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Arians accepts blame for struggles against Eagles

| Friday, Sept. 26, 2008

The nine sacks the Steelers surrendered in a 15-6 loss to the Eagles' on Sunday• Bruce Arians' fault.

The two field goals the Steelers managed against a team that had given up 41 points the previous week• Bruce Arians' fault.

The Steelers not getting anywhere near the Eagles' end zone following the first quarter• Again, Bruce Arians' fault.

Irked at questions directed at the players following the loss to the Eagles, Arians, the Steelers' offensive coordinator, said he is solely to blame for what happened in Philadelphia.

"It's all on me, and it's over so you don't have to ask any more players or anybody else," Arians said Thursday following practice at the Steelers' South Side facility. "It's Bruce Arians' fault. If anybody is still trying to look for a story about Philadelphia and who to blame, just spell my name right."

The Steelers did not do much right offensively Sunday.

They generated just 180 yards of total offense and converted only 15 percent of the time on third down. Sacked eight times by the Eagles, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not finish the game after getting his hand stepped on in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers never successfully countered the barrage of blitzes the Eagles threw at them, leading to questions of whether they had been confused or simply manhandled by Philadelphia.

"The biggest thing it came down to is communication," Roethlisberger said. "We just didn't communicate well."

While saying he deserved all of the criticism for the Steelers' struggles, Arians did concede that the offensive line needs to be more physical Monday night against the visiting Ravens than it was against the Eagles.

"You've still got to block people," Arians said. "Those one-on-one matchups are tough and they'll be tough this week because (Baltimore's) Trevor Pryce and Terrell Suggs, those are big-time pass rushers and they've got their work cut out for them."

Arians also has his work cut out for him.

And that appeared to be one of the points he tried to make as he deflected blame from the players for what happened against the Eagles.

Essentially, Arians said, it is time for everyone to move forward.

"You can just blame me and then we can get ready for Baltimore," Arians said. "I'm the offensive coordinator. I call the plays; they don't work, their mine. Don't ask players any more questions about Philly. They need to think about Baltimore."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin agreed.

"We can waste our time talking about what happened in Philly," Tomlin said, "or we can waste our time patting ourselves on the back about what happened against the Houston Texans. We leave it behind and we move forward."

Tomlin followed through on something he said he would do earlier this week by simplifying the offense.

He said the back-to-basics approach is a short-term solution to what plagued the Steelers in Philadelphia.

"It's a philosophical belief I have that when you're not on the screws and you're talking about multiple people working together, you reduce (the game plan) to make sure people are on the same page," Tomlin said. "As you have that understanding and confidence in the group, then you go back to doing what it is you were doing or go back to expanding."

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