Steelers Offense ‘Not Out of the Shit Yet’ Despite Win over Tampa
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers did what every offense wants to do on Sunday, as the unit got the ball back with just over four minutes to play, and ran out the entire game clock, ending the Steelers victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a Mitch Trubisky kneel down.
It was a pretty good feeling for an offense that has largely struggled through the first third of the season to be able to salt away a victory in that fashion.
“As an offense, that’s what we want to do,” center Mason Cole said Monday. “You get the ball back with four and a half minutes and we were able to get some third-down conversions and finish with the ball in our hands. That was a good feeling, especially after the last few games, to be able to do that.”
All’s well that ends well, right? Well, not exactly.
The idea of the four-minute drive is that the defense knows you’re going to run the ball, and you find a way to run the ball over them anyway and keep getting first downs. On the Steelers’ four-minute drive, that wasn’t the case. Here’s the play sheet:
Najee Harris, 8-yard run.
Fumbled snap, recovery by Mitch Trubisky, 13-yard loss.
Trubisky to Chase Claypool, 17-yard pass, first down.
Harris, 3-yard run
Trubisky run, 4-yard loss.
Trubisky to Claypool, 26-yard pass, first down.
Trubisky, 9-yard run.
Trubisky, 3-yard run, first down.
The Steelers’ big four-minute drive involved two carries by a running back, and two long third down completions for first downs. That’s not exactly how you draw it up.
“Obviously, it’s still an issue,” Cole said. “We’ve got to get the run game going. It sucks saying it week in and week out, right? We’ve just got to be better. I don’t know if it’s schematics, technique that has to be better. We’ve got to block these guys and create some lanes for our backs. It doesn’t have to be super scientific, we’ve just got to be better.”
Left guard Kevin Dotson said that the team found some running success up the middle, but with Tampa expecting run, they needed to be versatile enough to feel confident running anywhere.
“I feel like we’re way better just in plays were it’s straight down the middle, where we just run right off the backs of the guards and center,” Dotson said. “I know we can be good at outside zone, it just hasn’t clicked the way we need it to click.”
The overall feeling for the offense is one of being extremely happy with what happened results-wise on Sunday, and yet still focused on needing a lot of improvement going forward. Head coach Mike Tomlin emphasized that by not giving the team the day off after a win.
“I don’t think there’s any relief right now,” Dotson said. “We’re still here right now, so that kind of shows you. It’s a Victory Monday, but it’s not really Victory Monday. It’s not like we’re off or anything. We understand that we’re not out of the shit yet.”