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Alex Highsmith Preaches Staying Together Amidst The Storms: ‘Unity Is Big Right Now’

The Pittsburgh Steelers got crushed by the Philadelphia Eagles at The Link Sunday afternoon, losing 35-13 and falling to 2-6 on the season. The defense could not stop the connection between Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown who connected for three TDs in the first half and bled yards on the ground to Miles Sanders as the Eagles closed the game out. The offense wasn’t any better as the running game was once again ineffective and Pickett was pressured all game long behind an overwhelmed offensive line.

This is the worst start that the Pittsburgh Steelers have had in nearly two decades. Staring down his first season as the team’s head coach, Mike Tomlin is trying to do everything he can to keep this team’s heads above water and keep the ship afloat.

OLB Alex Highsmith is in that boat with Tomlin, stating after the game that this is no time to start pointing fingers at one another.

“It’s so easy when you’re down like this to pull apart,” Highsmith said after the game according to a tweet by The Athletic’s Mike DeFabo. “But you’ve got to continue to stick together no matter how it goes. Unity is big right now. We’ve just got to keep doing that.”

Highsmith’s remarks of staying together in the midst of the storm quickly reminded me of another former Steeler’s message when he faces adversity. Ben Roethlisberger would quote one of his former coach’s favorite poems entitled Don’t Quit! During his career and actually had the poem hang in his locker to remind him of the adversity he would face in the game and how he needed to be that calming presence to the rest of his teammates amidst the fire and chaos going on around them.

While Roethlisberger was worn down physically at the end of his career, he somehow was able to rally the troops when they needed him most and keep this team competitive to the very end. While Kenny Pickett has shown some of that charisma to start his NFL career last week against the Dolphins, the rest of this roster needs to start doing the same to help out their young rookie QB as he attempts to help this team win games in his first NFL season.

A steady ship sails all tides, and that is the type of ship that Pittsburgh needs right now. This isn’t to say that changes don’t need to be made to the roster and the coaching staff because it’s evident that they do. However, as an African Proverb states, “If there is no enemy within, the enemy on the outside will do us no harm.” Opposing teams will use any hint of dissension amongst the locker room and the coaching staff to their advantage. The Steelers need to overcome this adversity and stick together, regardless of how hard it is.

RB Najee Harris mentioned the importance of holding each other accountable and take this season seriously. Highsmith sees it the same way but recognizes the importance of having love for each other in the equation when the media, the fan base and other outside forces are trying to pull them apart, much like Harris mentioned earlier this season as Pittsburgh’s struggles started. Heading into the bye week, we will see just how unified the Steelers are as a team when they come back from an extended absence to play the Saints November 13.

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