“I guess just taking them lightly — lighter than we should have,” Warren said. “Yeah, could be.
Pittsburgh came off a big road win against the Cincinnati Bengals and was energized by an offensive performance that gave them their first 400-yard game in three years. But that momentum did not carry over.
That is an indictment on the Steelers that no one wants to hear in the locker room, and Mitch Trubisky and Cam Heyward vehemently denied that. But Warren feels the Steelers got too high off their performance in Cincinnati last week and that it bled over into this week’s prep. They thought they should win, and instead of trying to prepare to win, they acted like it would be a given. However, Mike Tomlin denied that on Monday.
“It’s not concerning. They’re probably just answering questions that were phrased in a certain way,” Tomlin said. “This is professional football. We don’t take anyone lightly. There are no homecomings. You know, we’re all given a finite amount of material, time to prepare, talent, resources. This is the National Football League.”
The Steelers did everything you can’t do in a football game. They made mental mistakes (two illegal offensive formations, a timeout for being a player short in the huddle and a too-many-men penalty on defense). And that led Warren to believe that got too high off their previous win. On Tuesday, wide receiver Diontae Johnson agreed with that.
“I felt like that the whole week. Once we got out there, I felt like something was different,” Johnson said. “We wasn’t at our best. I feel like we just took them lightly. We can’t come in this Thursday with the same mindset. We’re gonna be fine. We’re gonna move past it.”
Johnson believed the preparation was fine for the week, but once they got out there on Sunday, something flipped. That’s not what any head coach wants to hear from his players. And it’s something they have to make sure does not happen against a Patriots team reeling in all areas.