PITTSBURGH -- This isn't the typical Monday morning article. Usually, today is filled with thoughts, 10 observations and grades from the Pittsburgh Steelers game.
But, at this point, no one cares. There's one question surrounding the Steelers, and it's the only question that matters if this season is going to be more than a nightmare to fans, players and pretty much anyone involved.
Can it be fixed? Can the Pittsburgh Steelers be fixed?
The simple answer is no, but really, that's just the easy answer. It takes no effort to say, "well, the offensive line might be the worst in the NFL, so this team can't get any better." But, being around this team long enough, you realize giving up isn't something Art Rooney II isn't really into doing.
So, the simple answer might really be yes.
The last time the Steelers lost back-to-back home games was in 2003. That happens to also be the last time they had a losing season.
One can take that as the time to set off the alarms, or you can realize that it's been nearly 20 years since Pittsburgh had a losing football team. That's 20 years of figuring out how to win and getting it right.
Whether or not many realize it, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert don't make the final decision on basically anything - Art Rooney II does. And even if Tomlin is content with letting his team develop, or Colbert doesn't believe there's talent worth getting outside the team (both guesses here), Rooney isn't one to let a season go waste.
The standard is the standard, right?
We won't sit here and name all the possible offensive line fixes out there, but there are some. Ben Garland and Mitchell Swartz headline that list.
What I will say is that it wouldn't surprise me if the Steelers started making phone calls to free agents and other teams in search of linemen. This group is young and has potential, but that potential won't reach a level worth anything this season. It's time to start looking elsewhere. Rooney knows that.
Some say an offensive line needs time to mesh. Well, a veteran with starting experience is going to mesh a lot quicker with other veterans than a bunch of rookies trying to develop, mesh and adjust all at the same time. Again, Rooney knows this.
Not many seem pleased with Matt Canada as an offensive coordinator through three games, but that might be because there hasn't been much of Matt Canada's offense.
From what we watched this summer, this team has shown glimpses of Canada's motion, end-arounds and use of his skill players, but for the most part, it's been a very Randy Fitchner, Ben Roethlisberger-like offensive gameplan.
The few times the Steelers let their new OC run the show, they've had good results. He seems to understand how to work around the run and get Najee Harris opportunities while at the same time using his wide receivers like they're meant to be used.
Some of this might be Roethlisberger's digression or the fact that he's 39-years-old and isn't really looking to run a completely new offense in his final season. But it's hard to say the lack of success is Canada's play-calling.
Which, believe it or not, leaves room for optimism. There's a lot this team hasn't shown yet that could work.
Lastly, there's the issue of the quarterback. If we're being honest, Roethlisberger looks about done. His throws are behind, he's trying to make something out of nothing most of the time, and he's 39-years-old running for his life on half the plays.
"There's a little something called pride when you pay for the Pittsburgh Steelers, when you put black and gold on," Roethlisberger said after the game. "You may not have the best day. Things may not be going your way. But you don't quit, and you get back up and you fight."
It somewhat feels like Big Ben is fighting alone. It's tough to watch, but he's not going to win many football games doing that.
Moving forward, Roethlisberger needs to give in to Canada's offense, not try to make splash plays and just let this offense coast.
Teams win all the team by not leaving their defense on the field for too long. The Steelers' only scoring drive in Week 3 was over eight minutes long. You score three of those a game and the other team doesn't even have a chance to match it.
This is a defensive season, play offense-supports-defense football. That's how you win.
No one's calling Maurkice Pouncey (most likely). This isn't going to be Mason Rudolph's season without an injury. And as bad as everything looks, it's not over yet.
Things need to get worse before they get better. Three weeks seems like the right amount of time to say it's time to figure things out, which is likely what the Steelers' front office is doing right now.
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