It's the fans who are doing the finger-pointing, and they're placing the blame for the team's season-opening 30-14 loss at Gillette Stadium solely on the shoulders of one player, quarterback Kordell Stewart.
That's taking the easy way out.
Stewart certainly deserves a lion's share of the blame for what occurred against the Patriots. He tossed three interceptions - including two in his first three passing attempts - and also lost a fumble.
It certainly was not his finest hour but Stewart had plenty of help in stinking up the joint.
The offensive line didn't block. The defensive line put precious little pressure on quarterback Tom Brady, who dropped back to pass on 45 of New England's first 59 offensive plays. The defensive backfield played pass defense like they were still running 7-on-7 non-contact drills at St. Vincent College. And the team was committing so many penalties (13), you had to check the owner's booth to make certain Al Davis hadn't purchased the team.
This was a total team effort. And this one starts at the top.
For whatever reason, head coach Bill Cowher cannot get a team prepared to play for the opening weekend. The Steelers are 4-7 in season openers under Cowher. And one of those victories - their last in a season opener - came in 1999 against the expansion Cleveland Browns.
The Steelers are just 2-5 in their last seven season openers under Cowher, getting outscored by a combined 131-96. And if you throw out that 43-0 drubbing of the Browns, it's 131-53 in six games.
That is the definition of pathetic.
Cowher tried to change things up by playing his starters nearly a full half in the preseason finale instead of allowing them to play just a series or two, as had been his habit in previous seasons.
Obviously, that didn't work.
The next step may be asking the NFL to schedule the team's off week for the first week of the season since the Steelers take it off every year anyway.
But therein lies the problem.
Why do the Steelers play like an expansion team in every season opener? Why are they such slow starters?
Perhaps it's because, for all of his bluster with t