Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Anderson to retire

Head coach Mike Tomlin met with the media today for his final press conference of the 2009 season and while there wasn't any earth-shattering news, he did announce that quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson was retiring.

Anderson, a former Pro Bowl QB with the Cincinnati Bengals, has spent the past three seasons with the Steelers.

Tomlin is continuing to meet with the players as they put a wrap on a disappointing 2009 season.

He did say that he will meet with members of his coaching staff later this week and would not discount some additional changes there.

Free agent-to-be nose tackle Casey Hampton was one player who had his meeting with Tomlin Monday and Tomlin indicated - without actually saying it - that he would very much like to have Hampton back.

Placing the franchise tag on Hampton is a strong possibility.

45 comments:

marc said...

dale,
is it your opinion they won't shift to a 4-3 or do you have knowledge they won't change?

also, won't franchising hampton lock up a lot of money for just one year?

Ben said...

I can't understand why people cling to this idea of changing to a 4-3, or believe that it would be a beneficial change with this personnel. They have the two best 3-4 passrushers in the game whose skills/size don't translate to a 4-3 scheme. They have the best 3-4 D-line in the NFL. They have the best defensive coordinator in the NFL who specializes in the 3-4 scheme. There is no chance that they change scheme in the foreseeable future.

MJ said...

Marc... Isn't next year supposed to be uncapped? If so, I don't think the Steelers will have any logistical problems if they decide to franchise Big Snack.

Anonymous said...

@Ben

Why do you cling to the idea that Woodley wouldn't excel at DE in a 4-3? and also why do you cling to the idea that we don't have the personnel for a 4-3? and why do you cling to the idea that Harrison would not be just as effective in a 4-3?

I think a lot of us see it happening because we don't see Hampton signing which leaves us without at true 3-4 NT and if we use a #1 pick on a NT then we total miss addressing the most important need - the secondary. We don't think Timmons is an ILB, he would be much better at OLB. Farrior needs to retire which leaves us with only one true ILB - Fox who actually needs to get plugged into the lineup. Also, I think a lot of us would not be surprised if LeB retires. Also, we recognize that Tomlin comes from a 4-3 background. Besides that Ben, you are correct, we are just a bunch of clingers.

IMO it also frees up salary and draft picks to get the secondary straightened out which is going to require at least our first two picks in the draft and a lot of cash. The secondary is a total mess

Farmer Fran

Patrick said...

PFT is reporting BA is being fired

Thomas said...

patrick BA is TO BE FIRED (by the end of the week)....not yet. According to Ken Laird.

I think the Steelers eventually switch over to a 4-3...but not any time soon. LeBeau isn't going anywhere and the DL will be fine. I think they do tag big snack and either draft a NT in the 1st or 2nd (depending on how the draft unfolds).

adamg said...

I think Woodley could do well as a DE. He played the position in college and did fine there facing Ts who were generally bigger than he was. Right now, on most plays, he's already taking on an OT.

It's not like successful NFL teams don't employ DE who are Woodley's size.

marc said...

@mj,
it "might" be an uncapped year. even if it is, just because there's no salary cap doesn't mean you start throwing money around and i don't expect the steelers to set aside their fiscal responsibility.

Anonymous said...

a switch to the 4-3 is not happening, i'll put money on it. lebeau told his players he's coming back. if we want to switch to the 4-3 it needs to be under someone who has experience primarily running that scheme. and the personnel just doesn't fit. woodley and harrison are undersized so you would be taking away 2 of our 3 best defensive play makers. when healthy the steelers are a solid D. making the switch would just be taking steps back. figure out the hampton/NT situation, figure out if farrior can still be effective, get 1 cover corner and we can be shut down once again.

Anonymous said...

woodley is undersized for DE???

Do you know who the starting DEs are for the pro ball for the AFC?

go look it up and while you are at it, check out their height and weight.

Harrison is now and would still be an OLB in either scheme.

No one is saying LeB is leaving, it is all speculation. But he is pushing 72 and coming off a really bad year, and if Z and BA and Anderson are going, hey, might be time to sweep it all out and let Tomlin build the team.

And I say this as a big Whiz fan and not so big a Tomlin fan, but they hired the guy, they owe it to him to let him do his thing.

Farmer Fran

Ben said...

Could Woodley play DE at the pro level? Probably. I have no idea if he'd be as effective as he is now. I'd guess he wouldn't be. He doesn't have the ideal size to play DE and he doesn't have the burst and quickness that guys like Freeney and Mathis use to make up for that size.

The same goes for Harrison. We have two OLB passrushers who are the best in the business at what they do and you want to ask them to change positions? Why mess with a good thing? You say we either don't have the personnel for it anymore or are losing the personnel we have, but really they're 2 or 3 draft picks away from being replaced. There's no reason to abandon a scheme that has worked so well just because a few pieces are moving on. Changing scheme because some players are leaving is a rash, knee-jerk reaction -- something the Steelers never do.

Will they shift to the 4-3 sometime in the future? Probably. Will it be in the next few seasons? Not a chance.

noel said...

Woodley is plenty big enough to be a 4-3 end.

I like the 3-4, I'm very accustomed to it and think we'll see it for another year at least.

That said, if the time comes that they need to make the switch because of personnel availability, coaching or players, I'll embrace it as long as it's for the right reasons. With so many other teams running it Nose Tackles have become a scarce commodity and I think we can all agree we need a top notch NT to make this scheme work.

other_patrick said...

What would switching to a 4-3 do in a positive sense?

We have great run stuffing, good defensive pressure and great flexibility with the coverage.

Even if next year is uncapped, you have to think that 2011 would have some sort of cap assuming a new CBA is hashed out.

marc said...

"We have great run stuffing, good defensive pressure and great flexibility with the coverage."

the problem with that statement is that we rarely had all three of those at the same time this year. we could stop the run, but our coverage sucked. we could prevent the big play, but got bowled over on the ground. we got to the QB, but they still passed all over us. how many 3rd and longs can a team give up in 1 season?

and, i'm not saying we "need" to switch to a 4-3. i'm saying it looks like we're switching to a 4-3 sometime in the next couple years.

Mike said...

Switching to a 4-3 would be too much of a knee jerk reaction. We all assume LT is a better OLB, but he came on really strong toward the end of the year. I think MLB may actually be a better long-term fit because he can cover TEs. Teh big ? is who replaces Farrior. IMO, Spikes or McLain would be ideal 1st rounders with a DB 2nd unless we can get Haden 1st.

The personnel has to be updated on the defensive side, but remember, we did play more than half the season with the 2 best players on the bench. Let's see what happens next year, assuming they stay healthy.

As far as losing games, I think its fair to say games were lost this year due to lapses in all 3 phases. The defense was particularly troubling, but I think they lost confidence and the injuries tired out the team because the roster got extremely thin.

Here's to 2010. (See ya BA)

Dale Lolley said...

I don't understand the fascination at all with the 4-3. As long as LeBeau is here - and he will be here next year - they're a 3-4 team. It's not going to change. Period.
And Hampton will be back. I'm telling you, they'll either get something done with him or franchise him.
The Green Bay Packers switched to the 3-4 this season and were the top D in the league.

As for Arians, he may go, but there's also a possibility he stays with some changes. His meeting with Tomlin will go a long way toward what happens.

marc said...

Dale,
I've read in some other places the front office is less enamored with Arians than Tomlin. Do you get that same feeling?

adamg said...

Essentially the Steelers play a 4-3 because on most plays they rush at least 1 LB, but they don't call it that because only 3 guys line up with their hands on the ground.

When they rush both OLBs, how much different is that than the old Okla 5-2?

LeBeau played in a 4-3 so he knows that defense. Plus he's been in football for 50 years, I'll guess there's nothing he hasn't seen in that time.

If the Steelers decide they can live without Casey Hampton, they won't have the personnel to run a 3-4 unless they fall into a stud NT or trade up to draft one. The players they do keep will, in all likelihood, be more suited to a 4-3. IMO, it's as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

i hope Arians, Gay and Ty Carter also retire

steelerark said...

As far as Woodley not being the right size for De in the 4-3, where do you guys get that?

Woodley - 265lbs - 6'2"

Freeney - 268lbs - 6'1"

Mathis - 245lbs - 6'2"

He is almost identical to one of the best 4-3 DEs in the game. Not saying I want them to change, or that they have ALL the personnel, or even believe they will change. Just don't pull crap out of your arse by continuing to say Woodley is undersized for the position. Harrison at 242lbs and 6'0" is nearly the same as Mathis just a couple inches shorter. Woodley is NOT undersized.

But Fran, sorry dude, no way they change while LB is around and they can easily tag Snack. If it is an uncapped year next year, and there is not a single insider this side of RG who doesn't think it will be, they have 3 tags. No cap = Hampton on the team.

Collin Williams said...

Thomas in the first round of the draft we need a cornerback

Ben said...

"As far as Woodley not being the right size for De in the 4-3, where do you guys get that?

Woodley - 265lbs - 6'2"

Freeney - 268lbs - 6'1"

Mathis - 245lbs - 6'2""

As I stated earlier, those are two of the most freakishly quick defensive ends in football. That quickness and explosive first step allows them to play DE at that size. There are not many other defensive ends at that size for a reason. They are the exception, not the rule.

Patrick said...

O-line coach out....

adamg said...

Zerlein out, Arians still in.

I hold Zerlein responsible for the awful OL play. It is absolutely a disgrace that even in the last game of the season, the OL still could not figure out how to handle DL stunts.

As much as I am not a fan of BA, the problem was Tomlin allowing him too much free rein with the offense. I hope in their talk today, Tomlin told BA what kind of offense HE wants, NOT what BA or BR want. It's the OC's job to adapt. Look no further than Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride. Gilbride loves a wide open, passing offense, but, under Coughlin, the NYG offense is run oriented. Presumably now, Tomlin and BA are on the same page. Since BA's contract is up after this year, if he doesn't do what Tomlin wants, it will be much easier to change.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Tomlin and Arians are on the same page now, too bad they couldn't talk weeks ago before we lost 5 in a row

I'm sure all will be good now

Collin Williams said...

I don't think Larry Zerlein should have been fired. Roethlisberger takes a lot of sacks trying to make plays and holding the ball to long. Also the Steelers have never spent high draft picks on Offensive Linemen.

Anonymous said...

They should have made Russ Grimm the head coach.

Collin Williams said...

What's so bad about Mike Tomlin Anonymous

marc said...

@collin,
so, if the steelers had a bunch of high draft picks on the OL playing very well that would mean zerlein is a good coach?

good coaches are able to "coach up" players to meet their maximum potential. i agree the steelers need to draft higher for the OL. however, i also feel the continuous communication failures by the OL are a result of poor coaching and poor execution.

Collin Williams said...

Marc your are right about all of that but the coach trained them good they just can't block as long as Ben wants them to. Ben tries to make all the plays

marc said...

i agree, ben kills himself many times. but far too often does a defender run right past our OL because they are confused about who to block. every once in a while is acceptable, but it seems like it happens every game. obviously, the players must execute. but, at what point is that the coaches fault for not remedying the problem?

Dale Lolley said...

I'll say this about Zierlein. I've had offensive linemen try to explain to me their responsibilities on blitz pickup and such and what they were telling me didn't always make sense.
They also may want to shift in a different direction as far as blocking schemes and such.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! The OC to have the best offensive stats in steeler history isn't fired??? The catastrophe! Haha! All the BA haters must be boiling right now! It's idiotic that some of you thought they would fire the OC after the season that we had offensively.

Anonymous said...

The Steelers were 9-7 and didn't make the playoffs. Despite the gaudy stats, they managed to score 0 TDs vs Cincy in Pgh and the Browns in Clev - the latter basically cost them a slot in the post-season. They were poor inside the red zone, settling for FGs instead of scoring TDs. That falls on the OC.

adamg said...

Dale, I think the most telling thing about Zerlien was caught on the championship DVD. I can't recall the game, but the O-linemen are sitting on the bench and Zerlien is going through what they're doing wrong or something. Tomlin comes up, interupts Zerlien, and says "don't worry about 'style points', just make a play". When the head coach comes over and basically says, in so many words, don't listen to what your position coach is telling you to do, it just says it all.

steelerark said...

Ha, sure, they missed the playoffs because they couldn't score a TD in Cleveland. You hit it right on the head. I'm sure them missing the playoffs had nothing to do with not being able to stop Bruce F***ing Gradkowski from scoring three 4th quarter touchdowns. Or from stopping the Chiefs in the fourth quarter. Or stopping Cincy from scoring two 4th quarter scores. Or from stopping the Ravens from racking up 308 rushing yards in two games. Or it had nothing to do with letting Chicago score 14 4th quarter points. Or it had nothing to do with allowing Jamaal Charles and Bernard Scott to score return tds.

Oh, I'm sure you'll come back with the small amount of points that the offense scored some games, but the simple fact of the matter is that the defense blew leads in SIX of our seven losses. It doesn't matter that the offense was low scoring in some games. What does matter is that in six of seven games, the offense gave the D a chance to hold on to win. And that D failed. So yeah, blame Arians all you want. It doens't change the fact that the offense did what needed to be done situationally. The D did not. I'm not a fan of his, he drives me nuts. But blaming him for this season is stupid.

Anonymous said...

The Steelers scored 14, 20, 12, 24, 17, 24 and 6 points in their seven losses. You have to admit that's pretty puny for such a prolific offense. The offense left plenty of points on the field that would have ended games before they had a chance to become close losses.

marc said...

BA's job as OC is not to rack up yards for his QB, WR's and RB's. His job is to score points, manage games, and win. BA has proven he is terrible at managing a game and situational play calling. They scored some points at times, but then other times were absolutely dumbfounded by poor teams.

BA is not the "only" reason we didn't make the playoffs. but, he is definitely one of them, imo.

Bupp said...

All that is true, but as much as you can say the D gave up leads, you can also say those leads should have been bigger to defend.

http://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/red-zone-scoring-pct
Steelers rank 22nd in the NFL in red zone scoring, at 42.9% That's down from last year's 55.9%. Huge difference. How many FGs should have been TDs? How many times did Ben take a sack or the O took a stupid penalty that pushed them out of FG range? 7 games lost by 28 total points. Score 4 more points in a game, and see how quickly that W-L record changes.

It's not all on the O. It's not all on the D. STs were guilty, too. Plenty of blame to go around for this season.

steelerark said...

That was my only point Bupp. Someone above said about the Cleveland game - "the latter basically cost them a slot in the post-season". People love to bash Arians and blame him for everything. I hate his calling more than anything, but to solely blame him for us not making the playoffs is stupid. All three phases of the game cost us a trip to the finals. And I don't care how many points the offense scored. They had THE LEAD in 6 of those losses, sometimes by two touchdowns. You can't look at a boxscore and say we scored 24 points, which by the way is a healthy amount, and say it was the offense's fault we lost. That's absurd. Does BA share blame for this season? Absolutely. But so do Tomlin, LeBeau, the ST and the defense.

Patrick said...

ST coach out too...

Patrick said...

dude use a different name. its obviously not me. you're pathetic

Zac said...

Patrick, I would recommend you let identity theft slide when he is just posting a piece of Steeler news. Are the Steelers still going to use the zone-blocking scheme, or is Arians determining that when he draws up the plays?

Anyone else see the Steelers trading back for more picks and taking Weatherspoon? They could take advantage of the depth of this draft and still pick up First round talents to learn "buck" for a year under Farrior's guidance.

Anonymous said...

dude that aint me

- gay Patrick

marc said...

i'm so disappointed BA is coming back. he might be forced to be more balanced, which is good. but in the end he won't change his philosophy. he'll panic at crunch time and go to the pass whenever their down by a touchdown or more. he doesn't know how to setup the run off the pass or the pass off the run and his play calling is horribly predictable.

it just makes me sick that charlie weiss was out there and we didn't entertain it. he might not have wanted to come here, but the guy is an obvious upgrade at OC over arians.

i hope tomlin is strong (and wise) enough to keep a leash on arians next year.