Mike Tomlin spent about 15 minutes at the podium Monday during his introductory news conference to kick off Super Bowl week. Outside of his update on injured C Maurkice Pouncey – we’ll post something on that separately — here are a few quick-hitters from Tomlin:
- Off the bat, Tomlin set the tone for the week, and seems intent on keeping things loose for the Steelers: “Just like last time we were in this game, it’s our intention to enjoy all the elements that this week has in store for us, and not fight against it. I think part of you is somewhat resistant to some of the things, but we’re not going to make a negative out of what a wonderful week we have awaiting us. We’re going to embrace it all.”
- Tomlin left little doubt about what he sees as the key against the Packers: “This is going to be execution-oriented game. The team that executes better has a better chance to win. So we’re going to sharpen our sword for battle with that in mind.”
- Even though this question will likely be asked all week, Tomlin isn’t looking back to the last meeting between the teams (a 37-36 Steelers win in 2009) to have any bearing on this meeting: “You get yourself into trouble when you have preconceived notions about how the game is going to unfold. … What happened at Heinz Field in ’09 is going to have no bearing on what happens in this stadium. … It’s really irrelevant.”
- Tomlin needed no time to formulate his answer about which under-the-radar players need to step up: “Sure. All of them”.
- The Steelers offensive line arrived in North Texas wearing No. 76 jerseys as a tribute to Flozell Adams. Tomlin has this to say about Adams’ impact: “Flozell is a joy to be around. It might sound funny, because he doesn’t always have a great disposition. But we enjoy that too. … This guy who just wants to win. He’s brought that mentality since day one.”
- As for the big talker Monday, Tomlin didn’t have much to say in light of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments to SI’s Peter King that many of the Steelers didn’t go to bat for Ben Roethlisberger when his league punishment was being determined: “I don’t know what he means, or you mean, by ‘coming to his defense.’ I don’t know the nature of the conversation or the discussion. So, it’s going to be difficult for me to comment on it, to be quite honest with you. Ben is a highly respected member of our football team.”
- What stands out for Tomlin when he watches the Packers’ secondary on film? He stated the obvious, with a wide smile: “They stay close to people. As an old secondary coach, when you got guys who can stay close to people, you’ve got a shot, because you can challenge throws.”
- Tomlin said “there’s no probably about it” that Doug Legursky will start if Pouncey isn’t able to play, and the Steelers’ offensive game plan didn’t change in “any shape or form” with Pouncey out during the AFC Championship Game.