The Pittsburgh Steelers offense is far from a finished product. In fact, some might suggest they are at the beginning of the project phase. Nonetheless, heading into a Week 3 grudge match with the Cincinnati Bengals, the players realize they have to be better. No one realizes this fact quite like Ben Roethlisberger.
Wednesday Roethlisberger met with media and was asked if the offense is feeling a bit of urgency to improve, after all they rank dead last in the NFL in rushing, and are struggling to put points on the board.
“Maybe a little bit (of urgency), but we still have to walk a line, careful not trying to do too much,” said Roethlisberger. “You know we’re not panicking. It’s only the second week. We’re 1-1, we lost to a team that’s 2-0 and it was a one score game till the end. It feels like a bad feeling, a bad loss, but we understand it’s real early in the season. Everyone in our division has the same record, so we’re going to get ourselves together and get ready to go.”
Fans around the globe who pull for the Steelers are all asking the same questions:
“What can the Steelers do to improve?”
“What can fix the offensive line?”
“Will the offense ever get better, or is this the new status quo?”
As for Roethlisberger, he realizes it isn’t always about X’s and O’s. Instead, just being there for your teammates, and making sure everyone is doing their jobs as a collective group.
“What I can do is just try and emphasize how important it is to play for your brother, to play for the guy next to you,” said Roethlisberger. “Doesn’t matter that you can go out there say, well I did my job today. But if we didn’t win the game and you didn’t help the team win, then it shouldn’t matter. If it does, then you kind of have the wrong mentality for this ultimate team sport. You’ve got to go out and do your job, but you also have to understand that collectively we have to do the job together. Sometimes that’s the best way I can try and help young guys, is just helping them to understand that it’s more than just what you do, it’s how did you help the team today.”
When Roethlisberger is talking about “young guys” there are plenty on the offensive side of the ball. The list of players still on their rookie contracts is lengthy:
Kendrick Green *
Dan Moore Jr. *
Najee Harris *
Pat Freiermuth *
Needless to say, Roethlisberger has been trying his best to help these young players realize not just what it takes to win, but how to play well together. As a unit, or a collective group.
“I tell the guys, no one has to be great. If we’re all good, then collectively we can be great,” said Roethlisberger. “Offense is such a group effort. It takes literally all 11 guys every play to make it work. When one guy’s a little off here or there, it can affect the whole thing. We’re just going to keep learning and growing and figuring out how we can try and get better.”
The Steelers’ offense will be attempting to prove they are trending in the right direction Sunday against a vastly improved Cincinnati Bengals team. Will they be able to get back on track offensively and develop a semi-balanced attack? That has yet to be determined, but there is no panic — yet.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes as the Steelers prepare for the Bengals this Sunday at Heinz Field in Week 3 regular season action.