Steeler Nation, the Steelers are 0-4, heading into their bye week. Their problems are many. However, two glaring problems that must be addressed during the break are left tackle on offense and the ability to tackle on defense.
The play of left tackle Mike Adams has been suspect most of the season and just plain awful in the Steelers loss to Minnesota. Adams gave up three sacks, two quarterback hits and one quarterback hurry versus the Vikings. Adams has given up 4 sacks, 6 QB hits, and 12 quarterback hurries in four games this season. Many of the sacks versus the Vikings were just too easy and that is unacceptable from the guy protecting your quarterback’s blind-side.
The question now becomes what is the solution ? Do you keep Adams at left tackle and hope he rights the ship? Do you move Marcus Gilbert back to left tackle after he already lost out to Adams for the position to begin with?
Kelvin Beachum may be the best option but he is also your best back up guard and may have to fill in for Ramon Foster who may be out do to injury.
There is really no clear answer to this question and the Steelers are running thin on options.
On defense the Steelers are missing way too many tackles. The Steelers defense missed 17 tackles vs. the Vikings and have missed a total of 41 for the season according to Pro Football Focus.com. Missed tackles contributed to Adrian Peterson‘s 60 yard touchdown run and also was a factor in Greg Jennings‘ 70 yard touchdown.
Sloppy tackling has become common place for the Steelers defense this season. A lot can be blamed on the youth and inexperience inside but there was also plenty of missed tackles by veteran players.
The good thing about this problem is it can be corrected with finer detail paid to technique and assignments.
One has to wonder how the effect of less padded practices and less practice in general has had on the art of tackling in the NFL. No matter the cause, the Steelers need to fix these problems and more during this bye week.