Donte Moncrief‘s first game with the Pittsburgh Steelers is one he would like to forget as soon as possible.
Moncrief managed just three catches on 10 targets in Sunday night’s regular season opener against the New England Patriots. His three catches netted just seven yards and Moncrief had a handful of passes hit his hands that he was unable to secure, including a fourth-and-one conversion and a potential touchdown.
“It’s sickening when you watch it and you know the plays that you’re supposed to make and you didn’t make them,” Moncrief said, via Mike Prisuta of the team’s website. “And you see them and you’re like, ‘Gosh, I know I gotta make that.’ The other day, after we watched that film, there was a feeling in my stomach, it hurt. I went home, went straight to sleep, it hurt me. I had to put that away.
“That was my first one like that, that was a bad one. It hurt, but at the end of the day it’s the NFL, all you can do is get better the next day. You gotta bounce back. You can’t let it hold you down.”
The missed chances probably wouldn’t have shifted the outcome of the game against New England, but it still wasn’t the best first impression to leave either. Moncrief has been dealing with a dislocated middle finger since early in training camp but he wouldn’t use that as a crutch for the dropped passes against the Patriots.
The ten targets Moncrief saw in New England were the most of any Steelers’ receiver. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he’s not altering his approach with Moncrief due to one shaky outing.
Moncrief is looking to bounce back this week against the Seattle Seahawks, who only allowed 20 points to the Cincinnati Bengals last week but saw Andy Dalton throw for over 400 yards on 51 attempts.
“He believes in me,” Moncrief said of Roethlisberger. “He knows what I can do. I know what I can do. At the end of the day that was my worst game ever in my career, and it hurt.
“But you can’t just sit there and just pout about it. You gotta get better, and that’s what I’m doing.”