Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media following the 20-10 loss Monday night to the Cincinnati Bengals and below is the transcript from the press conference.
Opening Comment: We are a frustrated group right now. I just told the group that is a natural response. More important than that a couple of things we have to accept and acknowledge and number one we weren’t good enough tonight. We accept that. I emphasize tonight, like I just emphasized it to that group in there. There is a certain amount we need to swallow with this and rightfully so. We’ve got to remain unwavered collectively. We need to continue to work and move forward. It starts with that acknowledgement that they were a better team tonight. Our margin for error was minimal. A splash play there in the first half and then turn the ball over and then didn’t have the appropriate response on defense. That sequence was probably a minimum of a 10-point swing. Early in the second half I thought we had a big third down conversion that was going to flip the field and we had a penalty. That brought that drive back. We didn’t move the ball enough in the second half collectively to remain in the thing in a manner in which we would like to. We have work to do. We don’t hide from that. We accept that, embrace that and understand there is a certain amount of misery that comes with the position we are in. We’ll wear it. We won’t like it, but we’ll wear it. More importantly we’ll continue to work and get better as a football team and particularly with our next opportunity.
After the David Paulson fumble, it looked like Ben Roethlisberger was going to run a play real quick, spike it or something, but didn’t. Was that his call there?
That is always a collective thing. Sometimes when you are on the grass you have a different perspective or a better perspective than maybe those on the sideline. I don’t know what he saw. He is probably in better position to answer that. But largely when you get those types of plays, particularly on the road, they are not going to allow you to get up there and snap it. Their replay booth is going to work in conjunction with their sideline to make sure they get the necessary looks. The bottom line is the ball was on the ground.
You called last week unacceptable. It sounds like a softer tone this week. Is this something you build on?
This is unacceptable too. We step into stadiums to win and we didn’t do that tonight and I started by just acknowledging that fact.
Do you think the answer is in that room or do you need to look outside?
I believe honestly the answers are still in that room.
Will Markus Wheaton be a part of that?
He will be.
Re: Offensive line
I thought they battled. It was a hostile environment and so forth. When we got down by double-digit points in the second half it gets somewhat one dimensional. It tilts in the favor of those rush men. Largely I liked the look in their eyes the remainder of the night. We didn’t have the type of success we need to have in order to win football games and that is probably largely what is most important.
That tripping penalty was a tough call?
Yeah, I referred to that earlier when I said we had a big third down that looked like it flipped the field and it was a penalty.
Were there communication problems with the Tyler Eifert’s long catch and the Giovani Bernard 26-yarder?
Good plays by them. Sometimes you have to acknowledge that. They are a good football team. They executed well in those instances you referred to.
Did you see better offensive line play this week than against Tennessee?
I haven’t looked at it that way. I am focused solely on what it is we did tonight and it wasn’t good enough to win tonight. I am not looking with a broad brush as of right now.