Once the Week 6 matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers kicked off Sunday at Acrisure Stadium, it looked rather dismal for the Steelers against the Greatest of All Time in Tom Brady.
Against the Buccaneers and Brady, the Steelers were missing all but Terrell Edmunds in the starting secondary, forcing head coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin to play a number of practice squad members that were elevated Saturday to the active/inactive roster.
Turns out, those guys – Josh Jackson, Quincy Wilson and Elijah Riley — really stepped up alongside guys like James Pierre, Tre Norwood and Arthur Maulet, helping shut down the Buccaneers and Brady, resulting in a hard-fought 20-18 win for the black and gold that snapped a four-game losing streak.
After the win, third-year outside linebacker Alex Highsmith, who had a strip sack of Brady in the win, stated to reporters inside the locker room how thankful he was of the guys that stepped up and held the standard of play the Steelers have expected under Tomlin, but that it’s just one win and the Steelers will get back to work tomorrow.
“You know, like Coach Tomlin always says, the standard is the standard,” Highsmith said to reporters, according to video via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Chris Adamski. “Real proud and thankful for the guys who stepped up and made an impact today, because a lot of them did, and we needed it. We just gotta keep building. We’ll celebrate today, but back to work tomorrow.”
That saying from Tomlin might be viewed as a tired, old cliche, but the players inside the locker room still believe in it and buy in, and it showed Sunday against the Buccaneers. Guys like Pierre and Jackson made some important plays on the field, while Wilson and Riley saw the field in important situations and made plays when it mattered.
As Highsmith stated, guys stepped up in a big way on Sunday, helping the Steelers win an important game on the schedule, snapping the four-game losing streak to at least get back on track — slightly — on the year.
It’s important to celebrate the win, but that 24-hour rule still applies. It’s back to work tomorrow for the Steelers, who still have a lot of work ahead of them to climb out of the deep hole they’ve created at this point in the season.