Monday, October 05, 2009

Post-San Diego thoughts

There's no truth to the rumor that San Diego was founded by the Germans. If it had been, the Chargers would have been much better prepared to handle the Steelers' blitzkreig rushing attack Sunday night.

Yes, that was the Steelers rushing for 177 yards on 36 carries in this game, bolstered by former whipping boy Rashard Mendenhall's 165 yards on 29 carries.

That said, San Diego's defense isn't a good one. But looking down Pittsburgh's schedule there aren't a lot of stout defenses remaining.

Baltimore twice. Check. Minnesota. Check.

Outside of those two teams, the rest of the schedule looks like the college football equivalent of Temple.

Who made this schedule, Joe Paterno?

© Perhaps the best thing we saw out of the Steelers Sunday night was that they continued trying to score in the fourth quarter.

Turned out to be a good thing, too, as San Diego got a gift touchdown from referee Jeff Triplette's crew on a "fumble" by Stefan Logan that was returned for a score.

Even after the play, the officials seemed to be looking at each other as if to say, "I thought it was your turn to blow the whistle."

Logan's forward progress was clearly stopped - he had six Chargers hanging on his 185-pound body – and had been for several seconds before the ball came loose.

© I loved Mike Tomlin's decision to go for it on fourth-and-inches from his own 30 with a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.

It was if he was thumbing his nose at Norv Turner and the San Diego defense because he knew there was no way the Jamal Williams-less Chargers were going to stop the Steelers from running.

Faced with a fourth-and-two from his own 40 minutes later, Turner punted.

© I'm not sure why reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison was 30 yards downfield with less than five minutes remaining in the game to pick up perhaps the most obvious pass interference penalty in NFL history.

I'm pretty sure, judging from the way Harrison smacked would-be receiver Antonio Gates to the ground, that Harrison didn't know why he was put in that situation either.

I hate to question the great Dick LeBeau about such things, but given Harrison's sack-strip on San Diego's final offensive play – something he does with some regularity – it really stood out.

© Rashard Mendenhall will find Steelers fans very forgiving of past transgressions if he is able to continue pounding out 5.7 yards per carry as he did Sunday night.

The same will go for Limas Sweed when he gets back on the field – which will come at some point – when/if he starts holding onto those deep passes.

62 comments:

datruth4life said...

Dale,

Do you think the Steelers will sign R. Harris to the active squad this week and put Redman back on the practice squad if FWP is ready to go on Sunday?

Still waiting for the D to get back to the level it played at this past year. Apparently, Troy is the heart and soul of this D and deserves a raise because this D isn't the same at all when he's not playing.

Patrick said...

I don't know how you could love that call. I really don't.

I hope the next time is 4th and inches from their own 30 they go for it and fail. That was not a good call and could have given SD a lot of life early.

The onside kick and not having the hands team on after the first muff was a great call by Tomlin too?

I don't agree. The Steelers won in spite of Tomlin, not because of him.

How else can you explain blowing a 28 point lead? The refs? come on. That is on the coach. The fact its happened 3 weeks in a row, even bolsters that.

Consider me, officially, not a Tomlin fan.

noel said...

Lots to like from this game. I thought Kemoeatu looked more balanced than in previous games. Earlier in the season he was out of position and lunging at his blocks. Today he finished them with authority. Must be good coaching sinking in I hope. Whatever it is I hope it continues.

Rejuvenated running game or not, we can't get Polamalu back soon enough; I don't want to see a shootout every week. Lebeau seems to be guarding that deep zone even more tightly than usual with Polamalu out and we're getting picked apart underneath.

Another thought I had watching the game was that many of the plays Arians used against SD looked like plays that other teams have torched us with over the years. Whether I'm right or wrong about that, with so many other teams going to the 3-4 that might be a good strategy for them.

kyle said...

seriously, patrick, this statement and the one on the other thread are ridiculous. i've defended you in comments on this site and i've respectfully disagreed with you but you are as off base as is humanly possible.

you always go for it on 4th and inches. always. even collinsworth got it right "you have a 250 pound quarterback" and your offensive line is manhandling the defense. there are maybe two scenarios where you definitely don't go for it on 4th and two and that situation was neither of them.

the only real coaching mistake in this game was not doubling Gates.

kyle said...

sorry, meant 4th and inches obviously

Patrick said...

always? from your own 30? I can't beleive people see it the other way.

One game in this season or next, that will come back to lose us a big game. And don't day it will win us others, because that game didn't need the 4th and inches play at that point. When your D is playing that well (at the time, not the 4th quarter) you don't risk putting the other team on the 30.

Oh and if you are that much of a fan of 4th and inches from your own 30, how did you feel last week about the 4th and inches from the goal line?

That makes NO sense. At all. Tomlin doesn't think, he just does. And it costs us last week and will costs us games in the future.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the Troy will fix things on D argument.

This is coaching, they can hold opponets for 3 Qts without Troy, and then they remember he is out and teams score like there was no D?

It is funny that they do so much to prevent the big play, but teams are able to score in 90 seconds and few plays.

Anonymous said...

To me the only coaching mistake was in the onside kick. It was a big one. Everybody but the coaches new that was comming. (thats two weeks is a row our coaches get out coach on ST)

Harrison been deep is not rare, the thing is nothing this D is attempting in the 4 Qt is working, blitz are split seconds to late and DB are split second to late.

I just don't find other explanation but that our D is getting old.

Anonymous said...

love the psu parts you added dale !

Anonymous said...

Gift is right, Dale, and it was a game changing gift. How you can call Roethlisberger in the grasp so quickly in the first quarter but not whistle Logan down on that play is beyond me. The refs were plenty inconsistent last night and it almost cost the Steelers the game.

I thought the coaches called a good game last night. Even going for it on fourth was a good call because it kept Rivers off the field. I don't know that these fourth quarter collapses have as much to do with coaching as they do with the lack of Polamalu. Without him the secondary is average at best. He can take away this underneath stuff that has been killing us these past three games. Gates doesn't get score if Polamalu is on the field. Tyrone Carter is a good player, but you don't design a scheme around him the way you do Polamalu. But, if you want to blame a coach for these fourth quarter collapses you should probably look Labeau's way before you talk about Tomlin. It's his scheme and he calls the plays.

noel said...

I think the lack of Polamalu has made it hard for them to disguise what they're doing. Troy could be lined up along the line of scrimmage but be responsible for a deep zone. It's unrealistic to expect Tyrone Carter to fill those shoes.

adamg said...

Wasn't Triplett the ref last year on Troy's called back TD fumble return vs SD last year? Anyway, I think we got a make up call with the Rivers fumble at the end of the game. It sure looked like Rivers was on the ground when that ball came out.

I'm not a fan of the prevent type defenses. No matter how inept the offense or how good the defense, almost invariably the offense is able to march down the field and score. I'd like to see LeBeau use Hampton more in those situations along with Aaron Smith. I have no doubt Hampton could collapse the pocket if he was turned loose to pressure the qb.

As for the onside kick, Andre Frazier just said on with Tunch and Wolf that they were ready for that but the ball took an odd hop.
Frazier also said the defense doesn't change but that Troy is given the freedom to roam around prior to the snap before dropping to his designated assignment. He said when Troy's out, no one gets to do that.

Anonymous said...

Patrick is an idiot

Anonymous said...

The team is making some serious special teams mistakes - bad call or not. YOu have to start questioning the use of Logan at some point. Both Holmes and Wallace could use more touches, why not use them as a punt and KO returners, respectively and use the roster spot elsewhere.

Hopefully, Mendy can prove up he can carry the load and Parker can be slipped of to the IR.

Farmer Fran

keevin said...

great game by Big Ben once again

fyi - he leads the NFL in completion percentage with a whopping 73.2%

marc said...

even though charges front seven is undersized, it was nice to see our line finish off blocks and mendy pushing guys back. parker just can't do that.

what's up with ward and those 2 drops?

holmes still points for a first down...idiot.

our defense is soft. another 4th quarter collapse. i'm convinced it's a lack of focus by the players and scheme by lebeua.

i liked arian's play calling. though that wrap around handoff in the 4th quarter should be scrapped.

it does seem our 4th down decisions are inconsistent. Dale, are those tomlin's decisions or does he leave that up to arians?

kelly said...

How about some props for Reed? He nailed that 46 yarder. I have to admit I was a little worried about how he's been kicking, but that boot was pure.

Anonymous said...

I think if the team was 3-0 or 2-1, maybe tomlin doesn't make the 4th down call - I thought he did it to show his team, not just the O, that he had faith.

The call I didn't like was putting kemo back in after he got nicked up??? was that a smart move, why risk an OL just when things are settling in.

Farmer Fran

Tim said...

Yeah, the coaching was okay for the most part, but with a few complete bonehead moments. Not having the hands team on the field, putting Kemo back in when he could barely walk, and dropping J. Harrison into coverage too often. I know he's good in coverage, but come on. Let him rush. This has been going on all season.

Dale, I have to say, I completely disagree with you about Harrison's PI. I'm sure in regular motion it looked like he slapped down Gates, but on the replay it is obvious that Gates fell down because he was taking a dive (and lost some of his balance, too). All James did was put his hand on his hip to feel, like any corner.

It was also obvious on the replay that the ball was uncatchable. But that's because Gates stopped the route and Rivers threw it like he'd run deep. The refs might have figured Harrison stopped him by force. Bad call.

Still not as bad as the Hester TD though.

Anonymous said...

As to why Harrison was in coverage...it's a zone blitz scheme. The offense has to guess where the pressure is coming from. In order to do that effectively you need to mix it up. Sometimes James will have to cover.

marc said...

i don't have a problem with them dropping harrison into coverage at that point to cover gates. no one else could cover him in the 4th quarter.

collinsworth repeatedly mentioned how poorly timmons played against the bengals. is that true?

btw, i love seeing legursky as the FB at the goaline. that was awesome.

Anonymous said...

This was the best performance by the offensive line that I have seen in a long long time. I'am glad the the Chargers ran out of time to finish off this game. Twenty-One points in the fourth quater are just too many points too give up. I'am going to quit complaining over Bruce Arians play selection and just let the Steelers play good fundamental football. Let's hope that the team can show more consistancy in all three phases of the game. Thank-you Dale for all of the great work that you share with us. Dave W.in Las Vegas.

Vaflyer said...

Couple of things from last night I would like to add.

1. Props to the offense. Probably the best they have looked all year. The OL was good. Ben was excellent. Mendenhall looked good and may finally be comfortable. It is hard to get in a rhythmn when you get 6 touches a game spread out over 4 quarters.

2. The D...First 3 quarters looked great. What changed in quarter 4? Usually when teams go to the pass only, we tee off on them. I don't think that all goes on Troy or can all be fixed by Troy's return. There must be something else. Were they tired? Did they change the scheme or what they were trying to do?

3. Props to Reed for coming through this time when called upon.

4. Timmons totally lost Gates on that TD. I hope he is ready for the responsibility he is being given. I think that is why Harrison was in coverage, they thought the D MVP might make a difference. Instead he got a PI on an uncatchable ball.

kyle said...

does anyone know for sure that Mundy isn't on the hands team? he's a safety, not exactly a DT or anything.

Vaflyer said...

Let me leave one other note. Do we all realize that Mendenhall had more touches last night, then he has had in his whole career up till now. He had 19 last year....for the year. 10 against Houston...9 against Baltimore. That was it.

This year...4 against Tenn, 3 against the Bears, and then 29 last night. Basically he had 26 touches before last night...29 last night.

Granted SD is not a great run stopping team, but Mendenhall played very, very well. Let's hope now that he has learned his lesson about dealing with success, because he could have a HUGE game against Detroit if he doesn't get benched again.

Dale Lolley said...

I know the zone blitz calls for Harrison to drop at times. But I don't like my best pass rusher covering the All-Pro tight end 30 yards downfield. That's just not his cup of tea.
And let's keep this is perspective, San Diego is a very explosive offensive team, with Rivers being one of the best QBs in the league and Gates being THE best tight end on the league. Sometimes, they're going to make plays.
The fumble gave them some life they otherwise would not have had.
Tomlin makes the decision on fourth downs. I still like the call there. Perhaps the next time they come out with the sole intention of drawing the opponent offsides, the opponent will have watched the San Diego fourth down play and actually jump. Tomlin doesn't like to consistently do the same thing.

HaiTran said...

4th and 1 at your 30 when your team is averaging 1 yard per carry is a no brainer.

4th and 1 at your 30 when your team is averaging 5 yards per carry is a no brainer.

Not all 4th and 1s at your 30 are equal. Especially when you are moving the ball at will on a team missing it's all pro nose tackle.

marc said...

hai tran,

well put.

also, i forgot to mention i laughed out loud when wallace made a catch, turned, and dove to the ground at the feet of the defensive backs.

Anonymous said...

Looked like LeB was grasping at straws to stop Gates, CBs were too small and LB's too inexperienced or slow. And when we blitzed someone needed to take Gates one on one.

If we had another solid CB (hello McFadden)like we had last year, coulda slid Ike over on Gates and game over. When Raitliff and Townsend were trying to cover him?? looked like a man playing with a couple of kids.

Farmer Fran.

Patrick said...

I'm going to stop talking about this after this post, but I just do not agree with you guys about the 4th and inches call.

In the end, Tomlin risked giving the other team a free 3 points and I will never agree with that. Maybe it's a difference of philosphy, or maybe as my secretary likes to call me "I'm an idiot", but if that call turns out the other way, people would be responding A LOT differently. Even Collinsworth and Michaels said "you have to punt it" and thought they were just trying for an offsides.

Also, somewhat related, but how can you guys think that 3 straight weeks of blowing leads is not in the least related to coaching? That has to be on Tomlin and ignoring it for the simple fact the Steelers won this time, is absolutely silly. If Reed misses that FG (see Chicago), then the Steelers were facing a very real threat of OT. And no one wants to point a finger at the coach? I just can't buy that.

Thats not to say that there wasn't some great efforts and other good decisions in this game of course, and we all recognized them already. I back off some from being completely fanatical, but seriously, this team HAS NOT played a great game YET.

Tenesse is 0-4 by the way too.

marc said...

patrick,

i agree with you. the 4th quarter collapses by the defense have to be partially on the coaches. imo, the other team is making some adjustments and we're not responding well.

is detroit a sleeper game following this game and before a rival game with the browns?

Jamie said...

If I remember right Cowher had a great record with a 10 pt or more lead in the 2nd half.

Belichick is 73-1 as a head coach when leading after three quarters.

Tomlin needs to improve in this area. Quickly.

Vaflyer said...

In all honesty, I am wordering if the 4th QT collapse is mental. We did it in the Super Bowl and it almost cost us....maybe we are dwelling on it?

I will say this, if it becomes mental where the team begins to wonder if any lead is safe...we will be in real trouble because no lead will be safe.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Perhaps my favorite part of this game was center/guard Doug Legursky at full back.

He looked like Bronco Negursky. Give him the ball!

Anonymous said...

Did the O-line really play so much better, or did the running back finally get it done?

As I recall, the terrible O-line looked good when Moore was toting the rock last season. Yesterday, Mendenhall's vision allowed him to hit the open holes or bounce outside when the inside hole collapsed. He broke the occasional attempted one-handed ankle tackle. And I think he now may have more career receiving yards than Willie Parker (somehow there's a hands of Stone joke about him we've all missed).

I think the difference in the O-line comes down to RB play. I was an early fan of Fast Willie, but I think I have to agree, sadly, with others that Parker's time has passed. A new era began last night.

Peace.

Robert said...

I think the big difference on our defense this year opposed to last is that we really lost TWO players in the secondary, yes everyone knows Troy has been out. The other one is our nickelback. Last year we had Gay still playing nickel (and then alternating at #2 with Mcfadden). So we effectively had a #2 corner (talent wise) playning at the nickel, this is a matchup problem for opposing teams, what corner do you go against, where is the mismatch?
There was none, and coupled with Troy our secondary was amazing last year.

Now these past few weeks Troy has been out and we have a pretty old Deshea Townsend as our #3 corner and he has been a liability. I see #26 around alot of completed passes.

I think this accounts for alot of those last minute drives lately. The Steelers won't be a better pass defense until they can scheme around Deshea or a rookie steps up.

Of course, getting Troy back will improve this problem but won't fix it.

Bupp said...

Take Logan off returns? Remember last year's horrible return game? Scroll down oand check out the return rankings here:
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2009/leaders.htm

6th in KO return yards, 8th in long KO return, 10th in yards/KO, 5th on combines punt and KO return yards.

Sure, not dominant, but top 10, TOP TEN, in several categories.

Matt said...

I'll ask the taboo question - is LeBeau overrated? Because if Troy Polamalu is the primary difference between a near-legendary defense and a defense that can't protect leads, can't rush the passer, and can't force turnovers, then we might as well rescind LeBeau's HOF nomination and send Troy straight to Canton instead.

Viz-Burgh said...

On the running game -- Great to see the OL actually opening holes. BIG holes. I think there's something to the fact that they were facing a 3-4 defense which is what they see in practice the entire off-season & preseason. There's also something to the fact that without Jamal Williams in the lineup Sand Diego blows defending the run. After last night's game they were allowing an average of 151 yards per game on the ground. By comparison the Steelers allow 61.5 per game.

The defensive collapses -- The more I see them play so well in the first 2 1/2 quarters then falter, the more I think this is a sign of age finally rearing its head on the D. Farrior has not been playing Farrior-type football of late, especially toward the end of games. And others have seemed to lose steam as well. Add to this the loss of Troy & you've got issues.

Lawrence Timmons -- He's got a lot of work to do to become a solid player in this defense. I lost count of the plays he didn't make last night whether he overran them & couldn't get back or just didn't seem to pick up on what was happening. I wanted LeBeau to put Fox in just to let Timmons catch a mental breath.

Jeff Reed - Great kick. He needed that. And the fans did too.

Stefan Logan - Two fumbles, some poor decision making regarding where to field the ball / not field it. But overall he gives us much better field position than we've had since Randle El left. And even he would be dynamic in spurts - doing nothing for 5-6 games, then breaking something.

Carey Davis -- I was happy to see him gone, but he made a heads up play on the rare fumble by Heath last night. Good on him. His recovery turned into 7 points on the next play IIRC.

4th & inches -- Good call when you make the first down. horrible call when you don't. Most of the time I don't think it's worth the risk, especially at your own 30. Should have punted IMO.

Viz-Burgh said...

Another consideration on the defensive collapses would be conditioning. If these guys aren't physically ready to go 60 minutes that would also be a valid reason why we're seeing such a drastic change from the first half to the second half. If the issue is conditioning it should get better as the season goes along.

Vaflyer said...

Honesty, I could see age/fatigue being a factor for our D. The offense is scoring pretty quickly and maybe the D is on the field more. I would like to see the young guys get used a little more. Burnett, Lewis, Hood, some of the depth at LB like Frazier and Harrison. Get them some reps in the first half, that way when you need them down the stretch they are rested.

Greg Mercer said...

first off, i think that Mendenhall showed us last night how poor FWP has been of late. i don't think Willie scores on either of those goal line runs.

secondly, if any of you are like me, and grew up in the 80's watching a lot of TV, i've written a "bathroom" eBook and would love to send a FREE copy to any fellow Steelers fans.

here's a link to a preview:

http://tvbook.wordpress.com/preview/

if you like it, drop me an email [mercerg1(at)gmail(dot)com], and i'll send it to you as a PDF attachment.

Ben said...

Sadly only got to see the 4th quarter of this one but Dale, the PI on Harrison? They didn't show much in the way of replays but my initial feeling was that a) Gates took a soccer style dive but most importantly b) there was no way that ball was catchable. I may be wrong but that was how I saw it.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

As to why Harrison on Gates? By that point in the game none of the DBs looked like they could actually bring him down when he had the ball in his hands. Of course when he doesn't have the ball in his hands he's going down faster than a $2 ho if I may borrow a line from Blazing Saddles here. But yeah at least Harrison might be able to tackle him once he's caught it. The DBs? Could stop him catching it and couldn't tackle him.

Anonymous said...

Despite the issues, the Defense still looks pretty solid - besides the Jets, whose defense in the AFC would you rather have? (and don't be talking broncos trash yet - Romo sucks lol.

IMHO, they will be there by the end of the year for a solid playoff run.

The Line looks good, and will look better as Hood is worked into the rotation.

The LBs overall look good and should improve - Timmons is learning a new position and will improve and Woodley just looks a little slow and overweight which should correct itself as the season wears on.

In the backfield, Troy will return, but it would help to develop one of the rookies at CB, we need another passable CB.

We went to the superbowl last year, it takes a lot out of a team and Tomlin ran a very low key preseason, probably worried more about injury than conditioning - and probably correctly.

If they stay away from injury, this D is Super bowl caliber. But they cannot carry it all on their back, Offense needs to be there also - definitely needs to be more of a partnership this year.

And for all of those who pissed on the OL and screamed about having to draft an OL or else the free world would collapse (altough it might anyway) How does that crow taste???

Farmer Fran

Slab said...

LOL at the "what's wrong with the coaching?" fans. Stunning. Come on- 2 huge ST gaffs is why the Chargers scored 21 4th quarter points- do you think the coaches somehow are at fault for Logan being held up for 10 seconds while every Charger gets to try to knock the ball out? Would better coaching have resulted in Mundy not muffing the onside kick? Some fans seem to way over react to every mishap- even in a win. This Chargers team was a preseason Superbowl pick by many, Rivers to Gates is as good a QB/TE combination as has ever played. Not every game is going to be 35-0. It's the NFL, almost every team could win every week. The margin is slim. That being said, the Steelers are as good as any team out there and barring some catastrophic injury bug, they'll be in the discussion for a home playoff game as the season closes.

marc said...

no way conditioning is a factor for the defense in the 4th quarter. the time of possession was drastically in favor of the steelers, therefore the defense was not out on the field that much in the first half.

the idea that our depth at corner is making a large impact on our defense seems to make sense.

also, maybe timmons came back too fast. it's very difficult to change direction or accelerate quickly on a weak ankle. platoon him and fox for a couple weeks?

marc said...

farmer fran,
no doubt the o-line played well against the chargers. but lets see if they can repeat that against a good defense. keep in mind, the chargers rush defense was 25th (i think) in the league before we played them. and, this was the first game we averaged more than 3.6 yards per carry this year. not to mention they are missing their all world NT.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with the defense is that they can't stop the short passes. Teams are doing what Tom Brady did to us. They are using quick passes to the TE to avoid the rush. Combined with the cushion are CB's give to the WR's teams are able to move the ball at will against us. Hopefully having Troy back will make QB's hold the ball a fraction of a second longer allowing our pash rush to succeed.

Anonymous said...

Yes San Diego was missing their all world N.T. and we have been missing our all world Safety.
Props to Slab, Two muffs on ST and the the Steelers D is going down in the toilet. The Steelers had a solid game in two phases and third phases (S.T.) was horrid at best. Minus Jeff Reed. The D has been bailing out the O for a couple years now. Now it's time to bring this thing together and have a solid football team. Which is the road I think we are headed down. IMO
Zeke

Anonymous said...

Agree, they do need to keep improving and show it to tougher teams. But I'd lay two points out there.

The pass protection has been excellent - it actually was pretty decent second half of last yaer and thru the playoffs. BB is getting enuff time to knit a sweater.

And I think alot of the blame for the poor running game was the backs not the line. But that waits to be seen.

What Really bothered me over the preseason was why we cut Foote and went with Timmons (I agree it was a good move). But we kept FWP when we had a #1 pick behind him.

Lets see, Foote healthy - FWP not. Foote coming off a good year - FWP not.

Luv Parker, great story, done great things, but IMHO, they road that horse two years too long now, last year was questionable - this year it is a costly mistake. Remember, the guy eats up a huge chunk of payroll.

Farmer Fran

marc said...

we had to keep FWP. mendy hadn't proven anything yet, and still has more to prove before he can be considered a starter.

imo, FWP is one of those backs that needs a really good o-line so he can have space to reach top gear. when the holes are so-so or defenders are leaking into the backfield FWP doesn't have the skills to adapt. but, when he has space he will kill a defense.

i've always believed a good line will make almost any RB a very good RB. that's why i believed our biggest downfall the last 2 offseasons was not finding a way to secure a high quality o-lineman. you can pickup a decent RB almost anywhere in the draft, but no o-lineman.

btw, is it me or is woodley much bigger than last year?

Anonymous said...

Woodley looks like a double wide...lol, it will come off. Someone said earlier why not use Fox more which would also allow timmons to go outside at times and pull Woodley or at least rotate them.

We don't seem to be rotating like we did last year.

And also, what about Clark? is it my imagination or has he disappeared somewhat. Last year seemed like he was always around the ball, not seeing him as much

Farmer Fran

marc said...

clark's probably playing a cautious center field right now without troy in there. i think clark even commented earlier this year that without troy he can't be as aggressive.

Anonymous said...

Mike Tomlin is better at coaching the Steelers than Patrick is at commenting on the Steelers

Bupp said...

Sure, the Steelers D is giving up the short pass, but that's the way the D is built. Stop the run, stop the big plays downfield, and allow the underneath stuff. Sooner or later, the QB will make a mistake or the D will make a play. Usually works, but not always.

As for keeping Foote...he wanted out and wanted to be cut. If he stayed, probably would have grumbled the whole way.

Darren said...

It took 3 and a 1/2 quarters for the Chargers to figure out that even when Gates is "covered" he will still make the play more times than not. He was well covered on most of those plays but he is just a freaking Hoss. Nothing you can do about it for the most part. Just like Fitzgerald with the Cards last postseason... they figured out that if you just throw jump balls his way, good things happen most of the time.

The closest "big time" player we have on offense if Ben. We have a lot of very good players but there are very few in the NFL that can come close to Gates.

If the horrible fumble non-whistle play doesn't happen, there is no "late comeback" to whine about.

marc said...

maybe no "late comeback" to whine about. but plenty to whine about giving up 3 TD drives in the chargers last 4 possesions. drives of 54, 67, and 79 yards. not including the fumble at the end of course.

this defense has shown it can play very well for 3 quarters. until they close out a game, they're soft.

adamg said...

IIRC, it was reported that Woodley came into camp at 273lbs, probably 10-15lbs more than he played at last year. Given the stuff with Hampton reporting overweight and out of shape, I'd think that if Tomlin wasn't happy with Woodley's weight, something similar might have happened.

Foote wanted out and forced the Steelers hand into releasing him.

Anonymous said...

No one "wants out" and gets out. Ask B MArshall. The Steelers did not see paying basically a backup LB 3 million a year. They let him move on as it was in their best interest.

They are paying Parker almost 4 million to be a backup RB, and he is almost worthless as a back up as he cannot block, catch a pass, or pass block. He is either a starter or not.

Hope that helps you understand my point.

What a few of us are conjecturing on with Woodley is his seemingly lower level of play. Is it the opposition? Weight? conditioning?

As far as Tomlin and the weight thing, he has publicly stated if he had it to do over again, he would not have made the press aware of his issue with Hampton's weight, it blew up out of proportion.

Farmer Fran

noel said...

Let's talk about some positives for the D so far. Casey Hampton has made a few tackles by playing to the whistle that we haven't seen from him in a while. Nice to see, contract year or not, and beside him Aaron Smith is just as solid as usual. I like Brett Keisel but sometimes I think I'd like to see what Hood could do there rather waiting behind Smith.

Another positive for the D has been the play of the corners. Ike and William Gay have been very good so far. It's not their fault the scheme has them playing off the receiver frequently. Things could be a LOT worse in the secondary.

A question for Dale: I know Lebeau has liked the deep zone for a while but the soft zone we see in the fourth quarter doesn't seem quite right. Is that a direction Tomlin has pushed on them do you think?

Personally I would rather see them keep the pressure up late in games but I trust Tomlin and Lebeau, they don't want to see fourth quarter collapses any more than we do and I think they'll get it straightened out.