New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, speaks to Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin after an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots won 55-31. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
MT: Obviously a disappointing performance. Probably as disappointed as I have been, especially under the circumstances of how we were able to fight back there at the beginning of the second half. It was a 24-24 game and obviously they handled us and they handled us well. We’ve got to accept that and move forward. We will. We give them the credit. They were the better team tonight, obviously. And the scoreboard, stats and everything reflect that. For an injury standpoint, Vince Williams sustained a concussion, as did Ike Taylor. Those guys will be evaluated. Marcus Gilbert had an ankle injury. I’ll address any questions.
Q: Mike, just off the top, any way to explain how many wide open receivers they had through the entire game?
MT: We didn’t perform well.
Q: Mike, you have talked about the effort and demeanor that you have wanted to see from this team. Did you see that down the stretch? Or did it look like the team quit to you?
MT: Not good enough, not good enough. We are going to comb through this with a fine tooth comb, as we should. And those people who are lacking effort won’t be playing. It’s just that simple.
Q: Mike, when you said this is probably the most disappointed as you have been, are you talking about this season?
MT: This season.
Q: Mike, why have Ben Roethlisberger out there at the end?
MT: Because we have to get better and those are snap opportunities to get better. We ain’t turning it down, we ain’t running from anything. We have an opportunity to continue to work and get better, so we did that. The guys that were healthy were going to stay on the grass and finish the game.
Q: Mike, when you fight back to 24-24 and then it’s 31-7 after that, what happened? Were you surprised?
MT: We didn’t stop them. That’s the bottom line. We couldn’t stop them. We didn’t stop the run. We didn’t stop the pass.
Q: Mike, is your first inclination to stick with it or do you re-evaluate the process at this point?
MT: You re-evaluate everything. You have to after a performance like that and we will. It doesn’t necessarily mean we will change or change for the sake of changing, but we will look at every aspect of what we are doing and who we are doing it with because we can’t have performances like that.
Q: I believe that was the most points the Steelers have ever allowed. Does that just get chalked up as a bad loss or does that mean something in the locker room?
MT: No, you know, it’s a 55-point game. I don’t care if it’s the most points we have ever given up or not. It ain’t any more sickening or less sickening based on those results.
Q: Mike, are you perplexed at all that this is happened or disappointed?
MT: I am angry; disappointed. You know, we don’t have time for perplexed. You know, we are capable and better than that. We’ve got to be better than that. We weren’t, so we are going to fix it.
Q: Any sense of that anger reflected in the team?
MT: I’m not going to speak for them, I will let those guys speak for themselves.
Q: At 24-24, what was your feel? Did you feel like that was a game you could win?
MT:Absolutely, I did. Obviously the big punt return was a significant play, but we had overcome some significant plays to that point in the game. But, we didn’t.
Q: Mike, you obviously looked at film on the Patriots and they had been struggling. Rob Gronkowski is back and it looks like he is healthy. How does that change the Patriots and what happened tonight?
MT: I’m not going to speak for those guys. I think they are capable of speaking for themselves, you know, and their performance tonight obviously speaks for itself.
Q: You only had two pass interference penalties all year and you had two on one drive. Is that sort of the thing you say ‘those things can’t happen’?
MT: It’s just kind of indicative of how we performed tonight.
Q: Mike, the number of big pass plays, not only tonight, but all year. You know, that is something that you guys just don’t typically do. What’s happening there?
MT: You know, I’m not ready to characterize the season, but tonight, obviously we were out of place. They executed well, that combination was lethal.
–Postgame Transcript compiled by Patriots Media Relations