Kick coverage continues to burn Steelers
KANSAS CITY — So much for taking the high road.
Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, after seeing the special teams allow yet another kickoff returned for a touchdown in Sunday's 27-24 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, finally said what has been on the minds of his teammates and coaches for much of this season.
"That shouldn't happen," Ward said.
Opponents have returned four kickoffs for touchdowns against the Steelers this season, including touchdown returns in each of the past two games.
When Jamaal Charles returned yesterday's opening kickoff for a 97-yard score, it was the first kickoff returned all the way by a Kansas City player since Dante Hall did it against Philadelphia on October 2, 2005.
For the Steelers, it was simply business as usual.
"Giving up four special-teams touchdowns in one season, 10 games• I don't know. I know if I were playing special teams I would do something about that," Ward said. "That's never happened in the 12 years I've been here to give up this many touchdowns on special teams."
Special-teams co-captain Keyaron Fox was short on potential solutions to fix the kickoff-return team.
"After you get (four) returns run back on you, it's not a fluke anymore — it's a problem. We've failed to fix that problem so far," Fox said. "We've put our team in some bad situations when at the start of the game we give them momentum like that. We never, really fully recovered from that."
Unlike some of the other kickoffs returned for touchdowns this season, several Steelers player had a legitimate chance to tackle Charles but failed to take him down.
Once in the open field, Charles pulled away from his remaining pursuit for an easy score.
"I can't say it's a scheme problem. We had two guys get to him, I think they got their hands on him. We missed some tackles," Fox said.
When asked how to fix the problem, Fox was left searching for answers.
"I don't know," he said. "This is my first time ever having to deal with consistent runbacks like this. Usually, you just give more effort and get more practice in, which we did. Still having the same problems."
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.
- For Steelers outside linebacker Jones, size is not an obstacle
- Steelers cornerbacks Allen, Gay, Taylor have something to prove
- Steelers notebook: Team cuts 15 players, including LB So’oto, RB Hall
- Steelers’ Mitchell enduring growing pains
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Steelers notebook: WR Moore says teammates’ pot bust won’t change focus in locker room
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu’s sideline tirade still making impression on teammates