Mentally sharp: The Steelers are 4-0, but if you listen to Ben Roethlisberger's evaluation of his own play on a weekly basis, you would think he was playing horribly. Far from it. Roethlisberger has 10 touchdown passes through four games and just one interception but has continually said he hasn't played well yet.
Coach Mike Tomlin seemed pleased with Roethlisberger's play when he spoke on Tuesday afternoon, but understands where his thought process is coming from.
"I think he is very mentally sharp," said Tomlin. "I think sometimes when you have the perspective he has now, he watched the bulk of football in 2019. Oftentimes when you get removed from your role and you get to watch it from a different perspective you might change your perspective on performance and evaluation thereof.
"I am not displeased in the overall trajectory of his play. I like the fact that he is being critical of his performance. I also like where he is from a mental standpoint right now. We're just going to continue to work and knock the rust off and gain the rhythm that we are accustomed to seeing from him. And hopefully we better continue to win while we do that."
The 'hot' North: The Steelers head into AFC North football this weekend when they host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Heinz Field. And it will be a battle of two teams who have won their last four games, the Steelers at 4-0, while the Browns are 4-1.
"This week we are faced with a significant challenge, one that we are excited about because we love being in the kitchen," said Tomlin. "AFC North ball is in the kitchen. It's hot in the North and we have an AFC North home game against the Cleveland Browns, a team that has won four in a row.
"We have a lot of respect for them and their journey and where they are in their journey. We're excited about the challenge that a week like this presents for us, how we manage it, prepare, how we are focused and ultimately how we play."
No message: The Steelers-Browns game on Sunday will be the first time Myles Garrett will play against the Steelers since he was suspended last season after an on-field incident where he hit Mason Rudolph with his helmet. Tomlin said he doesn't need to remind his players to not focus on that instance, but instead focus on beating a good Browns' team.
"There really is no message," said Tomlin. "My day-to-day existence kind of relays that message. There is a lot on the table in reference to this game in terms of stakes. They are a 4-1 team. We're trying to remain undefeated. We're not looking for that low-hanging fruit or reality TV storylines.
"This is a big game here in 2020."