Maintaining balance: Coach Mike Tomlin often preaches the importance of balance on offense, and that easily could be interpreted as the run and pass attack being equal each week. That interpretation could be off, though.
"When I say balance, I am talking about capabilities," said Tomlin. "We have to be able to ring up the scoreboard and get yards in chunks by any and every means. Sometimes we are going to step into a stadium and people are going to be committed to minimizing our passing game. We have to take that run game when it's given to us. And vice-versa. The Tennessee Titans weren't going to let Le'Veon (Bell) get going, and that was obvious after a short period of time that was their mentality. So we took what was given to us.
"That is what I mean when I say balance. You can look at us at any given time and it may represent an imbalance. But I am talking about capabilities and willingness. We have to be able to cut it and slice in any way possible. I believe we have the schemes and the personnel to do those things."
- Stepping it up: To a man, those on the Steelers' defense know after watching film of the Titans game that they have to tackle better. They aren't hiding from it, more than anything, in the words of Tomlin in many cases, they are embracing it. And Tomlin, well let's just say he agrees with his players on this one.
"I thought we missed too many tackles," said Tomlin. "We are missing tackles on big plays, allowing people to score. We have to give our red zone defense a chance to operate by making some of those tackles."
The Steelers had an extra day of practice this week, a bonus day if you will on Monday, and tackling, minus the physical side of it, is something they worked on.
"I think there are certain skills you have to continually hone, and tackling is one of them," said Tomlin. "It's not necessarily the tackling itself. Obviously at this point in the journey, there is not a lot of tackling, if any tackling. But the approach, the angles in which you approach the ball carrier, the speed in which you approach the ball carrier, the way you come to balance and gather yourself, are all things you can work on and things we are focused on with our guys and their positioning relative to the position of others in pursuit is an element of tackling as well."
No-huddle: While the no-huddle offense can be used to keep a defense on its toes, Tomlin knows it can also be used for a myriad of other reasons, and he will always keep the options open.
"We don't always do it to apply pressure to defenses," said Tomlin. "Sometimes in a hostile environment we just do it to quell the crowd. We use it at different times for different reasons."