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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Post-Cincinnati thoughts

That James Harrison, he's a peach.

After shutting down the Bengals' last-gasp effort to win Monday night by taking Jordan Shipley's head off and knocking the ball free, he got on the intercom on the plane.

"Everybody take a seat so I can get this plane in the air," Harrison said.

He later came on and went through the entire pilot spiel about the length of the flight and such.

Go ahead, you tell him to put the mike down.

The only reason I know Harrison wasn't flying the plane is because our landing was way too gentle.

Had Harrison been flying the plane, we would have touched down violently.

© All kidding aside, it doesn't look like Harrison is changing too much about his game despite his numerous fines. And the Steelers are OK with that.

He did not, however, lead with his helmet on the hit to Shipley.

Harrison said he was free-lancing a bit on that play. It was a good move.

© That game shouldn't have been as close as it was.

That was a bad interception by Ben Roethlisberger at an inopportune time.

Follow that up with three bad penalties and you open the door right up to give Cincinnati an easy seven points.

© I did like the way the Steelers blitzed the heck out of Carson Palmer on the final drive.

© Jeff Reed's got to be able to bang a 45-yard field goal in the game's closing moments, especially after nailing a 53-yarder earlier in the game.

© Offensive line coach Sean Kugler must feel like he's been cursed.

The 2009 Buffalo Bills, his former employer, used about 25 different line combinations.

The Steelers are closing in on that number.

© Maurkice Pouncey looks to be OK, as does Max Starks.

Chris Kemoeatu said he already had an MRI and it doesn't look bad, though he's the worst of the bunch.

© Now, it's off to bed. It's nearly 4 a.m. and the inside of my eyelids are calling.
I talked to Isaac Redman after the game and he seems OK as well.


Anonymous said...

The good:

We won.


The forced fumble and blocked punt.

Farrior and Timmons and Harrison and Woodley.

And the highlight of the season so far -- Pouncey coming back onto the field.

The bad:

O-line injuries and shuffling (they get a slight pass for the fact that the Bengals, who can't get pressure on anyone, were in Ben's face all night).

Horrific pass coverage in the 4th quarter, again, even though they were bringing it and often getting pressure on Palmer. This whole "oh, they're only giving up completions" is nonsense -- they have bad pass coverage, period, especially as games go on.

Ben's inexcusably terrible and stupid interception. (It sure looked like he'd been working on his footwork during his suspension on that one, hah?)

Lack of discipline.

Reed's continuing slump.

The fact that the Bengals were begging us, absolutely begging us (turnovers, missed FGs, prima donna receiver meltdowns, Palmer looking terrible for 3 quarters), to stomp them and it came down to the Harrison hit on Shipley.

Most frustrating to watch good team ever? I'd just love for them to play a solid (no, not perfect) game for 60 minutes.

(Caveat: I am a bad fan. I don't realize that the other team gets paid too. I expect perfection. Bruce Arians is a better OC than I am.)

Oh well, 6-2 is very good.

adamg said...

Breathed a sigh of relief when Pouncey came back in the game. Say what you want about the glamour positions on offense, but this kid is the team's MVP.

Looks like defenses have figured out BR. Rush up the middle, keep contain on the outside and he'll be hard-pressed to find the open receiver, take a sack or throw up an ill-advised pass.

I think BR is the best qb on the roster, but the Steelers played better as a total team without him.

Kugler has done a fantastic job with OL.
Even with all the injuries, the OL has held together and gotten the job done.

Anonymous said...

that last Steelers drive before the missed FG, we should have done a play action pass instead of keep running Mendy when he was gased. Arians is an idiot

Anonymous said...

"They blizted the heck out of Palmer on that last drive".....until they got flagged for PI, then they did the typical "LeBeau Turtle." Rush 3, drop 8.

And it STILL took Harrison, who admitted he was freelancing, knocking a guys block off on 4th down to win it.

I will take an ugly win, but the entire second half the Steelers D looked like they refused to adjust to the Bengals adjusting to them at halftime. Like LeBeau stubbornly said "Nope, sticking my gameplan! Don't care if they're beating it now!"

marc said...

owens first TD catch was a perfect example of #43 not being smart. he was over the top in coverage with taylor on ochocinco out wide and gay on owens in the slot. on the replay you can see #43 break down and out towards ochocinco and gay got abused for an easy TD catch.

first, how in the world does our defense have gay guarding owens? second, #43 has to stop trying to ball hawk everything and trust his teammates. he should have stayed over top of gay and owens forcing palmer to go deep outside to ochocinco or further down the progression.

Anonymous said...

Does the team have some sorta lottery system for a couple of plane seats for beat guys? Dulac had to share a 4 hour car ride with Bouchette. Tantamount to waterboarding. If Dulac had any sources, could easily ply them out of him before they hit the stateline.

Steve-O said...

My observations:

1. When Jeff Reed has short kickoffs he makes most of his FG attempts, when he has long kickoffs he misses more FG attempts.

2. William Gay has no business guarding Terrel Owens. T.O. may be old but he's still a foot taller and light years better than Gay will ever be.

3. Mendenhall has become the complete back the Steelers were hoping for when they drafted him.

4. The O-line played valiantly but we need a serious infusion of talent on the right side.

5. Troy P. might have been knocked on his *ss in that goal line stand but he was giving up about 120 lbs. No shame in that, but a highlight reel nonetheless.

Patrick said...

Apparently after every game it is obligatory to say "it shouldn't of been as close it was"

granted the penalties were awful (I think the Taylor PI was worse than the Hampton call, but both were unfounded), but Cinci had a lot of chances to get back in that game and couldn't execute - missed FG's, dropped passes etc. and the ST's gaffes early.

and Kyle this game is a perfect example of this team being unable to put the nail in the coffin. I don't expect a blowout every week, but when you're up 20, you've got to be able to end the game. Apparently that isn't in the playbook.

Dale Lolley said...

Actually, they were putting the nail in the coffin and Jeff Reed bent the nail on the last hit. He hits that field goal, it's a 10-point spread and the game is over.

And before you blame Arians for the last drive, realize that Tomlin told him to run it the rest of the way after Roethlisberger's goofball throw.
Plus, the way Mendenhall was gouging them on that drive, the run and keeping the clock moving wasn't a bad call.

The Bengals were motioning TO to get him matched on Gay.

adamg said...

When is BR going to be held accountable for his inability to understand what the situation is when the offense gets the ball? There was absolutely no reason for him to chuck that pass up to Miller. It seems like he makes the same poor decisions game after game.

marc said...

i think #7 held himself accountable after the game. he said pointedly he needs to "take better care of the ball."

i'm glad tomlin told arians to run it. i wish he would have said that before their 13 second three and out.

i don't typically listen much to what steve young has to say, but i thought he made a good point after the game. he basically said #7 needs to start making throws within the structure of the play and going thru his progressions. young said there were many open receivers last night but that #7 bailed on the play too soon and that he will become a better QB if he places more trust in the system and his receivers.

interesting point coming from a hall of fame QB.

Patrick said...

it would have been 9, but same difference, two score game

my problem is they complete what is essentially a hail mary (and if we're going to play what if's, then what if that gets picked?which it very well could have) and go up 20. Then let Cinci march right down the field.

Then, like other posters have said, their next possesion was pathetic and ran off no time.

That kind of thing is extremely frustrating to watch again and again. As well as the fact that 3rd and long for this team wholly depends on whether Ben shakes a defender and a receiver breaks off their route and finds an open space.

that goes to Marc's post about Steve Young's comment. I feel like people have been saying that about Ben for quite some time now. I don't know if hes stubborn or if the coaches refuse to reign him in, most likely its him. But it has to change because as he gets older he is going to lose some of that athleticism.

Patrick said...

we should also add this to the list of incredible Tomlin sound bites:

"As I sit here right now," Tomlin said after his team hung on, "I'm not concerned at all because we won."

keep on blowing those leads boys. not a big deal.

Anonymous said...

"Mike, Honey, we're out of paper towels. Could you pick some up on the way home from the stadium?"

"We desire to accept the challenge, dear. Hats off to those guys. Such is life in the National Football League."

Anonymous said...

The "as I sit here right now" part of it is the part of the quote that should be concentrated on. He was happy to escape with the win at that point. He went on to say after they go back and watch the tape, then he/they will be more critical at that time.

I keep coming back and reading these comments on this blog but I do not know why. They are very predictable. I think I check these out just for the comments from Dale when he drops some good info on us, like that Tomlin told Arians to run the ball. Good stuff Dale. Your blog is informative. Very close on the 27-17 prediction this week also.

Dale, do you see Emmanual Sanders role expanding as a WR as the season progresses? Also, despite the longer return in this game, I feel that the new ST coach has done an excellent job. KR for TD early in the season, giving Sanders the chance on kickoffs and now punts is starting to payoff. A blocked punt and improved coverage units. What are your thoughts on Everest?

Anonymous said...

What do you want Tomlin to say? Should he call out the defense / the offense to the media following a win? Should he tremble and whine? about how the team won a road game down 2 starting DLs and 2starting OLs.
Seriously I think so many Tomlin haters have completely lost perspective. They predict the team to lose then complain when they win. They want blow outs every game or Tomlin is a failure. Belicheat is a genius though which of course is why the pats crushed the browns.

kelly said...

If the Bengals were motioning TO to be matched up with Gay, why didn't we do anything to adjust to it? Like have Troy or Clark give him some help? It's a terrible mismatch.

Anonymous said...

Dale - why dont they give Keenan Lewis a shot at nickel? Gay sucks, every team will target him. He sucks

Anonymous said...

Nothing like Steeler fans to not be happy. They could have won 35 - 0 and you'd still have folks complaining.

kelly said...

Also Dale, thanks for the tidbit on Harrison. I appreciate the inside stuff.

adamg said...

marc, I didn't hear BR's post game comments so thanks for the info. I'll reserve judgement until I see him do what he says.

Dale, have the Steelers considered making ARE (or one of the other former college QBs)the back up QB and designating either Batch or Lefty as the 3rd QB? Neither would have to be cut, just made inactive. That would allow them an extra roster spot to dress an 8th OL or another position player. If BR were to be injured and out of the game, the 3rd qb would come in regardless. If BR was out for a play or two, ARE would be fine under center.

ibygeorge said...

NEWS FLASH-Legursky will play the whole o-line against NE.

Vaflyer said...

I have only 1 concern right now...injuries. This team has had them impact the season already on so many levels. Our depth is really going to be a factor as the season rolls along. Any chance we see Dwyer this week getting a helmet with both Moore and Redman having to pass baseline tests. Also, when you can, can you give us an update on where A Smith is in his progress?

Dale Lolley said...

Sanders still has some learning to do as a WR. If you noticed on the second drive, when Roethlisberger missed Ward in the end zone, part of the reason for it was because Sanders had run his man right in beside Ward. They were three yards from each other. But he's getting better.

I think Everest has done an outstanding job. He's also gotten a nice infusion of talent from Will Allen, Jason Worilds and Arnaz Battle.

And I completely agree with the poster who said people are complaining after the victory after taking me to task for predicting a victory. They were predicting a loss and then want to complain after the win.

The bottom line is that this team is 6-2. Were they any worse this weekend than the Patriots, who got smoked by the Browns, the Jets, who had to take out Detroit's kicker to beat the Lions, or Indianapolis?

The way the league is set up now, there are no perfect teams. But the national perception of the Steelers is far different. Do they have flaws? Yes. But so does every other team in the league.

Anonymous said...

The Ravens don't have flaws.

Dale Lolley said...

Their offensive line isn't all that great and the corners are soft. I'm also not a big Flacco guy.

Every team in the league has flaws. If the Ravens didn't have flaws, they would be 8-0 right now, not 6-2.

Anonymous said...

Ravens defense sucks

and Flacco will choke in the playoffs