Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Heyward: Pass Rush Must Get Better Fast

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Heyward: Pass Rush Must Get Better Fast

Article excerpt

Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward wasn't in much of a celebratory mood after the 38-16 victory Monday night against the Washington Redskins. Sure, the Steelers won by a wide margin and kept pace with the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens on opening weekend, but Heyward didn't like the way he and the other pass rushers performed.

The Steelers were third in the NFL with 48 sacks last season, but they failed to sack Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. The lack of pressure allowed Cousins to throw for 329 yards.

Heyward had some choice words for the way the defensive line and outside linebackers played, and coach Mike Tomlin did not disagree with his defensive captain

"I agree with Cam," Tomlin said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. "We have to create more disruption. We have to get after the quarterback more, particularly when we're ahead. Sometimes, game circumstances provide opportunities, and that game circumstance should have provided more opportunities for production in that area. We didn't get it, so we'll go back to work."

Heyward played the opener a little more than two weeks after a high ankle sprain. Rookie defensive tackle Javon Hargrave played with a quad injury, and the Steelers were missing starting outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who is out for at least the first eight games after surgery for an abdominal injury.

Heyward didn't use his injury as an excuse.

"If I'm going to be out there, I have to play a lot better, simple as that," Heyward said. "It [stunk], the pass rush [stunk]. I have to get to the quarterback."

Injury update

Tomlin did not have an update on injured linebacker Ryan Shazier, but he said several players that missed the Washington game might be ready to play Sunday against Cincinnati.

Tomlin said receiver Markus Wheaton (shoulder), fullback Roosevelt Nix (back) and offensive lineman Cody Wallace (knee) have "significant" chances of playing against the Bengals. …

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