PITTSBURGH -- After the Pittsburgh Steelers' loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11, Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt acknowledged that the Steelers offense liked "to do the same plays over and over."
Well, apparently that's not an issue. At least not to head coach Mike Tomlin, who blamed that notion on losing but also acknowledged its truth.
"That's what they say when they're having success," Tomlin said. "They don't say it when they're not. So, I don't worry much about that. I focus on the things that are within our control. When I look at the tape, there were some repeat concepts, but Cincinnati was in some repeat concepts. And that's football. When its good-on-good, particularly in the latter part of the season, there’s very little secrets."
Tomlin also made it clear that the Steelers knew what was coming from the Bengals as well. The only difference between the two offenses being predictable was that Pittsburgh's defense couldn't stop Cincinnati's attack.
"It comes down to execution. That’s where I like to keep our focus," Tomlin said. "Man, we’ve got to execute better, we’ve got to make makeable plays. And that's our goal. That’s where our focus is as we lean in on this week's opportunity, and less about some of the fodder that you speak of."
The Steelers did put on their highest-scoring performance of the season, totaling 30 points in the loss to the Bengals.
So, how do they handle better execution? Only a Tomlinism can explain that.
"We will always be trying to put those eight pounds in a five-pound bag," Tomlin said. "That work is never done from a professional football standpoint. It's probably no different than shooting in NBA basketball. Everybody knows that those guys are capable shooters, but they've got to be hot at the appropriate time and in-game, and it’s the same thing from an NFL perspective. We will never stop talking about execution. It could be Week 17, 18, We still will be having that discussion because it's never-ending."
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