just going to be the guy today. He had a good matchup, and he made some plays, and they found that rhythm. I don't want to make it out to be something more than it is. It was his turn today based on a lot of things, and he was able to deliver."

Tomlin referenced not being perfect and the Eagles ability to convert third downs. They were 10-14, 71%, on third down, including some long third down conversions.

"It was a hodge-podge of things," said Tomlin. "Like I said first, I want to compliment them. They had a good plan, a good execution of plans. They had guys like 13 (Travis Fulgham) stepping up and making combat catches. We had guys in position. They made some plays. They made some plays on the football. Carson (Wentz) made some throws. He stood in there in the face of adversity and made some throws. I don't want to discredit them entirely.

"Could we be better? Certainly. We had a roughing the passer. We gave up the ball down the middle on a long yardage situation. We had things we need to focus on and do better, but I'd be remiss if I didn't compliment them for their plan and also execution of the plan in some of the areas that I mentioned."

Coach Tomlin's Injury Update: "From an injury standpoint, Diontae Johnson took a direct blow to the back. I think he may be available next week. DeCastro had an abdominal injury that's being evaluated. His availability is in question, but I'll have more information for you guys on Tuesday. The rest is kind of bumps and bruises associated with play.

"I know (Maurkice) Pouncey wasn't able to continue. He's being evaluated right now. Don't have a lot of information on his foot."

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