No need for panic

When the Steelers arrived at work on Monday there was plenty to look at on film, after a 20-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The loss dropped the Steelers to 5-2 on the season, tied with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North for best record, but you won't see anyone pushing the panic button.

"We know all of the mistakes, the plays we left on the field," said wide receiver Hines Ward. "We are going to learn from them and move on. It was rough. They brought a lot of looks and schemes. We didn't help the cause. We left a lot of plays on the field.

"There's no need to panic. We have a terrific football team. This is just one loss and now we have to prepare for Cincinnati."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger thinks how the team responds from the loss will be a key.

"This is definitely a gut check for us," said Roethlisberger. "We got knocked down a little bit and now it will be interesting to see how we will bounce back. We'll just have to evaluate things, but I don't think there's any reason to panic."


There was probably no player more dejected after the loss than tight end Heath Miller. Miller caught a pass over the middle with six and a half minutes left in the game and the Steelers trailing by three. Miller tried to stretch the 25-yard gain, but in doing so was hit in the hand by Saints linebacker Marvin Mitchell, forcing a fumble that the Saints recovered.

"I was fighting for extra yards," said Miller. "They knocked the ball out. It's disappointing to let your team down in that way. It's difficult. Any time you have the ball in your hands, you carry the hopes and dreams of the whole team. At that juncture of the game to turn it over, it's a killer. It's disappointing."

Miller's teammates had his back, though, knowing how unusual it is for him to fumble and appreciating that he always gives the extra effort.

"He's the best tight end in the game," said Roethlisberger. "Him fumbling there is about as freaky as Jerome Bettis fumbling at Indianapolis at the goal line. He was hurdling the defender and trying to make a play and you can't criticize a guy for that."

And while the fumble eventually led to a Saints touchdown, players know it was more than one play that cost the game.

"We are never going to fault Heath for extra effort," said Ward. "We left a lot of plays out there. We win as a team, we lose as a team."

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