Week 5 Blog: News and Notes

Friday, October 6

Excited for the matchup: The Baltimore Ravens come into Acrisure Stadium on Sunday with a 3-1 overall record, at the top of the AFC North, and a 2-0 record on the road against the division with wins over the Browns and Bengals.

"Any divisional game, let alone Baltimore at home, hopefully it brings the best out of the fans too and everybody in this building," said linebacker T.J. Watt. "Excited for the matchup. Not only because it's the next one, but it's Baltimore. They are 2-0 on the road in the division. Can't make it 3-0."

To prevent that, one of the many players the defense will have to key on is quarterback Lamar Jackson. He is a dual threat in the air and with his feet, and even though the Steelers didn't face him in 2022 because of injuries, they know what to expect.

"It's been a while since we have played him," said Watt. "He has only played three times in our appearances together.

"It's about being decisive, doing your job, understanding who has what in the run game, obviously when there is a quarterback run element of it you can't try to do too much.

"It's just tackling. I feel like every week I talk about tackling, but it's truly super important for us as defenders to get the guy on the ground early so there are not those yards after contact."

Jackson's game has continually developed, and he is using his weapons, especially tight end Mark Andrews and receiver Zay Flowers.

"I think it's comfort, comfort in the system, comfort with the guys," said Watt of Jackson's growth. "(Andrews) has always been a security blanket for him. (Flowers) now too. Just a bunch of other players that help him out. Just making quick decisions in the run game when it comes to mesh reads and the pass game."

The Steelers prepare for the Week 5 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens

One track mind: Linebacker Elandon Roberts knows what they are going to see in the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and it's a Lamar Jackson who is playing some of his best football yet.

Under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Jackson is doing even more than he has in the past, especially with his arm.

"I think Lamar," said Roberts in the biggest change in the Ravens. "Lamar has always been a great athlete and quarterback, but I think now they are allowing him to show his skillset with throwing the ball. They are throwing it now. They are now allowing teams to load the box. You see it all over the film.

"This guy is showing you why he is worth over $200 million."

While the focus will be stopping Jackson, it won't be the only thing the defense will hone in on. They know they have to take care of their own business in order to take care of the Ravens.

"Each week you game plan, you do different things," said Roberts. "But it starts with us. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror. We re-group and all of our focus has to be on the Ravens."

This will be the first time Roberts, who signed with the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, will be a part of the rivalry against the Ravens.

He is pumped for it, but also his focus is on one thing.

"It's dope," said Roberts. "I've always heard and been around to hear about the rivalry. To be a part of it is dope.

"At the same time, this week I am not thinking about a rivalry. I am thinking about going in and being defensive sound. I am thinking more about us as the Pittsburgh Steelers than the rivalry. The rivalry is fun, but most importantly I am thinking about what we need to do to be victorious."

Wanting the 'W': Linebacker T.J. Watt started the 2023 season on fire, with six sacks in four games, while setting the Steelers all-time sack record.

"I think T.J. and Alex (Highsmith) are playing really good," said Heyward. "They feed off of each other. They are making game changing plays. Obviously, T.J. started off the season with six sacks. That is the way you want to start in the pass rushing department.

"You can ask him. He is out here for W's. That is what he wants for the group."

One thing Heyward has noticed this year more than ever from Watt is his leadership and the way he is taking charge in that area, something he has grown into since he arrived in Pittsburgh.

"The thing I love about what T.J. is doing is he is leading the group," said Heyward. "It's not just him out there being a cowboy. He is talking, he is communicating. It's allowing everybody to be better because of it.

"There is a comfortability you fall into. You are a great player, but a great leader as well. T.J. has really grown into that. You see him being more vocal, challenging guys. We need guys like that. Minkah (Fitzpatrick) does the same on the backend."

Getting his shot: With tight end Pat Freiermuth hobbled by a hamstring injury this week, the Steelers promoted tight end Rodney Williams from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

Williams was signed to the practice squad at the beginning of the season, also spending the majority of the 2022 season there.

He has been patiently waiting for an opportunity and is excited to show what he can do in his first NFL action.

"I am excited. I have to stay even keeled," said Williams. "You can't let the moment get too big for you. I am definitely excited to show what I have and showcase my talents.

"(I can be) a vertical threat at the tight end position. The strong suit of my game is the pass game, getting open. I am also not afraid to mix it up, hold it up on the backside."

Williams played college ball at Tennessee-Martin, where he played in 53 games, starting 26. He finished with 99 receptions for 1,217 yards and seven touchdowns, finishing his career ranked ninth in school history in receptions.

Williams said he was hoping he did enough to make the 53-man roster at the start of the season but had confidence his time would come if he signed back to the practice squad when the 53-man roster didn't initially pan out.

"I knew because of the work I put in here, the trust the coaches had in me, I knew it was the best decision for me," said Williams. "They laid the plan out to me and let me know I am in this situation, but it will change for me. I trusted in them, and they did it for me."

Wanting to help: The Steelers signed multiple players to their practice squad this week, including a former second-round draft pick.

The team added receiver Denzel Mims, who spent part of the offseason and preseason with the Detroit Lions, after they acquired him via a trade with the New York Jets.

Mims spent his first three seasons in the league with the Jets, who selected him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

He is hoping his newest opportunity turns into something special.

"I just have to keep my head down and keep working," said Mims.

He has played in 30 career games, starting 15, and has 42 receptions for 676 yards, a 16.1-yard average. He had his most productive season in 2020 when he had 23 receptions for 357 yards in nine games, starting eight of them.

He feels like with his experience and skillset, if given the opportunity, he could bring something to the table and help the receiving corps, especially George Pickens who is drawing a lot of double coverage with Diontae Johnson on the Reserve/Injured List.

"I can help them out a lot," said Mims. "Take a lot of stress off of them with double coverage. I can make some plays to help them out. Also help them in the blocking game as well." 

Mims played at Baylor where in 49 games, 26 of them starts, he had 186 receptions for 2,925 yards, a 15.7-yard average, and 28 touchdowns. His senior season he was selected first-team All-Big 12 when he had 66 receptions for 1,020 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Coming out for the draft he had some interaction with Coach Mike Tomlin and is happy to now be on the same team.

"We have some pretty good history," said Mims. "We had a pretty good talk back in the draft and caught up when I got here. It feels great to be back with him."

Ready if needed: Run-stuffing nose tackle Breiden Fehoko hasn't suited up for a game yet with the Steelers but he's anticipating getting a helmet on Sunday against Baltimore.

"I've just been told to prepare as if I am," Fehoko said. "I'm just gonna continue preparing as if I am. If not, then I'm very confident in the guys that will be out there.

"I'm very excited if I do get to play on Sunday. Just to be a part of the guys officially, not counting preseason play, as a Pittsburgh Steeler is gonna be fun and awesome."

Fehoko brought 19 games of NFL experience gleaned during three seasons with the Chargers with him to Pittsburgh, including one against the Ravens.

"In 2021 when I was in L.A. we got our ass whupped," Fehoko recalled. 'But, I'll tell you what, we didn't have the preparation like we do here. It's different, the vibe's different. You show up to team meetings and there's just a different energy around the building, so I see why Pittsburgh is just able to be physical with teams. The identity and culture speaks for itself."

So does the Ravens' affinity for the running game. Should Fehoko make his way into the game on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium, he doesn't anticipate having to look for work.

"No, work will find you," Fehoko said. "This is a week where, they breed on running in between the tackles, whether it's QB-run, QB-read, running backs going downhill in the gap-scheme system. I promise you all the interior D-line will have all the work cut out for them on Sunday."

The Steelers haven't stuffed the run as well as they intended to in the early going this season. If called upon, Fehoko intends to be much more of a contributor than a run-game savior.

"No, there's guys here that have been doing it already," he said. "I'm just here to help out, just provide a helping hand and just help feed into the guys, the room, the pack, keep the train moving forward.

"But I do look forward to this week, though."

-- Blog entry by Mike Prisuta

Bringing you the action: For fans who don't want to miss any of the action, NFL+ is here, which means you can now watch the Steelers live and on the go! Watch live local and primetime regular season games on mobile, plus NFL RedZone, NFL Network, live audio and more - all in one place. Start your free trial today here.

Thursday, October 5

Ready for the challenge: After not facing quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2022 because of injuries he was dealing with, the Steelers will get a full dose of the Ravens explosive offensive weapon when the two teams meet at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday.

And safety Minkah Fitzpatrick knows they have to be prepared for a guy who is playing at the top of his game.

"He looks like Lamar Jackson," said Fitzpatrick. "He looks like a guy who can do it all. He looks like a guy that can get the ball out to his threats. He looks like a guy that can scramble in the pocket and make people miss and extend the play with his arm or his legs.

"He looks like the Lamar Jackson we all know and love."

That Jackson they all 'know and love' is off to another typical start. He has thrown for 794 yards in the air, with four touchdown passes and just one interception, through four games for a quarterback rating of 104.23. He also has 220 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground.

"It's always a tough matchup when you are going against Lamar, or any guy like Lamar," said Fitzpatrick. "You have to be on your Ps and Qs, 24/7. You might have to come out of your assignment and help out when he's scrambling. When you are in coverage, you have to cover for X amount of time. It's a chess match."

Last year the Steelers faced Tyler Huntley in both matchups, and while Fitzpatrick likes going against Jackson, he is just pumped for another AFC North matchup.

"We are just excited to play the Baltimore Ravens," said Fitzpatrick. "They are an AFC North team, a great football team, a hard-nosed football team. I think we are both built the same type of way in regards to the type of team we are.

"Whoever plays quarterback, that's who plays quarterback. This week it's going to be Lamar. It's a challenge, but a challenge we are willing to take on."

Steelers-Ravens games have traditionally been some of the most physical battles of the season and Coach Mike Tomlin didn't hold back this week, calling upon his team to play more physically.

They are ready to answer the call. 

"We've got to be more physical," said Fitzpatrick. "That is what the coach asks us to do, so that's what we've got to do.

"We had pads on. So, we have to be more physical than when we don't have pads on.

"Besides that, we have to go about our business, be more detailed. When we are able to play fast, we play more physical. When you're hesitating, guessing and assuming, you play a lot slower. You aren't playing as downhill as you would like. Part of it is being in pads. Part of it is being more detailed."

Liking what he sees: Defensive tackle Cameron Heyward made one thing certain on Thursday.

He will be back on the field this season.

What he doesn't know, is when.

"I don't think I can really speak on the injury yet," said Heyward. "I'm working as hard as I can to get back. I don't know (when I'll be back). I'm working my tail off trying to get back. We'll see when we get there."

While he isn't on the field, his presence is still being felt by his teammates. Heyward, one of two defensive captains along with linebacker T.J. Watt, is helping the young defensive linemen as much as possible.

"When I look at the group, there's some good things and bad things," said Heyward. "We're 2-2. As a group just have to keep battling back, gotta be more sound in the run game. We get off the field and control the line of scrimmage, it's going to look a lot better and it's going to allow our pass rushers to really get out there."

Heyward is liking what he is seeing from those who are being asked to step up, including rookie Keeanu Benton.

"Just great hands," said Heyward of Benton. "He's got more of a feel for the game. Mistakes he was making in the preseason, those have been eradicated. I think he feels a lot more comfortable. I loved when I first saw him in preseason, I caught him glaring up in the stands. It's a different feeling in an NFL game. I thought he really settled down and he is ready for the fight."

Benton isn't the only one Heyward has been impressed with. 

"I'm proud of those guys," said Heyward. "Keeanu is growing every week. Larry Ogunjobi taking more of a leadership role in our room. There's been a multitude of guys. DeMarvin Leal is playing a lot more. How about Mont(ravius) Adams. Mont Adams, I feel like has really come on. It's a process that's not just defined by one game or one quarter of the season. We have to continue to keep growing. And I think Coach (Karl) Dunbar is doing a (heck) of a job."

Heyward has been traveling with the team since the injury, wanting to be there as a support system and an extra set of eyes on the sideline.

"Whether it's what I see on the field, trying to keep guys together, whatever is needed," said Heyward. "Unfortunately, I have been in this situation one other time when I tore my pec. Just in that sense, I feel like I learned a lot about how I can be better, what the team needs. Luckily, I get to come back during the season at some point. Just be an extension of players to coaches, coaches to players, seeing what I see."

The Steelers prepare for the Week 5 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens

It's about the details: Receiver Calvin Austin III knows the offense can be better. He knows they have the talent to be better. He just thinks it's the small things they have to focus on to give them the burst they are looking for.

"I don't know that it's necessarily something drastic we need to change, we just need to play with better intensity, better focus and better detail," said Austin. "I think when we look back at film, if we clean up this little detail, that little detail, we had a play. When we go back and look at that, all we can do is look in the mirror and each person come out and respond to that challenge."

Austin echoed what running back Najee Harris said previously, that there have been conversations in the meeting about how they can improve.

"It went back to when we looked at film, each person looking at themselves," said Austin. "It's not anything where we have to point fingers, look at a different position or anything of that matter. I think we just took that approach of, forget all the other talking, just each person focus on themselves and play as hard as the team we are lining up against.

"We have the guys. We have the talent. We know we can get the job done.

"It was some players that voiced how they have been feeling. I think we have been on the same page, but we got more on the same page."

And that will be a key this week when they take on the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens' defense is ranked third in the NFL, including third against the pass. The Steelers are ranked 30th overall in total offense, and the passing game is ranked 26th.

It's going to be a physical battle, a battle Austin is looking forward to being a part of for the first time.

"It's very intense," said Austin. "Each team has a great deal of respect for each other and just the history behind it. It's an honor to be a part of this rivalry. It's great intensity.

"Each team knows each other. There aren't really many secrets or things you will find out on a game day. Everybody knows what to expect. It's about getting out there and playing hard."

Bringing you the action: For fans who don't want to miss any of the action, NFL+ is here, which means you can now watch the Steelers live and on the go! Watch live local and primetime regular season games on mobile, plus NFL RedZone, NFL Network, live audio and more - all in one place. Start your free trial today here.

Wednesday, October 4

Ready for his turn: It will be a big week for Steelers No. 1 pick Broderick Jones, who is in line to get his first NFL start with left tackle Dan Moore Jr. already ruled out for Sunday's game against the Ravens with a knee injury.

"I am excited. I am ready to go," said Jones. "Just ready to get the week started, get the preparation in all the phases of the game going. Locking in on what I need to and trying to perform to the best of my ability."

Jones said his mindset won't change at all this week, as every week he goes into it with the thought that he is just one play away from stepping on the field.

"It's the same always," said Jones. "It's always one play away. We always say that, so we try to prepare to the best of our ability even if you are not a starter, because you never know."

Against the Houston Texans Jones didn't know he would be called into action. But that was the case when Moore was injured, and he was pleased with what he put on tape.

"I feel like I had a solid game," said Jones. "It's little things to clean up here and there. Little technique things. Small little errors. I feel like that was the jitters I had going into the first game. Nothing too bad. But it always looks worse until you watch film."

Jones can lean on some of the experience he got against the Texans as he prepares for the Ravens, having an opportunity to face an opposing defense instead of his own defense in practice.

"It was good for me to get the feel for it in live action instead of going against (our) team like I have been doing the last couple of weeks," said Jones. "It was solid for me to be able to go out there and get the feel for the game."

One of the things Jones wants to see from the offense this week is establishing the run. Coach Mike Tomlin preached about the need for the team to be more physical, and Jones knows pounding the ball is one way to do that.

"Running the ball," said Jones. "I think just getting after it physically up front, running the ball, just keep pounding it. I feel like that wears a defense down.

"At the position I am in, o-line, physicality is all it is. You always want to be physical up front. That is what gets the team going. It always starts in the trenches.

"The run game sets up everything in the offense, no matter how you look at it. If you are able to run the ball, you can take shots down the field, you can get them to load the box and go around outside. The run game plays a big factor in any offense."

Putting on the pads: Coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday the team would be putting on the pads for Wednesday's practice.

And they did just that.

Tomlin wants to see the players come out and be more physical this week and it all began with Wednesday's practice.

"Mentality wise it helps your physicality," said receiver George Pickens. "Physically, everybody sees we are wearing pads. But mentally it ups your aggression and ups your game.

"Most of last year we did a practice like this every five days. Mentally it helps us."

Pickens knows there is one other thing that is needed to get the offense going in addition to the physical aspect.

And it's actually pretty simple in his eyes.

"Just converting the downs. That is the game of football," said Pickens. "You can start as fast as you want if you convert every first down. I will say converting first downs for sure. Stay in the first down area, not get to third and long and get us in a bad area.

"I feel like we have enough balance. It's converting. Sometimes we have three-and-outs. I would say converting."

The Steelers prepare for the Week 5 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens

All too familiar: Rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. hasn't played in a Steelers-Ravens game yet, but he has seen plenty of them growing up watching his dad, former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter Sr., play in his share.

Porter understands what the rivalry is all about and is looking forward to Sunday's game at Acrisure Stadium.

"It's a regular-season game, but it's not played as a regular-season game, like Coach T (Mike Tomlin) always says," said Porter. "This is a big game for everybody. It's a division game, it's a rivalry that goes deep in the past. We've just got to bring that energy and play."

Porter said he won't be surprised if this one is a little more chippy than some of the other games on the schedule as it's just the way it's always been played.

"Probably, just off the rivalry and history of the two teams and the battles we have had," said Porter. "It's going to be a chippy game."

For the defense, one of the key factors this week is going to be finding a way to contain Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Not an easy task by a longshot.

Jackson has 794 yards in the air, with four touchdown passes and just one interception, through four games for a quarterback rating of 104.23. He also has 220 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground.

"He looks good," said Porter. "He is an MVP quarterback. He won it before. He is definitely good at the game. He is no slouch. We just have to bring that pressure to him."

Porter is hoping he gets his shot to do just that. His snap count decreased this past week after a slow but steady increase since week one.

"You are always eager to get out there," said Porter. "You always want to play."

Tomlin said Porter is getting more work on Wednesdays when veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson is rested, and it's benefiting him.

"Really just showing them that I can prepare myself as a guy that's been in the league for a long time, even though I'm a rookie," said Porter. "Learning from the vets like Pat P and Levi (Wallace), just getting under their wing and letting them show me the ropes."

Getting you caught up: The Steelers made multiple roster moves on Wednesday, including promoting tight end Rodney Williams from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The team also signed receiver Dez Fitzpatrick and tight end Noah Gindorff to the practice squad.

Williams was signed to the practice squad at the start of the regular season, and spent the majority of the 2022 season on the Steelers practice squad.

He was originally signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NFL Draft but released during the preseason.

Williams played college ball at Tennessee-Martin, where he played in 53 games, starting 26. He finished with 99 receptions for 1,217 yards and seven touchdowns, finishing his career ranked ninth in school history in receptions.

Fitzpatrick began the season on the practice squad but was added to the 53-man roster on Sept. 14. He was released from the active roster on Oct. 2.

Fitzpatrick was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He played in four games in 2021 and was on the Titans practice squad in 2022, playing in one game. Fitzpatrick has five receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown in five regular season games.

Fitzpatrick played at the University of Louisville where he had 154 receptions for 2,589 yards with 21 touchdowns during his career.

Gindorff was originally signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent following the 2023 NFL Draft.

He played college football at North Dakota State where in 53 games he had 44 receptions for 522 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was selected All-MVFC Second Team and to the MVFC All-Academic team in 2020-21. He also was a 2021 HERO Sports All-America Third Team selection.

Gindorff, who took part in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, played an extra season at North Dakota State because of the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 season.

Necessary refresher: Center Mason Cole envisioned head coach Mike Tomlin's decision to have the Steelers put the pads back on today having the desired effect in advance of practice.

"It's certainly gonna help, I imagine, anytime you put pads on," Cole suggested. "You get a better feel for double-teams, a better feel for your single-blocks, it's just better all around. The defensive line taking on double-teams, blocks on the second level, it's just overall beneficial for us."

Opportunities to practice in pads in-season are limited by the CBA. But Tomlin had identified on Tuesday the Texans being "more physical than us," and playing "harder than us" as critical components of the Steelers' 30-6 loss on Sunday afternoon in Houston. As it turned out, he had committed to a padded practice in advance of making such plans public.

"In the midst of that game, I'm standing on the sideline saying, 'We're practicing in pads next Wednesday," Tomlin acknowledged.

The Texans, after further review, were also the more physical team in Cole's estimation.

"Yeah, across the board," he said. "You watch that film and we weren't as physical as we could be. We weren't playing as hard as we could be for whatever reason, and Houston was, and the results show that. It's obviously on us to fix it and we will."

So the practice in pads was perceived as necessary as well as timely by Cole.

"It's also Ravens week," he pointed out. "I think it just sets a tempo for the week and how we see this game playing out."

A more physical approach, in theory, would produce more consistency in the running game and, Cole hopes, more opportunities to run the ball.

"Listen, man, we play offensive line," he explained. "We don't want to sit back and drop back (to pass) a bunch of times. We want to run the ball. I think if you go across the league and ask every offensive line, they're gonna say they want to run the ball. That stays true here, we just gotta be better at it.

"We have to be more efficient, more consistent so we don't get in circumstances where we don't run the ball."

-- Blog entry by Mike Prisuta

Bringing you the action: For fans who don't want to miss any of the action, NFL+ is here, which means you can now watch the Steelers live and on the go! Watch live local and primetime regular season games on mobile, plus NFL RedZone, NFL Network, live audio and more - all in one place. Start your free trial today here.

Monday, October 2

Staying locked in: The Steelers loss to the Houston Texans still stung on Monday when players were available in the locker room at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, but they can't let it linger too long.

"Of course you are mad about it, upset about it," said linebacker Markus Golden. "But this is the NFL. Once the next week comes up, today you watch the film and then you are onto the next team. That is the good thing about the NFL, you get to come back the next week and prove yourself. That is the mindset we are going to have."

The 30-6 loss to the Texans has the Steelers sitting at 2-2, with the Baltimore Ravens the team they are looking to rebound against.

And when it comes to Steelers-Ravens, it's never easy. When the two meet, you know it's going to be a battle, and even though he has never played in the rivalry, Golden knows what it will be like.

"Every week I try to take advantage of the opportunity to play, but it's the Ravens this week and we know they've got a good team," said Golden. "Each week you can get out there and prove yourself, that is what you want to do.

"This is my first year. I know it's crazy playing against the Ravens, being a Steeler. But you need a win. It's the NFL. Especially this early in the season, every win really matters."

One player Golden knows they have to focus on is Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who can hurt you with his arm and his legs.

"It's just locking in on what we've got to do this week," said Golden. "We're playing a great quarterback in Lamar Jackson, so we're going to have some things to do to make sure we contain him. So just locking in on your job. I just know we have to lock in on our jobs and go out there and get ready.

"He is a great quarterback. He is one of the most electric players in the NFL and you have to be ready to plan for that."

One of the keys for the defense is finding a way to stop the run, something that hasn't come easy in the early part of the season. Golden said the answer is simple, they just have to do it.

"When you have a bad day against the run, you have to tackle better," said Golden. "Tackle better, do your assignment better. We have a chance to fix that.

"Wrapping up, put your body on a man, getting a man down basically, whatever you gotta do to get him down within the rules. That is what it's about. There's always ways to fix it.

"It's still early in the season. It's 2-2. You've got to be a man about it, look at the film, watch it and know what you did wrong, get up, fix the mistakes, don't complain, and don't feel sorry for yourself."

Take a look at the best photos from the Week 4 game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium

A loss is a loss: Whether you lose by one, or lose by multiple touchdowns, it all gets recorded the same.

But safety Keanu Neal knows, when you lose by multiple touchdowns, like the Steelers did in the 30-6 loss to the Texans, you have to really look at it.

"A loss is a loss, but when you lose by as many touchdowns, that is something you have to go over the film and really dive into what went wrong," said Neal. "That shouldn't happen. We shouldn't allow that to happen. But a loss is a loss, for sure."

After the game Coach Mike Tomlin asked if changes would come because of the loss.

He didn't hold back.

"(Heck) yeah, we gotta make some changes," said Tomlin. "That was an ugly product we put out there today and so we're not going to do the same things and hope for a different outcome. What those changes are, we'll put together a plan in preparation this week."

What those changes are is yet to be seen.

"You have to evaluate what's going on and you have to adjust and adapt," said Neal. "That is this business. It's a business of winning. If you don't win, changes are made."

One thing the defense wants to change is the success their opponents are having in the run game. Stopping the run has, and continues to be, a major emphasis.

"I would say it's execution of our defense, staying in our gaps, really dialing in on that and making tackles," said Neal. "It's really that. Fundamentals. Missed tackles hurt us last game. We had guys in position, and we just missed them, myself included.

"Attention to detail and execution. That is really what it boils down to. Execution. That is really it. Doing our job at the highest level."

Neal knew when the team went to watch film there was going to be some critiquing going on, and it's necessary.

"You gotta critique yourself," said Neal. "That is what this business is, especially when you lose. You have to go in, watch the film, critique it, take the constructive criticism, learn from it and move forward. It's always something you can learn and grow from."

Bringing you the action: For fans who don't want to miss any of the action, NFL+ is here, which means you can now watch the Steelers live and on the go! Watch live local and primetime regular season games on mobile, plus NFL RedZone, NFL Network, live audio and more - all in one place. Start your free trial today here.