Wed, 06 Dec 2023

Week 5 Blog: Staying locked in

The Steelers
03 Oct 2023, 05:30 GMT+10

Teresa Varley

Monday, October 2

Staying locked in: The Steelers loss to the Houston Texans still stung on Monday when players were available in the locker room at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, but they can't let it linger too long.

"Of course you are mad about it, upset about it," said linebacker Markus Golden. "But this is the NFL. Once the next week comes up, today you watch the film and then you are onto the next team. That is the good thing about the NFL, you get to come back the next week and prove yourself. That is the mindset we are going to have."

The 30-6 loss to the Texans has the Steelers sitting at 2-2, with the Baltimore Ravens the team they are looking to rebound against.

And when it comes to Steelers-Ravens, it's never easy. When the two meet, you know it's going to be a battle, and even though he has never played in the rivalry, Golden knows what it will be like.

"Every week I try to take advantage of the opportunity to play, but it's the Ravens this week and we know they've got a good team," said Golden. "Each week you can get out there and prove yourself, that is what you want to do.

"This is my first year. I know it's crazy playing against the Ravens, being a Steeler. But you need a win. It's the NFL. Especially this early in the season, every win really matters."

One player Golden knows they have to focus on is Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who can hurt you with his arm and his legs.

"It's just locking in on what we've got to do this week," said Golden. "We're playing a great quarterback in Lamar Jackson, so we're going to have some things to do to make sure we contain him. So just locking in on your job. I just know we have to lock in on our jobs and go out there and get ready.

"He is a great quarterback. He is one of the most electric players in the NFL and you have to be ready to plan for that."

One of the keys for the defense is finding a way to stop the run, something that hasn't come easy in the early part of the season. Golden said the answer is simple, they just have to do it.

"When you have a bad day against the run, you have to tackle better," said Golden. "Tackle better, do your assignment better. We have a chance to fix that.

"Wrapping up, put your body on a man, getting a man down basically, whatever you gotta do to get him down within the rules. That is what it's about. There's always ways to fix it.

"It's still early in the season. It's 2-2. You've got to be a man about it, look at the film, watch it and know what you did wrong, get up, fix the mistakes, don't complain, and don't feel sorry for yourself."

A loss is a loss: Whether you lose by one, or lose by multiple touchdowns, it all gets recorded the same.

But safety Keanu Neal knows, when you lose by multiple touchdowns, like the Steelers did in the 30-6 loss to the Texans, you have to really look at it.

"A loss is a loss, but when you lose by as many touchdowns, that is something you have to go over the film and really dive into what went wrong," said Neal. "That shouldn't happen. We shouldn't allow that to happen. But a loss is a loss, for sure."

After the game Coach Mike Tomlin asked if changes would come because of the loss.

He didn't hold back.

"(Heck) yeah, we gotta make some changes," said Tomlin. "That was an ugly product we put out there today and so we're not going to do the same things and hope for a different outcome. What those changes are, we'll put together a plan in preparation this week."

What those changes are is yet to be seen.

"You have to evaluate what's going on and you have to adjust and adapt," said Neal. "That is this business. It's a business of winning. If you don't win, changes are made."

One thing the defense wants to change is the success their opponents are having in the run game. Stopping the run has, and continues to be, a major emphasis.

"I would say it's execution of our defense, staying in our gaps, really dialing in on that and making tackles," said Neal. "It's really that. Fundamentals. Missed tackles hurt us last game. We had guys in position, and we just missed them, myself included.

"Attention to detail and execution. That is really what it boils down to. Execution. That is really it. Doing our job at the highest level."

Neal knew when the team went to watch film there was going to be some critiquing going on, and it's necessary.

"You gotta critique yourself," said Neal. "That is what this business is, especially when you lose. You have to go in, watch the film, critique it, take the constructive criticism, learn from it and move forward. It's always something you can learn and grow from."

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