PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — The Steelers’ defense hardly resembled what was statistically the top-ranked unit the league last season in Sunday’s collapse.

Suddenly, as a result, one of the most respected defensive minds in the game has become a lightning rod for criticism, and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau addressed the criticism of himself and his players Wednesday.

“The big problem…in both our losses…has been big plays. No matter who’s out there, we can’t allow that to happen,” LeBeau said on the South Side. “We didn’t get off the field in the second half in Oakland. We gave them too many cracks. If our guys score 31 points, that should be enough to win the game.”

“I’ve found that is a condition with this group. When teams are moving the ball on us, guys want to do a little bit more, which is a good problem to have, but it’s a problem nonetheless. We’ve got to trust the defense, trust the teammate, focus, and play.

“We finished the Jets game, and that’s our only win. If we had finished the other two games, we’d probably have three wins. We’re aware of the problems, and we’re working on the corrections,” LeBeau added.

Check out the rest of his post-practice remarks on the team’s 1-2 start:

The Steelers are off this weekend before entertaining the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field next Sunday at 1:00.