- Flag football: Penalties proved costly for the Steelers in their 21-14 loss to the Ravens on Sunday, when they were penalized 13 times for a total of 99 yards. Coach Mike Tomlin pointed to penalties, especially pre-snap penalties, as being something that needs to be addressed, beginning this week when the Steelers host the Dallas Cowboys at Heinz Field.
"We can't be as penalized as we have been penalized," said Tomlin. "It's tough to win in this league. It's increasingly more difficult when you shoot yourself in the foot. We have to get away from that. We have been good at that in the past, we have to get back to being good at that. We haven't been good at that in the last several weeks, and probably more disturbing than the fact that we are being penalized is some of them are procedural things, pre-play things. In play things sometimes happen, a facemask penalty in an effort to make a play. False starts, offside, delay of game, covering up eligible receivers. Those things are very much in our control and we have to eliminate.
"The penalties have to stop. We can't be as highly penalized as we have in the last two ball games."
- Stepping up: With Antonio Brown drawing double coverage on a regular basis, Tomlin stated that, "It's important that we get consistent contributions from guys not named Antonio Brown." One player who could help with that is Eli Rogers. Rogers started off strong, but injuries have limited his playing time. Against the Ravens he had six receptions for 103 yards, and Tomlin said more of the same is needed.
"He made some plays," said Tomlin. "He is another guy that has missed a substantial amount of time due to injury and has lost some fluidity in terms of his contributions. It was great to see him do some of the things that we hadn't seen him do since the opener. Hopefully that is the springboard for him this week."
Practice makes perfect: Le'Veon Bell was critical of the team's performance in practice last week, stating, 'I think we need to practice better.' Tomlin, who said he is open to making whatever changes needed in order for a better performance, agreed.
"When you play like that, that is a natural response and an appropriate one," said Tomlin. "We work to practice as cleanly as we can practice. We bring officials to our practice. For example on Friday to place an emphasis on the possession down work that happens on Friday and how clean we need to play in that area. You need nothing more than to look at the quality of our play a week ago to make that determination, so that is no earth-shattering statement."