Pittsburgh Steelers Postgame Quotes 9/18

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Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 18, 2022

What needs to happen with more down the field passing and over the middle passing with this offense?

Call concepts to get receivers there. When the coverage dictates that, get them the ball within that. I saw a lot of post high, backers sitting in the middle, safety in the middle of the field. We like our outside matchups. We’ve got really good receivers. We’ve got really good talent across the board. We’d like to attack all areas of the field and get the ball to our playmakers. So, we could do a little bit better at everything for sure.

Did you see a lot of single high today?

Follow-up: What are your options when you see that?

If it’s man, best matchups. If it’s zone, find the holes. That comes down to timing and being in the right place at the right time. They did a good job mixing it up. They don’t only play one high. They play a bunch of coverages. We can be better at everything. I can be better at decision-making. We had some missed opportunities. I had some missed throws. We had a couple where we weren’t on the same page. Bottom line, we’ve got to score more points. So, our emphasis was to be better on third down this week. I think we were a little better at that, in the first half at least. In the fourth quarter, we’ve got to convert those to be able to stay on the field and give ourselves a chance. It just felt like missed opportunities by me and the offense. There’s a lot we can get better at. So, we’ve got to look at that and flush it really quick because we’ve got another game on Thursday. It’s going to come around fast. We’ve got to move on to the next one and make sure we’re getting better.

Do you think the offense got more in sync in that last drive in the third quarter when you guys were going tempo? Is that something that would help, to go to that earlier? Is there a possibility to go to that earlier?

There are mixed philosophies in that. I think we were just having a lot of positive plays on that drive, and we mixed in some tempo, and it seemed to be working. If that’s something we want to continue to mix in, I think we can look at that. But as we go, we just continue to find this identity. We’re still young. We’re still meshing as a unit, and that was a good drive. We had some positive plays. So, if that’s something we want to look at to continue to do more, maybe we’ll do that. But we’ve just got to continue to find our identity. Everybody needs to lean in, come together and really, I just need to play better to give us a better chance at the end.

Since you alluded to this, you said at least in the first half, the third downs were better than last week. In the second half on third downs, was it more about what you guys just weren’t executing, or had they made some adjustments at halftime that threw you off?

I would have to go back to watch the film to give you a better answer for that. It felt like they, in the second half, outexecuted us on third down. Except for that one drive where we scored in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t good enough.

Two sacks in the first half, what can you attribute those to?

Those were on me. I think one of them was on naked. I was trying to make a scramble play out of it. Down in the red zone, we had time. I should have got it out. I thought the O-line protected really well today, great communication. Those two sacks were on me.

On the tipped pick, did you just attribute that to the guy diving?

It was a good play. I got Cover 2 in there. I tried to force one in there. I probably should have just moved on progression or check it down. Good play by that guy. I thought I could get in behind him and forced a throw. I should not have done that.

Last third down to Najee [Harris] ended up on the left side short of the sticks, is that what that play was designed to do?

Take us through. I tried to give him a chance. It was slightly underthrown, and he did a good job going up and trying to make a play on it. I’d like to lead him downfield a little bit more and hit him on the run. I tried to buy some time. I was probably fading a little too much in the pocket to my right to buy him some time. I could have just got it out a little sooner and threw it downfield so he could make a play on it. So that one was on me.

Another one, you threw it to the left side to [Najee Harris] short of the sticks. Is there just nothing downfield for you on that play? What do you remember about that?

Yeah, we’re going to have to look at that one. If I’m thinking of the same play, they had Cover 0 on. That was my hot throw. The corner did a good job having eyes. He came off on it and made the tackle. We’ve just got to have better answers when they show us that type of look.

Is it tough sometimes to be patient when you see they just throw one down the field and get a play? Is it hard to stick to the plan based on the defense with a lot of Cover 3s?

You have to stick to the plan. Everybody’s got an idea of what the offense should or could be, but we’ve got to come together as a collective unit. Everyone’s got to keep buying in. There’s going to be good plays, there’s going to be bad plays, but we’re a young offense, and we’re still growing in this thing together.

The best thing you can do at this time is continue to buy into the plan. Whatever it is, do your job to the best of your ability. When you go back and look at the film, you see what works, you see what doesn’t. You do more of the stuff that works, and then maybe you drop some of the other stuff.

I think that’s how you grow as an offense, but when everybody is saying “Call this play, call that play,” it makes it tough just for everybody to do their jobs. I think everybody just needs to worry about their job, and we’ll just keep growing and going in the right direction together. That’s my take on it.

Follow-up: Has there been suggestions like that?

Everyone’s got suggestions. You guys have got suggestions. Everyone.

From inside the huddle, do people say hey —

Oh, yeah. Everybody wants the ball in their hands. I want the ball in my hands. We’ve got a bunch of talent, and we’ve just got to figure out what works best for us going forward. I think today you look more at the missed opportunities than what we didn’t do, I guess. So, we had enough opportunities out there. We just didn’t make the plays on a few, especially in the second half. They out executed us. So, we’ve got to look at the film and see where we can get better at. Me specifically, I look at myself, and what can I get better at? I feel like if I played better, we would have been in a better situation at the end there.

I apologize if somebody asked you, but was Pat [Freiermuth] the first read on the touchdown?

I have a bunch of reads I could look at. I wanted that play down there, and they gave us a good coverage for it. It worked out. We’ve got to get down there more often and got to get our playmakers the ball.

Is involving [George] Pickens one of those situations you’re talking about that might be best to get more involved?

We’ve got a lot of talent. But definitely get George more involved. We’ve just got to get on the same page. I think there was one where I threw out of bounds. He was going one way and I thought he was going another way. We’ve got to get George involved. He’s super talented. When everybody gets their touches and we’re moving the ball down the field, that’s when it feels good. When you miss opportunities, that’s when you have a feeling like this, and you just don’t want to feel that again. We’ve got to get corrections. Everybody’s got to pull together and get better this week and be ready for a quick turnaround.

For the most part, was the ball going where it was designed to go or where you thought it should go based on the coverage and the way the play was unfolding?

I mean, there’s a bunch of plays in the game. I felt like I was doing my job out there getting the playmakers the ball when they needed to get to it. Sometimes it’s where I want the ball to go based on matchup, if it’s man or zone. And then based on the call, just doing your job and getting the guy the ball at the right time. I think it’s too broad of a question to really give you a better answer.

Do you feel like you’ve got the freedom to put it where you want it?

Yeah, there’s definitely freedom based on what the defense does and where I want to go with the football. It’s not based on what the call is or the concept or what our guy is running. I’m not just going wherever I want with the ball. Based on what they give us, there’s the best option within each play to tell you where to go with your eyes and where to go with the ball.

If guys are making suggestions or getting frustrated, how do you handle that with your role?

I’ve got to tell the guys to buy in, be patient and just focus on your job. That’s what you’ve got to do as a leader, just got to keep guys on track. If everybody just does their job, we’ll be a lot better as an offense.

At one point it sounded like there was a noticeable chant for Kenny [Pickett]. Is that difficult to block it out?

It is what it is. You just block it out and continue to play football.

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