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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last three weeks should be interesting

I'll be watching the Steelers closely these final three weeks to see how they finish.

Understandably, there's a lot of disappointment in the locker room thanks to the team's collapse following its 6-2 start.

But it will be interesting to see if this group allows the losing to continue, as the 1998 and 1999 Steelers did, or whether they go down fighting, as the team did in 2000, 2003 and 2006.

That has been what has separated the Steelers from the Clevelands and Cincinnatis of the NFL over the past couple of decades – how they've dealt with adversity.

The bad teams have gone out expecting something to go wrong and not being surprised when it does.

The Steelers have usually looked at it the other way and gone down fighting.

© Free safety Ryan Clark went off on the media today, blaming it and negative comments made about the team for the Steelers' struggles.


That's an age-old cop out and Clark is better than that.

But it kind of gives you some insight into how this team – at least some of them – is looking at its five-game losing streak.

They don't want to point fingers in the locker room and they can't say bad things about the fans – who will surely boo this team Sunday if it struggles against Green Bay – so they point them at the easiest villan around, the media.

I've always had a good relationship with Clark and have found him to be one of the better and more insightful thinkers I've been around in 17 seasons of covering this team.

But in this case, he's barking up the wrong tree.


emac2 said...

Well, I'm getting excited about the draft.

I don't want us to play for a pick but I sure hope we keep the injured guys off the field.

I don't need anyone to prove their pride or manhood.

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

based on the video provided by the post-gazette, i think he handled it rather objectively...though i'm unsure whether he initiated the whole thing or not. he was actually talking about the fans more than the media, well, based on that video alone.

i don't blame him. he explained his understanding of the criticism, and surely realizes the team has been playing terribly.

i've stopped reading message boards since the losing streak simply because the insane amount of moronic finger pointing. i love being a part of steeler nation, but it's embarrassing (at times) reading one educated rant after another. i said it. perhaps this only becomes apparent during a losing streak. let's hope it ends soon.

moparsteel said...

here is what i think is going on. i think mr goodell went to mr rooney and said knock it off guys 6 is enough. give the other guys a chance.

marc said...

so you only go to the message boards to hear the ranting and over estimating of how great they are?

Anonymous said...

Now I've heard it all. The Steelers are complaining about bad media coverage. LOL. That's like Duke basketball players saying ESPN doesn't give them enough coverage. LOL. I guess Sally Wiggin said some bad things about Big Ben. Maybe the Steelers are mad that they're no longer on page 1 in the newspaper or have been bumped by the weather from lead story on the television news. Everybody join in: "The wheels on the bus ... have fallen off, fallen off, fallen off." Perhaps Ryan Clark should spend more time watching film of the opponent's passing game and working on his tackling technique instead of checking out-of-town newspapers and television reports. What a schmuck. I guess what Clark and the Steelers have in common is neither does a good job of covering what or who they're supposed to.

Scotty said...

Sometimes I feel like punching my Big Ben Fathead.

Anonymous said...

I don't hear these same players complaining when their are getting more than their fair share of postive media. On his previous team Ryan Clark wasn't even known by the public. It's a double edged sword and he had better learn to live with it. As for the Steelers getting scrutinized more closely than other teams, well that comes with playing for a team that has high expectations and a history of playing solid defense. Baseball has the Yankees, Basketball has the Lakers and we have the Steelers. If you want to play for a team that doesn't get the national spotlight then go play for the Rams.

I think Clark's just frustrated and letting loose with an emotional rant....come to think of it, that's exactly what we're doing. LOSING SUCKS!

Anonymous said...

Any news on Polamalu, will he play against Green Bay or is he sitting this one to?

rocket9 said...

I think the last thing I heard was that Troy would try and make it back for the last game( that from Troy himself, if I am not mistaken)

I hope he plays if we have any chance of winning a WC spot by then but if we are out of it...I would rather he just wait till next year, He's one of the most important guys on the team going forward and we need him 100% healthy next year. I don't expect us to win a WC berth.And I think we know that Troy has a limited shelf life as an NFL player given his "all out" style. Save the ammo for games that matter.

There seems to be a split in Steeler=Land over whether we are in a large rebuild mode or simply reloading in the offseason. I believe this team is in for 2-3-4 years of housecleaning and rebuild. It will depend on how they draft/find FA's/replace coaches that will determine how fast they can return to elite status. I see a lot of old vets and young guys with ?? to really make any judgement. Can the vets like A. Smith come back and do the job> Can the young guys like Burnett, Lewis, Limas, Gay and Hoood make the giant steps necessary to keep us in the hunt?

Only time will tell..but I trust the organization. They've come through countless times before and one thing I truly do believe..the owners care as much as the fans. They'll fix what is broke. And they have better heads on their shoulders than some of the Steeler fans who have clearly lost theirs on BB and blogs over the last 5 weeks or so. An era of Steeler football is over..and a new one is beginning and this is where we will see Tomlin shine...or fail. It's going to be his team ..fully..after the changes this seasons will produce.

michaelbro said...

The Steelers aren't as bad as their record indicates; and the Saints and Colts aren't as good as their's does. That being said, the team has evolved into Big Ben's team, no question. As he goes, the team goes. If he gets sacked numerous times in a game, or if he has an off game, the team likely loses. Management has to decide if they're OK with that, because it's not going to change anytime soon. The days where the teams defence and running game could wear down a quality opponent are over, so either Ben wins the game for them, or they struggle. To be frank, I'm not sure if I'm OK with it (not that I have any say): it's exiting when Ben pulls out the come-from-behind thriller with great scrambling and passing, but it's frustrating when a weak defence like the Browns can scheme to shut him down, and we can't (or won't) do anything else.

Anonymous said...

I've listened to and read Ryan Clark ever since he came here and I've never noticed one insightful comment. The guy just can't shut his mouth, never could, and the media follows him around like puppy dogs who probably stood there nodding and wagging their tails like dopes as he called them turds.
Tell us again what we are, Mr. Insightful.

Anonymous said...

Yadda, yadda, yadda. Talk is cheap. Ryan Clark says the fans have no clue how hard they work. Really? I beg to differ Mr. Clark. I've been watching Steelers football long before he was born. To Mr. Clark I say, " Know your role, shut your hole and get your butt back to work!" I don't want to hear another G.D. word from any player about how hard they work. DON'T SING IT! BRING IT!

marc said...

i read tomlin's press conference last night and almost lost my mind. someone asked him about their pass/run ratio and he said they "strive for balance" but how the game unfolds has affected their game plans. that's bull crap and everyone knows it.

earlier i researched to find the league average pass/run ratio for the past 7 years is right around 65%/35%.

for this year, the teams with 8 wins or more (11 teams) have an average pass/run ratio of 56%/44%. that's right, the best teams in the league run the ball more than the rest of the league. only 2 of those teams pass more than 60% of the time.

therefore, they either effectively run the ball down your throat or they go to the run in the second half once they have a lead. hmmm, i seem to recall that strategy working for us in the past.

either way, what our coaches say and what we do on game day are contradicting themselves and i'm starting to put tomlin in the same room as BA when it comes to this offense.

and, who has the most rushing yards in the league? good ole New Orleans.

Anonymous said...

I've heard the Mofia runs the whole show anyway...sounds idiotic...

They say the Mofia knows who's going to win the Super Bowl before the season starts?

Any thoughts?

I'll stay Anonymous!