Pittsburgh Steelers: Why Rashard Mendenhall Shouldn't Criticize Fans

Mike BatistaContributor IMarch 21, 2017

Sep, 1, 2011; Charlotte, NC, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall (34) on the sidelines at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Rashard Mendenhall seems to think the Pittsburgh Steelers need more support from their fans.

The running back tweeted his beef with Steelers fans after Pittsburgh's 26-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans Thursday night.

So even though, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Steelers fans occupied about one-third of LP Field in Nashville, and Terrible Towels wave in visiting stadiums all over the NFL, Steelers fans aren't supporters.

What kind of support is Mendenhall looking for? Are Steelers fans supposed to listen while these millionaire athletes talk about their feelings? Are Steelers fans supposed to be therapists? Are the Steelers going to lie on the couch and babble about their childhood?

Make sure that box of tissues is handy. Better yet, let's make the Terrible Tissue.

Mendenhall can't tell Steelers fans not to vent about the team's performance so far this season.

The Steelers (2-3) lost Thursday to a team that entered the game 1-4 and was the first NFL team since 1954 to allow at least 30 points in its first five games, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Titans' four losses have come by an average of 24 points.

Pittsburgh also is the only team to lose to the 1-3 Raiders this season. The Raiders scored 34 points on the Steelers, and have scored 33 in their other three games combined.

The Steelers blew fourth-quarter leads in both Oakland and Tennessee.

Tell us about your mother, Steelers.

Ike Taylor is repeatedly getting burned by opposing receivers and committing penalties that keep scoring drives going. Keenan Lewis broke up several passes in Tennessee, but dropped an interception on the Titans' game-tying touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers have just two interceptions this season. Only four teams have fewer picks.

It's getting a little tedious to pin the Steelers' defensive struggles on Troy Polamalu's absence.

No matter how talented Polamalu is, he's just one player, and the Steelers defense shouldn't be springing leaks like this without him. LaMarr Woodley also was out Thursday, but he's likely to be back sooner, and the Steelers'  history of collapsing with Polamalu on the sidelines is maddening.

Not that the defense deserves all of the blame.

Reigning team MVP Antonio Brown caught just four passes for 20 yards Thursday and let Jason McCourty box him out for an interception. He also fumbled in the fourth quarter at Oakland when the Steelers were in Raiders territory trying to take a two-score lead.

Of course, no bone-picking of Thursday night's game would be complete without mentioning the blocked punt.

Did Ryan Mundy pout when Will Allen started at strong safety instead of him? No.

Instead, Mundy found another way to be a liability to the Steelers, letting Tim Shaw run through and block Drew Butler's punt. That set up the Titans at the Steelers' one-yard line. The Titans punched it in for a touchdown. Without those points, maybe Shaun Suisham doesn't have to try to win the game with a 54-yard field goal.

But Steelers fans shouldn't "talk trash" about their team, according to Mendenhall.

Instead, let's schedule a group therapy session. Hopefully that's covered in the players'  health plan under the new collective bargaining agreement.

Believe or not, Mendenhall, Steelers fans are supporters, including those who travel to road games and have yet to be rewarded with a road win this season.

The Steelers' next game is at Cincinnati, and they also have to hit the road to play the Super Bowl-champion Giants as well as the AFC North-leading Ravens.

It's hard enough for good football teams to win road games in the division, and the Steelers aren't even a good football team right now.