- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - He’s been gone now, really, for 25 years. Yet Pittsburgh still tugs at San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Tomsula.

It’s there in the way he can debate the best pizzerias in the industrial suburb he grew up in. It’s in his unironic moustache. It’s in his accent, the one he’s been unable or unwilling to shake despite a nomadic career that stretches from the Steel City to the Carolinas to Europe to the Bay Area.

“To these people here (in San Francisco), it’s not eloquent,” Tomsula said with a laugh. “What the hell can I tell you? It’s Pittsburgh.”

And it’s pure Tomsula. The first-year head coach still says the nickname of his hometown team the way they teach you to while growing up in Homestead, just a few miles up the Monongahela River from where Heinz Field now stands.

Take out the two ‘e’s in the middle and replace them with a single ‘i.’ Ditch the last ‘e’ and switch it with a ‘u.’ Oh, and throw in a ‘z’ at the end for good measure. Listen close and you can hear it when Tomsula is asked if he took a moment to savor his team’s decisive 20-3 victory over Minnesota in the opener on Monday.

“No, I’m worried about them Stillurz,” he said, layering on an extra thick slice of Pittsburghese.

And those Steelers are worried about Tomsula’s 49ers. There was something decidedly throwback about San Francisco’s physical domination of the Vikings. Carlos Hyde powered for 168 yards. Colin Kaepernick made plays with his legs and his feet. Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson found little room to move against the 49ers’ defensive front. For a team representing one of the nation’s most eclectic cities, San Francisco seems to have quickly adapted to Tomsula’s decidedly Old World approach.

“You have the Western, Pa., belly, the old fullback belly, run it up the gut, coming straight out of Pittsburgh,” Tomsula said. “To me, that’s the essence of football.”

One that plays in stark contrast to the way the Steelers go about their business. Pittsburgh was the only team in the league to have a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard runner and a 100-yard receiver during the first week of the season. The stats look pretty on paper. The seeming one-sidedness of a communication-marred - both in the coaches’ headsets and on the field - 28-21 loss to New England, not so much.

“The amount of yards we had, as opposed to the amount of points, it did not add up,” Steelers guard Ramon Foster said. “So, we’ve got to be way better at that.”

Some things to look for as the Steelers try to avoid their fourth 0-2 start since 2000:

SHORT WEEK: Tomsula sees no reason to worry about the tough schedule, tough travel and early game time 3,000 miles away.

“We’ve got a game Sunday in Pittsburgh,” he said. “And, we’re going to get on an airplane, we’re going to prepare this week and we’re going to go play. Give us the parameters, give us the facts and then let’s put a plan together to attack it and go at it. That’s it. That’s as deep as it gets with me.”

FINISHING WITH A FLOURISH: The Steelers only had one three-and-out in nine drives against New England, but also missed two field goals and were relegated to two more when touchdowns were needed. It was an issue early last season, one they corrected after inserting rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant into the lineup. Bryant, however, is out until Week 5 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

“If you’re settling for field goals, it’s tough to win the game,” head coach Mike Tomlin said.

SAME OLD COLIN: Tomsula takes issue with the idea that Kaepernick needed an overhaul after leveling off in 2014. Kaepernick’s numbers in the opener were pedestrian - 165 yards passing, 41 rushing and no scores - but he didn’t throw a pick and the 49ers won with ease.

“I don’t think we had something that was broke, to be quite honest with you,” Tomsula said. “What do we fix? We have a guy that is a very talented athlete. He is a very talented quarterback.”

OLD LEGS: Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams looked pretty fresh for a 32-year-old supposedly in the twilight of his career. He ran for 127 yards against New England while filling in for the suspended LeVeon Bell, though the challenge gets tougher on Sunday.

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AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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