Staying the course

As they prepare to play Green Bay this Sunday, the Steelers are working on what they've been doing all along.

The objective for offensive coordinator Matt Canada is to ensure they do it better.

"We're gonna stick with what we're doing," Canada maintained today. "Obviously, that's not the answer and that's not the sexy answer but we believe we're on the right track. We've gotta get some cohesion up front. We're working to get that, and that's not an excuse. We've gotta produce right now, so we're not running away from it or hiding from it. But we have to continue to do what we're doing. We have to continue to put our guys in position to make plays which, until we win, when we win, we're not doing that well enough.

"That falls on me but we're not gonna try to re-invent the wheel. It's fundamental football. Everybody's doing the same stuff. It's fundamental football. We have to be better and I have to be better."

The offense has produced four touchdowns in three games (one at Buffalo, two against the Raiders and one in last Sunday's 24-10 loss to the Bengals) and has yet to score in a first quarter.

The ending against the Bengals wasn't what the Steelers envisioned, either.

The swing pass to running back Najee Harris that lost 1 yard on fourth-and-10 from the Bengals' 11-yard line with 3:09 left in the fourth quarter and the Steelers desperately trying to make it a one-score game was emblematic of what too often has been happening.

"We just didn't execute it as we hoped," Canada said. "We called a play. We had guys in the end zone. It just didn't work, so bad play.

"Plays that don't work are bad plays."

The lack of cohesion along an offensive line that's included two rookies among four new starters has been apparent but far from the Steelers' only concern, in Canada's estimation.

"I'm a big believer in everything's up front, but I don't want to say when we're not having success that that's why," he said. "When you look at us, we're just not clicking. I've said it a lot of times and it's not gonna change, it's 11 men doing their job.

"We're just like here and there and everywhere. That's not running away from our lack of what we're doing. We're not getting it done and I take that fully on me. We just gotta find a way to all be on the same page and execute at the same level at the same time. The line's part of it but the wideouts, the tight ends, the backs, the quarterback, the play-caller, we all gotta be together."

Keeping the faith through a 1-2 start is apparently the least of the Steelers' concerns, particularly as it relates to the plan and the personnel.

"We just believe we have the players to do it," Canada said. "If we go out and execute our plan and everybody does everything they're supposed to do, starting with me because I'll take all the blame for us not doing well, I'm never gonna blame any player. But once we do that and we see that executed, I suppose at that point if none of it worked then we might have something to talk about.

"But right now we don't feel like we've put our best foot forward, we know we haven't. This isn't where we want to be. You don't want to lose a game. You don't want to not execute. You don't want to not score, all those things I respect everyone having an opinion about.

"We've gotta put our best foot forward. We have to execute. We have to get cohesion. We have to play as a unit. We have to not have the penalties and those mistakes. When we see all that happen, we firmly believe we'll be doing what we want to do."