PITTSBURGH — Najee Harris is not sure what the Steelers way is, but he might admit that the Steelers way is dying. That has become an all too common criticism from former players and media members this last week after the team dropped two straight games to 2-10 teams, making their path to the playoffs daunting.
Earlier this week, Ben Roethlisberger had critical comments about Pittsburgh’s culture, believing that there was no one who still believed in the Steelers’ way. That echoed whatRyan Clark expressed when he said the same things this week.
“Zero people care about the Steelers Way. Zero people,” Clark said firmly on the Pat McAfee Show on Monday. “So when I say zero, I don’t necessarily mean it literally. You heard Minkah Fitzpatrick say that there are people in that locker room that think just wearing those colors entitles you to wins.”
On Wednesday, Harris responded to those comments, specifically Roethlisberger’s, that there is no more Steelers way going forward.
“Ben can have his opinion,” Harris said. “I’m not trying to sit here and say if he’s right or wrong. I don’t know how to answer that. Ben is a Hall of Famer. Ben’s obviously been here, he’s won a Super Bowl and he knows what the standard is as someone credible. I got here his last year, so I can’t really say I know what the Steeler way is, but he’s been here with Troy, been here with Jerome. He knows that. So, someone on the outside sees that, he’s been on this field, so maybe you can guess and say he’s right. But I don’t know.”
Despite back-to-back losses to 2-10 teams at home, the Steelers still hold the No. 6 seed in the AFC Playoff picture. The season can still be salvaged, they just need to take it one game at a time and win on Saturday in Indianapolis. Leaders such as Fitzpatrick, Watt and Heyward can only do so much. They need the rest of the players to buy-in. If not and things continue to unravel, expect sweeping changes with the coaching staff and roster in the 2024 offseason.
Pittsburgh hopes they can rebound this week. They hope a big change in mentality, specifically one towards embracing this week as a playoff game, makes things different. The hyper focus is needed, as this will be a must win game for the Steelers. If they can win their next two, they’ll be in sterling position to make the playoffs.