The Pittsburgh Steelers are in London England today to take on the Minnesota Vikings in an international showdown. Both teams are looking for their first win of the season and realize the battle that lies ahead. Head coach Mike Tomlin answered some questions today about today’s match up.
Q. In this game, how do you attempt to neutralize Vikings running back Adrian Peterson?
A. It starts with containment, not only on the play-side but also on the back-side. You have to reduce the amount of field your defense has to cover, because you can’t play him on a 53-yard field. That’s too much grass. We have to do a nice job of setting the edges. It starts there for us, particularly as a 3-4 defense, with our outside linebackers. I expect them to do that. The next thing is we have to do a nice job of eliminating vertical holes that are associated with crack-blocks and bunch formations. They do a nice job of that. Those are the two critical areas for us in reducing the amount of grass we’ve got to play in.
Q. Was this week of preparation for this game normal in any way?
A. Actually it was normal in most ways, in a lot of ways, really, up until Thursday night when we left for London. Up until that we took a normal approach to our preparation from a scheduling standpoint in the work that we did and the location from which we did it. We had a lot of normalcy in the front part of the week, which is important from a planning standpoint.
Q. What are the things this team has to work on to get that first victory of the season?
A. It’s obvious – ball security. You can’t win in this league if you’re turning the football over, and that’s been a focus of ours and will continue to be until we get the positive results we’re looking for.
Q. What are the keys for the Steelers today?
A. Focusing on the things that are within our control, with ball security obviously being one of those things. Defensively we have to stand up in those critical moments of a game and deliver, and special teams needs to be an asset to us in the return game.
You can read the rest of this interview on Steelers.com or click this link > http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Tomlin-on-the-Vikings/6467ea51-17a1-4800-8c29-97af9a0dbba3