Oof, this one isn’t going to feel too good coming off Sunday’s loss that has put the Pittsburgh Steelers in a three-game spiral.
After a 13 penalty game, one where its offense was stuck in the mud and special teams abysmal, it’s clear the team has a lot of things to clean up.
But as Le’Veon Bell seems to describe it, these mistakes are just holdovers from practice.
Bell said practices have too many mistakes, per this tweet by the PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo.
Le'Veon Bell on the penalties and overall sloppy play: “I think we have to practice better. Even at practice we have mistakes like that."
— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) November 7, 2016
“I think we have to practice better. Even at practice we have mistakes like that.”
The old coaching cliche is the way you practice is the way you play. And Bell’s comments seem to back that up. Pittsburgh has been penalized 23 times over their past two games, the most they’ve had in back-to-back games since Weeks 3-4 of the 2014 season.
To be fair, overall, the Steelers are far from being the most penalized team in the NFL. They have 55 this season, tying them for the 12th lowest mark, per ESPN. That’s a far cry from the league-leading Oakland Raiders’ 94. But penalties have become a monumental problem the last two games and large reasons for why the offense either struggled to finish drives or get moving in the first place.
And it’s a far cry from last year when Pittsburgh was one of the most disciplined teams. They finished with just 94 total in 2015, now on pace for 110.
If they reach that figure, it will be the most penalties in the Mike Tomlin era and the most by the team since 2003, a year in which the team finished 6-10.