The San Francisco 49ers Week 2 preparations are underway, and that includes media chats with the opposing team. On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke with 49ers media. He touched on several topics, but the most interesting might have been when he commented on the 49ers secondary.
Tomlin said he did not think the young secondary was challenged on Monday because the team got strong play from the defensive front. Teddy Bridgewater did take some shots, but it was too little too late as the Vikings lost 20-3. But it is safe to say we can expect Ben Roethlisberger to test the 49ers secondary. Getting pressure on the rather immobile quarterback will be critical on Sunday.
Here is a full transcript of Tomlin's Tuesday chat.
On preparing for 49ers later b/c of MNF:
You know, it's the normal process you go through in the early portion of the season. It's no different than preparing for them in an opener, in that you're trying to look at preseason tape, and diagnose what they may or may not be from a personality standpoint. That's what we went through. And then obviously, first thing Tuesday morning we input Monday night's information into the picture, if you will.
On any surprises from MNF:
No, not really. They're a fundamentalist group. I thought they won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, offensive and defensively. I thought that they had high frequency reps on offense, they had a base running game, they blocked a variety of looks well, they ran the ball hard collectively. Kaepernick made a few plays with his legs, like he's capable of doing. Played very good, stout defense; particularly situationally, they spun the dial on them third down, and did a good job of getting after the quarterback. I think they had five sacks. So, you know, not anything earth-shattering in terms of personality.
On Mangini being similar to Belichick:
I think Coach Mangini's work stands on its own. We've had an opportunity to compete against him quite a bit over the years. Obviously he was a head coach of the Jets, and we competed against him there. He was head coach over in Cleveland, and we competed against him there.
On hallmarks of a Mangini defense:
You know, they're going to be sound on first and second down, they're going to be stout against the run, and the sub-package ball is going to be challenging from a schematic standpoint on third down. And that's what they displayed on Monday night.
On 49ers 13 personnel (3 TEs) creating challenges:
It's, you know, three tight ends, or two tight ends, two backs, the bottom line is there's one wideout on the field. They employed, have employed it for a number of years, so there's nothing new in that regard. Obviously you gotta line up against it and defend it, but from a standpoint of just preparation, there's nothing new.
On Carlos Hyde performance:
I think 160+ speaks for itself. He did an awesome job, but I thought they all did an awesome job collectively in terms of contributing to the run game.
On Tomsula being from Pittsburgh, and if they're acquainted:
I've gotten to know him here in recent years. Seems like an awesome guy, and obviously I'm happy for him and the opportunity he's getting out there.
On impression of secondary in first game:
I didn't think that they were challenged because of what was going on up front. I think, largely all of us are still getting to know ourselves at this juncture of the season. I just think that that's an element of team development as we push into this thing. And I don't know that one game describes any of us accurately.
On why Antonio Brown might have slipped to the sixth round:
You know I can't speak for others. We valued him, and obviously we took Emmanuel Sanders in the third. And when he was still available to us, even though we had taken Emmanuel, we thought enough of him to take him as well. I can't speak for why others might have had hesitation, but we liked what we saw. He caught 300 passes in three years at Central Michigan, and did a lot of the things that we've become accustomed to him doing on Sunday stages now.
On why Brown is such a hard cover:
You know, he's extremely talented in terms of short-area quickness and body control, and he has good and strong hands. But I think the most defining about him is his approach to work. He's as hard a worker as we've had here in the nine years I've been here on a day-in and day-out basis. And I think that's his calling card. Often times when I describe him, I describe him as a better worker than player. And I mean it, and I think it compliments who he is.
On if he had good mentors like Hines Ward, or if it was in his DNA:
He was working from the day he got here.
On any knowledge of Antoine Bethea (same hometown):
Yea, he went to my high school.
On following his career:
About as much as someone in my position can follow somebody else's career. Obviously Im happy for the success and the longevity he's had, but I can't tell you I have spent intimate time watching his tape on a week-in and week out-out basis ... I know that AB means a lot to our community, and the success that he's had has been really valued at home. He does a nice job of giving back to the community that he comes from, and I really appreciate that about him.
On Roethlisberger and welcoming defensive pressure:
I think the longer he does it, the more he cares less about what the other team does, because he doesn't have control over it. And he just works to anticipate it, and/or respond to it in a positive way, as quickly as he can. I think the longer he does it, the less time he spends trying to anticipate what that might be.