Tomlin eyes sense of urgency from Steelers

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
3:18
PM ET
The depth chart released by the Steelers Tuesday afternoon didn’t reveal any shakeups. Or any notable changes, for that matter, even though the Steelers appeared to take a significant step back in their second preseason game, a dismal 24-13 loss at Washington on Monday night.

What, you wanted Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey benched? Or David DeCastro banished to second-team right guard, if only on paper?

Coach Mike Tomlin recognizes that it is still the preseason. But he is also troubled by what he has seen in the first two preseason games, which have produced a rash of penalties, something Tomlin won’t tolerate.

“I told the guys we are not going to provide lip service,” the seventh-year coach said after the loss to the more physical Redskins. “We are going to practice how we intend to play. Maybe an official or two will be at our practices next week to help us in that regard.”

It can’t hurt, and Tomlin and the Steelers don’t have a lot of other options, especially when it comes to the offensive line.

The starting five includes former first-round picks in Pouncey and DeCastro and second-rounders in bookend tackles Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert. That investment made by the Steelers -- and the lack of viable options among the reserves -- makes it clear that the offense will go only as far as the front five takes it this season.

It was disconcerting to see that group struggle so much against a Redskins front that didn’t trick it with scheme and just flat out bullied it. But it was one game, a preseason one at that, which is why Tomlin opted for a sense of urgency rather than a panic button after a second consecutive sub-par performance.

“We need to get better in a hurry,” Tomlin said.

It starts Wednesday when the players return to work at the Steelers’ South Side practice facility.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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