The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t know who they will play in the AFC Divisional Round, yet, but while on the bye week, the Steelers got back to work — on themselves.
Throughout the week, Mike Tomlin emphasized players to do some self-evaluating, and self-scouting, looking at what/how they can improve heading into the next round of the AFC Playoffs.
“We’re going to go out and execute our stuff,” Ben Roethlisberger told Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Those things wouldn’t change no matter who we were playing.”
Tomlin also didn’t go light on the players, as some may have expected. Wednesdays are usually a very light practice for the Steelers, but they donned pads this week for the first time in a long time.
“Guys were really into it today,” Maurkice Pouncey said. “We know it’s elimination. We could play next week and then be at home. Guys were really locked in. They were focused. It’s an exciting time of the year.”
Not all of the work which could pay huge dividends for the black-and-gold took place on a football field, but also in the film room.
“I went back and watched myself over the course of the year,” Le’Veon Bell said. “There were a lot of balls I watched that (I saw) me taking my eyes off when I was catching it. Sometimes that can result in dropping it, sometimes I catch it.
“I’ve been putting the effort into practice to make sure I look at the ball all the way in and catch it.”
“We don’t know who we are playing, but we can look at where we make mistakes, what personnel we were in, what personnel they were in,” Cameron Heyward said. “If we can clean that up now and have a good understanding of it going in (to next week), I think we’ll be better off.”
Ultimately, the goal is to be as prepared as possible, and that includes knocking off the rust for those sat out the Week 17 game vs. the Browns, and will have almost three weeks between game action of the regular season and the playoffs. If you ask Bell, he wants the Steelers to be just like McDonald’s.
“We have a little buzz or extra little drive because it’s a playoff game,” Bell said. “We don’t want to have an on and off switch. It’s like at McDonald’s. If you order a number one, you get a Big Mac. We want to be the Big Mac every time. You already know what you’re going to get. That’s the type of team we want to be.”