Steelers News

Mason Cole Lays Blame For Mental Lapses On Players: ‘For Guys To Not Know What They’re Doing On A Play Totally Falls On Them’

You’re not going to get a lot of candy and roses out of the locker room of a team that keeps losing games, especially if it’s a team that is more accustomed to winning. We’ve been hearing some pretty disturbing things from players on the Pittsburgh Steelers lately, some remarks that get your eyebrow raised and make you wonder what’s going on.

This one isn’t one of them. It’s simple frustration over players making mistakes that they know they shouldn’t be making. Pre-snap penalties, not being in position. Simple things like that. When it comes to center Mason Cole, he puts that all on the men in the locker room.

“I think we’re seeing on tape a lot of mental mistakes across our offense”, he told reporters from the locker room yesterday via the team’s website. “This is the National Football League. This is our job. This is what we get paid to do. For guys to not know what they’re doing on a play totally falls on them. Guys have to know what they’re doing. We’re given all the tools. We’re given all the assignments. It’s our job to know where we’re supposed to be and how we’re supposed to do it”.

The Steelers lead the league in one of the silliest penalties in the game, the ineligible downfield pass, though it’s a penalty that’s been on the rise for the past few years and is on pace to double the next-highest total on record for a full NFL season.

But there are false starts (the Steelers actually have the third-fewest), there are delay of game penalties (middle of the pack), and then there’s—my god—the illegal shift. There have been nine illegal shift penalties called around the league this season. Pittsburgh has two of them. They are the only team with more than one.

At least according to Cole, the players are to blame for this type of foolery. It’s not on the coaches when the players fail to shift properly, when they false start, when they are out of position, when they do the things that they should know how to do.

But ultimately everything falls on the coaches, win or lose. That’s what the job entails. You are responsible for everything, so if you have a bunch of players who don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing—something multiple players have said since Sunday’s loss—that is on you at least in some way.

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