Here is a transcript of Coach Tomlin’s post game presser after the victory over the Colts.
Obviously an exciting performance. We talked at the top of the week about time of possession and we had to keep the ball away from them. We worked it all week and the guys did a great job. Just a lot of tremendous efforts by a lot of people but obviously Ben was the guy tonight. He did everything that we needed him to do he did it quickly. We possessed the ball and we stayed a step ahead of them because of it. We just fought defensively made some plays.
It was great to see James Harrison showing glimpses of James Harrison. He’s worked his tail off to kind of get to this spot. He’s starting to show us what he’s capable of. Just a lot of positive contributions from a lot of folks. It was necessary tonight. It was a big challenge (and) obviously a hot team. It was a stepping stone for us. Hopefully it can be something that we can build upon as we move forward. We have a big AFC North football game in here next week. So we’ll enjoy this one the rest of the night and tomorrow we’ll start the process of preparing for that. On the injury front, we got out of it relatively clean. Le’Veon had an ankle but obviously he was able to go back in the game. I think Ross Ventrone had a hamstring of some description. He’ll be evaluated. But just a good, exciting win for our football team.
Have you ever seen Ben Roethlisberger look as sharp as he was today?
I’ve seen Ben. I’ve been watching Ben for eight years. I got a good seat in the house so I’ve seen some of those type of performances. But obviously this was a timely one and a much needed one given the staggering statistics that Andrew Luck and their group was putting up. It was necessary for our group to match their group from that standpoint and we challenged Ben and the offense to do it all week and they responded.
Did you think or try to get Roethlisberger the NFL single-game passing yards record?
I was unaware, to be honest with you, what the NFL record is or was. We were trying to win the football game.
Do you think all of the talk regarding Andrew Luck this week motivated Roethlisberger because of his competitive drive?
He won’t admit it but I’m sure. You don’t ascend to the position that he is professionally without that competitive fire burning. There was a lot written and said about their offense and their quarterback and rightfully so. Some of it by me. But they control what it is they can control and that’s our play. We got the makings of a good offense. I think we know that. We had to do it for 60 minutes and largely we did tonight. But it was going to be required to do it for 60 minutes tonight because you take your foot off the gas versus that group you know what’s going to happen.
Re: His thought process on the fourth down touchdown call:
Just like I said, I’m not kicking the field goal right there and go up by 13- have these guys put two late touchdowns on the board. We were not taking our foot off the gas.
Re: The growth of Martavis Bryant:
He’s growing but he’s still got a ways to go. We’re playing package football with him. He’s got to continue to come to work every day and round out all elements of his game. But he was a positive contributor to us tonight and it was much needed.
Re: Pulling Cortez Allen and if it was a result of giving up a touchdown:
Yeah he was giving it up and we needed stops. It’s simple as that, you have to play better. Blake came in and made a play for us and it was significant. But make no mistake…got a great deal of belief in Cortez. He’s got to bounce back from this but I did what was necessary tonight to secure victory. I told him that. We expect him to come back to work to be ready to rock and roll next week.
Re: His impression of Mike Adams and the performance of the offensive line:
They did a great job keeping Ben clean but it was a collective effort. The protection of the quarterback falls on the quarterback some too. They did a great job of protecting him. Ben did a great job of making quick, correct decisions. The wideouts did a nice job of winning and winning quickly. It was an 11-man job and they did it tonight.
Do you have any idea as to why Heath Miller was open on multiple plays?
I don’t. They’re probably better equipped than us. We were in some stacks bunches there. We were in groups or a cluster of people a couple times. He came out of it uncovered and we had two people on the wideout. But I don’t know what their call was so they’re probably better equipped than I.
What’s been the biggest turnaround of the offense from the first half of the Texans’ game to this week?
I don’t look at it that way. One week at a time. We did what was required tonight. I can’t even think back to what happened in the early stages last week as I sit here right now to be honest with you. We’re trying to score when we get the ball and we’re trying to do it penalty free. We’re trying to do it technically clean and all of those things and largely we did that tonight.