If there is one word to sum up what the Steelers are talking about this week, it's this one.
And it wasn't talked about in a good manner.
Normally when you talk about the Steelers, it's about their physical play, their tenacity and aggressiveness in all areas of play.
But when Coach Mike Tomlin talked about his team during his weekly press conference, it was the Steelers who were getting called out for not being the more physical team in the loss to the Buffalo Bills.
"When I really look at the tape, you can go through some of the minutiae and things of that nature, but the bottom line is they were the more physical football team," said Tomlin. "It can be highlighted in terms of their (defensive) front and our inability to run the ball, but just in general, I thought in all elements of play, they were the more physical group."
Those are words that sting for the black and gold, but they are also words that were echoed from others, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger doesn't feel like wholesale changes need to be made after the team lost two straight games, he just believes they need to be more…physical.
"I don't think we need to adjust drastically," said Roethlisberger. "There are plays to be had that we are not making. I think some of it stems from physicality. I don't think we are being as physical as we should be and need to be all of the time. I think that is something we always took pride in as the Pittsburgh Steelers and being physical."
It's easy for many to point the finger at the offensive line because the offense starts up front, but Roethlisberger said that isn't accurate. He stressed that the offense needs to be more physical at every spot.
"Physicality isn't just about the line," said Roethlisberger. "I think people think that is where it is. But it's about picking up the blitzes, getting the tough yards, blocking on the perimeter. Things like that.
"When you talk about physicality, that's where everyone automatically looks. Your eyes go to o-line, d-line, because that is every single play you have to be physical. So, it naturally falls in that area. I don't think all of the fingers should be pointed there by any means. When we talk about physicality, I think the line takes it personal because they want to be physical.
"Being physical doesn't always mean I am going to go blow him off the line of scrimmage or outpower him. Sometimes being physically tough in your mind. You have to find multiple ways to be physical. It's not just the line, it's all of us. As runners, sometimes there is a guy in the hole, an unblocked guy and you have to put your head down and get the tough one or two yards. Sometimes receivers have to put their head down instead of stepping out of bounds and get those one or two tough yards. It's not everybody, but collectively we all need to be more physical. I hate that the finger gets pointed at the line because it shouldn't be there but that is where it naturally starts when you talk about an offense.
"There are a lot of things involved. Sometimes physicality is mental too. You have to be mentally tough. All of those things combined I think can hopefully turn this thing around and we can hit the plays that are there to be had."