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Insider Only Steelers – Friday: Players react to communication problems, other issues in Week 1 loss to Pats

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PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t want to blame their 28-21 loss Thursday night at New England on Patriots shenanigans with the club’s headsets, but they all believed there were communications difficulties on both sides of the ball that contributed to the defeat.

“We had problems with communication for the most part of the game, just getting lined up with personnel, getting the defense called in,” linebacker James Harrison said. “The biggest issue was getting the call from upstairs, so it could have contributed to some of it. But we still missed tackles and couldn’t get off on third down. They executed in the red zone, and we didn’t.”

Outside linebacker Terence Garvin was approached about his lack of red-zone execution, allowing Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to get open in the end zone from close range, but inside backer Vince Williams felt the need to speak up before any questions were asked.

“I know what you want to talk to him about,” Wiliams said. “Why do you want to talk to him about that? I sent him out there, because we call him a big safety. He plays like a safety, but he’s big. (And) I bet if he had that play 10 times, I’ll bet he’d stop six of them.”

Garvin likely won’t get nine more opportunities, and that average isn’t too good anyway. When Williams was done, Garvin was available and asked if the defense wasn’t ready for what appeared to be an obvious situation for Gronkowski.

“We were ready,” Garvin said. “We were just talking about locking it up, because we got caught in a switch the other play down there. So, we were just talking about locking it up. We weren’t caught off-guard or anything. We were ready for it.”

Still, things didn’t turn out too well for the Steelers with that matchup.

“He’s a big dude, and he gets into his routes pretty fast,” Garvin added. “He just hit me with a little in route. I was thinking slant, but on the fade … that’s a big dude. You have to go through his hands or push him out of bounds, but he’s tough to push out. So, I tried to go through his hands. It didn’t work.’

The Patriots raucous fans also contributed mightily to the Steelers communication issues. They made it difficult for inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons to call out the plays.

“It’s tough, especially in a hectic environment,” Timmons said. “We were yelling at each other (standing) right beside each other and had to deal with that. So, it was tough for us. But like I’ve said, the second half came around, we got adjusted to it and played better.”

Defensive end Cam Heyward also acknowledged that there were communication problems, but the Steelers players were responsible for overcoming them.

“There were a couple times that we didn’t get lined up, but that’s a fault Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

Dale Grdnic

TIOPS Steelers Beat Writer

Dale Grdnic is a contributor to Inside Pittsburgh Sports, covering the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Football. Dale has covered the Pittsburgh Sports scene for over 15 years with various publications

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