Before beginning their on-field preparations for the Patriots, the Steelers came to grips with what had happened against the Raiders.
In the aftermath of their 21-18 loss last Sunday afternoon in Oakland, the Steelers followed what Coach Mike Tomlin characterized as "normal Monday procedure in terms of reviewing the game."
That review included, as always, collective video study and individual soul searching:
SAVE IT NEXT TIME
Ben Roethlisberger and Tomlin went over the quarterback's decision to burn a timeout rather than take a delay-of-game penalty with the game clock stopped prior to second-and-3 from the Oakland 12-yard line with 1:43 remaining and the Steelers trailing by two scores.
Roethlisberger said after the game he perceived the 5 yards as valuable at that juncture as the timeout. Taking a timeout there ensured that the Steelers would have to recover an on-side kick in the event they were able to make it a one-score game to have any reasonable shot at subsequently tying the game.
"I'll take the blame for that incident. It won't happen again," Roethlisberger said today. "(Tomlin) preferred me in that situation to save the three timeouts and take the penalty yards. He also saw where I was coming from in my thinking. But that's my fault for not getting it better at the time."
Roethlisberger defended his decision to engage referee John Parry, head linesman Derick Bowers and side judge Joe Larrew in a conversation about whether the Raiders should have been flagged for a horse-collar tackle on running back Le'Veon Bell on the previous play.
"When you horse-collar your starting tailback that's how injuries happen and that's supposed to be a point of emphasis," Roethlisberger said. "I know people are wanting me to get back in the huddle. The play doesn't come to me once I get in the huddle; the play comes to me at any time. It's not like I was blowing the coach off, the play, to argue. I was over there trying to protect my players.
"I feel as a quarterback and as a captain on this team you have to do that. You have to protect your players. You've seen me argue when I feel like it's a possibility of injury and it hasn't affected us before. I feel that's a non-issue."
TWO THAT GOT AWAY**
Antonio Brown had nine catches for 82 yards and a 44-yard punt return against the Raiders, but he also failed to convert two third downs in the fourth quarter, the second of which came when the ball went through his hands and into those of Oakland cornerback Tracy Porter.
Brown sought out Roethlisberger on the flight back to Pittsburgh to discuss, among other things, those two plays.
"I came to him in the back of the plane, thought I could have done some things better to help us win," Brown said. "Over the course of a long game that you feel that you were less than ideal, below the line with your performance, you always want to rally around the quarterback to make sure everything's on par.
"I mean, if I come down with those two footballs maybe it's a different game. I'm sure every man in this locker room may feel the same way, but I take responsibility for my play and I gotta be better."
WORK TO DO**
Rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones' playing time was drastically reduced in Oakland, a result of Jones needing to "play better from an assignment standpoint," Tomlin said on Tuesday.
Veteran Jason Worilds is once again first on the depth chart ahead of Jones at right outside linebacker.
"They want me to be more technique-sound, and I understand that," Jones said. "I understand the things I gotta do, it's a challenge. I just gotta keep on working and approach every day positive.
"I just gotta keep chopping wood. Nothing in the NFL is given to you. You gotta keep working and keep having confidence. We still have a lot of ballgames to play. There are still a lot of plays out there to be made. I just have to stay focused and take advantage of my opportunities."
THE BIG ONE
Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons didn't wait until today to let the world know he was responsible for quarterback Terrelle Pryor's game-opening, 93-yard touchdown run.
Timmons accepted responsibility for that on Monday night on "Chalk Talk," the weekly radio show he co-hosts with Steelers Radio Network sideline reporter Craig Wolfley on WDVE-FM.
"That was on me, for sure," Timmons said. "I was so zoned in on the dive (Pryor's fake to running back Darren McFadden). That's definitely a play I should have made. I'm supposed to scrape outside and make that play.
"I felt terrible. I want to be a player who makes the play for our guys, so that's on me. (Strong safety) Troy (Polamalu), any of those other guys weren't in position (to make the play on Pryor) because they were expecting me to do my job."