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Steelers

Dungy on Steelers defense: 'Tomlin needs to get that fixed'

Joe Rutter
| Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, 10:39 p.m.
Former Minnesota player Tony Dungy acknowledges the crowd during a brief ceremony at the NCAA football game with Miami (Ohio) Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 26-3. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Former Minnesota player Tony Dungy acknowledges the crowd during a brief ceremony at the NCAA football game with Miami (Ohio) Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 26-3. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Forty years after he last played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and 30 years after he was the team’s defensive coordinator, Tony Dungy sees a defense that he doesn’t recognize.

The Steel Curtain, it isn’t.

After the Steelers surrendered six touchdown passes in a 42-37 loss Sunday to the Kansas City Chiefs, Dungy expressed his concern on NBC’s “Football Night in America” in his role as studio analyst.

“It’s bad, and it has nothing to do with Le’Veon Bell not being there,” Dungy said. “The defensive side of the ball — missed tackle after missed tackle, blown coverages, guys running wide open, no discipline on defense.

“Mike Tomlin needs to get that fixed.”

The Steelers allowed 127 yards rushing against the Chiefs, while Patrick Mahomes had a near-perfect passer rating while throwing for 326 yards and six TDs. It was reminiscent of the AFC divisional playoff loss to Jacksonville in January when the Steelers were outscored, 45-42.

Tomlin got his NFL coaching job when Dungy hired him as defensive backs coach in Tampa Bay for the 2001 season.

Dungy was a defensive back for the Steelers in the 1977-78 seasons. He became a position coach under Chuck Noll in 1981 and was the defensive coordinator from 1984-88.

“I’m very concerned,” Dungy said. “I’m a former Pittsburgh defensive player, I’m a former Pittsburgh defensive coach, and I don’t like what I’m seeing from this defense.”

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at jrutter@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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