The Steelers have had some difficulties on the road this year with a mostly young team. Minnesota was particularly difficult for the inexperienced offensive lines.
The crowd noise was largely responsible for the 36-28 loss. This Sunday, the Steelers will be heading to Kansas City to face one of the loudest crowds in the NFL. Coach Mike Tomlin addressed these communication issues and discussed how to prepare for it at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I expect it to be a problem, but a problem that we’re capable of overcoming if we prepare and prepare in the right way for the environment,” Tomlin said Tuesday via the team’s YouTube channel. “We minimize some of the onus on the communication, particularly line of scrimmage wise.”
Arrowhead Stadium is definitely comparable to U.S. Bank Stadium which is home to the Vikings. The Steelers had 10 penalties against the Vikings for 85 yards in that game.
They had two missed starts, a delay in game, and ineffectiveness after the snap when they didn’t know what to do at certain moments. Obviously it’s not the first time in an environment like this for Ben Roethlisberger or Tomlin, but it is still a new experience for a lot of the young players on the team.
“With the number of young guys that we have, we just better be cognizant of their first time in the environment. It won’t be a first time for guys like me or Ben, but it’ll be a first time for a lot of guys. That component of it is something that we’re very cognizant of and will be in preparation.”
Roethlisberger has a record of 6-2 against the Chiefs, which includes 3-1 at Arrowhead. The lone loss took place in overtime back in 2009, as he’s won three straight since then.
This game’s dynamic will play a significant role in the final outcome. The Steelers would be well served if they avoided the pre-snap penalties. It begins with focus on the communication side of things and we’ll find out just how they do come Sunday.