Steelers realize they might be facing must-win scenario in Cincinnati
By Alan Robinson
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
To Steelers linebacker Larry Foote, it's time to push the panic button. To coach Mike Tomlin, it's time to push the envelope.
Regardless of what push-comes-to-shove analogy they use, the Steelers understand they're not winning close games, and they're not winning on the road. And they probably need to start doing both if they're to climb back into the AFC North race they trail by 21⁄2 games to Baltimore (5-1).
What better place to start than in Cincinnati, where they've won 10 of their past 11?
Foote illustrated the sense of urgency he feels as the Steelers (2-3) prepare to play the Bengals (3-3) on Sunday by saying Tomlin might not use the word “panic,” but he would.
“I've been there in December, praying for four teams to lose, and we don't want to be in that,” Foote said. “We still control our destiny. ... It's a divisional opponent, and we've got to get this win, whatever it takes.”
Tomlin wasn't quite so dramatic. But he said it's time for some of his younger players to grow up because the Steelers — whose past three games have been decided by last-play field goals — can't wait any longer.
“This is not a patient man's business by any stretch,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “We need growth and development yesterday, if you will, not only in our defensive players but our offensive players. We're always pressing the envelope and trying to be the very best that we can.”
Tomlin also said some of their proven players need to play better.
“We know what we are. We are a 2-3 football team who obviously haven't won on the road,” Tomlin said. “There's no time like the present to change that. That's our mentality, and I think that's the mentality that reverberated throughout the group. Mentality is one thing; actions are another.”
Among those can't-wait-for-later issues is a running game that is the second-worst in the NFL and might be without its top two tailbacks — Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (right ankle) — against the Bengals. Both are questionable.
Tomlin never de-emphasizes any game, regardless of the records or the circumstances, but even he seems to have a must-win sense about this game.
“Obviously, this is a big game for us and for them,” Tomlin said.
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rice cornerback among 3 draft prospects to visit Steelers
- Despite many moves, Steelers’ depth still a work in progress