PITTSBURGH — Mason Cole did not have a good game on Sunday. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ center had a hard time with his shotgun snaps, leaving several low or off to the side in an uncharacteristically bad game for the veteran offensive lineman.
One forced quarterback Kenny Pickett to fall on the ball, ruining a Steelers offensive drive on a third down. The other, later in the game, Mitch Trubisky was unable to corral. The turnover gave the Cardinals seven backbreaking points.
Cole has been the Steelers’ starting center since the start of the 2022 season, and while it’s been an up-and-down tenure in terms of the quality of his blocking, his snapping has not been the big problem it was on Sunday.
So how do the Steelers go about addressing the problem? Interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner explained.
“He’s been very consistent,” Faulkner said on Tuesday. “We’re not going to make too big of a deal about it other than pointing it out because it was huge in the game. He’s a professional. He’s going to go about his business the right way. We’re going to have faith in him doing that.”
Cole himself took the blame for the off-target snaps immediately after the game.
“No issues, except me. It’s unacceptable. I’ve got to fix it,” Cole said. “That was just a little screen pass, and I blew it. That snap has to be there.”
Trubisky took some of the blame, saying that he should have fallen on the ball instead of attempting to pick it up and continue the play.
“I got to get on top of that,” he said. “It was a low snap, but unfortunately there was a screen called so we were trying to get the linemen out, so the guy was able to hit me before I was able to pick it up. Just an unfortunate situation. I’ve got to find a way to get on the ball so it’s not a negative play.”
With the short week ahead of the Week 14 matchup with the New England Patriots, getting Cole’s snaps back in order is one of a long list of issues the Steelers must correct, and quickly.