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Insider Only Steelers – Tuesday: Tomlin reflects on Giants win, talks Chiefs; Brown likely Out


The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that is peaking and evolving in the eyes of some pundits as maybe the best team in the AFC. “My power rankings still have the Texans ahead of them this week, but the Steelers will be the best team in the AFC come playoff time,” former Ravens coach Brian Billick said on twitter this morning.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin today reflected on Sunday’s impressive win.
“Good performance in all three phases,” Tomlin said of Sunday’s win. “Big theme things we’ve focused on last several weeks, ” Tomlin said, pointing to the Steelers ability to run the ball, improving defensively on third down and getting big plays on special teams.
Establishing a running game has helped the Steelers develop an identity and become harder to defend.”Talked openly, improving yards per carry, helped us become more balanced, harder to defend,” Tomlin said. The group should get Jonathan Dwyer back this week to team with Isaac Redman.
What the Steelers look to avoid this week is a trap game against the lowly 1-7 Kansas City Chiefs, a game you can bet offensive coordinator Todd Haley will be highly motivated to stick it to Scott Pioli. A bad Chiefs team with Tyler Palko at quarterback gave the Steelers a scare last season in KC. “Great opportunity to play in primetime,” Tomlin said. “Obviously Kansas City going through some tough things. Our concern is our level preparation and our play.”
Tomlin feels a key will be stopping the Chiefs rushing attack of Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis and Dexter McCluster. “We have to be sound against the run. Third in league in rushing. Got some quality guys who can run the football. Charles a dynamic runner, leads the Chiefs with 634 rushing yards.
Tomlin says the Steelers will prepare to see Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn this week. “Starts with Dwayne Bowe {at WR},” Tomlin said. “Strong at catch point, tough to get on the ground. Same thing can be said with Jon Baldwin.” Bowe leads the Chiefs with 45 receptions for 571 yards and has 7 catches of 20+ yards. Baldwin though has largely been a disappointment and has 15 catches for 213 yards and no touchdowns.
Schematically Tomlin said this group offensively is very similar to Cleveland when Romeo Crennel was there. Overall, Tomlin said you can see why the Chiefs are 1-7 and it’s because of turnovers as the Chiefs are minus-21 in the turnover category.

The Steelers are likely to be without Antonio Brown (ankle) this week, the team’s top playmaker. “Antonio Brown has an ankle sprain, participation very much in doubt,” Tomlin said. The positive for the Steelers is that they have capable players to fill Brown’s shoes in Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. Meanwhile the team is not likely to get Rashard Mendenhall back in the fold (achilles) this week. The team is believed to be targeting next weeks game against Baltimore for Mendenhall’s return…. “Rashard Mendenhall will get some work this week, characterized as questionable,” Tomlin said. Two other players who are expected to remain out is Troy Polamalu (calf) and Marcus Gilbert. Both players might get some limited work in this week……The good news for Pittsburgh is that Jonathan Dwyer (thigh) has a strong chance to play, according to Tomlin and Chris Rainey hasn’t been ruled out. “Chris Rainey has a rib injury, going to be big time uncomfortable,” Tomlin said but did not rule out the rookie running back.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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