Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin - Conference Call with New Orleans Media - Wednesday, December 19, 2018
What's it like having Trey Edmunds there along with his brother (Terrell Edmunds)?
"He's just a hard working young man. He's had an opportunity to ascend from our practice squad ranks due to injury at the position and he's really just starting to get his feet wet as an active member of our roster. (He's) contributing on some team things, but more than anything he's just been a good solid day to day worker and contributor. I'm looking forward to him being a positive contributor to our efforts inside stadiums."
How do you guys feel about your defensive performance against New England?
"It was necessary. We haven't taken a picture of it. We just moved on because, obviously, we have a significant challenge this week"
You and Ben Roethlisberger have been together for a long time similar to Sean (Payton) and Drew (Brees) here. What are the benefits of that relationship? What are the challenges of keeping that fresh?
"I think the shared experiences. A lot of this game is meeting challenges and we've been through a lot together. We've experienced a lot together. We've seen a lot together and I think that continuity helps us. Oftentimes you're in certain circumstances and you could use recall and experiences shared together about how it unfolded either positively or negatively in terms of your decision-making and communication in present day issues."
How much do you marvel at what Sean has been able to do in terms of just offensive innovation over the years?
"The thing I appreciate about it is his utilization of talent. Obviously, if you've been anywhere any extended period of time, that talent changes. The positional strengths change and it's been cool to kind of watch him lean on the talent that he has. There is a saying in our business, 'if you have red paint, you paint your barn in red'. He's done a heck of a job of that over time. But I'm not surprised by that. I think any time you talked about longevity I think adaptability is an element of that."
Even with the productivity down the last few weeks, what have you seen on film from the Saints offense?
"They are a 12-2 group. They need no endorsement for me. It seems like every week Drew (Brees) is breaking a new record. He does a great job of utilizing all the eligibles. The running backs are awesome both in the running and passing game. They are formidable for all of those reasons and others."
I'm not sure how many chances you've had to coach in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but bringing the Steelers here what are the challenges you see as far as coming to this building?
"It's going to be a competitive game. Obviously, a hostile environment. That's life on the road in the National Football League. I've actually been down there quite a bit. Back in the day I was the old secondary coach for the Bucs."
How have you seen the Saints defense progress on film?
"I really haven't looked at it from a progress standpoint. I really just have looked at it in terms of what they've done of late in preparation for this game and the ways that you prepare for games. So I don't have that global perspective. They're really good bunch. They've got quality players at all levels. They've been putting pressure on the quarterback. They've been creating turnovers. They've been playing very good, well-rounded ball and it starts with stopping the run and obviously they're second to none in that area."
With Eli Apple, what have you seen as far as his recent play?
"I haven't looked at it in that way again (significantly earlier in the season). We're just preparing to play those guys. I've got a lot of respect for him. He's a talented guy and has been playing really good ball for them. That was a nice play made in the second quarter of that game on Monday night."
How has Cam Jordan grown since you last saw him four years ago?
"I can't even recall what he looked like four years ago to be honest with you."
What is your thought on his play recently?
"He's Pro Bowl caliber player. I think we shared a meal together down there in Orlando this past February at the Pro Bowl. He needs no endorsement for me. He's a big time player."
What stands out about Michael Thomas's game?
"Volume catches. He's over 100 (catches) already. Just highly highly productive."