Following the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field in the AFC Wild Card Game, head coach Mike Tomlin held his final post-game press conference of the 2014 season. Below is a transcript of the presser courtesy of steelers.com.
Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert will meet the media in a few more days to recap the 2014 season.
Tomlin: Not the outcome we wanted. I compliment the Ravens on their winning performance. There’s some disappointment with our performance but such is life. We’ll accept responsibility for that one like we have all the others. Appreciate the men’s effort. We just got beat tonight. We didn’t make enough critical plays (and) they did. Penalties at times hurt us. But we’re not going to make that excuse in terms of that determining the outcome of the game. They had more splash plays. They flipped the field with big plays down the field, whether they had a penalty throwing the ball down the field or they made the reception. They got the necessary turnovers that we didn’t get. It defined the outcome of the game like it always does when these two teams come together. But I appreciate the efforts of the men. Appreciate the support of the fans throughout the course of this season. This group grew a lot with a respect to effort, but we came up short tonight.
Does missing a player like Le’Veon Bell magnify some of the mistakes?
Tomlin: You play with who’s healthy. We’re not going to let that be the story of this game. We’ve had guys that have missed games every step along the way. We had three different defensive starters go down in Week 3 at Carolina. Such is life in the NFL. That’s why you have 53 men on the roster. (If) somebody goes down the next man steps up. You move on and there’ll be no excuses. I said that at the top of the week and I meant it. We’re not going to lean on that. We’re not going to allow you to push us in that direction. It simply is what it is. We didn’t make enough plays (and) the Baltimore Ravens did.
Re: Settling for field goals instead of touchdowns in the first half:
Tomlin: It’s an element of it but we were down by one at the half. You don’t like settling for field goals. We acknowledged it at the front of the week that this was a stingy red zone defense. They were No. 2 in the red zone in the NFL. We knew it’d be tough sledding. But to be down one at the half we didn’t feel negative about our positioning. You can always look back with 20/20 vision and talk about things that were significant, but at the midway point we were in a close football game.
Did Baltimore do anything surprising with their pass rush?
Tomlin: No they didn’t. As time became a factor it became more effective but that’s just an axiom (or) a rule of football. They did a nice job.
Re: Splash plays and penalties being a common denominator in the team losing this year:
Tomlin: It’s probably the common denominator when anyone loses.
Should a penalty have been called when Martavis Bryant was tripped on his route?
Tomlin: I’m not going to get into my opinions because it’s irrelevant. It’s not going to change what transpired.
Tomlin: Disappointed because our intentions were to be world champions and that’s something that we’re not going to be this year based on the result of this game.