"They still haven't learned how to react to pressure," Austin said grimly after that one. "And they haven't learned that when you get a club down like that you stomp on them, you don't let them up. But they will learn."
Austin, who can evaluate the effects of pressure on a pro football player very accurately, having played on championship teams in New York and coached with champions in Green Bay, is right about the Steelers. This young team has not had time to learn to operate in a pressure cooker.
They revealed this defect again last week in the second of their back-to-back games with the Redskins, when old pro Quarterback Sonny Jurgensen proved how well he can read defenses. In Washington a good second quarter brought the Steelers to the half with a 10-10 tie, but then they collapsed to lose 24-10. Jurgensen threw three bombs for Redskin touchdowns—passes of 70 and 51 yards to the veteran flanker Bobby Mitchell and 60 yards to Halfback Charley Taylor.
"The thing I like most about Austin is that these things don't bother him," Rooney had said earlier. "He says one game doesn't make a season. When Nelsen was hurt, he said, 'That's why we've got 40 players.' Buddy Parker, I had to cheer him up. Not Bill."
Just wait a while; the Steelers will be winners. It's a shame they were not when Art was running the club all by himself.