With the #2 seed, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been rewarded with a week off. But that doesn’t mean the work has stopped. Consider this week something of a spa day for the Steelers. A chance to focus on themselves, not anyone else. That’s Mike Tomlin’s plan for the Wild Card round.
“Now we transition our efforts into how we’re going to utilize this week and this time,” Tomlin said at today’s press conference. “And really, it’s very specific for us. In all three areas of our game, we want to address known issues. Areas where we consistently fall short. And defining those areas first and working out a plan of action in terms of minimizing some of those things.”
That could mean changing up the depth chart, too, not just the scheme.
“We’re going to find increased clarity in terms of our division of labor in all three of those areas…I think it’s always a great opportunity to examine who we’re asking to do what. If it’s appropriate or if we should look at other candidates.”
The Steelers certainly haven’t been shy about shaking things up, especially on defense. Tomorrow, we’ll write about a new sub-package Keith Butler has added, seemingly the 10th different variation he’s used in 2017. So stay tuned for that.
It’s also a chance for the team to self-scout, something they didn’t do well enough last year, most notably in the AFC Championship game loss to the New England Patriots. Of course, they didn’t have the luxury of a bye week in 2016 either.
“Always during this time when you get a bye opportunity, we look at some tendency related things. Some schematic things along those same lines in an effort to stay in front of the posse.”
Finally, Tomlin said they’ll work on position-specific work and technique. To their credit, they’ve been a much better tackling team to round out the year. Only five missed tackles against the Houston Texans and as you’ll see later today in Josh Carney’s report, another good showing Sunday versus the Cleveland Browns.
Pittsburgh will play their divisional matchup on Sunday, January 14th at 1:05 PM/ET.