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Tomlin encouraged by contributions from young “emerging players”

Few could find encouraging things out of the Steelers 13-9 win vs the Kansas City Chiefs but Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin sure did.
Tomlin opened today’s press conference with high praise of three young emerging players.
“{There} was some encouraging things, ” Tomlin said on his assessment of the game. “Guys such as Wes Saunders, Ryan Mundy, Jason Worilds and others, ” Tomlin said. Type of contributions we need from young and emerging players.”
In the win, Saunders scored the teams only touchdown with a great grab, while Worilds and Mundy had excellent games on the defensive side of the ball.
Mundy led the Steelers with 11 tackles and had an interception and there are some who believe Mundy deserves more playing time.
Worilds has improved in every start and had 6 tackles (1 for loss), 1 sack and 4 hurries. Worilds likely won’t start vs the Bengals as the Steelers are optimistic that LaMarr Woodley will return to the lineup. Worilds though is putting himself in position to possibly see time as a pass rushing specialist which the Steelers envisioned him doing this season.
— Tomlin was not pleased with the Steelers 3rd down effciency on offense. Tomlin said it might have been worst game of the season in that area.
— The opponent is dictating the amount of reps Jerricho Cotchery and Hines Ward are seeing on a particular Sunday. Cotchery saw his playing time decrease, while Ward’s role increased against the Chiefs. That could change on Sunday as Cotchery had a big role against the Bengals in Week 10.
Emmanuel Sanders was not effective in the return game on Sunday and that’s an area Tomlin has not been pleased with this season. “Would like to see more production out of our return game. Didn’t think it was overly effective, ” Tomlin said.

Expected to Play

Troy Polamalu –Hasn’t had any concussion symptoms since team returned to Pittsburgh. Everything is positive. The team is comfortable at this conjucture that Polamalu will play on Sunday.
Maurkice Pouncey – Stomach virus may limit him early in the week. Expected to play.

Likely to Play

LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) –“Moving towards game readiness, ” Tomlin said. Woodley has been pushing hard to return to the lineup Sunday afternoon. Right now the team is very optimistic about him playing.
Arnaz Battle – Should be an option to play and practice this week.
Stevenson Sylvester (knee) – The same as Battle. Tomlin expects Sylvester to put himself in much better position this week to play.

Questionable

Larry Foote – Has a hamstring injury, not serious but will be monitored throughout the week. His status at this point is up in the air.

Doubtful

Chris Carter –Tomlin called Carter “questionable at best for this week”. Indications are the Steelers did not expect Carter to be available and will likely miss the next two games.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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