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Coach Tomlin Press Conference December 30, 2013

Coach Tomlin: Good afternoon. Ill start, as always, quickly with a review of yesterdays performance and then kind of get into some of the season review things. I was pleased with yesterdays performance. I thought it was a definitive victory. But probably one of the most pleasing things was that it wasnt one of our more clean efforts, but we were still able to win the game definitively. I think that speaks to the miles that we covered and how weve evolved as a football team, that we werent capable of playing our best ball but were able to win the game in definitive fashion. What I mean by some of the things we didnt do well in the game but have done in recent weeks, we turned the ball over in the game. We hadnt done that. We didnt get off the field quickly enough in some instances on defense, but actually we did really stand up in the field goal fringe area, obviously with some of those fourth down stops throughout the game. We dropped a very catchable interception. We had sei!ed some of those moments in recent weeks. We didnt have a lot of splash in the kicking game. "hat has aided us quite a bit in recent weeks. #o to come up short in some of those areas and still win the game in definitive fashion, I thought it $ust spoke to the overall growth of the group. We are glad to get the win. %bviously, it was a necessary one to keep us in play. &nd to finish off the regular season in the manner in which needed to be done, appropriately speaking, against an &'( )orth opponent, in our home stadium and in front of our fans. I appreciate the efforts of the guys in that regard. %n the in$ury front, we had a few minor in$uries in the game. *erricho (otchery hurt his ribs. +e will be evaluated today. #teve ,c-endon re aggravated his high ankle sprain. +e will be evaluated today. & few guys that went into the game with bumps and bruises that werent able to finish, .mmanuel #anders being one of them. %bviously, we couldnt get *ason Worilds to a level of comfort prior to the game to be able to play effectively. We will continue to deal with those things. Ill try to keep you guys up to date with a myriad of in$ury things. %bviously, as we push into the offseason, we have to be on our details of getting the ones in$ured well, and well quickly. &ll the surgeries that needed to transpire to this point have transpired minus (urtis Brown. If you remember, he had an &(- tear and an ,(- in$ury. "he ,(- had to heal before the surgery. It has. I think his &(- surgery is scheduled for this 'riday. %ther than him, all of the other surgeries that needed to transpire have transpired. %bviously, there may be some things that come up at the end of the year, e/it physicals and so forth. We arent going to rush through any of that. We are going to do what is appropriate in regards to closing this out from a health standpoint to put ourselves in the very best position to be as healthy as we can as we push forward into 0123. In review of the season, and looking back at the season, I like to consider myself an accountability guy and responsibility guy. I know that our team does the same. %ur record speaks for itself. We fell short this year of getting ourselves in the tournament to chase the ultimate pri!e, which obviously every year is our intention. We didnt do enough. We didnt do enough, particularly early this year. I think thats been well documented. Im really proud of the guys, the way they improved, number one, and the way they stuck together in the midst of adversity. %bviously, it could have gone several ways. 4ouve been around enough football that you know that people tend to seek comfort or get selfish when things were going the way things were going for us earlier in the season. I give a lot of credit to the character of the people that work, players, assistant coaches and even all throughout the organi!ation. .veryone kept a positive, upbeat and can do attitude in regards to our then present circumstance. We were able to maintain some sort of relevance and improve and put ourselves in a position that we were in yesterday. %bviously, I am sure there is a lot of reaction to what unfolded yesterday evening and last night in regards to our efforts. 'or me, we made that bed, like I said yesterday after the game. Its my intention to lay in it in a proper manner, professionally speaking, with honor and the right approach. We stepped into 25 stadiums this year with an opportunity to state our case, and we didnt state a strong enough case, so I am not going to lose a lot of sleep over something that went on in a stadium that we werent even in. We had plenty of opportunities to state our case. What transpired yesterday was unfortunate for our hopes moving forward, but we have to find a way to accept that and move forward, and I am sure

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Coach Tomlin Press Conference December 30, 2013

that we will. Ill get an opportunity to meet with the guys today at 0 p.m. and start that process. I think there is also something that needs to be said in regards to this season that I believe in. I believe we have the very best fans in the world. &nd I would like to thank them for sticking with us throughout what was a trying $ourney this year. "here were many moments during the course of the year where it became very evident to me how special #teelers )ation is. I think about the following we had in -ondon. We went to -ondon as an 1 6 team, and I think about the type of following we had in -ondon, even along the walkway in the bus area after the game when we fell to 1 3. I think about the support we had in )ew 4ork, coming out of the bye week and going to play the *ets in a road city. I think about the way our fans rallied and supported us here down the stretch with a stretch of home games that were significant in our efforts to stay alive. I dont take it for granted. It doesnt get old. But at the same time, I do want to acknowledge it and thank the fans for riding with us. &s we move forward, from a business standpoint and looking ahead to 0123, obviously the necessary business that has to take place, staff things and player things, Im really $ust kind of at the very beginning of that. I dont have any strong statements or anything in that regard. Ill do the best I can to answer any questions that you have, but obviously, I am not going to speak inappropriately or too soon in regards to some of the natural business that needs to transpire in all cities in the )'- over the course of the ne/t days and weeks. "hose things are reality here. (hange is a part of football. 'ree agency is a part of football. But I wont get into any of that in great detail. Re: Process for evaluating pla ers an! staff: Its a long and drawn out process for me, something that there is a tendency to try to rush to it and through it. I dont. I take my time. Ill visit with players. Ill set aside blocks of time to do so. Ill evaluate their performance. Ill hear what they have to say in regards to the overall group of the team if you will. Ill do that over the course of the ne/t days or maybe even weeks. Ill have an opportunity to evaluate the staff. %bviously, Ill sit down and map out a plan for moving forward with the 7ooneys and 8evin 9(olbert: in regards to salary cap, player personnel, looming free agency, draft preparation, etcetera. &ll of it is normal business for us, but I dont want to rush it. I dont want to make hasty decisions. %bviously, I dont want to make emotional decisions and obviously weve been on an emotional $ourney. Well be very deliberate about how we proceed. "ill both coor!inators be bac# ne$t season% &gain like I said, Im not going to address any of that. &ny personnel issues, any staffing issues, is inappropriate. I havent met with the team and I havent met with the staff. I will at some point. %bviously, I acknowledge that change is a part of football in staff and in players. But other than that, Im not getting into that today. &'& is &'&, but !o ou have a !ifferent feel about the (a the en! of this season (as versus the (a ou left last season% "here are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about what transpired when you look at it over the course of the season. It $ust speaks to the men that we work with. I learned a lot about them and sometimes you learn a lot about yourself and the people that you work with in the midst of adversity. We had enough adversity, obviously. #tarting 1 3 and being 0 5 at the turn, its encouraging to know the type of men that you work with that are capable of getting singularly focused and tuning out the noise and staying together and continuing to work and improve in the midst of negativity. &ll of those things are encouraging. But at the same time, as I look back at the body of work, and thats what the beginning of this process is, youve got to acknowledge we are what we are and thats an ; ; football team on the outside looking in at the tournament. But there is a lot of reason for optimism, a great deal of pride in this group of men that I work with. I $ust really want to honor their efforts and honor the support and love that we get from our fans.

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Coach Tomlin Press Conference December 30, 2013

"as this the most !ifficult coaching season that ou)ve ha!% "heyre all difficult. I really dont look at it in that way. ,y $ob is to provide the team what it needs to be what theyre capable of being and thats how I walk in this building every day. 7egardless of circumstance, Ive got to deliver for them. "he circumstances might have been a little different than they were in some years or during the course of it, and we created some of that adversity obviously. But I dont look at it in terms of what I have to do. I $ust simply do what I have to do in an effort to provide an environment thats conducive to winning and winning consistently and chasing the -ombardi trophy. *o( can our team get better in terms of ta#ing care of business against teams that are e+uall talente! or perhaps less talente! than ou are% I really dont get into all of that. Im trying to beat everyone. Where people stand today might be different than where they stood when we played them. I think thats an element of it. I think when we played <etroit they were a division leader, etcetera, etcetera. "eams evolve over the course of the season. 4ou want to be a team thats on the upswing obviously as the season draws to a close so that if youre good enough to get in the tournament, you can have whats necessary to pursue and win the -ombardi trophy. Weve got to win every football game. We didnt. Weve got to be better. I havent had a chance to evaluate it from that perspective, but obviously I look forward to doing so. Re: *an!ling a!versit li#e in,uries !ifferentl as a coaching staff: %bviously, we need to insulate ourselves a little bit better than we did from an in$ury standpoint. %bviously, I could ad$ust a little bit better schematically as new positives and new negatives arise as in$uries set in and so forth. Its my $ob to make sure that this group works towards their strengths and works to minimi!e weaknesses. %bviously, those things change significantly when you have the types of in$uries that we had. "he ability to ad$ust, to have a plan and be light on your feet is part of football. "o grow over the course of a season, for young players in particular, is a part of football. "hose things happened, not quickly enough obviously to get us in the tournament and have an opportunity to move forward. Ill be looking at all of those things and then some moving forward. 4ou can call it assessing blame. 'or me, its $ust looking at it with realistic eyes in an effort to be better the ne/t time and thats what Ill do. -ike I said earlier, Im a believer in accountability and responsibility, and from that standpoint I accept responsibility for what transpires within our organi!ation. Di! -elvin .eachum sho( ou enough at left tac#le that going into ne$t season that coul! be his position to lose% +e did a very good $ob of representing what hes capable of, but Ill e/pect him to continue to improve. I will not allow him to have an opportunity to e/hale or seek comfort in regards to that. +es got a big offseason and training camp ahead of him, but hes in pretty decent position from that regard. The focus an! commitment an! the sta ing (ith it ou (ere tal#ing about, (as that something that emerge! from this team or (as that something that (as brought out b a group of lea!ers or the staff% "here !i! it come from% I think its all of the above. When its time to circle the wagons, you dont care where great ideas come from and perspective and personalities and I saw it from a myriad of places or a great number of people over the course of the $ourney. #ometimes its $ust as simple as being an energy bringer as opposed to an energy drainer. Weve got a lot of guys that fall into that category, but like I said it is special.

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Coach Tomlin Press Conference December 30, 2013

"hen ou)re evaluating personnel, ho( much are lea!ership characteristics involve! in a !ecision li#e that, even if a pla er ma not be (hat he (as three ears ago% Its an element, but its not an element thats e/clusive to every particular individual or decision that needs to be made. -argely speaking as you go through this thing, you make necessary decisions and you better have enough guys with e/perience and natural leadership capabilities and personalities and so forth. %bviously, that will be a part of discussions as we decide what needs to be done from a personnel standpoint, not only in free agency and team development, but also in the draft. "oul! ou !escribe our offense as being ahea! of our !efense right no( an! ma be even going into 201/% )o, I wouldnt say that. I dont think statistics support that. I think were 26 th in the league in defense or whatever and 01th or so in offense. "here are many ways to cut it, obviously. Were an ; ; football team and thats the bottom line from my perspective. +owever you cut the mustard, it is what it is. Weve got three phases that we look to be as strong as we potentially can be in it in an effort to increase our chances of winning. Weve got some work to do in all three phases, obviously. 0re an of our in,ure! reserve gu s not on course to be rea! for the offseason or camp% I have no idea. I havent even begun to ask some of those questions yet. Im sure Im going to be getting into those things in the upcoming days. Re: 1sing a timeout on the punt at the en! of the first half ester!a : "hey held their punt team and then when they ran their punt team out on the field, we were in the process of e/changing defense to punt return. &t one instance, I thought we had 20 guys on the field. With the new participation rule, you dont have to snap the ball to get penali!ed for 20 defenders on the field. #o I didnt want them to potentially penali!e us for 20 people on the field. I called a timeout to preserve that so if we did have 20 on the field that we wouldnt be penali!ed prior to the ball being snapped. I knew that the play clock was running down, but I wasnt interested in getting into that. I didnt want to have a participation issue. We had some last minute ad$ustments from a personnel standpoint with *ason Worilds and others being out. "hats why I utili!ed the timeout. 2o the timeout (as for personnel, not to save time on the cloc#% It was for personnel, certainly. 3s there a plan in place for -eith .utler to succee! Dic# 4e.eau% 3s he the coor!inator in (aiting% &gain, there is no plan in place specifically and I wont be talking about any personnel or staffing issues in great detail today. Di! our coaching philosoph on the no'hu!!le change as the season evolve!% )o, it changes as circumstances evolve. I think week to week you ask yourself questions relative to that and Ive kind of outlined it in great detail in here over the course of many weeks throughout the course of the season. "here is a myriad of decisions that need to transpire as you weigh the options of no huddle or how much or what personnel group to run it out of or multiple personnel groups to run it out of. "hose are discussions that we have as a staff week in and week out.

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Coach Tomlin Press Conference December 30, 2013

3s this the greatest input .en Roethlisberger has ha! into the offense, both in meeting rooms an! on the fiel! since ou)ve been here% )o, its probably consistent with whats transpired in recent years with him. &s we get down to the course of the season and we find rhythm or continuity in terms of the people that were utili!ing and how were playing. +es been a part of the process. +e did a great $ob of it this year, obviously, and not only in terms of his input but his leadership. Weve got a bunch of young guys. I really thought he answered the bell for us in a big way in that regard and others. But $ust specifically in regards to input, hes been involved in input for a number of years here, as all veteran signal callers should be. 0s far as the no'hu!!le an! the opponent, !o ou not loo# ho( much success ou)ve ha! (ith it in the past games% )o, its not opponent only. Its circumstances and I think I was pretty clear in discussing that. ,ost of the time when I outline the variables that are significant in terms of determining how much or if we do utili!e it, I talk about us and our people and so forth. 3s there an area or t(o from the season that ou)re please! (ith the improvement ou sa(% 0n! conversel , is there an area or t(o (here ou (eren)t please! (ith the progress ou ma!e% I really havent had enough time probably to take a step back and give you a fair assessment of it from that standpoint. %bviously, there are plenty of things to be proud of, there are plenty of things that need to improve. I think the overwhelming feeling that I have as I sit here right now is $ust a great deal of pride in the group and their willingness to stick together and their ability to maintain focus and improve over the course of the season. I think thats probably the theme that Ill remember regarding this group more than anything else. But there are a myriad of things and specific things that Im sure that we got better at that need acknowledgment and things that we fell short. Di! ou (atch the 2an Diego'-ansas Cit game (ith the gu s% Di! a bunch of the gu s (atch the late game together% I dont know what they did. I went home. Re: Challenge fle$ibilit moving for(ar! base! on (hat has transpire! the last fe( (ee#s: %bviously, there is a lot of work that needs to be done from an officiating standpoint. I think it has been played out and well documented over the last several weeks, not only in the stadiums we have played in but others. I look forward to being part of the process of helping it improve. I think thats the mentality that we all should have. We are all blessed to be a part of the )'-. I take a great deal of pride in that. I always want to be somebody that is part of the solution as opposed to someone that is complaining and moaning about the problem. I intend to roll my sleeves up and offer any insight that I can in terms of making this the very best it can be moving forward. -ike I said when I opened this thing, I am not looking to assess blame on anybody else about our current position other than ourselves. Re: Reaction to the 2an Diego game: What do you think= 3 !on)t #no(5 (ome on. 4oure a smart guy.

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Coach Tomlin Press Conference December 30, 2013

"hen ou sa( -ansas Cit line up for the fiel! goal, coul! ou see on the television that 2an Diego (as committing a penalt % 4es. Do ou thin# having full'time referees coul! help% I think that and other things are up for discussion but Im not going to get into that, $ust like I am not going to talk about personnel and staffing. Its inappropriate for this setting. +aving an opportunity to be a part of the competition committee and the number of meetings we have scheduled moving into the offseason in an effort to ensure that football is the very best product we can provide for the fans, I look forward to being a part of that. Di! 4a7arr "oo!le nee! surger for his in,ur % Its a rehabilitation thing. "here are no procedures scheduled at this $uncture. "hen ou sa( the misse! the penalt call on the fiel! goal, !i! ou sa an thing or ell at the television li#e a lot of people (oul!% Ill leave that between myself, my sons and our basement. *ave ou receive! an calls from the league about the officiating from ester!a )s Chiefs' Chargers game% I have received calls, te/ts and emails. "hose guys do a great $ob of communicating during difficult times. I appreciate that. But it doesnt change what transpired. Re: 8valuating ourself this offseason: Ill evaluate everything that I do and how we go about it in an effort to be better. %bviously, I will leave the evaluation of my performance where it should be, to the 7ooneys. Re: 3#e Ta lor possibl pla ing safet : "hat hasnt been discussed formerly in any form or fashion. Ike and I talk about that from time to time because a lot of guys that have played his position have e/tended their careers in that manner, particularly guys that have the type of si!e that he has. )othing has been discussed formerly in any form or fashion, and I dont think anything needs to be read into that at all. Re: The fa#e punt call in overtime !uring the Chiefs'Chargers game an! shoul! there have been a revie(: I havent kept up with the press releases and stuff coming out of )ew 4ork in regards to some of those things. I will let those guys comment on it. I think thats appropriate. I will follow up if given an opportunity. But I am not going to say anything before they do. Re: Rationale behin! instituting the ne( rule on fiel! goals an! e$tra points: It was for player safety. "here were guys coming in twos through the gap and some of the ugly things that were transpiring with people toppling over people and things of that nature. I think that was the original intention of the rule. "hat officials are responsible for ma#ing that call% "here were two guys positioned behind that group, but again, Ill let those guys make comments in regards to what mechanically was done correct or incorrect in that time period. I think its $ust best that I wrap a bow around the season and move on from there. Do ou have a time table or !ea!line for !ecisions about our coaching staff% )o.

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Coach Tomlin Press Conference December 30, 2013

Does it mean an thing to ou that ou still haven)t ha! a losing season as a coach% )ope.

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