View Full Version : Mike Tomlin talks about Big Ben

06-03-2010, 01:13 AM
Tomlin on Big Ben

June 2nd, 2010

Coach Mike Tomlin talked about Ben Roethlisberger for the first time since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell cleared the Steelers quarterback to return to practice.

Roethlisberger is suspended for the first six games of the 2010 season -- it could eventually be reduced to four games for good behavior -- and the Steelers are trying to get him as much work as possible in their remaining offseason practices.

Roethlisberger has been working with the first-team offense this week, and Tomlin indicated that the two-time Super Bowl winner will also get plenty of snaps with the starters during training camp.

Roethlisberger, who was suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, is allowed to practice during camp and play in the preseason games. Once the regular season starts, he is barred from any team activities until his suspension has been served.

Here are excerpts from Tomlin's news conference Wednesday, most of which dealt with Roethlisberger.

Q: Can you talk about Ben being back?

A: ďItís good to have him back, of course. He appears to be in very good physical condition. Of course heís getting acclimated to some of the things, some of the minor things that weíre doing offensively, some changes, and some of the things that heís been familiar with. His goals in terms of the off-season, at this point in our juncture, are no different than the other ones. Heís simply trying to increase the quality of his detail and emphasize finish.Ē

Q: Ben ran with the first team today? Why him and not Byron (Leftwich)?

A: ďBecause heís missed opportunities, quite frankly, to work with some of those guys. Of course, Byron has been doing it the vast majority of the off-season. Benís back in the building, so we put him in the huddle to get acclimated with the guys that he usually works with.Ē

Q: How are you going to juggle four quarterbacks?

A: ďAs we sit here today, and thatís really all Iím focused on -- what weíre doing this week, this section of OTAs -- and what we really want to do is give Ben quality reps so he can get re-acclimated and improve and work on his game. And we want to continue to give Dennis (Dixon) his reps because he is a young guy. When youíre talking about working with four quarterbacks, reps are going to be scarce at some instances. For the purpose of this week, if thereís a reduction it is going to be at the expense of Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch.Ē

Q: Has Ben slimmed down?

A: ďHe is just in very good physical condition. I donít know how much he weighs or anything of that nature. But he appears to be in great physical condition.Ē

Q: Have you thought about training camp and how you will get one quarterback ready and yet keep Ben in it?

A: ďI have.Ē

Q: Can you tell us about it?

A: ďNo.Ē

Q: Will it be different that what we see now?

A: ďSure.Ē

Q: Can you talk about Ben having to work with new receivers?

A: ďIím less concerned about some of the continuity things that are done further down the road as you sharpen your sword for battle in terms of execution when you get closer to regular season football. Iím more concerned with the development of all the men that are out there working. Of course, there is not the first offense or the first defense. If you really look at it, there is intermingling and mixing of personnel and all groups and all circumstances. They are all professional football players. I am looking for detailed assignments regardless of who is working with who. So itís less of an emphasis on those kinds of things and more of an acknowledgment that we need great detail in our work.Ē

Q: Some players say that they have noticed a different Ben. Have you noticed a different Ben?

A: ďIím not necessarily really looking for it. Itís less about how we respond to this in the short term and even further less important what we say about it. Itís more about how we move forward largely in the long term, knowing that he has a commitment to being what we desire for him to be and what his team needs him to be, and thatís my focus. Iíve seen Ben quite a bit and communicated with him quite a bit throughout all of this. So there hasnít been a period of time where I havenít seen Ben where some of his teammates have.Ē

Q: Would you like to see Ben address the media to alleviate the circus atmosphere?

A: I donít mind the circus atmosphere because I canít control it. Weíre trying to focus on the things we can control. We recognize as a professional football team thatís trying to be a world championship caliber team that there are certain things that come with being who we are that we have to accept, and we need to stay focused on what it is we are here to do, which is to improve. He will address the media at an appropriate time in the near future and continue to move forward.Ē

Q: Have you noticed a change in Benís demeanor?

A: ďI havenít been looking for it, so I can make something up, but really Iíve just been focused on getting him back in and getting back to business in terms of work. Again, he and I have been in communication throughout all of this so there is no marked change because I have talked to him quite a bit. The mood yesterday seemed light. It doesnít seem like any of this is affecting the team. Ultimately weíll be measured by our ability to win football games. And thatís what this is about. This is a distraction if we lose; if we donít, itís not. And Iím committed to making sure itís not, and Iím sure everyone else is.

Q: Is the team doing anything to manage Ben off the field so the suspension might be reduced to four games?

A: ďWeíre doing a lot of things with Ben in terms of dealing with this situation, and not for the sole purposes of meeting the criteria so he can participate. More than anything, itís about making proper corrections and moving forward with football and with his life. Thatís the spirit in which weíre doing the things weíre doing with him. We have no control over the commissionerís judgment or when it comes down or how it comes down. Again we are focused on things we can control, and thatís the approach weíre taking.Ē

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