Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin continued a recent trend at his weekly press conference of calling out players in regards to their recent play.
At the forefront was the group of wide receivers. Tomlin was extremely critical of Markus Wheaton who had a disaster of a game vs Cleveland and has regressed after such a promising start to the season. Wheaton has 24 catches for 277 yards and no touchdowns on the season.
After passing on Kelvin Benjamin in the first round, the Steelers continue to lack a ideal No. 2 receiver next to Antonio Brown.
Wheaton and Ben Roethlisberger were nowhere close to being on the same page vs the Browns which saw Ben, Wheaton spending extra film time together on Monday, Roethlisberger noted on his weekly radio show this morning on 937 The Fan.
Wheaton wasn’t the only receiver Tomlin was critical of in his press conference. He called out both Lance Moore and Justin Brown for their poor play, notably Moore’s inability to make plays in one-on-one matchups.
The Steelers are the second worst redzone team in the NFL and Tomlin cited “game planning” as part of a reason for the red zone failures.
The Steelers do have a 6-foot-4 receiver in Martavis Bryant they drafted in the fourth round, who has great size and ability to be a matchup problem inside the 20. Will the Steelers actually get him a look?
If so, it will likely be at the expense of Lance Moore taking a seat.
“Given some of the things that’s happened, particularly in the red area, and our lack of execution in situational football, we’ll explore the possibility of utilizing him this week, Tomlin said of Bryant.
On the defensive side of the ball, Tomlin hinted that there won’t be any drastic changes with the scheme but a few personnel changes could happen.
“Right now it’s not sweeping and drastic changes in terms of who and what we are schematically,” Tomlin said.
Getting Jason Worilds going would be a key for the Steelers. Worilds has just 2 sacks, 7 QB hits and 8 QB hurries in six games. “He’s had some good games and performances and pockets of games, and he’s had games where he’s been less impactful,” Tomlin said of Worilds. “Obviously we’re compensating him to be consistently impactful and that’s what we’re looking for.”
NT Steve McLendon will miss Monday night’s game with a sprained shoulder. It could open the door for Daniel McCullers to get an opportunity. Tomlin called him a “strong candidate”, though, Cam Thomas who has been dreadful this season, will likely get the start at nose tackle.
Playing time for cornerback Brice McCain is expected to increase this week and possibly even in the Steelers base as Cortez Allen continues to struggle. For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus has Allen graded out as the worst cornerback in football. He is 103 out of the 103 cornerbacks graded. That ranking sounds about right.