Steelers News

Trai Essex: Steelers ‘Played Dumb Football’ Vs Dolphins

There are a lot of upset stomachs in Steeler Nation right now. The on-field product the team is delivering these days hasn’t been very appetizing, to say the least, and it’s really a trend that has been brewing for years now. It seems increasingly that even alumni are having a hard time swallowing.

Take former Steelers offensive lineman Trai Essex, one of many who have remained loyal Steelers ‘fans’, so to speak, long after their retirement, retaining that connection to the team. He often comments on the games and even analyzes film, particularly when it comes to the offensive line. I think a lot of fans will agree with his assessment of Sunday’s showing.

“I slept very angrily last night”, he said in a post on Twitter yesterday morning following the team’s 16-10 Sunday Night Football loss to the Miami Dolphins. “That game pissed me off. It would be one thing if we just didn’t have the talent. But that’s not the case. We played dumb football last night”.

That’s not an uncommon opinion right now, and not exactly unjustified, either. The offense in particular has really struggled when it hasn’t been able to rely simply on its playmakers making plays, and they have had a hard time even putting those guys in position to make such plays.

He said still on Sunday night, “This shit was predictable. We got picked off on a 16-yard hook route”, referring to the late-game interception. “We also ran a double reverse on first down. And all our DB’s have anti-interception gloves on”.

Of course, the Steelers—specifically rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett—threw three interceptions in the game, including two in the closing minutes on potential game-winning drives, while the defense dropped at least four potential interceptions. Two of them by Levi Wallace. Terrell Edmunds had one go right through his arms, while Cameron Sutton couldn’t hold on to a high-pointed pass.

Earlier in the game, he highlighted a run stop lamenting the play-calling and explaining that the fault lie not with the offensive line or the running back—Najee Harris in this instance—but rather the play itself. “We literally ran to the weak side of our OL”, he said, “despite being obviously outnumbered”.

Shockingly, that led to a negative play. But is it all part of the increasingly apparently predictability of the Steelers’ scheme? No matter how many plays head coach Mike Tomlin claims that they have to work with during the week, it’s becoming more common for national commentators to observe the limited menu they ultimately pull from in-game. Dan Orlovsky is one of them, and Essex retweeted him.

Essex, of course, knows a thing or two about plays, as does Orlovsky, both being former players. They would know if they are seeing the same things over and over again. And, well, they are. So now what? There’s nothing we on the outside can do about it.

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