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Steelers reacts: Most fans no longer confident in team’s direction after Week 1 meltdown

Steelers Nation sounded off. Here’s what they said.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at Acrisure Stadium on January 8, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Pittsburgh Steelers fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.

Earlier this week, we polled the readers of Behind The Steel Curtain’s audience to get their thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers following their Week 1 meltdown in front of their first Week 1 home crowd since the 2014 season. Here’s what they said.

63% of fans say they’re not confident that the team is headed in the right direction.

If we had asked this question a week ago, I think that number would have been as close to 0% as you could get. My, how quickly things change.

Most said Mike Tomlin and Matt Canada are to blame for the team’s failures in Week 1.

Ah! There’s the source of the lack of faith. There were failures across the board (outside of the pass rush and the kick return game — at least there’s that!), but you’ll note that the common thread with most of them comes back through HC Mike Tomlin and OC Matt Canada.

Though there have been plenty of folks coming out to defend Canada in this particular instance, especially given some of the poor decisions he made and issues with accuracy. Pickett was credited with the 13th-highest uncatchable, inaccurate pass rate at 20.9% per PFF.

What’s inexcusable from a coaching perspective, however, is the lack of adjustments, the lack of preparedness, and the lack of ability to course correct. The entire team totaled 10 rush attempts on the day, and without ever forcing the Niners to defend the run, they new exactly how to defend the pass. It felt complacent. It felt defeating. This coaching staff needs to step. it. up.

Expectations are high for rookie Keeanu Benton.

All-Pro DT Cam Heyward officially landed on IR with a groin injury this week, expected to be out for up to eight weeks recovering from surgery. Though Heyward’s role is big enough to that we’ll likely see several depth pieces on the defensive line step up, it’s 2023 second-round pick Keeanu Benton that has BTSC voters excited.

Benton played 29 defensive snaps in Week 1, earning PFF’s second-highest defensive grade for the Steelers, showing well both as a run defender and in the pass rush.

Receiving the second-most votes was DT Larry Ogunjobi, who was unfortunately downgraded from “limited” to “DNP” on Friday, continuing to manage a foot injury he suffered in training camp.

Steelers fans expect a win over the Browns in Week 2... even if it won’t convince them things are on the up and up.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Cleveland Browns Monday night for the first of their two regular-season matchups in 2023, and 72% of those polled say they expect the Black & Gold to pull out a win.

Heading into the weekend, the Browns are 2.5-point favorites over the Steelers in Acrisure Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday evening.

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