Mike Tomlin 'not overly concerned' with who starts at quarterback for Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tomlin 'not overly concerned' with who starts at quarterback for Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin generated headlines and went viral Tuesday when he passionately denied having any interest in the USC job, but that's not all he had to say as he prepares his 3-3 club for a difficult divisional road game at the 4-3 Cleveland Browns this Sunday. 

Cleveland backup quarterback Case Keenum started in place of the injured Baker Mayfield in last Thursday's 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos, but it was Browns running back D'Ernest Johnson who stole the show in that prime-time matchup while filling in for the hurt Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Johnson rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries with Keenum handing him the ball, and Tomlin suggested on Tuesday Cleveland's offensive identity changes little regardless of if Mayfield or Keenum is starting under center.

"[M]uch like our last game when we were talking about having a veteran backup quarterback, like Geno [Smith], you don’t lose a lot of your personality. And I think that’s what really stood out to me watching their last game," Tomlin explained, per Myles Simmons of Pro Football Talk. "They didn’t lose their personality at all. Solid, veteran quarterback who’s been a part of the program like Case has provides that opportunity for them. So we’re not overly concerned right now with who their quarterback might be. We’re looking at what it is they do collectively — their run game, their coordinated play-action and misdirection passing game, and how they utilize all the people they distribute the ball to. There’s some big-time challenges in that way." 

Mayfield has dislocated his left (non-throwing) shoulder multiple times since the start of Week 2 and is dealing with a torn labrum and fractured bone at the top of the humerus, and he wasn't on the practice field Monday. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski hasn't yet ruled Mayfield out, but we'll have a better idea about the signal-caller's status for Halloween afternoon when the club releases its updated injury report Wednesday. 

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