Cam Heyward didn’t mince words when talking about the Steelers performance in their Week 2 loss against the Raiders.
It was a showing by Pittsburgh that we aren’t used to seeing. While the Steelers held the Raiders to only 52 yards rushing, Derek Carr had 382 yards and two touchdowns.
The Steelers lost both Tyson Alualu and T.J. Watt in the first half. With it being reported that Alualu will miss the rest of the season, Cam Heyward says everyone needs to step up.
“It’s going to have to be a collective effort,” Heyward said. “The group has to pick up the slack.”
Heyward continued to discuss the Steelers inability to make plays defensively and allowing too many big plays.
“We had too many execution mistakes,” Heyward said. “[There were] too many times where we had to get off on a critical third and long … we weren’t able to capitalize.”
Heyward was also asked about the loss of Alualu, and if guys like Isaiah Buggs, Isaiahh Loudermilk, and Carlos Davis will be ready to step up.
“They’re going to have to be and they will be,” Heyward said. “Anytime we’ve had injuries before, we’ve had guys step up … Guys just got to have that next man up mentality.”
This isn’t the Steelers first rodeo when it comes to injuries. They lost Devin Bush last season for the year, as well as Bud Dupree.
With Alualu gone for the season, expect a rotation of Loudermilk and Buggs, with Carlos Davis also getting reps once he returns to the lineup. Davis missed Sunday’s game with a knee injury.
Once the Steelers get Stephon Tuitt back, the defensive line will find more stability, while also getting much-needed veteran leadership back in the locker room. But Tuitt won’t be eligible to return until Week 4 at the earliest.
Depending on the severity of these injuries, the next man up mentality for Pittsburgh will be in full effect next week against Cincinnati.