November 28, 2022

Those unfamiliar with the Steelers method likely assumed that Pittsburgh went into tank mode the second they traded Chase Claypool before the trade deadline. The trade mimicked what many teams do when they find themselves in Pittsburgh’s current predicament, as the 2-6 team is three full games away from last place in the AFC playoffs.

On Tuesday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin introduced the uninitiated while making it very clear that the Steelers’ goal, week in and week out, is to prepare to win the next game on their schedule. It’s all part of Tomlin’s favorite motto, “the standard is the standard,” which alludes to the Steelers’ ongoing quest to add to the franchise’s trophy no matter the situation and the circumstances.

“We’re particularly focused on the opportunity this week, which is to win this game,” Tomlin said while adding that he’s open to playing younger players moving forward “if it’s conducive. to help the Steelers win.

“That’s our only goal, to put a plan in place and highlight the player skills that produce victory,” Tomlin said.

The Steelers haven’t had a losing season since 2003, the season before Pittsburgh selected future quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl winner, with the 11th overall pick. The Steelers would hold the fourth overall pick in the 2023 draft if the season ends today. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a top-five pick in the draft since 1970, when they used the first overall pick to select Hall of Fame quarterback and four-time Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw.

If the Steelers are still trying to win games, then why did they trade Claypool? Tomlin said he and the Steelers coveted the second-round pick that was part of the deal. He added that he was comfortable with the Steelers’ ability to make midfield plays even without Claypool, who did most of his midfield damage in his eight games with the Steelers this fall. .

Tomlin specifically mentioned Pat Freiermuth as a player who has done a lot of damage through midfield this season. Tomlin is excited to see if Steven Sims — who is also Pittsburgh’s leading special teams returner — can rise to the occasion as he’s likely to receive the majority of Claypool’s reps with the offense.

Although the Steelers aren’t changing their collective mindset, Tomlin acknowledged that running back Jaylen Warren could continue to see his role on offense increase in the second half of the season. The undrafted rookie, who earned a spot on the team’s initial 53-man roster after an impressive training camp, rushed 29 times for an average of 5.3 yards per carry in the first eight games of the season.

“He’s a quality fullback who made a few plays,” Tomlin said of Warren. “We will continue to give him the opportunity to do that. And maybe he will write this screenplay [as a featured back].”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *