Locker Room Buzz: Pittsburgh Steelers

CINCINNATI -- Observed after the Pittsburgh Steelers' 20-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals:

Costly penalties: A lost fumble and a penalty cost the Steelers a pair of passing plays that covered 67 yards. A tripping penalty on Marcus Gilbert negated a third-down completion that had moved the Steelers into Bengals territory early in the third quarter. Gilbert said he inadvertently took out the legs of a Bengals defender after falling to the ground. “It was an awful call,” the Steelers’ starting right tackle said. “They blew that call bad.”

Point the thumb: Ben Roethlisberger delivered a pointed message in the visitors locker room at Paul Brown Stadium following the Steelers' second loss of the season. “Ben said it real good,” right guard David DeCastro said. “Don’t point the finger; point the thumb.” Roethlisberger did just that after the Steelers’ locker room was opened to reporters. “I didn’t make enough plays,” he said.

Out of position: The Steelers allowed the Bengals to rush for 127 yards, and free safety Ryan Clark said some of Pittsburgh’s defensive players might have gotten out of position because they were too eager to make something happen. “I think you heard that a lot on the sidelines, ‘Let’s go make a play.' When it used to be, 'Let’s just go play,’” Clark said. “We can’t start pressing to do things because of what’s on the scoreboard.”

Work to do: The Steelers played better than they did in a season-opening loss to the Titans, a performance coach Mike Tomlin called unacceptable. “This is unacceptable, too,” he said. But, Tomlin added, “I honestly believe that the answers are still in that room.”