Coach Mike Tomlin knows the team has to put more points on the board to get back in the win column.
This is the first time that Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin has experienced opening a season 0-2, the first time the team has been two games under .500 since he took over the coaching reigns in 2007.
Tomlin isn’t about to panic. That isn’t the way he operates. He isn’t going to change the way the team goes about their business. That isn’t his style either.
But there is one thing you can be certain of, he is going to do everything in his power to find a way to correct things to turn the season around fast.
“We’re going to continue to work and continue to get better, like I said last night, there were things that were better,” said Tomlin. “There was more positivity, there was less negativity. It didn’t show significantly on the scoreboard and it needs to do that. That’s what this week’s work is going to be about for us.”
Tomlin pointed to a lack of productivity in terms of putting points on the board as a major issue for the team, scoring just 19 points in the first two games.
“Nineteen points in two football games is not going to win a lot of football in this league,” said Tomlin. “If you would have told me we would have scored 19 points through the first two games, I would have told you we would have had an opportunity to be 0-2. We understand what that is. We are working hard to rectify that. (Monday) night, there were some things that were better. But still not good enough is the reality of it.”
In comparison, the Steelers opened the 2012 season with a 1-1 record, but put 46 points on the board in those two games combined. Yes, there was improved play from the Titans game two weeks ago to the Bengals game on Monday night, but it has to show in the final score.
“There were more positive plays and less negative plays than our first time out, really in all three phases. But it has to show on the scoreboard,” said Tomlin. “We didn’t do that. I knew the game potentially had the opportunity to be a low-scoring affair. It was the last time we played them late last year. They are a very good football team.
“But we have to outscore our opponents. We have to do everything in our power to do that. We didn’t do it.”
Tomlin did single out the special teams play, in particular Felix Jones for giving them good field position on the opening drive with a 34-yard kickoff return and Antonio Brown who had a nice 40-yard punt return to put the Steelers in position for their first quarter field goal. He was also pleased with the contributions of some of the younger players such as, linebacker Jarvis Jones and receiver Derek Moye, but knows there is a lot of work to still be done.
“We are in this thing to win,” said Tomlin. “We didn’t win (Monday) night.
“We will continue to work and improve. That’s just where we are right now. It’s a frustrating thing but frustration is a very normal emotion. We can’t let that frustration prevent us from moving forward and getting ready to attack this week’s challenge.”