“We’re in good shape,” cornerback
“We didn’t play very well,” strong safety
The Eagles had 182 yards rushing, 482 total net yards and averaged 6.1 yards per play on a night in which the Steelers’ first-team defense played for three quarters.
Philadelphia scored third-quarter touchdowns on drives of 60 and 80 yards engineered by backup quarterback Mark Sanchez. And the first-team defense was responsible for six of the 13 penalties incurred by the Steelers (three more flagged fouls were declined by Philadelphia).
“We just got to be consistent, be focused on our individual jobs and responsibilities, and we’ll be all right,” Allen maintained. “We just have to be disciplined. We fix our individual problems as far as within the scheme of the defense and a lot of these problems don’t exist.”
Coach Mike Tomlin’s “knee-jerk response” was much less complex.
“Defensive football is simple at times,” Tomlin said. “It’s about defeating blocks and making tackles. It didn’t appear we were coming off enough blocks consistently enough to shut down their running game.”
Rookie inside linebacker
Defensive end Cam Heyward didn’t like the results or the Steelers’ collective approach on defense.
“There’s got to be a sense of urgency going into the season,” he said. “If we don’t step it up now, Cleveland is going to come into our house and beat us.”
The Steelers have one preseason game remaining, Thursday night against Carolina at Heinz Field, before hosting the Browns in the regular season opener on Sept. 7.
“I’m not going to predict the future, whether we are or are not ready,” Polamalu said. “If you look at this performance (against Philadelphia) you could say we definitely are not. If you look at the last game’s performance (a 19-16 decision over Buffalo on Aug. 16) you could say maybe we have a shot.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement. Whether or not we improve, only time will tell.”