By far the most annoying thing while listening to any sports radio when the Steelers are concerned is each and every caller feeling the need to qualify their “football IQ” by starting off their rant with the following phrase, “I’ve been a Steelers fan for __ years.” It seems like no other fan base is as concerned with ranking their fandom quite like Steeler Nation. “I’ve been watching the Steelers for 47 and 3/8ths of a year so I clearly no more than you.” Anyway, here’s what’s being said about your Pittsburgh Steelers around the block.
Mike Prisuta of the Steelers website reviewed the Steelers loss to New England for all of our enjoyment. Upon further review, it’s worse than you think it is. The 55 points New England scored on the Steelers broke a franchise record as di the 610 yards of offense allowed. Those monster offensive numbers the Patriots posted included three receivers with 100+ yards receiving each as well as RB Stevan Ridley racking up 115 yards on 26 carries. The Steelers have allowed 100+ rushing yards in each of their six losses so far this season, with Oakland and New England both rushing for 197. In the two victories; the Jets were limited to 83 rushing yards and the Ravens 82. Some of the veterans are suggesting that it’s now gut-check time for the team.
“Just gotta get up, get up and fight. We’ve all been in fights. We’ve all been knocked down. A lot of character is going to be on display this next week to see how we respond to getting beat like this. I think we’ll respond accordingly. This is a disgusting taste, nobody likes it. The only thing you can do is dust yourself off and get back to work.” – Brett Keisel
Hmmm. I seem to remember similar comments made in regards to the 8-8 finish last season. Thought maybe that was what the team needed to “get back to work”.
Steelers vs. New England Report Card
Gerry Dulac of the PPG handed out his report card for the Steelers performance in New England. Spoiler alert! They failed. Actually, the offense got some respectable grades considering Ben Roethlisberger was able to shake off a horrendous sack/fumble and terrible interception from the first half to post four touchdowns and bring the team back from a 24-10 deficit to tie the game. Dulac gave the entire defense an “F” which is completely understandable for a unit that allowed a historically bad amount of points and yards. Dulac also gave the coaching staff an “F” which is also completely warranted. I may be the biggest Tomlin-defender on the staff but the coaching has to be responsible for a performance like that.
Steelers’ effort a disgrace
Never one to mince words; the Trib’s Dejan Kovacevic had some harsh ones for the Steelers following the loss in New England. Kovacevic describes the Steelers loss as “disgraceful” and “embarrassing”. Hard to argue with that. The Steelers defense is not feared at all anymore. It seems as though the team is playing a different game entirely as opposed to what is going on with the rest of the NFL. The numbers show that Tomlin has failed to have his team prepared for games as they’ve been outscored in the first quarter 61-19 so far. Not only that, they look bad doing it.
While you have to trace the first quarter performances back to the coaching staff, I’m wondering what is going on with these players? I can’t possibly believe that Tomlin has abandoned walk-throughs or game-planning so what is getting lost between the week of preparation and when they actually take the field? Early in the season we heard that the team’s veterans had taken control of the locker room activities and then subsequently, Tomlin put an end to all of them. When you stop to look at who made the biggest mistakes on the field Sunday afternoon, who looked out of place or behind a step, was it the young guys or the veterans? Perhaps these veterans have been the problem all along. Maybe the messages the coaching staff is delivering isn’t getting through to the veterans for one reason or another.