Larry Foote believes the bye week will help the Steelers’ defense correct its flaws. (Getty Images)

If you were concerned that Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau wasn't taking enough heat for his group's play during the club's 1-2 start, don't be distressed.

LeBeau is hard enough on himself, especially when he watches video from this season's games.

"Generally speaking, I usually say: 'You dumb ass, why did you call that defense?' But we're not where we want to be," LeBeau said. "In this business you're never as good as you think you are or not quite as bad as maybe they say you are."

LeBeau said the trouble with the defense has been big plays and an inability to stop teams on third down.

The Raiders were 7-for-12 on third down last Sunday. More importantly, Oakland scored on five straight possessions to close out the game, including its final drive in the first half and all four in the second half. Oakland recorded 16 first downs in the second half, including six on an 11-play, 80-yard drive that actually went 90 yards due to a holding penalty. 

"This city's built on defense, and this locker room is built on it,'' LB Larry Foote said. "We know we let everybody down. I wouldn't have thought this would be a good week for a bye week, but it'll be good for the guys to get away and look at themselves."

Foote said the first order is for players to start trusting LeBeau's calls, and his system.

"Sometimes, you can get caught up in just trying to play hard and aggressive, but you're not trusting the defense," he said. "Not the other players, but the defense. And that can't happen. The bottom line is that we have to make a play when we get a chance.''

Notes: Safety Troy Polamalu (right calf strain) practiced Wednesday and said he felt better than the day before, but outside LB James Harrison (left knee) was not on the field, leading to speculation he had another setback after practicing Tuesday. ... A few teammates were not optimistic that Harrison (left knee) would be ready to play against Philadelphia on Oct. 7 at Heinz Field. ... Steelers S Ryan Mundy was fined $21,000 for his hit on Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who suffered a concussion and neck injury for the end-zone hit that forced him to stay overnight in an area hospital.

Follow Steelers reporter Chris Adamski on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @BuzzsawPGH.