PITTSBURGH – Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took the blame after a 31-10 loss at Cleveland and said he didn’t play well enough for the Pittsburgh Steelers to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin agreed with Roethlisberger in one respect.
“We didn’t win the football game so he wasn’t satisfied with his performance and neither was I,” Tomlin said. “It’s his job to win. That’s what drives him. That’s what drives his position.”
Roethlisberger has not played well since torching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 314 passing yards and three touchdowns on Sept. 28.
Tomlin said something interesting about his performance last Sunday -- Roethlisberger completed just 21-of-42 passes for 228 yards -- hinting that Big Ben might be putting too much pressure on himself with the offense needing to carry an injury-depleted defense.
“It’s Ben’s job to be what we need him to be,” Tomlin said. “Ben will always be searching for the perfect performance. I thought he played well at times [against] the Browns. I thought he left some plays out there.”
A few notes:
Is cornerback Cortez Allen in danger of losing his starting job to Brice McCain? Tomlin said McCain, who logged just 13 snaps in Cleveland, could play more Monday night against the Houston Texans in part because of the “inconsistent play of others.” Allen had a tough game in Cleveland, giving up a 51-yard touchdown catch to tight end Jordan Cameron. Allen did not get any safety help on the play, and Tomlin said he should not have expected it with the Browns in third-and-one near midfield. “He’s got to be able to stay on top of that tight end and prevent that type of play from happening,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin had no problem with the mindset Dri Archer showed in bringing the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs against the Browns even though the rookie running back was stopped short on the 20-yard line on all three of his returns. “I don’t mind being aggressive, particularly in a situation where we’re behind,” Tomlin said. “We needed some splash. Dri is a talented guy that’s capable of producing that splash. We’re going to make people defend the field from a kickoff coverage standpoint.” Archer is averaging 18.4 yards on seven kickoff returns this season.
Tomlin would like to see more return on the $9.754 million that the Steelers are paying outside linebacker Jason Worilds this season. Worilds has just two sacks and three quarterback pressures in six games. “He’s had some good games and performance in pockets of games, and he’s had some games where he’s been less impactful,” Tomlin said. “We’re compensating him to be consistently impactful and that’s what we’re searching for.”