Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin dismissed criticism of the team coming from Bill Cowher and Hines Ward in the aftermath of the team's Week 6 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Tomlin simply dubbed the criticism of the Steelers being too soft as "elevator music."
Mike Tomlin remains unfazed despite critics saying his Pittsburgh Steelers are soft.
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Tomlin told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac dismissed the criticisms coming from former Steelers Bill Cowher and Hines Ward as "elevator music" in the aftermath of the Week 6 loss to their AFC North rivals, the Cleveland Browns:
"Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he is going to turn over 'all stones' in an attempt to get his team back on track and indicated that could include getting three of his rookie draft choices more involved on offense and defense.
"Tomiln also said he was unaffected by comments made by a couple of former Steelers -- coach Bill Cowher and wide receiver Hines Ward -- that his team was too 'soft.'
"Cowher and Ward, who are television analysts, made comments on their respective networks after the after the Steelers were drubbed by Cleveland Sunday. Both complained the Steelers were a finesse team on offense, soft on defense.
"'I don't worry about that; that's elevator music,' Tomlin said. 'Love those guys, but those guys are on the outside looking in.'
"The Steelers are coming off a 31-10 loss in Cleveland -- their worst in 25 years against the Browns -- in which the offense scored only one touchdown for the second game in a row and the defense allowed 158 yards rushing and four pass plays of 31 yards or longer.
"'We will look critically at what we're doing and who we're doing it with,' Tomlin said. 'We will turn over all stones to produce more playmaking.'
"The Steelers rank next to last in the league in red-zone percentage (36.8), scoring touchdowns on just 7 of 19 trips inside the 20.
"Tomlin pointed to several blown opportunities against the Browns that contributed to the lack of offensive production from the Steelers.
"Among them: Markus Wheaton dropped a third-down pass at the Browns 5 when the score was 3-0; Le'Veon Bell and Justin Brown each failed to get a second foot down on sideline catches that would have been big plays; and slot receiver Lance Moore dropped a couple of passes, even though Moore caught the pass for the only touchdown.
"Wheaton's drop -- he ran the route 2 yards too deep and didn't turn around in time -- forced the Steelers to settle for a 35-yard field goal attempt that was botched on a bad hold by punter Brad Wing. Several plays later, the Browns hit a 42-yard pass to tight end Jordan Cameron that set up the first touchdown.
"One series later, the Browns scored on a 51-yard pass to Cameron that made it 14-3.
"'It was blood in the water after the botched field-goal attempt,' Tomlin said. 'In a very short period of time, the makeup of the game changed. From that point on, they fed off that momentum.'"
Tomlin also said it's Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's "job to win" as Pittsburgh takes on the Houston Texans in Week 7, per ESPN's Scott Brown:
"Quarterbck Ben Roethlisberger took the blame after a 31-10 loss at Cleveland and said he didn't play well enough for the Pittsburgh Steelers to win consecutive games for the first time this seaason.
"Steelers coach Mike Tomlin agreed with Roethlisberger in one respect.
"'We didn't win the football game so he wasn't satisfied with his performance and neither was I,' Tomlin said. 'It's his job to win. That's what drives him. That's what drives his position.'
"Roethlisberger has not played well since torching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 314 passing yards and three touchdowns on Sept. 28.
"Tomlin said something interesting about his performance last Sunday -- Roethlisberger completed just 21-of-42 passes for 228 yards -- hinting that Big Ben might be putting too much pressure on himself with the offense needing to carry an injury-depleted defense.
"'It's Ben's job to be what we need him to be,' Tomlin said. 'Ben will always be searching for the perfect performance. I thought he played well at times (against) the Browns. I thought he left some plays out there.'"
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