Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
What has Lance Moore meant to your team and what have you seen from him?
"He's the savvy veteran that we expected him to be. He's a low maintenance guy, he's extremely professional, he's smart, he comes with good ideas, he knows all of the positions. He's very versatile in that way and we've had to utilize him in that way because he is playing with some young people."
Keenan Lewis has fond memories of playing in that secondary and playing under you in Pittsburgh. What do you remember from him and how did he progress as he accumulated more experience in your program?
"It's easy, the thing that comes to mind when I think about K-Lew is his competitive spirit and his willingness to work on a daily basis. This guy works at every opportunity, he's a big time competitor. Everything is personal. He has all of the components to be a real good corner, which his New Orleans tape has proven that he is. He just brings a blue-collar work ethic, a competitive spirit, to work every day and those guys you love working with."
Going back to his rookie year, was he labeled a project or did you see him being able to grow into the type of shutdown corner that he is today?
"Yeah, we took him in the third round. His Oregon State tape looks a lot like his professional tape. He was a combative bump-and-run guy and did it consistently in all circumstances. He utilizes his talents well, his length. He does a nice job of staying on top of people. It looks very much like his college tape to be honest with you."
What has Le'Veon Bell meant to you guys as far as balancing the offense? Can you talk about Antonio Brown's playmaking ability? It looks like you have been able to get him the ball in a variety of ways.
"Both guys work extremely hard. (They are) Talented guys, but they work extremely hard and are highly conditioned. I think that allows them to help us in a lot of ways. Le'Veon has a very balanced skillset, he can run inside, he can run outside, he can catch the football, and that allows him to contribute in all situations. Antonio is just one of those guys that with the ball in his hands is capable of making a positive difference for us, so as coaches it is our job to think about the many ways in which we can get it to him."
Are you surprised at all about how much of an impact James Harrison has had since coming back?
"No, I think James' career has been defined by defying the odds. Obviously the cards are stacked against him getting off the couch but James is an undrafted guy that got cut a couple of times and ended up being Defensive Player of the Year. Those seemingly insurmountable odds is something that makes James who he is."
The Steelers have such a reputation as having a dominating defense and this year you have a top offense. What is it like to have that flipped around?
"We don't care about reputation, we are just trying to win games. We have no control over what people say about us. We are going to work to play to our strengths in order to win. If it's offense, if it's defense, if it's special teams, whatever is required to get out of stadiums with necessary Ws."
What have you seen out of the Saints so far? They have lost three in a row after a point in the season where it looked like they were going to turn things around. Have you gotten a read on what has gone wrong for them at times?
"I just think it is representative of the NFL. This is a very, very competitive league. They have been in some very close football games. They've lost a couple games in overtime. They lost another game by one. It's a fine line between 7-4 and being 4-7 and that's just life in the NFL. I think that all of us that are in it have that understanding and that level of respect for it. That's why we put in to it what it is that we do."
What do you think it is why the AFC North has given the NFC South so much trouble? Is it a style of play, is it the individual teams, can you put your finger on it?
"I can't. I haven't looked at it as a body representing the North to be honest with you. I'm 1-1 against the South so my opinion probably is not relevant."
Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Lance Moore
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Can you talk about playing against New Orleans where you had so many good times and good years?
"Well, you all are coming here, so it won't be quite as crazy as going back there. It's definitely going to be one of the more weird games that I've played in. When I was in New Orleans we played against the (Cleveland) Browns a couple of times, and that was where I started my career, but that wasn't too weird because I really didn't spend that much time there. But to be in New Orleans for nine years and then be on an opposing team, and them coming here, that will definitely be weird for me."
Was there hard feelings when the Saints let you go?
"I wouldn't say that there were hard feelings. I totally understand the business side. Obviously, thinking selfishly, I would have liked it to have ended a different way, but it can't always work out the way that you want it to. That's how it goes. Most guys in their careers at some point come to a situation where you get cut or have to take a pay cut or you get traded. I've been cut four times in my career so it's not like I feel like I'm invincible when I'm under contract."
How often do you stay in contact with players from the Saints that you built strong relationships with?
"I speak to those guys almost every day, if not every other day. I speak to Kenny Stills and Nick Toon all the time. I'm still in touch Pierre Thomas very, very regularly. I still send the occasional text to Marques Colston or Robert Meachem. A lot of the receivers or skill guys that have been around for a long time are the guys that I stay in closest contact with because those relationships are the ones I'm going to carry with me even after I'm long gone from playing football. Those guys are more than just my teammates and colleagues, they are my good friends."
Have those conversations stopped for the game week or are they going as normal?
"No, they are going as normal. I think it would be different had I been a defensive player, those guys all play offense so it's not like we are going to be actively competing with each other on Sunday. Everything is business as usual for me."
What is your fondest memory of playing for the Saints?
"Obviously winning the Super Bowl. I don't think that anything could compare to that feeling. After that game ended and the confetti falling down on us, sharing that moment with not only our teammates and coaches but the fans that were there and our friends and family that were there, and then bringing it back to New Orleans. And then keeping up with the Super Bowl was that Super Bowl parade, that whole experience was awesome."