Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers have had a miserable start to their season, those on the field and in the locker room remain optimistic, perhaps not necessarily about their chances of making the postseason (it’s still far too early for that), but simply about the level of talent they have in the locker room, the demeanor of those players, and their ability to win games.
“I really like that about us now, everybody’s pissed but in a motivated way to try to do better”, said veteran cornerback Joe Haden, now in his third season with the Steelers since signing with them in August of 2017. He is still working his way back from a shoulder injury, but has not missed any meaningful in-game time as a result.
Anybody who values collective success in their profession ought to be pissed about beginning a football season with an 0-3 record. That’s a large chunk of the season, and a deep hole to climb out of, but fixating on the losses doesn’t help what you need to do, which is win the next game.
Overcoming a losing streak requires a locker room full of people with a healthy mindset about what it takes to do so. They had that in 2016, believe it or not. After losing four games in a row mid-season, they went on a nine-game winning streak that took them all the way to the AFC Championship game.
They will need something similar to salvage this season, barring the AFC North tanking, and the next couple of games for the Baltimore Ravens will be critical in that regard, as they play both the Cleveland Browns and the Steelers. But Pittsburgh is focused only on one thing right now: beating the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night at Heinz Field.
“I think the team is still super motivated. We’re just honestly wanting to change it up. As long as people aren’t coming in here pissed, they’re just really wanting to make something happen, wanting to do better on defense, wanting to do better on offense”, Haden told Mike Prisuta for the team’s website.
“So it’s use it as motivation, not as, ‘oh man, we can’t do anything. Who’s doing this? Who’s doing that?’. No name-calling, no blame, it’s all everybody look at themselves and figure out what can you do to make the Steelers one play better”.
It probably goes without saying that there is plenty of room for growth up and down the roster, at every position, and down to pretty much every player as well. While there have been some players who have fairly consistently done their job this year, collective improvement is the only way they can start winning some games.