Monday, November 30, 2009

Steelers-Ravens thoughts

If I'm a member of the Baltimore Ravens, I don't know that I'm all that happy after beating the Steelers, 20-17, in overtime at M&T Stadium Sunday.

OK, sure, I'm happy because I got the win, but let's be honest, Pittsburgh was playing its third-string quarterback.

Should you be happy that you had to go to overtime - at home - to get the win against a third-string quarterback who had thrown all of one career pass before Sunday's game?

Baltimore's defense isn't what it once was and we're seeing the decline of Ray Lewis, who doesn't look like the Ray Lewis of old.

He's still a good player. He's just not a great one any longer.

© By the same token, if I'm a member of the Steelers' defense, I'm pretty upset.

Your third-string quarterback got you 17 points on the road, but you allowed Baltimore to convert a third-and-22, albeit in two plays, into a first down to go in for a game-tying field goal.

And the Ravens rolled up 393 yards, including 132 on the ground on 29 carries. That's 4.6 yards per carry, more than a yard per carry more than what the Steelers had been giving up.

© While waiting for the bus to take us to M&T Stadium, I noted that the first three players I saw get on the buses were guys who weren't with the team in Kansas City.

And not only were they now on the active roster, they were all dressing. That was a bad sign.

© The Steelers broke their string of an NFL-record eight consecutive games with a return touchdown allowed.

They tried to add a punt return to the list - something they had not done this year - but Baltimore's Chris Carr fouled things up by stepping out of bounds on a 34-yard run.

© That was the kind of game plan that Steelers fans were used to seeing from the team five or six years ago when Ben Roethlisberger was a rookie.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians called 38 running plays and 26 passes.

Rashard Mendenhall looked very good running against the Ravens and the Steelers appear to have a budding star on their hands at the position.

Though this is not the Baltimore defense of old - as I already noted - Mendenhall ground out 95 yards on 24 carries and looked powerful doing so.

© The Steelers' pass rush really had Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco flustered by the end of that game.

After not getting to him in the first half, the Steelers got home five times in the second half.

Now, about that coverage.

© Hines Ward's said he was misquoted when he said the locker room was split 50-50 regarding Roethlisberger not playing.

He then proceeded to talk about how other guys have played with concussions and how it would have been nice to know that Roethlisberger wasn't playing before Saturday.

It will be interesting to see if this effects Ward's relationship with Roethlisberger.

106 comments:

adamg said...

I can't really blame the defense. They did start the game by causing and recovering a fumble pretty deep in Balt's end that the offense failed to convert. Farrior also got a huge sack that caused Balt to miss a potential game winning FG before OT.

I put much more blame on the plays called in OT when Pgh was moving using the running game and then, for some reason decided 2nd and 6 was a good time to go for a deep pass instead of using short passes and runs to keep the chains moving.
Instead, punt, lose field position and throw a pick for the loss.

marc said...

i don't know the rules, but if the announcers were correct in saying the spot of the ball for the field goal at the end of regulation was incorrect then tomlin should be grilled for not knowing the rules.

dixon played as well. i too was wondering why they went deep there, but he was open.

mostly disappointed in the defense. yes, they played well overall and created some turnovers. but that's now 5 times this year we have surrendered a lead in the 4th quarter and lost. you just can't do that and expect to make the playoffs.

chalk this season up as a good team that underachieved, had some major injuries, and questionable coaching.

Slab said...

What makes you think Tomlin didn't know the rules? I'm pretty sure the rules don't allow him to challenge it.

marc said...

what!? you're telling me that if he knew the rule he was going to go ahead let them attempt a game winning field goal from an incorrect spot without notifying the refs they made a mistake?

no way.

Anonymous said...

There were five seconds on the clock and the Ravens were rushing the FG unit on to the field. Stopping the clock would have given the Ravens a chance to set-up the field goal or run another play. I'd play the odds and let them try a rushed kick from 50+.

I hear Tomlin's belt didn't match his shoes. The Rooney's should fire him.

marc said...

first, in no way did i say he should be fired.

second, you go ahead and let them try that game winning field goal and if he makes it you can't take the points off the board, even if you're right about the spot of the ball.

fact is, if you stop the clock and you're wrong, they still have to try the same field goal. if you're right, he's gotta try a 59 yarder. and, they had plenty of time to get the field off.

the main point here though, is that i don't believe tomlin knew the rule. what if it was the difference between a 45 yarder and 50 yarder?

Anonymous said...

Tomlin was asked about it after the game, and he was as oblivious then as he was during the game.

Anonymous said...

Substitute Farrior for Ray Lewis and you can say the same thing about the Steeler D. Apparently they can only play in one direction. Forward.


And that rule did come into play earlier in the year when Davis recovered the ball Miller fumbled into the EZ right before halftime in the SD game.

Dave W. in Las Vegas said...

Our secondary cost the Steelers a second game in a row! Number's 22,23,24,and sadly #25 just can't seem to play consistently good sound defence.I don't know if it is a talent or coaching problem but until it is fixed this team will continue to struggle to win games. Sad to say without Troy in the game those other guy's just suck...

kelly said...

How do the coaches feel about K. Lewis and Burnett? I think it's time for one of them to get some playing time on D. Gay is terrible. I haven't been too critical of him this season, but enough is enough... He can't cover anyone.

Why didn't Arians call more roll out and runs for Dixon? He calls one on third and 5 and it goes for a TD, then he forgets it for the rest of the game. Way to go Bruce, don't bother using your inexperienced QB's athletic talent. The obvious move is to abandon a play once it works.

Anonymous said...

Coaches cannot throw a challenge flag in the last two minutes of a half/game. All reviews during that time are from the booth.

FTR, the defense had 5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. I'm not sure how much better they should be expected to play. As they say, the other guys are on scholarship, too.

keevin said...

just checking in to see if we fired Arians yet

will they fire Arians soon? or just continue to lose?

marc said...

a challenge flag or booth review inside 2 minutes is used to review a judgement call made by the referees.

i don't know if there is a process in place when a referee does something that violates the rules?

i like tomlin, i think he's a good coach. but, needless to say, he should know all the rules and should have been out on that field in ref's face telling them they made a mistake.

Anonymous said...

Yawn. Wake me for the playoffs. Steelers will be playing in Cincy, no?

Anonymous said...

Man, I gotta tell you guys that I was never really one to bash on Arians but after last nights play calling I'm starting to wonder. Final drive: run on 1st & 2nd down, then throw on 3rd. Could you get anymore predictable? I understand dixon is inexperienced but if you're gonna lose you might as well lose while trying to win! A good portion of the plays he called looked like he was ready to just throw in the towel.

If BA is still around at the beginning of next season I might just rip my eyes out so i no longer have to see some of his ridiculous calls.

Dale Lolley said...

Which is it? Did the offensive coordinator call too many passes or not enough?
I've seen both in this thread.
The bottom line is that they put up 300 yards of offense against a pretty good defense with their third QB playing the entire game.
They didn't roll him out more because Baltimore adjusted in the second half and started rushing more guys off the edge after getting burned on it in the first half.
They took some shots because the Ravens were loading the box. I thought the OC called a pretty decent game for his third QB.
But 393 yards in unacceptable. Yeah, they only gave up 20 points because they finally forced some turnovers, but the defense can't get a pass in this one.
As for the rule on the kick, I didn't notice it either until I saw the replay. I was watching to see if the Ravens would get their kicking team on the field in time and get it off.
Even with the favorable spot, it was a 56-yard FG into the wind. He missed it, so it doesn't matter.

marc said...

dale,
i agree with you, this one's on the defense.

however, i disagree about the rule on that kick. the end result does not justify the failure to act. our coaches should have been all over that. as i stated before, what if it were 45 yards instead of 50+. he would have made it and we would have lost in regulation.

even though it didn't affect the outcome of the game, the coaches deserve the same amount of criticism.

Patrick said...

Dale, I thik most people's problem with yeterday's play calling was how unbelievably predictable it was. Run on 1st, Run on 2nd, throw on 3rd. (Unless you are driving down the filed with 40 seconds left and a TO, then you might as well run Davis out of the shotgun over and over again, and go into the locker room down 7, what was that?! - even though I put that less on BA and more on Tomlin, who I presume said "kill the clock Bruce")

I realize Tomlin/BA were trying to get Dixon into manageable 3rd downs. But I mean come on, we all knew the play before the ball was hiked. Each time the offense changed it up, there were big gains. But late in the game with the game on the line, were did that go?

But I do agree with Dale that if you want to solely blame something, it is the D. I have never seen a unit so perplexing. They look incredible one series and then can't tackle the next.

James Farrior shouldn't be in on passing downs in coverage either. I appreciate all he does for the D, but in that area he has lost a step.

Maybe Key Fox can come in on those situations with Timmons. But Farrior wears the headset.

And I really want the one poster who badgered me all year about me saying: "the D isn't playing as good as last year" earlier in the season, to chime in. What do you think now? (Injuries is your comebak, I'm sure)

Patrick said...

i told u dey shoulda got dat new kicker that can kick farther then we could have kicked a really long field goal and won de game

Anonymous said...

The fact that Tomlin didn't notice the forward-fumble recovery DOES matter. Just like going for two from the twelve matters, because it indicates a lack of focus on Tomlin's part. If a reporter or fan gets caught up in the moment and doesn't notice it, that's one thing. But the coach SHOULD notice these things.

kyle said...

noticing the forwarded fumble doesn't matter. if tomlin noticed it and was yelling at the refs and they didn't move it back (which they wouldn't have to just because a coach is yelling) and the same thing happened would you be happy? it was unchallengeable. so you wanted him to just be yelling about it? a lot of good that would do.

kelly said...

I don't buy that Arians stopped the roll outs and bootlegs because the Ravens adjusted. They didn't stop it, so why over think it and keep Dixon in the pocket? Why not try a QB draw as well? The kid is an athelete, use it to your advantage.

How about Lewis and Burnett? Do the coaches have any faith in them?I know it's unlikely we'll see a rookie starting at corner, but it's time for Gay to lose that spot.

adamg said...

Coaches can't challenge in the last 2 minutes of the half. Obviously a ball fumbled forward by the offense should come back to the spot of the fumble, the "Raider Rule". Hoculi and his crew messed that up. The NFL will probably issue an apology to the Steelers.

Agree with kelly, if Balt was cutting off the rollout, then try a qb draw up the middle, a middle screen or something that goes where the defense isn't.

marc said...

IF he were getting in their face and explaining their mistake to them and IF they still didn't correct their mistake then AT LEAST he would have shown he knows the rules and the referees would have to explain their stupidity.

instead, tomlin now has to (should have to) explain his ignorance of the rules right alongside the refs.

Anonymous said...

Don't calls for challenges come from a booth upstairs and not Tomlin anyway? He would have to wait until he receives word from upstairs before making a challenge. Besides stop whining about the rules marc... it makes you sound like a Seattle fan. We lost, chances of a playoff spot are slim, but the season isn't over. The Steelers need to worry about their locker room, the next game, and a defense that no longer can be relied on to make one last stop.

marc said...

get a clue...i'm not whining about the rules but the fact our coach doesn't know them and it could have cost us the game at that point.

Anonymous said...

I really liked how Dixon played, great effort for the 1st timer. Liked seeing his dad all decked out in pittsburgh. Mendenhall played really well also. The secondary has some work to do in the month of December to improve 2 fold IMHO if the steelers are to make the playoffs.

Looking at the playoff scenarios, I believe if the steelers win 4 out of the last 5 games, they would have 10 wins, and quite a few tie breakers on their side to obtain the 6th and final seed. However, if the Steelers can get healthy and win all 5 remaining games, I dont think I would want to play Pittsburgh in the playoffs!
3 best teams in AFC are the colts, pats, and the steelers.

Now, with the Raiders and Brownies games coming up next, I would love for the steelers to rest their injuries some more, continue to run the ball, play better defense, win both games, and then still have another 10 days off until the Packers come to town.

Anonymous said...

can't give the defense a pass on this one? that's ridiculous. The defense was the only thing that kept this game close.

in the second half, the defense gave up 3 whole points and also gave the offense the ball near or past the midfield mark three times. And we won't even mention the times the Defense had to defend a short field.

I could care less about the yardage figures - yardage stats are for losers, it's totally amusing the fascination some people have with yardage stats and totally ignore the score.

The offense scoring 17 total points with the field position they had this game absolutely sucked. Yeah the Offense didn't have BB, but the D didn't have Troy either. Add to this Baltimore was very banged up on defense. I've said this a hundred times and will say it again, we have very average playmakers at the skills positions, particularly at WR. Even with Dixon, the offense should have produced more points.

Farner Fran.

Slab said...

What exactly is it that Tomlin didn't do that he was supposed to? Can't challenge. Should he have run out on the field waving his hands instead of trying to make sure he had the correct personel on the field to either defend a hail mary or a field goal?
I don't think there is any evidence Tomlin doesn't know the rule. If it wasn't the last 2 minutes he might very well have thrown a flag. Give me a break, of all the thimgs going wrong with the Steelers right now, Tomlin's reaction to the kick being attempted from 56 instead of 62 (or whatever) is absolutely at the bottom of the list.
We'll have to agree to disagree on the importance of this.

marc said...

agreed, it would be great if they could rest #43 until he is 100%.

also, would love to see them run more, but you know arians, with ben back next week we'll start chucking it all over the place again.

let's see, empty backfield, 3 WR's and Mendy all split out with miller in the slot, hike the ball, ben run around for 6 seconds and hit the open guy. on 3 guys.

that's the "arian's special."

Slab said...

As to the defense- the Steelers are obviously not the same team without Polamalu and Smith. How else can you explain the inability to hold leads week after week?

And I don't agree at all with the bashing of the playcalling in hindsight. it serves no purpose and is just silly. Everytime a play doesn't work, it's not the OCs fault. Someone has to make the play. To the armchair QBs that act like they would have called plays that would have worked- yeah right! I'll guarantee 99% couldn't call out a blocking scheme are diagram a route tree, let alone call a play against an NFL defense.

Slab said...

And I think we saw a significant dropoff without Kemoatu.

marc said...

1. tomlin is not in charge of the personnel on the field, his coordinators are.

2. tomlin doesn't know the rule as evidenced by the fact when asked about it after the game he didn't know what the reporter was talking about.

4. cundiff's career long is 56 yards, so yes:

5. damn right he should have been in the ref's face. there was no judgement call there, they flat out got the ruling wrong and the ball would have been moved back to an unmakeable distance.

no, it is not the end all of what is wrong, but it is an indication of the lack of attention to detail.

finally, i do remember seeing cowher out on the field yelling at ref's while players were lining up for the snap when the other team had 12 guys on the field. remember, they didn't call it and at halftime he stuffed the picture in the ref's pocket? i remember jimmy johnson of the cowboys standing next to a ref and pointing at something just before a snap. it's happened before.

kyle said...

the point is, marc, neither jimmy nor cowher got the call changed. would you have preferred tomlin be on the field screaming and get called for a penalty moving it even closer and giving the ravens a dead clock to set up their field goal? you're complaining that he wasn't shouting at a ref while the clock was running out. that's ridiculous.

Greg Mercer said...

dale,

glad to see you calling out the D for blowing yet another 4th quarter lead, but I CANNOT believe you are defending Arians.

so what if his plays pile up stats. the last series before OT was horrendous and left way too much time on the clock.

and then we get the ball on our own 45 in OT and the best he can come up with is two runs up the gut and a slant pass (with a QB who is struggling to read zone defenses).

call a damn timeout and draw up something to get Dixon in space with a run/pass option for christ sakes!

marc said...

hmmm...i guess i'm the only one dismayed by the fact our coach didn't know about an incorrect ruling that could have very easily resulted in a loss at that point in the game.

or, if he did know the rule, that he failed to act in every possible fashion (including getting the ref's attention)to protect his football team from losing.

yeah, you guys are right, no big deal.

i'll leave it at that.

Robbie said...

Dale,

Let me give this another go. So Tomlin was willing to play Ben, as long as he wouldn't hold onto the ball too long or scramble. But Ben only wanted to play "on his own terms" (i.e. play the game full-tilt like he always plays it), so Tomlin sat him.

Does that sound about right?

Slab said...

Why do we blame Arians for the Offense but the "D" for the defense? I'll agree Arians is just as much a part of the Steeler's offensive struggles as Lebeau is the Defense's. That's all. I don't think either of them are idiots. i don't think either of them is perfect. I think many fans way overblow their impact on the outcome of a game.

What's the longest field goal in the history of Heinz field? well under 56 yards. If Tomlin gets penalized for a Cowher like explosion in a refs face on the field is that going to help? What's more likely to happen- Refs go to the video tape at Tomlin's suggestion, overturn the call and make it a 62 yard field goal or Refs penalize Tomlin for violating the rules about staying off the field and let the kicker try a 51 yarder? which is better let them try a 56 yarder or try for a 62 yarder with a chance it becomes a 51 yarder?
Personally, I don't think Tomlin picked up on it. But I don't care, because of all the things he had to pick up on, that wasn't a priority.

marc said...

@slab,
i don't know the longest field goal at heinz field, but this game was in baltimore.

Patrick said...

I'm with marc on this one. I don't know the exact rules of "fumbling forward" or advancing a fumble, because obviously we've seen fumbles advanced before. Can anyone clarify the rule?

Either way - Tomlin has to do everything he can to ensure that the GAME WINNING kick is snapped from the right spot (that is advantageous to his team). If he didn't know the rule - shame on him. If he did know the rule and failed to act - then that is just pathetic.

He was in the wrong no matter what in my opinion. And if that kick was good, there would be a lot more uproar about it.

Slab said...

lol- Marc, my bad. You couldn't be more correct. Doesn't change my point though- not a big deal. If Tomlin had pulled a Cowher berzerk episode and the field goal got pushed up to 50 yards, the fans would be calling for his head for arguing over something that he had no chance of winning. "doesn't he know the rules, he can't challenge a play in the final 2 minutes, doesn't he know he can be penalized for that...."

Slab said...

Patrick- whether he noticed the fumble forward or not is a moot point since the rules don't allow him to do anything about it that point. Any action he took wouldn't have a rule to support it.

And in case anyone missed it, the kick missed. Talk about damned if you do.

Patrick said...

Slab - I have to disagree with you (respectfully of course because we don't do otherwise here).

There has been many a times that a coach has pointed out a refs mistake, the refs confer and then correct themselves. If Tomlin had caused enough of a distraction and yelled out, maybe they would have thought about thier mistake for a sec and moved the ball back.

I'm not saying he should have shoved a copy of the play down a refs shirt (though that was great in a blowout), but a simple "YOU GOT THE SPOT WRONG!" might have worked.

Of course that would have given Balt plenty of time to set up, but who is going to make a 60 yard kick into the wind? A 56 yarder? Maybe. 60? No way. And thats why I agree with marc.

I do see your point though.

Slab said...

I guess I can't think of any instances where the Coach talked the ref into changing his call. I think they talk mainly to get the next call.

Patrick said...

I feel like I watched a play yesterday game, where the refs blew the whistle before a play to adjust the spot.

Maybe it wouldn't of worked, not saying it definitely would but all I'm saying, and I think marc is too, is for Tomlin to do something when a kicker is about to the kick the game winner from possibly the wrong spot. You can't just stand there and hopes he misses.

Johnny Cat said...

What kind of odds you see the steelers making the playoffs. On one hand i feel like they will make it but on the other....there going to blow their last chance.

They are walking a fine line. Realistically they should off made the playoffs by now. I wish they would get there crap together

Anonymous said...

Our new O.C. just got canned from N.D. Weis is available.
Zeke

Dale Lolley said...

I don't think Tomlin realized the ball was fumbled forward. You're talking about a game in which there were over 100 plays run, his team had just lost and he was emotional. In the heat of a game, in that situation, it was better to make them rush it. Put it this way, why would you even want him stopping the clock at that point to argue the spot? That just gives the Ravens time to collect themselves.

The offensive playcalling was such because it was the third-freaking-string QB playing for god's sake. What don't you guys understand about that. They only felt confident with the kid running some basic plays. They didn't want to put it all on him unless they had to.

As for the defense, I guess you're OK with allowing a third-and-23 to be converted with the game one the line? Sorry, I'm not. How about the long completions for the second-straight game? It's not so much that they're giving up yards, it's when they're doing it.
You have any faith in this team stopping Peyton Manning at this point? I don't.

That said, a healthy Polamalu will help. They will win their final five. It's nearly a lay-up.

Bupp said...

Do you have any idea how large and convoluted the NFL rulebook is? Hell, the refs don't know the nuances of all the rules, so I'll let Tomlin off on that one.

Like others have said, the ravens were rushing their FG unit out. If you watch the end of the kick, you see Townsend running to the end zone. I'm sure the coaches had him on the way to possible try to return a short kick, which you can do. Heads up coaching, but with the play being rushed, he didn't make it in time.

As for the rule itself, Al Michaels explained it afterwards. During the last 2 minutes, only the fumbling player can advance a fumbled. If another player recovers, it's spotted at the spot of the fumble. If Flacco would have recovered it, it would have been at the recovery spot.

I pin this loss on both the offenseive playcalling, and bad tackling on the defence.

Patrick said...

I like Bupp's post. But I still think Tomlin should know the rule and fight for the spot - that makes the kick damn near impossible, even if they do collect themselves.

Thanks for the rule explanation though, I forgot about the last 2 minutes being different.

Slab said...

If the Steelers beat the Raiders, Ravens lose in GB and Houston can beat the Jags next week, are the Steelers back in a position to control their own destiny?

Slab said...

Just for "kicks", imagine this scenario- Tomlin argues the spot and as the kick is being missed, the refs blow the whistle declaring the kick never happened. they then reposition the ball and let the Ravens run the play again. The Ravens, knowing a 62 yard field goal is too far away, throw a hail mary and win the game- in regulation- imagine the kicking and screaming on the blogs today.... :)

or

As the Ravens miss the field goal, a flag is thrown- the Refs have penalized Tomlin for being on the field raising a fuss about a play that can't be challenged. The refs march off five yards and the Ravens kick again, winning in regulation- again- imagine the hysteria...

Patrick said...

dude, imagine if he made the 56 yarder......

adamg said...

Dale, you do recall BA asked Dixon to throw a home run bomb on 2nd and 6, potentially leaving him with a 3rd and 6, which is what happened, in OT with the game on the line, right? That is hardly conservative play calling or trying to "protect" a rookie qb.

Anonymous said...

Dale,
I heard Ken Laird say that Hines was ticked at Ben because he came in Saturday morning and told them he wasn't playing and good luck with that winning with Dennis Dixon.

I'm not excusing Hines, as he should have kept his mouth shut.

But if this is true, there is no defending Ben as well.

So how reliable is Ken Laird?

Anonymous said...

Kyle, it matters BECAUSE HE DIDN"T NOTICE IT AND HE SHOULD HAVE. Maybe next time it will be something that would make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Dale,

Offensively, i thought Foster played pretty well last night in his first start how bout you?

Defensively, I do realize Troy being back can cover alot of holes on the D but what do you feel is the biggest difference in not being able to close games out this year?

Greg Mercer said...

i agree with them not making it easy on Dixon. too many times he was forced into obvious passing situations.

it was the same BS they used to say about Ben being a game manager during his first two years. Run, run, pass makes it harder on a QB.

joseph said...

It's the defense people. The defense has lost us the lead in 4 of our 5 losses.

Dixon did a good job getting us the lead late in the 4th quarter. But again the defense can't hold it.

Patrick said...

You guys should all read this, and the comments, for a good laugh after last night.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/11/30/steelers-eventually-will-have-a-tough-decision-to-make-on-dixon/#comments

I've brought up PFT and Florio a few times on here. And for that I apologize. But that article, is just laughable.

Patrick said...

Patrick,

I have held my tongue till now, but your last comment cannot go unchallenged. There is nothing funny about what is going on here. The ship is sinking fast, and you are trying make more jokes out of it. Gimme a break.

Patrick

Patrick said...

Sorry I found a funny and ridiculous article.

And what he wrote actually has nothing but only the minimal of a relationship to what is actually going on. Its ridiculous. Read it, laugh and relax.

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet that 99.9% of the fools who are criticizing Tomlin for missing the forward fumble near the end of regulation would have missed it if the announcer hadn't pointed it out. Most football people would've missed it but I personally would've allowed it even if I did recognize it because it forced Baltimore into a hurried field goal...which they missed.

I too am disappointed in the defense. Without Polamalu and Aaron Smith they seem to lose a bit of toughness. I can tell you this, if they don't draft an offensive lineman in the first round of next year's draft they'll almost certainly draft a cornerback.

kyle said...

Anonymous,
He didn't notice it. The OFFICIALS didn't notice it. The announcers didn't notice it until after the commercial. If you're telling me that in a tie game, with the clock running, both teams scrambling to get personnel on the field, that Tomlin should have known that inside of 2 minutes a fumble can only be advanced by the fumbler AND he should have i don't know yelled? about it then I think you're a bit nuts.

Anonymous said...

Ken Laird also said what Ben said to Hines was totally in jest, and they've been busting each others balls for years.

Hell Ben even busted his own chops when he told Dixon to tell the media guy he was talking to to mention how he felt because he was taking his job from him.

Hines Ward is a jerk, and will always be a jerk, and I'm sure his ex-wife would agree.

Anonymous said...

Tomlin couldn't challenge that fumble, it was inside two minutes.

But where was the replay booth?

adamg said...

The Steelers drafted 2 CBs last year, Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett. Lewis has been inactive for about half the games and Burnett only plays occasionally in extra DB situations.

Anonymous said...

I think I was misunderstood, I wasn't criticising Tomlin I was defending him. As for Burnett and Lewis, they may make solid defenders in the future but the Steelers need 1st round talent opposite Ike Taylor. William Gay is servicable but seems to lose a step at the end of games.

Anonymous said...

Dale says: "As for the defense, I guess you're OK with allowing a third-and-23 to be converted with the game one the line? Sorry, I'm not. How about the long completions for the second-straight game? It's not so much that they're giving up yards, it's when they're doing it.
You have any faith in this team stopping Peyton Manning at this point? I don't."

Dale, To expect a defense to shut out the other team in order to win a game is laughable - do you actually watch any football games or do you just look at box scores? You answered your own question with the Manning comment. Do you exepct any team - including the Steelers to shut down Manning or Brees? NO, its not going to happen. You have to score points to win and this team cannot score points because it has loud mouth, no talent WRs. Sorry the combo of Holmes and Ward is the most over rated combo of WRs in the league. Ward is still a decent player but he is well past his prime. And Holmes as a #1 is totally lame, he gets minimal separation and drops too many passes, as a #1 pick, he is close to being a bust.

Again, the Defense totally dominated in the second half, the Rams offense could have won this game. Not sure what you don't understand about keeping the other team to 3 points in their house means. and someone else said the defense "again blew a late lead" ?????? huh? stupidity.

Patrick said...

This is the test of Tomlin's leadership.

The arguments about the playcalling (which is always being argued over), draft choices, and other stuff are debatable, but all of those are matters over which reasonable minds can differ. The entire sports talk radio industry exists because the topics are debatable. Obviously, despite your and my opinions, the Steelers choices in those areas were good enough to win a Super Bowl last season.

On the other hand, the dissension in the locker room is destructive and that is not debatable by serious people. I don't recall dissension like this since Greg Lloyd and the defense expressed their displeasure at having to carry the offense.

To this point, Tomlin has ridden the team chemistry and infrastructure largely assembled by his predecessor and the front office. Tomlin will be judged on this moment.

By the way, Patrick, I guess you were right all along: the defense does suck.

Patrick

marc said...

i can understand how some people ARE NOT critical of the defense because they did make some great plays and they did limit the ravens to 3 points in the second half.

overall, the defense has been very good this year. not near perfect like last year, but very good.

however, one thing you can say about this defense is that they are not performing at clutch time.

aaron smith being out is obviously a very big deal, but i think what has transpired this season is strong evidence that troy is our most valuable player on the team.

Dave W. in Las Vegas said...

Dale, When will we know when and if Ben is going to be cleared for this Sunday? Let's get Dennis ready to play and kick Oakland's ass back to the Bay aera. Thanks again as always.

Patrick said...

never said they sucked, just not as good as last year. They are so streaky though, that it is amazing.

One thing about this D that I've been thinking about: Lebeau's D is designed to take away the big play, but it absolutely requires people winning their one on one matchups. With Troy, that matchup is an easy one. But this year, other positions were we've come to expect the matchup being won haven't done so - Farrior is an example, Gay, even Clark and Taylor. When they lose their position, are simply outplayed, or miss tackle, the big play is there and painful to watch.

My point is that I think its easily fixable. Obviously a healthy Troy makes it that much easier, but even without him, things like sure tackling would go a long way towards correcting it.

And to the person talking about the draft. I think Safety or NT are higher on the list then CB. We just drafted 2 CB's and we're almost sure to lose either Clark or Hampton, or both in FA.

Patrick said...

Patrick,

If you ain't first, you're last.

Patrick

Slab said...

Anonymous- are you saying the D didn't blow a late lead? What game are you watching? Yes they only gave up 3 points in the 2nd half- that's good. They gave up those 3 points with minutes left in the game to give up the lead- that's not good. They also gave up a TD on the opening drive- that's bad. The D deserves as much blame for the loss as the O.

Jon C said...

Yes, the defense allowed a drive late in the game to tie it. However, we had been relying on the defense the entire game!

Bruce Arians could have made it easier on Dixon to rollout of the pocket and have a better chance to survey the field. The defense was carrying the team until the one drive when Dixon ran it in for a touchdown.

You can't put the blame on the defense. The offense had even more chances to put the game out of reach, but the playcalling was ineffecient. Dixon is not a pocket passer and never has been. Arians tried to make him into just that and it limited his effectiveness. How many times in the 4th quarter did the defense dial it up and give our offense a chance to take the lead. The offense took I think 23 seconds off the clock in their last drive in regulation.

The offense is much better than Bruce Arians is making it into, and he should have been fired long ago. Even the Browns cut this crappy playcaller after 2 seasons. How can we seriously think he is the best option for offensive coordinator?

Patrick said...

Dale, how was the first day of buck season for you?

Patrick

marc said...

BA is clearly not our best option for offensive cord. that guy just got canned from ND.

dale, is there a realistic chance they go after weiss?

Anonymous said...

LOL at Tomlin's answers to the questions about BR not playing. Tomlin srewed up royally. BR had headaches starting on Monday's practice. How dumb was it to figure BR was going to be able to play ivo the recent spotlight on head injuries and concussions?

No wonder Ward was angry. Tomlin left the team out to dry by stringing them along that BR would play and therefore not giving Dixon the large majority of the snaps in practice.

Patrick said...

Anonymous,

I agree with you. That's really the elephant in the room. Tomlin is continually being praised as some sort of god, when in fact he inherited a Super Bowl winning team with a QB on the rise and nearly all other key pieces in place. Usually, a guy has to prove himself.

Patrick

Anonymous said...

Tomlin and Arians are idiots and we should just get rid of these clowns once and for all and tell Art the second to swallow his pride and admit that Cower was a better coach

Anonymous said...

The schedule is pretty easy here on in. But if Tomlin wants to get the wheels back on the bus and be ready for a deep playoff run he needs to do five things.

1. he needs to tell BA and BB that we will emphasize the run, that we will get to a 50/50 split run to pass or they both loose play calling priviledges.

2. he needs to tell BB that he must start throwing the ball quicker, even if it means throwing it away. IF he doesn't, he needs to be benched in favor of Dixon.

3. He needs to cut back Farrior's playing time, rotate him and Fox. Farrior just doesn't have the legs anymore.

4. He needs to rest Troy until he is 100%. not 80% not 90%, not 95%, not 99%.

5. He and Colbert need to dig up a decent veteran CB, maybe it is Ivy, so we have 3 acceptable cover guys at the corners when Troy returns so he doesn't feel the need to do everyone else's job and we will need it against both Indy and SD.

Farmer Fran

Dale Lolley said...

No, I've never watched a game before, obviously. I've just covered every Steelers game since 1993. And I'm telling you, this defense is allowing big plays at bad moments. You get a team in third-and-26, they shouldn't be converting it and turning it into the game-tying points. Sorry, it shouldn't happen. You can make all the excuses you want, but the execution wasn't there.
As for the offense, yeah, it only scored 17 points WITH A THIRD-STRING QB MAKING HIS FIRST CAREER START!!!!!!!!!

In that kind of situation, the defense had better carry the day. For much of the game it did. But it failed at a critical time. I guarantee you Dick LeBeau was not happy with that performance. But some anonymous poster is OK with it, so that makes it better.

Laird is a solid reporter. Sometimes he gets a little rambunctious with his story lines, but then again, we all do.

As for the first day of buck season, if you'll notice when this was originally posted, you'll note that it was at 4:30 or so in the a.m. on Monday. I had just gotten back from Baltimore and posted this before taking a much-needed long snooze.

But I did kill Bambi today.

Anonymous said...

By the way Dale Polamalu is going to miss the last four games this team will have played. That's a months worth, no?

Need to quit slamming national media guys who out-scoop you. It's becoming a habit for them actally.

marc said...

@farmer fran,
i agree with everyone of your points. have you noticed how teams are specifically targeting farrior at key points in the game. they are recognizing the mismatch and exploiting it.

i hope they run the ball more, but i just don't see them doing it. i think they have convinced themselves they must pass to win.

Anonymous said...

Patrick,
How can I sign up to be a Patrick, too? It seems like all the cool guys here are named Patrick.
Dale, the only national scoops seem to be of a medical variety, and every national guy gets them. Tomlin should fire the doc. Kind of like Michael Vick and Casey Hampton. Keep up the good work and please keep making fun of the national dorks.

Yours truly,
Patrick.

Anonymous said...

"Need to quit slamming national media guys who out-scoop you. It's becoming a habit for them actally."

-- Bitter Wannabe
Dec. 2, 2009

Anonymous said...

Dale,

I need to ask you a favor. Lately I've noticed a large number of posts from "Patrick." I believe people are just using this name and making a joke out of it. Since my father, brother and myself all share the name, I, frankly, find this joke to be offensive, and demand that it be stopped.

Thank you for any help, as this is only my first step in dealing with this.

A fan,

Patrick III

Patrick said...

you guys are hilarious

Patrick said...

I don't get it...

Patrick

Patrick said...

Dale - any chance we put Palamualu at corner back? what about Hines Ward at QB, i heard he played that in college. And what about that long kicking kicker i was talkin about???

Patrick said...

Patrick,

Those are all great ideas. I feel like we have heard some of them before...

Patrick Patrickson III

Anonymous said...

Dear Jerks:

Real mature. This is Patrick's mom, and if you think making fun of my son's name is so funny we'll find out what Dale's BOSS has to SAY about it!!

Patricia (Patrick's MOM!)

kelly said...

Any chance you guys can grow up and not hijack Dale's blog with this nonsense? Most of us enjoy coming here for Steelers news.

Anonymous said...

I second what Kelly said!! This is a great resource to get in depth news.

Anonymous said...

I kinda like the nonsense.

pa'rick

Anonymous said...

@marc

Agree, I don't think they see it either - they've bought into the passing koolaid. I think the problem is that BB and BA are too tight - BB wants to win every game on his own arm and BA is basically a BB groupie with a few kinky but worthless ideas and just feeds BB rather than coach him. Tomlin doesn't know the offense side so he stands around. No one is considering that a good run game will make the passing game more effective - we are best when throwing off play action.

If you look at NO, Indy, SD. The WRs run precise routes, the QB drops, does quick reads, throws the ball.

Us? BB drops back and runs around, the WRs don't bother running decent routes because they aren't good route runners and BB isn't going to throw it right away anyhow. so they run around and BB runs around until someone gets open.

This actually works ok if you got a huge QB who can survive, problem comes in the redzone. There's no room to just run around all over and things stall.

Farmer Fran

Dale Lolley said...

I never ripped the guy who reported Polamalu was going to be out a month. I thought they were reporting something a little obvious.
No need to rush him back.
It would have been pushing it hard to get him ready for Baltimore and they don't need him badly to beat Oakland or Cleveland.

Anonymous said...

"A number of national reporters have said Polamalu will miss a month.

Don't believe it. Polamalu is closer than that and could play this week against Baltimore"

You were saying Dale?

You can't even keep your BS straight.

Now go shine Wexell's shoes.

Anonymous said...

"Any chance you guys can grow up and not hijack Dale's blog with this nonsense? Most of us enjoy coming here for Steelers news."

They are ripping on Patrick because he posts tons of stupid comments here. He knows nothing about football and everyone is sick of reading is stupid crap he posts here

Patrick said...

I know nothing about football. Point it out.

What do you post? And usually when someone criticizes me, we don't know if its your or not since you refuse to have a log in or even write a signature, all they say is "you're an idiot" which shows they know nothing because they don't say anything.

Next time I post something you disagree with, why don't you, oh I don't know, point out what you actually disagree with and prove me wrong.

Until then.... you're useless and look like the idiot. But you conveniently don't use a name because then we would be calling you names.

Patrick said...

atta boy Patrick you go get em!

My boy Patty does to know a lot about football. When all the other young boys were outsite playing football, Patrick would watch from the window (he'd get beat up if he tried to play)

Sincerely -

Patrick's mom

Patrick said...

posts like that.... and I'm the idiot?

Patrick said...

The idiot usually is the last to know....

Patrick said...

waste of time. I don't think I'll reply to people anymore unless they actually bring a legitimate convo or concern

Patrick said...

Awesome! Thanks, Patty.