Mike Tomlin to look at root of road woes

PITTSBURGH -- Of the many problems that the Pittsburgh Steelers have to solve, playing better after long road trips is not among them.

At least not in the foreseeable future.

Of the Steelers' four remaining road games, only one is outside of their time zone, and they don’t play at Green Bay until Dec. 22.

That doesn’t mean coach Mike Tomlin isn’t concerned about the Steelers’ road woes after they lost their eighth consecutive game outside of their time zone Sunday in Oakland.

Tomlin acknowledged that he will look at how the Steelers travel in his attempt to reverse what has been a dispiriting trend.

“I am aware that we haven’t performed well outside our time zone or just in general on the road,” the seventh-year coach said. “That’s a function of being a good team. It’s our desire to be a good team, to win regardless of circumstance, game location being one of them, and we have to change that.”

This week would be a good time for the Steelers to play better on the road.

They visit Tom Brady and the 6-2 Patriots on Sunday, and a loss in New England will leave the Steelers in need of an epic second-half turnaround just to put themselves in playoff contention.

“I feel like we have the team to do it,” free safety Ryan Clark said of the Steelers rebounding from their 2-5 start. “We know we have the players in here but the players have to take the coaching and bring it to the field.”

Tomlin expressed similar confidence that the Steelers can still salvage their season. That is why he said confidence isn’t an issue as the Steelers try to dig out of the rubble they have heaped on themselves.

“I really don’t believe our team needs convincing,” Tomlin said when asked if the players still believe they can overcome a woeful start. “They’re here every day. They know what we’re capable of. They see why we’re successful, they see why we’re unsuccessful and they realize they’ve got control of that.

“There is nothing we can do about what has been played. What we do have control over is our next opportunity. I really believe the groups that can remain singularly focused on the tasks that are right in front of them are the ones that have a chance to find the type of desired performance that they are looking for.”