Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin used his weekly news conference to criticize some of his players publicly, something he almost never does.
The Steelers are coming off a 31-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns and are currently 3-3 on the season.
During the game Markus Wheaton caught only four of 11 passes thrown his way.
“He’s got to do a better job,” Tomlin said, Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Oftentimes, you want to make it complex, and a lot of it is. But ultimately, sometimes when it’s just one-on-one football, it’s about who’s making plays and who’s not. … We didn’t make situational plays, and that’s why we lost.”
Tomlin said it’s time for the younger players to grow up.
“I think the larger thing is for them to rise up to the level of standard of expectation in terms of the detail and the energy and the physicality we want them to play,” Tomlin said. “It’s less about the adjustments or what we dial back. … We’ve got to put a more positive, consistent performance on the grass than we’re putting right now.”
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is usually praised by his coach, but this time, Tomlin said, “He left some plays out there. … It’s his job to win. That’s what drives him. That’s what drives this position at this level in this game, and we didn’t (win).”
The Steelers have only scored one touchdown in seven red-zone opportunities the past two games. Tomlin said the coaching is partly at fault.
“Not only game planning, but who we’re utilizing,” Tomlin said. “Schematics and the personnel that we’re utilizing needs to be evaluated.”
Tomlin is open to some personnel changes when the Steelers play the Houston Texans on Monday night.
“Right now, it’s not sweeping or drastic changes in terms of who and what we are schematically,” said Tomlin, “but I will look at who we’re utilizing and where, particularly situationally in all three phases, in an effort to maximize the capability of guys and to adjust the mix of guys we’re playing right now. But those are just normal adjustments you make over the course of this journey, and we’d probably be doing those things week to week regardless of the outcome of football games.”