The Steelers sometimes need an entire regular season to allow a punt and field goal to be blocked, give up a kickoff return touchdown and fumble a punt.
Danny Smith's Steelers have managed to do that in just three preseason games.
In preseason, the Steelers have allowed a KO return, had a punt blocked, a FG blocked and fumbled a punt.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 25, 2013
Wins and losses don't matter to fans in the preseason, but special teams gaffes sure do. There's a significant problem here, and as Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in his press conference following the team's 26-20 (OT) loss to the Chiefs, they are running out of time to fix those problems.
Those are all significant events in the course of a normal game. They're big boosts in terms of breaking open a tight game, or giving one team a jolt of momentum. The fact the Steelers are continuously on the wrong side of plays that are, statistically speaking, rare occurrences is beyond troubling.
Whether it's a personnel issue or a coaching issue, the Steelers have let go of their special teams coach in preseason before - last year they parted ways with Al Everest suddenly. Not to suggest Smith should be terminated, but clearly, the group under his watch has performed far worse than Everest's did.
These games count pretty quick, and it's a fair assumption Tuesday's first cut list will include several players who did not get the job done on special teams over the team's first three preseason games.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Chiefs vs. Steelers Postgame Recap: news, updates and more following Steelers 26-20 loss to Chiefs
- Jarvis Jones released from hospital, tests were 'inconclusive'
- Roster cuts due at 4 p.m. Tuesday
- 5 things we learned in loss to the Chiefs
- Beachum may continue in spot tight end role
- Roethlisberger named Steelers Digest Player of the Game
- Passing game keeps Chiefs off balance
- Jarvis Jones Injury: Steelers linebacker suffered chest injury in loss to Chiefs
- Winners and Losers from Steelers loss to Chiefs in Preseason Week 3
- Chiefs vs. Steelers Final Score: Penalties haunt Pittsburgh in 26-20 overtime loss