Players say tackling better is solution

The struggles the Steelers defense have encountered so far this season stopping the run could be solved in what seems like something so easy, tackle better. It's what players pointed to as a problem after the Texans game and again on Monday after watching film.

"We are not tackling right now, but it's all things we can fix," said cornerback William Gay. "Tackle. You look at the film and that is all you see – we just missed tackles. We have to correct that. That is a must for our defense. That is what we are going to do starting on Wednesday."

The Steelers are ranked 22nd overall in run defense, allowing 4.8 yards per carry and giving up 119.5 rushing yards per game.

"We gave up too many rushing yards early on," said linebacker LaMarr Woodley of Sunday's performance. "We just have to do a better job tackling. It's just basic fundamental things we need to work on.  We did a bad job of tackling.  I know I did.

"Those are corrections you have to make. You shouldn't be missing tackles. We have to do a better overall job of just tackling. It's all about tackling."

The Steelers allowed their second 100-yard rusher of the season when Texans' running back Arian Foster carried the ball 30 times for 155 yards in the 17-10 loss.     

"We were just missing a whole bunch of tackles and we've got to go back to the basics and figure out how to get people down," said nose tackle Casey Hampton after the game. "It's uncharacteristic of us. We're missing tackles. Not taking away anything from them – Foster's a great back – but we've got to make the plays when there's an opportunity to make the plays."

Gay said focusing on tackling is a key and it's something that can be done in practice, without taking a teammate down.

"You have to do it mentally as far as fits," said Gay. "You want to be in the right fit on the tackle. You don't have to take somebody down. Every man on that field knows how to take a guy down. You just want to be right on the fit and you have to come up on the running back to make the tackle. You can do that without taking somebody down to the ground."


Injuries continue to pile up for the Steelers, but don't expect anyone to use them as an excuse.

"That's all over the league," said Gay. "There is never going to be a season that is injury free. You can't worry about that. You have to press on. That is why you have 53 guys on the roster.

"You can't cry about it. We are not going to worry about it. We have 53 guys that are capable. We are going to go out there and get back to work on Wednesday."

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