PITTSBURGH — Lower than 13 hours after a victory, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin admitted his offense wasn’t taking part in as much as the extent it achieved within the preseason.
By way of two video games, the Steelers’ offense is averaging 9.5 factors per recreation and a league-low 12 first downs. On Monday night time, Pittsburgh solely had 9 first downs and did not run a single pink zone play in a 26-22 victory in opposition to the Cleveland Browns.
And but, Tomlin mentioned the answer wasn’t in making “knee-jerk” reactions to enact “wholesale modifications.”
“We now have to get our mojo again,” Tomlin mentioned Tuesday. “We bought to get that mojo that we had within the preseason the place we’re taking part in quick and fluid with confidence, individually and collectively. We have misplaced that, to be blunt, within the final a number of weeks.
“… We do acknowledge that two is a sample. We have had two outings that aren’t as much as snuff in that regard, and so it has our consideration as we’re making ready for this subsequent one.”
The 26 factors scored by the Steelers with out a pink zone drive had been the group’s most prior to now 45 years — and probably the most within the NFL because the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs had 27 vs. the New Orleans Saints in 2016.
The Steelers managed only one offensive landing in every of their first two video games, a far cry from the 5 touchdowns scored on the primary group’s 5 preseason possessions. Pickett has been erratic up to now this season, finishing simply 60.5% of his makes an attempt — forward of solely beginning quarterbacks Bryce Younger, Joe Burrow, Bryce Younger, Deshaun Watson and Zach Wilson.
“He is performed numerous issues effectively in preparation,” Tomlin mentioned of Pickett. “He might play higher — all of us might play higher — however procedurally I like what I see from him. And often when a man procedurally is in the correct spot, the efficiency quickly follows.”
The run recreation can be stagnant with solely 96 whole dashing yards at a median of three.1 yards per carry, which ranks twenty seventh within the league. The Steelers have additionally punted 13 instances this season, tied for many within the league.
Since Matt Canada was elevated to offensive coordinator in 2021, the Steelers’ offense has sputtered and struggled to constantly transfer the ball. Since that point, each different NFL group has had not less than three video games with 400 whole yards of offense; the Steelers have had none.
“We’re not assigning blame for anybody. Clearly it begins with teaching,” Tomlin mentioned of the offense’s gradual begin. “We bought to teach higher. We bought to get these guys taking part in sooner with extra fluidity. We bought to start out sooner. We now have to play extra coordinated, notably on the early phases of video games.”
With the offensive struggles predating the 2022 season, the frustration among the many fan base reached a fever pitch Monday night time.
Steelers followers at Acrisure Stadium grew stressed with every extra punt Monday night time, booing the offense when it got here off the sector after fruitless drives.
“It is bought to get us going,” tight finish Pat Freiermuth mentioned after the sport. “Clearly it is by no means enjoyable, however we bought to be taught from that, and clearly it is extra of a motivation to let’s get this factor going. We love the followers right here, and clearly they count on good soccer, so I will be attempting to proceed to get good soccer and wins for them.”
By the group’s seventh punt Monday night time, a loud chant imploring Tomlin to fireplace offensive coordinator Matt Canada enveloped the stadium.
Requested about it Tuesday, Tomlin did not criticize the followers for his or her phrases.
“I admire their ardour,” Tomlin mentioned. “I share their ardour. All of us do, man. We love our followers, man. They encourage us. They problem us. It is an superior relationship, man. We do not run from challenges. We run to challenges.
“It is a sport leisure enterprise. It’s our job to win and thus entertain them, and so we do not begrudge them for that. We would like them to be fats and sassy and spoiled. It’s our job.”