An 0-4 start leaves the Pittsburgh Steelers searching for answers on how to score their first win. Coach Mike Tomlin’s post game comments suggest changes may be in order to fix a team. And we are all ears as to what changes will be made.
In watching their four weeks of failure, their two biggest problems seem to be blocking on the offensive line and tackling on defense. Both of these issues point to what quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talked about in the week leading up to London: a lack of attitude.
The Steelers are not playing with enough “nasty” to win football games. Whether it is watching Mike Adams play patty-cake with Jared Allen or William Gay and Cortez Allen whiffing on tackles, there does not seem to be enough old-school aggressive play. The culprits are numerous but here is a quick take on who has been set on the easy-listening channel so far this season.
It’s time now to turn up Drake, “Started from the Bottom” cause this whole team can’t go anywhere but up.
1. Mike Adams: What the heck happened to one of most highly-touted tackles in the 2012 draft? Adams has been a one-man wrecking crew to the Steelers offense. He doesn’t appear to be interested in engaging blocks or moving his feet to protect the quarterback. After his poor showing against the Vikings, it appears Tomlin has had enough.
Swingman Kelvin Beachum has replaced Adams and is taking first-team snaps this week in practice. The Steelers also made a surprising in-season trade, acquiring Cardinals starting left tackle Levi Brown. Brown hasn’t been great this season but he did play well enough in 2011 to receive big money from the Cardinals. No matter what, Brown has to be an upgrade over current backup Guy Whimper. However. he costs too much to remain a backup for the whole season. When Todd Haley coached in Arizona, Brown was the starting RT.
2. Ryan Clark: Clark has been the player standing up in the locker room after each defeat, fielding question after question on the Steelers’ continued defensive failures. Problem is, it has been hard to find him on the field. His stats appear to be good, as he has 29 tackles, but after four games last season, Clark had already grabbed an interception and forced a fumble. He looks too slow at free safety and has not provided much help in coverage. We also have yet to see one of his notorious big hits. Maybe that great play from 2012 is starting to catch up to those 33-year-old legs.
3. Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds: Four games, zero sacks. Enough said.
4. Emmanuel Sanders: Will we have a game this season where we don’t have to watch Sanders acting like Susan Lucci in a Steelers uniform? Whether it is stomping his foot after an interception, not completing plays because the ball was not thrown to him, or bumbling a perfectly thrown ball, Sanders has been one of the most frustrating players on the offense.
The drama started this offseason when the Steelers were forced to pony up and sign Sanders away from New England’s offer sheet. His final contract season in Pittsburgh has so far been lots of talk, but little substance. Hopefully his 36-yard over-the-shoulder grab against the Vikings is sign of improvement. He is averaging just 57 yards per game and has caught only 20 of 38 balls thrown his way. The Steelers need more from their No. 2 wide receiver.