PITTSBURGH - Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at Pittsburgh Steelers headquarters for Monday's tape review session.
There was plenty to talk about when looking at the debacle that unfolded against the Patriots in New England on Sunday.
Coach Mike Tomlin, visibly angry immediately after the game, seemed somewhat subdued at his weekly question-and-answer session on Tuesday.
His demeanor and comments on Sunday seemed to suggest he'd caught some players giving less than their best effort.
That wasn't the case on Tuesday.
Maybe Tomlin watched the tapes and determined that his players were still trying. If that happened, it's probably even more depressing.
There are some things to remember in the wake of Sunday's history-making loss:
n It's only halfway through the season.
That may be good or bad, depending on your perspective. The Steelers are 2-6.
They could go 6-2 the rest of the way and offer hope that the ship has been righted.
It's unlikely they'll win six more games, but it's not impossible.
Fans are understandably anxious to fire everyone after the New England game, but let's wait and see how the second half of the season plays out.
n People are always convinced the schemes have gone haywire when a team is 2-6.
There's plenty of blame to go around, but the Steelers are operating from a basic flaw. They don't have enough good players.
That's true on both sides of the ball. There are very few instances where major performers have been replaced by players with comparable talent.
The Steelers are simply too average (or below average) at too many spots.
Players get hurt. They age and become less effective.
For a variety of reasons, there's been more talent leaving the roster than being added to the roster.
Even some of the familiar names have disappointed so far this season. Take Ryan Clark.
n Sometimes things go awry in so many ways, it's a deluge.
Ben Roethlisberger fumbled on the first series, and the Patriots recovered.
Roethlisberger found himself handling a slippery ball, and he couldn't figure out why. It wasn't raining, and the field wasn't damp.
Initially he thought center Fernando Velasco had dripped sweat on the ball. That wasn't the case, either.
Roethlisberger found the answer when he looked at his hand and saw blue paint on it. The paint used to put the logo on the field hadn't dried.
The ball was wet from the paint, and Roethlisberger lost his grip on it.
Sometimes things happen.
There have understandably been questions about the wisdom of leaving Roethlisberger in to finish a blowout game.
Why expose him to possible injury by taking meaningless snaps? In the context of Big Ben and Tomlin's world, it's perfectly understandable that Big Ben felt a duty to stay in the game.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org