Steelers Week 1: Team Quotes and Comments

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The Steelers dropped week 1 against the Patriots. They made numerous mistakes and arguably beat themselves. That being said, with all the communication issues, players missing, and other issues including time management and two missed field goals, it’s actually kind of a good sign that the Steelers lost by 7.

There was plenty to be explained, and explain they did. Let’s hear what they had to say…

  • Defense

The Steelers defense had a rough night. Brady completed about 80% of his passes and at one point came within a few completions of the all-time streak. It was bad, especially the secondary and communication is concerned but tackling was also very poor on all levels.

As reported by Dale Grdnic of the Associated Press, after the game Cam Heyward said, ”We can say this and that, but at the end of the day they caught the balls. We didn’t convert. We didn’t get off the field, and we didn’t win in every situation.”

Chris Adamski of the Tribune-Live got the following quotes on the defense.

From Arthur Moats, “We have a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to communication. A lot of the plays that we gave up were from lack of communication. We’re not making excuses. We feel like as professionals, from the first game to the Super Bowl, new coaches or whatever, we’re supposed to be hitting on all our cylinders and making sure our communication is sharp and we’re productive.”

From Antwon Blake, “So the fact we didn’t accomplish that the way we wanted to, it leaves a bitter taste in our mouth. We weren’t satisfied at all. We know we had a lot of issues going on that we need to correct. We weren’t satisfied with giving up 28 points because we know we could have been better.”

  • Gronkowski

The Steelers had a lot of talk about jamming Gronkowski at the line of scrimmage prior to the game but once the game started it was like they forgot he was there. The big frat boy lit up the Steelers for 21 points.

Also from the AP, Lawrence Timmons said specifically on Gronkowski and his three touchdowns, ”The guy’s a great player, and he got open. And Tom Brady’s a great quarterback. He found him every time. We’ve just got to be better from an assignment point of view.”

ESPN Senior NFL writer Jeremy Fowler quoted Jarvis Jones on the Gronk troubles, “Some of those balls, man, other than the touchdown he caught on the sideline, he caught those balls up there. He’s a big guy. Tom Brady put it where it’s hard to get.”

He also quoted Tomlin as saying, “He’s a really talented player, a dominate player, particularly in situational ball. He delivered big tonight. I don’t want to take anything away from his efforts.”

  • Bud Dupree

Bud Dupree had a rough training camp. Some (ridiculous) people were calling him a bust before he even started his first season. He ended up getting frustrated enough to fight practically the whole team on the last day of training camp. But he showed some flashes during what was otherwise a fairly painful defensive performance.

PennLive writer Jason Klinger got the following quotes on rookie linebacker Bud Dupree

“I feel like for a rookie, he’s come in there and he came out well,” said Lawrence Timmons. “I feel like he could do way better, but he’s got all the promise in the world.”

More from Steelers News

“I think he did well. First game, did some positive things, got to learn from his mistakes and continue to grow. I think he’ll be a really good player,” said Arthur Moats.

  • Red Zone Troubles

This offseason the Steelers apparently focused a great deal on turning their high powered offense into a high scoring offense. After all, all the yards in the world, taken alone, don’t mean anything to the scoreboard. A foot out of bounds, a bad trick play, and two missed kicks and those issues seem to remain at least for the first week.

The AP reported Will Johnson, scorer of one of the few redzone TDs, who also happened to not get it on the next try, as saying, ”We have to have those, especially when we’re that close. We definitely needed to punch that one in.”

  • The Headsets

The Steelers were apparently getting Patriots radio broadcast in their headsets, the coach to coach headsets. There was a whole to-do about it. The Steelers considered filing a complaint, then decided not to. During the game at least they were pretty salty about it.

The Steelers website had this to say, via Bob Labriola,

“This is the kind of stuff that happens to the visiting team in Gillette Stadium all the time. From the start of the game through the opening 14 minutes of the first quarter, the Steelers’ coaches’ headsets were receiving the Patriots Radio Network broadcast of the game. The broadcast was so loud that the Steelers coaches were unable to communicate, and the NFL rule is that if one team’s headsets are not working the other team is supposed to be forced to take their headsets off. It’s what the NFL calls the Equity Rule. Strangely enough, whenever an NFL representative proceeded to the New England sideline to shut down their headsets, the Steelers headsets cleared. Then as the representative walked away from the New England sideline, the Steelers’ headsets again started to receive the Patriots game broadcast.”

However, after the game, Tomlin was not interested in discussing it, repeatedly saying brushing aside repeated questions on it but the Patriots website did report the following exchange

"Q: There was an ESPN report that your radio went out, your communication?MT: That’s always the case.Q: Here?MT: Yes.Q: Are you saying that every time you play here –MT: I said what I said."

Anyone watching the game live might also recall how the announcers subtly implied that everyone in the league thinks the Pats are cheaters, strange things seem to always happen in that stadium, that the case did not address the facts and there are still many unanswered questions, and the Kraft and Goodell are very close. They spoke about cheating for half the broadcast. It was hilarious.

  • The Shift and Bark

The USA Today’s Tom Pelissaro did a piece on the odd thing shift that happened at the goal line. Apparently what they did, was illegal, but due to changes in the position of the referees they cannot hear if a team does that.

That, being shout things and move in ways designed to pull the offense offsides or interfere with audibles. So it’s illegal, but there’s no way of catching it. The Pats were on the honor system and you can guess what happened next.

Ramon Foster said, “They’re a team that likes to take advantage of those type of situations, and we can’t give that to them. Kudos for them for thinking of that and making it happen in that situation. I can’t be mad. That’s on us. We can’t false start.”

Ben had this to say, “I thought that there was a rule against that. Maybe there’s not. Maybe it’s just an unwritten rule. We saw it on film, that the Patriots do that. They shift and slide and do stuff on the goal line, knowing that it’s an itchy trigger finger-type down there. In my years of playing, a defensive guy can’t bark stuff or move in the middle of a cadence. I agree that the ref said, ‘Well, he didn’t go in the neutral zone.’ … I was arguing the fact that he shifted in the middle of a cadence.”

The referenced rule says that it is an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, “Using acts or words by the defensive team that are designed to disconcert an offensive team at the snap.”

  • The Kicking

Two missed field goals. Two in a row. Lost by seven points. Two missed field goals. One less draft pick. Josh Scobee is Josh NoThree at the moment. Here’s what PennLive heard him say after the game.

“The first one was strange. It took off really funny and just darted to the right and that doesn’t happen very often, or ever. It’s one of those things that you can’t let bother you. I mean, it’s extremely frustrating. I’m not happy about it. No one else is. I expect better of myself, but at the same time it’s the first of 16 games and I know that I’m going to be counted on in the upcoming weeks.”

Well there you have it gang. The defense and the redzone improvements should come with time. The Steelers lost. We all saw it. They looked bad. We all saw it. But put in two missed field goals and then try a two point conversion and we’re going into overtime.

The Pats are a solid team and as much as the Steelers beat themselves they barely beat themselves. So if you have to lose, this appears to be the most positive circumstances. Communication will improve with time, Bell and Bryant to the rescue. The only possibly long term issues are kicking and tackling but those could turn around next week.

Next: Steelers loss to Patriots: What went right/wrong?

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