Tale of the tape: Following the Steelers 35-30 loss to the Cowboys, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said the team needed to be more accountable and disciplined. During his press conference Coach Mike Tomlin was asked his feelings on that perception.
"It's less about feelings," said Tomlin. "And I think that's what's being relayed by the locker room. It's more about what's tangible and what's on tape. And the tape says we're not disciplined enough. The tape says there aren't enough people doing the right things on a consistent basis to produce a victory. We have to, you know, make an accounting of that. We're a very transparent group. We might not be as downtrodden as we seem, but that's because we speak truth. We speak truth openly among ourselves. We work to speak truth to you guys. We're not comfort seeking in terms of the things that have produced our record. It is what it is. We're not doing enough of the good things well enough to win on a consistent basis. We've got to change that. Part of changing that is first, acknowledging that. And so those are some of the sentiments being relayed to you and that you're sensing and feeling about our present state. You know, we still feel very comfortable that we're capable of being a good football team, but those feelings are less important than us doing the things that produce wins. So that's where our focus lies. Us acknowledging the things that have tripping us up and making the commitment to change those is where we start.
"We're just not playing well enough. We're not in the right place enough. We're not looking at the right things enough. We're not finishing plays emphatically enough. And I think it's all interrelated. When you know what you're doing and you understand what it is you're doing in great detail, and you understand how it fits into the larger picture of things, it makes you act quicker. And it makes you act more fluidly. It allows you to have the type of detail that maximizes opportunities when presented. Tipped passes don't fall innocently to the ground—they're intercepted, for example. You know, blitz patterns are cleaner and getting to the quarterback, as opposed to getting nicked or knocked off. Route combinations are cleaners, people come open a split second sooner and things of that nature. I don't want to act like it's rampant, it's not. But it doesn't have to be rampant in terms of it changing the climate, in terms of how games unfold. You hear it said in the cliché-like way all the time, regarding football. Oftentimes, these games come down to a small number of plays. And so when we're talking about lack of detail or discipline, it's not rampant. But it's enough that it's been changing the outcome of games. And it's a splattering of plays, then we need to do whatever it is required to change that. And we are."
Solid start: Ladarius Green made his debut in a Steelers uniform against the Cowboys, catching three passes for 30 yards. Green admitted to being a bit rusty, but Tomlin likes what Green brings to the table.
"I thought it was a solid start," said Tomlin. "I thought he had a couple combat-catch plays he could've delivered us, some plays I've seen him make in a short period of time from a practice standpoint. But we're excited to have him. We're excited to have his contributions. We're excited to watch those contributions grow as we continue to move forward—fully anticipate that happening. (I) like the attitude, the approach he brings to the work."
Built for battle: Rookie Javon Hargrave has been holding his own as the Steelers' starting nose tackle, and he is benefiting from the fact that he doesn't have to be an every down player as the team is using sub-package defense more frequently.
"He's done some good things," said Tomlin. "He's physically built for the battle. But also, you have to acknowledge that circumstances have been an asset to him. There's been a lot of sub-package football as it is, globally speaking, in the NFL. And that limits the number of snaps that he gets."