Steelers News

Mike Tomlin On Criticism From Former Players: ‘I Agree With Them’

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been taking their lumps from all corners the past few days. Some of the most pointed criticism has come from familiar territory, with a range of former players from Rocky Bleier to Chris Hoke to Ryan Clark, among others, weighing in on the embarrassing brand of football that they have been displaying in recent weeks.

The defense has given up 82 points in the past two weeks. While the offense did score 37 last week, most of it came in the fourth quarter, and thanks to short fields. They only managed 10 points on Sunday, seven of which came down 38 with just minutes to go. And Pat Freiermuth suffered a concussion on the play.

The Steelers like to portray themselves as a sort of continuity, carrying a lineage of play passed down from generation to generation. In doing so, they open themselves to commentary from their former players, and when you play like they did on Sunday, they’re going to have some things to say. And you’re not going to be in any position to disagree. Head coach Mike Tomlin certainly was not.

They would know. They know the things that we value”, he said earlier today during his pre-game press conference. “I don’t know specifically what you’re talking about, but guys that have been here, guys that have been in that room, guys that understand the standards that we aspire to, they probably have a better understanding of that than anybody that’s not in that room right now. So I imagine whatever it is that you’re referring to, I agree with them”.

You’ve probably seen at least a couple of the remarks here and there, but Clark’s on ESPN obviously did the rounds especially. He works there, so he regularly comments upon his former team, and this was the second time that he’s really laid into them this year, essentially saying that these aren’t the Steelers he played for.

There’s no denying that the Steelers are in an embarrassing state right now, and it’s hard to conceive of how to get out of it. After all, they still had three All-Pro defenders on the field while the Cincinnati Bengals were putting up 41 points on them on Sunday.

So what can you do to fix it? Play music? Well, it doesn’t sound as though Tomlin intends to take on that suggestion from wide receiver Chase Claypool, whose side of the ball has its own host of problems. He did indicate that we will see some practice in pads this week.

The Steelers’ next opportunity to redeem themselves will be Sunday at home against the Baltimore Ravens, who are now two and a half games ahead of them in the standings. If they preserve any hope at all, no matter how remote, of winning the division this year, they absolutely must win this game, and their next game against Baltimore as well. And even that alone wouldn’t be enough.

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