The Pittsburgh Steelers played all four of their outside linebackers Thursday night in their regular season opening loss to the New England Patriots and veteran James Harrison led that group in snaps played with 38. During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Harrison’s seemingly large amount of playing time in that game and if he was happy with how the way the rotation of those four players went.
“We were happy with how it worked out,” said Tomlin. “We didn’t count reps, if that’s what your insinuating. We’re going to roll those guys, all four of those guys are going to play and maybe some weeks James’ numbers are going to reflect what you suggested and maybe some weeks they don’t. The issue for us and the critical element for us, is that we’re going to play all four of those men.”
Rookie first-round draft pick Bud Dupree played 26 snaps Thursday night in his NFL debut and he recorded one sack and two total tackles in the game. Tomlin was asked Tuesday to comment on his young linebacker’s performance.
“I thought he represented himself well in many instances for a first time out, but obviously there were some mistakes that need to be minimized,” said Tomlin of Dupree.
The Steelers will play the San Francisco 49ers Sunday at Heinz Field and they’ll be facing a team that only allowed one sack Monday night in their regular season opening win over the Minnesota Vikings.