After the Pittsburgh Steelers lost 35-13 to the Philadelphia Eagles, the team’s lack of accountability was brought up by both running back Najee Harris and defensive lineman Cameron Heyward. Heyward said if guys don’t have accountability, they won’t play.
“Either you learn and are accountable, or you’re not gonna play,” Heyward said. “We’ve all been given chances to succeed, if you can’t do it, you won’t play. That goes for everybody,” he said in his postgame press conference via the team’s YouTube channel.
Those are pretty strong words coming from a team captain and defensive leader, and it tells you what kind of season Pittsburgh is having. In Week 8, you shouldn’t have to talk about accountability and guys out on the field not making the plays they should. On both sides of the ball, the Steelers have had lapses in execution. That’s why this team is currently 2-6, and the road doesn’t get much easier after the bye with four divisional games left, including two against the Baltimore Ravens.
With today’s loss, Pittsburgh ended the nightmare portion of their schedule from Week 5-Week 8 at 1-3, with their only win coming against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that might not be very good. I just don’t see a path for this team to be competitive the rest of this season. They can’t score, and the defense has been a letdown relative to expectations. You can pin some of that on T.J. Watt going down, and his return will help bolster the defense, but there’s enough talent on the roster that Watt’s injury shouldn’t have had such a drastic impact on the defense.
Tomlin hinted at possibly making changes with the team heading into their bye week, and it’ll be interesting to see if anything happens with the coaching staff or the personnel. Tomlin benched Ahkello Witherspoon today for James Pierre after Witherspoon routinely got burnt by Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown, and I wouldn’t be shocked if that became a permanent change or if few more changes are made.
As it stands right now, this team just isn’t very good, and it’s clear something has to change. If accountability is an issue, then that’s a major problem that needs to be fixed, and if the way to fix it is to make changes, then those changes have to be made. We’ll see if any substantial changes are made between now and Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints.