Carnell Lake Says He’s Not One To Yell At His Players A Lot

During his career, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake played five years under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau so it’s not surprising his coaching style is similar to his. At the conclusion of Wednesday’s practice, Lake talked about his style and how he deals with his players.

“My style is not to really yell, but when I have to, I’ve got to really point out the things that really have to be pointed out and not be afraid to hurt feelings when I have to,” Lake said. “Obviously, I don’t want to belittle any of my players, I care about them tremendously, but at the same time, in order to get them to grow professionally, I’ve got to get them to be very aware and sensitive of the business at hand and sometimes it takes a different approach based on the circumstances.”

The Steelers defensive backs weren’t sensitive of the business at hand Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings when it came to tackling as they combined to miss eight of them in the loss. Lake addressed that poor play as well during his interview.

“Really, it’s just simple, we’re not executing well,” said Lake. “Probably, in my mind, it’s mental focus on the little things. Technique and things like tackling, bringing the ball back and trusting your teammates, it’s pretty basic fundamental stuff and we’re just not executing.”

Lake said he believes the Steelers would have won the game against the Vikings had they tackled better, but it is easy to make a statement like that after the fact. As Matthew Marczi pointed out Thursday morning, the Steelers defensive unit have missed 39 tackles so far this season and 19 of those misses have been by Lake’s unit.

The Steelers are off for the next four days and will resume practice on Monday. Next week, Lake might want to consider hurting a few feelings of his players and belittling them in addition, because as of right now, the Steelers defensive backs aren’t mastering the basic fundamentals that are needed to make the defense one of the tops in the league.

  • r4kolb

    Wow 39 missed tackles. Not very Steeler like. I know you said Lake should step up but I also think if there is a leader on defense he needs to address it too. Who would that be? Keisel? Troy? Clark?

  • T R

    sho aint Clark.. hell clark the one missing most the tackles.. and i love me some Clark

  • Justin Barlow

    These problems just doesn’t make sense. This is a hard tackling secondary. It would be different if we had recently seen a ton of turnover, but these are veterans that have never had technique issues.
    The only thing I can think of is that they are all trying for big plays, big hits, forced fumbles, and they aren’t taking what’s there: the safe tackle that might net an extra yard or two bc of the momentum/power of the ball carrier.

  • Game_Time

    New NFL……New Rules….. New Fines….. New Steelers

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Clark must have 18 of the 19

  • charles

    We need Cortez to knock the rust off fast. I have confidence and I think that he will produce our first int against the Yets

  • Bob Graff

    This team has no leadership it’s a big problem but they have bigger ones. The few players that do have some leadership potential will be retiring soon [you can’t play pro football into your 40’s]. So what are we left with?? Young players with high expectations that aren’t producing. And this thing with they can’t play till they learn our system might have worked 5 years ago but now PLEASE WHAT SYSTEM. BTW all you J. Jones fans i told you so, no sacks yet or turnovers running a 5.0 40 doesn’t cut it in the NFL that’s just too slow. 1 tackle the last game????


    I can agree on leadership…when your QB is responsible for 90% of the turnovers…a Farrior could get in Ben’s ear w/o fear…Timmons is the guy, but he’s not the guy. Same thing on the missed tackles…certain players command your respect and best effort…you don’t want to let those type players down.

    JJ…Seriously…Can you point to ANY one player on the front 7 having a good year thus far Bob?

  • Bob Graff

    The old players are older and the young player aren’t producing. Defensive wise we get away with soft corners,Clark and Troy have both lost a step, Woodely was robin to Harrison’s batman and batman is gone, Timmons and Foote were a great pair that’s gone and the d-line just doesn’t do the dirty work they use to [A. Smith , Hampton]. It’s not technique it’s personnel. playing 8 games in a row counting preseason and seeing the same thing over and over isn’t a coincidence. This problem makes perfect sense they are who they are. It will take a great effort by this team to beat the Jets.They appear to be pretty even with the Jets maybe having an edge.

  • Bob Graff

    Hey ATL , I made a list above of what i thought of the defense. Believe me i take no joy in watching this. I know you like J.J. i think he would do good in the right system playing MLB he does have the hussle for it, I just feel right now for his skill set he’s out of place.


    Yes…I thought Mingo was the most athletic LB in the draft, but I have been on JJ’s bandwagon from day one…somewhat surprised he hasn’t made a splash play yet aside from his big hit on CJ from TN.

    Truth be told Idk what he is yet at this level…but to single him out when no one has really played well was kind of taking an unfair shot I thought.

  • Bob Graff

    The only reason is i really thought he was a awesome college player . People were comparing him to Suggs that’s what was unfair. I really didn’t mean to single him out, but when people are saying watch this missile we have at OLB. and he comes i and does very little. You think someone would say where’s the missle. The big problem with the Steelers is the huge turnover in players and the replacements just not being ready. And the bigger question will they ever be ready.

  • Virdin Barzey

    This is when you need guys like Farrior and Foote. No not for their play on the field which was okay but moreso for their leadership. Rally the troops. Getting in guys face. Their is nobody on that defense to replace that right now. Shame.

  • Deathbydeath

    Weak coaches equal weak players. Knoll and Cowher weren’t afraid to hurt feelings. Pathetic. They deserve to be right where they are- coaching sucks.