Steelers embrace new attitude after beating Bills
LaMarr Woodley looked relieved as he stood next to his locker after the Steelers snapped a two-game losing streak with a 23-10 win over Buffalo on Sunday at Heinz Field.
For Woodley, the victory signaled an attitude change in a team trying to steer its wayward ship back on course. It also proved a test of character for a team suddenly with some semblance of hope after AFC North leader Cincinnati dropped its second straight.
The Steelers (3-6) were seemingly cautious of making too much of their conquest of Buffalo (3-7). They tempered victory with a calm sense of reality — that the odds are against a 3-6 team fighting its way into playoff contention.
“We answered the call and played like we're supposed to do,” Woodley said. “I can't speak for everyone else, but anytime you lose, you're going to have a different mindset.
“I think the guys put the New England game (a 55-31 loss) behind them. We have moved on, and all we're thinking about is the next game.”
The Detroit Lions, vying for the NFC North title, are here Sunday at Heinz Field. The Lions are likely to be a more formidable foe than Buffalo, mostly because wide receiver Calvin Johnson is a matchup nightmare.
However, the Steelers contend they aren't nearly as concerned about Johnson and the Lions as they are about where they are both mentally and their standing in the division.
The Steelers were challenged early as Buffalo played most of the first quarter on their side of the field. They regained their confidence after holding the Bills to three points — a turning point that enabled the offense to stick with its game plan.
“We have no choice in how we take the field,” safety Ryan Clark said. “But we have a choice in our attitude and how we approach the game.”
Clark, though, said there's still plenty of room for improvement.
“We used to be much better than this,” he said. “But it was a good day, though.”
Even though the Steelers were far better than they were at New England, they didn't pass every test. The defense was determined to hold its ground in the waning minutes as Buffalo desperately tried to salvage something out of an ugly performance.
As the Bills were driving for their only touchdown, Clark implored the defense to make one last stand. If nothing else, keeping Buffalo out of the end zone would have been a psychological victory — or proof the Steelers have a new attitude.
“We wanted to get a stop,” Clark insisted. “We kept them out of the end zone all day. We wanted to continue in the way that was going. So it was tough to give up that play at the end.
“When you've been going through what we've been going through as a team (and) as a defense, (in) all situations (you) need an opportunity to work on. That was another.”
Ralph N. Paulk is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @RalphPaulk_Trib.
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.
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- Steelers free safety Mitchell is still settling into role on defense
- Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
- Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
- Steelers film session: Watt kept under control
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Steelers notebook: Young players provide big challenge for special teams coach
- Play of the week: Texans find success with zone stretch running attack