Missed tackles weren't as big a problem for the Broncos in their season opener as they were last year, but they could only be clearly docked for six missed stops -- just two of which came after halftime.
That didn't mean MLB Joe Mays was happy with the defense's performance.
"Yeah, we sucked. We sucked at tackling. Me, myself, I sucked at it," said Mays, who missed a potential open-field tackle of Steelers RB Isaac Redman that cost the Broncos eight yards in the second quarter of Sunday's 31-19 victory.
"There's no excuse for it," Mays said. "We just have to be better, and we're definitely going to come out here tomorrow and do some tackling drills and make sure we fit up the run the way we're supposed to."
Mays, in particular, takes the whiffs personally. After being criticized for his missed tackles last year, he emphasized improving his technique in the offseason, knowing that he would see his playing time increase from base-package snaps to being a featured part of the nickel formations with D.J. Williams suspended.
But in about 60 minutes of preseason work, he missed a tackle on Seattle's Robert Turbin and then had the miss on Redman on Sunday.
The regular season offers few full-pad chances to improve tackling fundamentals, but Mays and the Broncos worked on it Thursday in shorts.
"That's where you get your technique work in, as far as getting to the ball, making sure you break down, bending your knees and wrapping up. That's some of the things we're going to be working on tomorrow. We worked on them today with no pads on."
The pads go on Friday, which will be the second of the Broncos' 14 full-pad practices allowed this year. They wore full pads on Sep. 6.
"You ready?" Mays asked a reporter. "Because I know I am."