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‘Standard continues to be the usual’: How Steelers have navigated a chaotic season – Pittsburgh Steelers Blog

PITTSBURGH — When the video system used for digital movie research failed throughout Wednesday’s assembly, Pittsburgh Steelers security Minkah Fitzpatrick did not panic.

He alerted the individuals who wanted to know with a telephone name and took part in the remainder of that part by means of the decision. Afterward, everybody converted to Zoom for the remainder of the assembly so Fitzpatrick might absolutely take part.

“Something I’ve been using is ‘adapt or die,’ to put it in dramatic terms,” Fitzpatrick stated. “That’s something that we used to say in South Florida. I think it’s a very applicable quote right now because there’s something every day you have to adapt to. And if you don’t, if you complain about it or be too inconvenienced, it’s going to take you off your game or from thinking about what you need to think about.”

In a season in contrast to some other due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Steelers have mastered the artwork of adaptation, which is an enormous cause they’re the lone undefeated NFL crew heading into Week 11.

The Steelers’ angle comes from the highest with coach Mike Tomlin, whose signature sayings carry further weight this 12 months. For Tomlin and the Steelers, “the standard is still the standard,” even in a pandemic.

“It’s the saying that stuck with me the most, especially in times like this,” kicker Chris Boswell stated of Tomlin’s commonplace line. “Whether we don’t get to practice all week or we don’t have Ben [Roethlisberger] all week last week, we still have a game to play on Sunday, and we still have a standard we have to be at, to be able to function as a team and come out with a win. That’s one that personally, no matter what’s going on, you have to show up and play to a certain standard.”

To obtain the targets set by Tomlin, the Steelers have embraced one other one in every of his favourite sayings this 12 months: “Be light on our feet.”

Tomlin used it continuously within the lead-up to coaching camp, describing how the Steelers would prepare for the season opener with out a preseason.

“We’ve got to have a hardcore plan, but we also have to be light on our feet,” he stated within the offseason. And after the postponement of the Tennessee Titans sport, Tomlin repeated the road of the 2020 season.

“We don’t overthink it,” Tomlin stated of the adjustments within the 2020 season. “You can paralyze yourself with contingency plans on top of contingency plans. We have a hardcore plan, but we are just committed to being light on our feet and being ready to adjust when circumstances dictate it. So we are moving within our normal rhythm.”

But even earlier than he stated it out loud in a media availability, Tomlin has been main his crew with that mentality all season.

The strategy of adapting to the weird circumstances pressured by the COVID-19 pandemic started in March when almost all pre-draft journey was grounded and groups moved their evaluations to digital settings, internet hosting participant interviews on Zoom and FaceTime slightly than having face-to-face conferences. Soon, every little thing was digital: the NFL draft, rookie conferences and OTAs. For some, the transition was simple. For others, not as a lot.

“I’m working hard not to be resistant to it,” Tomlin stated. “Our coaches are doing the same, but some of us are dinosaurs. We give ground grudgingly, if you will. But more than anything, we are gaining experience with it. The more experience you gain, the more comfortable you get, the more innovative you get, and hopefully that is transpiring for all of us. I know I am working hard so that this transpires for me and the things that I need to do for the group.”

Tomlin has at all times been a no-excuses man, one thing he and his crew have embodied much more this season.

When their bye week was moved from Week eight to Week four due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the Titans, forcing them to play 13 consecutive weeks, Tomlin put it bluntly: “We do not care.”

Just a few weeks later, the Steelers misplaced the quarterback of their protection in Devin Bush, however once more, they did not make any excuses. They plugged the spot with Robert Spillane, an under-the-radar player, and maintained an undefeated document.

And every week in the past, the Steelers ready for the Cincinnati Bengals with out their quarterback.

The Steelers entered the intensive COVID-19 protocol after their Week eight win towards the Ravens and have not exited. And even earlier than it was mandated by the league, the Steelers carried out extra protocols that will, in concept, make communication and preparation harder, assembly nearly for all gatherings and going within the constructing solely in staggered teams for coaching room therapy and weight room periods.

After Tomlin took a shot on the MAC in his Tuesday information convention, discussing preparation for the Jaguars, a possible lure sport, by saying, “We are not a Big Ten team playing a MAC opponent this week,” Roethlisberger, a MAC product, joked together with his coach in his media availability the following day.

“I know! I haven’t had a chance to get him yet,” the quarterback stated when Tomlin’s phrases had been introduced up. “He mentioned it again in the team meeting too, and I wasn’t too happy about that. I will get him back, don’t worry. I have to figure out what conference William & Mary is in. We will say something about that.”

Even with just a few jokes, the Steelers are nonetheless the identical hardworking, gritty crew led by a coach with the idea they will adapt to any circumstance and climate any storm. It’s that consistency that is led them to a 9-Zero begin, even within the midst of a wierd season.

“When we talk about winning leads to a vibe or a vibe leads to winning, I think it’s a little bit of both,” defensive finish Cameron Heyward stated. “Winning creates the culture, but the culture has to keep building on that. You can’t just rest on winning one game and say you’ve done the job. It takes a good group of guys to stay humble and consistent and understand that the job’s not done.”

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