Photo via Steelers.com
By Ivan Cole
The last time I attempted to write something for Going Deep was right after the Jacksonville game. The piece was sullen and dark, involving terms like “hubris” and “ego”, but before I could get very far I was struck down. Maybe it was the spirit of Dan Rooney (more about him in a separate post). Whatever the source I have been on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP, writing only) from then until now. Just in time to reflect (as opposed to just reacting) on the second quarter of the season.
The third preseason game, the only one in which the players on the field look anything like the eventual roster, and that only for a portion of the game, is in the books. It represents the first loss of the preseason, which perhaps could be viewed as not encouraging. But let’s dig into what actually happened to find out if this is true or not.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Carnell Lake. Back in 2011 or so I went to a Ladies Training Camp, and Lake was one of the speakers. (I suppose as a newbie he got one of the assignments nobody else wanted.) I was so impressed at the time with the way he took us through some film and talked about working with some of the individual players.
Fast-forward to 2016, and there were more than a few people calling for his head. It was entirely understandable. The Steelers had drafted defensive backs—a lot of them—and the results just weren’t there. It’s certainly reasonable to look to the coaching as at least one of the causes when a given position group has disappointed.