Tomlin says he should have challenged Mendenhall’s near TD |

Tomlin says he should have challenged Mendenhall’s near TD

• After further review, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin conceded that he probably should have challenged a call Sunday that Rashard Mendenhall did not score on a second-quarter run against the Saints. But Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference, “We had more than one opportunity to score a touchdown in that instance and that’s what I think about, not a missed opportunity to potentially challenge a call.”

Tomlin said he did not challenge the call because Mendenhall told him he didn’t think he had scored on the second-down run.

• Home teams generally try to limit the number of replays visiting coaches see of plays they might challenge. Tomlin said there was a “possibility” that the Steelers assistants who sit in the press box did not have access to NBC’s national broadcast of the game, and thus did not get to see multiple replays of the disputed play. Tomlin said that is part of the advantage teams have when they play at home. “I like the process that we have right now,” Tomlin said. “It’s extremely fair because eight games a year it weighs in our favor and eight games a year it doesn’t, and everybody has the same issues there.”

• Tomlin said he expects starting defensive end Brett Keisel to play Monday night in Cincinnati. Keisel has missed the past two games because of a hamstring injury. The wait for Aaron Smith will be considerably longer. Smith is out “for an extended number of weeks” as he recovers from a partially torn tricep in his left arm, but he is expected to return this season.

• The Steelers signed former Bills outside linebacker Chris Ellis to their practice squad after losing outside linebacker Thaddeus Gibson to the 49ers on a waiver claim.

Tomlin’s take

Losing Thaddeus Gibson to the San Francisco 49ers after the Steelers waived the rookie outside linebacker and signed defensive tackle Steve McLendon from the practice squad:

“We knew there was a strong possibility of him getting claimed when we put him out there. You don’t want to go into (a game) short and particularly at the defensive line. It was definitely a necessary maneuver and one if I had to do over, I’d do it again.”

Second-year defensive end Ziggy Hood saying recently that he needs to grow up fast:

“What he’s talking about is the natural maturation process young guys go through. He’s not a patient young man. I like that about him, but his progress is going to be measured in snaps and snap opportunities and for him and for me it can’t come quick enough.”

The Bengals, who have lost four games in a row:

“We’re not going to read too much into their 2-5 record. We know what they’re capable of, and that’s getting after us. They did it twice a year ago.”

How he decides what is within kicker Jeff Reed’s range for field goals:

“I have a high level of trust in Jeff. I base my judgment in terms of range on what happens in pregame, if he’s pretty consistent in pregame. I acknowledge from time to time you’re going to miss 51-yard kicks.”

The selfless nature of the Steelers:

“I think one of the most enjoyable things about the 2010 Steelers is we don’t care about style points, we don’t care who gets the job done. We’re just trying to step in stadiums and win games and go home.”

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