- Around the League Writer
- Published: Sept. 17, 2013 at 05:44 p.m.
- Updated: Sept. 17, 2013 at 07:27 p.m.
“Nineteen points in two football games is not going to win a lot of football in this league,” Tomlin said Tuesday, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Tomlin said he’s open to personnel changes and made it clear that he’s not afraid to get involved in game-planning if needed.
The first change is likely to come in the league’s least effective backfield, where “the problems are many.” Felix Jones is poised to take over for Isaac Redman as the lead back until rookie Le’Veon Bell returns from his foot sprain.
“The running game was below the line,” Tomlin explained. “But I was encouraged by Felix Jones and what he’ll be able to do moving forward. He knew when to bounce it and when to put his foot in the ground and get vertical. There were some things we can build upon.”
Jones’ audition could be short-lived with Bell ramping up his activity this week, returning to individual and possibly team drills.
Expected to be a full participant in this week’s practices, tight end Heath Miller is a good bet to beat Bell back to the starting lineup. Tomlin cautioned against high expectations that Miller will make an immediate impact, however.
“We’re not expecting Heath to step out of a phone booth with a cape on,” Tomlin quipped, via NFL Media’s Aditi Kinkhabwala.
One other change could be coming for the passing attack. We suggested after Monday night’s 20-10 loss that third-round draft pick Markus Wheaton would have to take on a bigger role at the expense of Jerricho Cotchery.
Tomlin hinted that might indeed be the case, telling reporters that Wheaton’s playing time “hopefully” will increase.
A team with precious little speed and playmaking ability doesn’t have the luxury of limiting a receiver of Wheaton’s potential to a handful of snaps per game.