Cameron Heyward Sees Slow Start Out Of Bye Week As Teachable Moment

As I anticipated—and as was fair—the hot topic around these parts yesterday, other than the evil Todd Haley yelling at the poor and delicate 6’5” hulking quarterback whose nickname has ‘big’ in it, was the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers took a last-second field goal to beat a bad Colts team.

What made it worse for many is the fact that the Steelers were coming out of their bye week. And making it worse still was the fact that the team lost their three previous games coming out of the bye week, even while still managing to do so in 8-8 seasons of 2012 and 2013.

Sometimes you are going to start slow coming out of a bye”, Head Coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday during his press conference, as rarely and unsettling deviation from Tomlin Tuesday on a Mike Monday. “You hate it. You hate to even acknowledge it, but you acknowledge that it exists. Hopefully it will be less of an issue for us this week”.

Yeah. Hopefully.

Said Steelers defensive captain Cameron Heyward, who was arguably the best player on the field for either side, “There’s a teachable moment in everything”, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala. “The question is”, he added, “do you learn from it?”.

Early in the game, both sides of the ball were spending too much time losing what Tomlin has taken to calling possession downs. The offense was not extending drives by converting on third down and the defense was not getting off the field by stopping the Colts on third down.

That tide slowly turned over the course of the second half, and they were ultimately able to prevail, with both the offense and defense showing better in the second half as opposed to the third. Outside of one bad play that led to a 61-yard touchdown, the defense held the Colts’ offense in check, while the offense put up 17 second-half points, all unanswered.

The slow start out of the bye week is going to be a tough sell for this crowd, I’m sure. After all, Tomlin’s teams were 6-1 in his first seven seasons after the bye week. A number of widely-respected coaches have an extremely good post-bye record. So why should a team be slow to get back into it?

As Heyward indicated, there is a lesson to be learned here, and one the team had better figure out, because the way they are headed, it is looking like they have a very good chance of having a week off through the first round of the playoffs this season. They can’t afford to start slow in the Divisional Round.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    So, now I wonder what the Steelers trend is after Thursday night games since the Steelers will get another long break after Titans game.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    More concerned with the offense overall. The Steelers played the 31st ranked D and struggled mightily.

    The cognitive dissonance between the fan base thinking this offense could be one of the top offenses, and what they have been so far is wide – 19th ranked offense in scoring after this week. Talent suggests top five.

    Whatever is keeping this squad from performing is still firmly in place and has not showed signs of changing to this point.

  • heath miller

    who knows about this team .. the more you think you know the more you realize how little we really know .. but they somehow manage to keep winning .. but this caliber of football = first round playoff loss .. home or away

  • treeher

    With the talent on this Offense, any other team in the league would be giving the Offensive Coordinator a ham sandwich and telling him to hit the road. Haley is what is wrong and the team needs to fix that. When your QB openly acknowledges that he refused the play calling from the sideline, you know where this is going.

  • Steve Johnson

    Sometimes you’re going to start slow coming out of a Bye Week? Really Tomlin? Comments like that by a Head Coach, could that be one of the reasons they came out unprepared yet once again on the road against an inferior team? Wow! I’m in agreement with Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy; the players are too immature, too much focus on what celebrations they’re going to do after they score a TD. Not enough emphasis on doing their job, knowing the correct plays. On that 2 point conversion last Sunday, that was embarrassing.

    They called a timeout, then after the timeout, LeVeon Bell still didn’t know where to lineup. But oh no, he can make rap songs, can think of what do for celebrations. Rodney Harrison? Can’t stand him (Ex Cheatriot). But I think he could be right, maybe the players are too arrogant thinking they can just show up and beat a team like the Colts and Bears.

  • Steve Johnson

    I think Haley is a major part of the problem on Iffense, no doubt. I’m not giving Tomlin a pass though, too often his team looks to be unprepared and undisciplined. He has been given a pass far too long.

    I’ve been a Die Hard Steelers Fan for over 30 years. But Mike Tomlin’s team doesn’t deserved to be mentioned in the same sentence with the Patriots. Too much talk and far too less productivity on the field.

  • AndyR34

    If this is…again…a teachable moment, this team must consist of a lot of slow learners.

  • Zarbor

    Not sure either. One thing we do know, it that they should be fresh for this game on Thursday since they only played half a game this past Sunday.

  • Zarbor

    I agree with the Haley comment, not so much with the Tomlin comment. We may not like how Tomlin goes about with his teams but the league is about winning and that is his pass. He wins games. Whether you like it or not. No losing seasons. Worse is 8-8.

    I’m not sure which current coach deserves to be mention in the same sentence with Bellicheat so that means nothing. Find us a current coach that’s better not name Bellicheat with the longevity and the success to replace Tomlin and I’m with you. Until then, lets stop making silly comments.

    I don’t see it but if they win the Superbowl this year does his team deserved to be mention in the same sentence with the Patriots? 7-2 is productivity unless you want 1-8 and Macadoo-doo as your coach. Just saying.

  • Zarbor

    Yup. Lots of teachable moments, not a lot of comprehension. Same teachable moments keep coming up again and again and again

  • Rick McClelland

    You must be a carpenter Steve, cause you’re hitting that nail right on the head all the way through.

  • Rick McClelland

    Looks like Tomlin may have a few learners from the short bus.

  • Steve Johnson

    You make some valid points, however, I disagree that my comment is silly. Better yet, my comment is just an opinion, just like your opinion in reference to my comment.

    My comment wasn’t based just on Tomlin winning games, it was based on a Head Coach of an NFL team that consistently looks unprepared and out of sync against inferior teams. A team that often lacks discipline and has constantly been on ESPN for all the wrong things in 2017.

    I’m very well aware of his winning record, but does that mean he shouldn’t be criticized for the things I mentioned? That team has too much talent to look so out of sync and unprepared to play on Sundays.

  • Steve Johnson

    lol. Thanks Rick, not a carpenter, just a Die Hard Steelers Fan that would love to see them bring home #7 next February.

  • Rick McClelland

    Sniper Steve? You’re hitting that one from a 1000 yards out again right on target. Betting on my end says Thursday night is a Steeler debacle. They’ve lost 4 Thursday night games in a row. Not getting a warm fuzzy over here.