It was what you remember about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ special teams the most in last week’s win over the New York Giants. Penalties. And oh boy, there were a lot of them.
In total, four were accepted with two or three more being declined, canceled out by another. They hurt field position, sometimes in big ways, and made life tougher on the offense.
Speaking with Steelers.com’s Bob Labriola, Danny Smith recognizes it has to stop.
“It’s high because they’re foolish,” Smith said via Steelers.com, responding to how upsetting penalties are.
It’s become an increasingly common theme for the Steelers this season and there have been other stretches under Smith, like early last season, where the penalty number was simply far too high.
“We had way too many penalties in this past particular game. And what it is, you’re like Salvation Army and Goodwill Industry. You’re just giving it away.”
Cute quips aside, Smith says he tries to stress the impact it has on the offense or defense to help the special teamers focus on playing smart, technically sound, and ultimately not hurting the unit that’s about to step out onto the field.
“We just gave them 15 yards. There’s a huge difference of starting a drive at the 38 and starting a drive at the 23.”
The solution? It’s pretty simple, though that doesn’t always mean it’s easy.
“You just got to keep coaching it, working it. We had way too many of those in those situations.”
Given the dreary weather conditions for this week’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills, special teams and field position may be the key influencer on who wins this game. Right now, it’s hard not to give the edge to the Bills.