Steelers not in panic mode

September, 11, 2013
9/11/13
7:30
PM ET
PITTSBURGH – It might not make Pittsburgh Steelers fans happy that the status quo has prevailed this week at the team’s practice facility.

But it has provided free safety Ryan Clark with a sense of comfort as the Steelers prepare for a Monday night game at Cincinnati.

“If people were changing, if people were starting to shift, make decisions that they normally wouldn’t make, change things about their routine, that would make me nervous because that means you feel like there’s something wrong with your process,” Clark said. “But there’s nothing wrong with the (Steelers’) process. Coach (Mike) Tomlin’s been the same, the players have been the same. We all understand that if you follow the protocol coach Tomlin has set in place you can win games that way. I think the biggest thing for me is everyone staying steady and ready to work.”

Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said there is a reason why the Steelers are staying the course.

“No disrespect to Tennessee, but we just didn’t go out and execute,” Sanders said of the Steelers’ 16-9 loss to the Titans. “The mood around the locker room is a shut-up-and-work mentality, and that’s the way it needs to be.”

There wasn’t any noticeable tension the two times the locker room was open to reporters Wednesday. And the players may have been even more accessible than they usually are the first time the locker room is open during a game week.

The loss to the Titans might have exposed shortcomings and cost the Steelers two starters, but the players refuse to let it define them even if so many others outside of their building are already doing so.

“Every year I’m here, everybody always writes us off,” outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. “‘This defense is getting old, this team can’t do that, can’t do this.’ I stay away from it, but you hear (about it) from family members and friends.”

Those family members and friends have surely told Woodley about talk of the Steelers’ downward spiral and how eight wins might be a stretch for them this season.

“We lost a game in Week 1,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “Yeah we didn’t play very well at all on offense, but there’s no time to panic right now.”

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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