James Harrison: Steelers defense 'totally (expletive),' Ben has no answers for issues

Fingers are starting to be pointed in the Steelers organization. That's what happens when you come into a season expecting to make a run at the Super Bowl and after Week 10 find yourself at 4-5 and coming off an emasculating loss to the Cowboys (8-1) in prime time.

There's one obvious issue to look at: the defense. It was routinely gashed by the Cowboys ground game, including a pair of untouched touchdowns by Ezekiel Elliott during the last two minutes of the game.

James Harrison after the game was quite candid about the unit, calling it "totally shitty."

Meanwhile, in a story titled "tensions boiling over for the Steelers after fourth straight loss" at ESPN, Jeremy Fowler quotes Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was looking for answers after the game.

"Is it players? Is it coaches? I don't know, but we need to get there quick," Roethlisberger said.

Fowler notes the comment about coaches from Ben was "unprompted" but wasn't pointing to anything specific that could've been to blame:

The word "coaches" was unprompted, too, which begs the question of whether discord exists somewhere in the Steelers' facility. Roethlisberger said after his 408-yard passing performance that he based his discipline/accountability assessment off "just a feel," so the root of the problem is still unclear.

The four losses in a row for Pittsburgh don't look quite as bad as it might when you back up a bit and take a bigger view. The Dolphins (5-4) look like a better team than people gave them credit for, Pittsburgh didn't have Ben for the Patriots (7-2) loss, the Ravens (5-4) are a hated rival and the Cowboys have the best record in the NFL.

Now things get easier. The Browns (0-10) are up next and might very well get the full brunt of the Steelers frustrations in an ugly way. Cleveland is on the schedule twice down the stretch too, a pretty huge bonus for Pittsburgh.

Looking ahead at potential wins doesn't do Pittsburgh much good though. They've got to figure out what's wrong with this would-be Super Bowl contender and then figure out how to turn things around.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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