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The Steelers' running game has struggled in the past several weeks and people are started to look at the once highly regarded offensive line as the root of the issue. ESPN analyst Booker McFarland blasted the Steelers' offensive line by calling them "soft." And during Mike Tomlin's weekly press conference on Tuesday, he said the Buffalo Bills dominated his team by being more physical.
"I have to tip my cap to Buffalo. They made significant plays and won decisively because of it, to be quite honest with you," Tomlin said on Tuesday during his weekly press conference about the Bills' 26-15 win over the Steelers on Sunday night. "When I really look at the tape, you can go through some of the minutia and things of that nature, but the bottom line is they were the more physical football team. It can be highlighted in terms of their front and our inability to run the ball, but just in general, I thought in all elements of play, they were the more physical group.
"They’re a physical football team in general, so they are capable of that. For us, regardless of circumstance, we don’t want to make that common. The comment is true as it pertains to that matchup. We have to be accountable to that, and we are. We have to make sure that we are not saying that moving forward. There haven’t been a lot of situations where we can say that, but definitively, I thought they were the more physical group not only in the box and in box play but in some of the perimeter play."
As Tomlin mentioned, the Bills were not only imposing their will in the trenches against the Steelers but their skill players and special teams unit were also having their way.
"I thought (Stefon) Diggs at the wide receiver position played a real physical game and made physical-type plays," Tomlin said. "I thought their coverage people played aggressive and physically. In the return game and in the kicking game, I thought our veteran return guy was vertical and efficient, and they won the battle of field position because of that definitive element of play."
Tomlin was asked how do you fix being more physical, and Tomlin said it starts with recognition and self-evaluation.
"It is disappointing, but part of fixing it is first acknowledging it," he said. "That’s what we did yesterday. We watched the tape, and part of watching the tape is looking at the tape and analyzing that component of play and making the commitment, and then plotting the course of action procedurally from a prep standpoint to make sure we position ourselves so our next week doesn’t look like that. We’re excited about what this week holds for us."