Steelers notebook: Tomlin says he won’t take 1-8 Jets lightly |

Steelers notebook: Tomlin says he won’t take 1-8 Jets lightly

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers head trainer John Norwig runs onto the field to help saftey Troy Polamalu, but Polamalu gets up and off the field on his own power after a second-quarter knee injury against the Ravens Nov. 2, 2014.

No one needs to explain to Mike Tomlin the dangers of underestimating an opponent with a poor record. The Steelers lost at home to the Buccaneers, 27-24, on Sept. 28. It’s Tampa Bay’s only win this season.

In 2007, the Jets were 1-8 — the same record as they have now — when they upset the Steelers, who were 7-2, 19-16 in overtime.

“You’d better respect teams when you step into the stadium,” Tomlin said. “I respect anybody we play week in and week out.”

• Tomlin called Ravens returner Jacoby Jones’ 108-yard kickoff return touchdown “ridiculous,” and said he watched distracted players dancing to stadium music in advance of the return. “Unacceptable. … You won’t see our kickoff team dancing anymore before we kick the ball off,” he said.

• Ben Roethlisberger enjoys running the no-huddle offense, yet the Steelers ran only 17 no-huddle plays during the three-game home sweep of the Texans, Colts and Ravens. “We still like the no-huddle,” Tomlin said. “It’s a good component of what we do. We make a decision week to week whether or not we choose to utilize it.”

• Tomlin was asked why NFL receptions leader Antonio Brown is causing such problems for opposing defenses. Brown has 30 catches for 367 yards and three TDs in three games. “He’s physically and mentally tough. He is small yet combative,” Tomlin said. “He has strong hands. He plays bigger than what he is. He has great short-area quickness and top-end speed. He has good vision for the run after the catch.”

• Tomlin insisted he’s not unhappy with punter Brad Wing as a holder, even though he has fumbled two snaps from center in four games. The first, on a field-goal try, was costly against the Browns. The second, against Baltimore, produced an improvised 2-point conversion pass from Wing to Matt Spaeth. “He did mishandle the football,” Tomlin said. “It was a nice and appropriate adjustment. That’s why you practice. But I expect Brad to play it cleanly moving forward.”

• Steelers linebacker Sean Spence received the team’s Ed Block courage award, which is presented annually to a player who has fought back from an injury or difficult circumstances to return to the field. Spence sat out two full seasons with a career-threatening knee injury that occurred in the final preseason game of 2012, months after he was drafted in the third round.

— Alan Robinson

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