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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Post Steelers-Seahawks thouts

That was pretty much the way the Steelers were expected to handle a far-inferior Seattle team.

Then again, considering that Baltimore went into Tennessee and lost, 26-13, as James Farrior said after this game, any NFL team is capable of winning a game in a given week.

Fans will still be grumbling that this win over Seattle proves nothing. And, for once, those naysayers are probably right.

The Steelers were the better team. They were at home. They are supposed to win in dominating fashion.

© Isaac Redman's best play in this game wasn't on his 20-yard TD run, though that was a great cut he made to get past the final Seattle defender.

His best play came on a block to free Antonio Brown during his 41-yard punt return at the end of the first quarter.

Redman sealed the edge and allowed Brown to scoot down the sideline.

That block occurred inside the 10. Had Brown been tackled there, everyone would have been screaming at him for returning a punt from inside his own 10.

Instead, he was a hero for giving the Steelers great field position to set up their second score - Redman's touchdown.

© The Steelers gave Redman a series of his own to work with in the first half and the scored on it. Redman had two carries for 23 yards in the drive.

Expect to see more of that moving forward.

© The Steelers also gave Redman a look at the goal line after Rashard Mendenhall was stuffed on three goal line carries in the first half.

Redman also failed to get in, but did pick up the yard that Mendenhall had lost.

The Steelers were only 2 of 4 inside the red zone and need to fix that moving forward.

© Brett Keisel appears to be OK. He'll likely be slowed after leaving the game with a sprained PCL, but it could have been worse.

Same goes for Ben Roethlisberger, who had to leave the game after a late, low hit by Raheem Brock in the second quarter.

Roethlisberger returned to the game and appears to be fine.

We'll see if any fines are forthcoming to Brock, although it appeared he was somewhat - and I'm saying somewhat - blocked into Roethlisberger's knee.

© William Gay started in place of injured Bryant McFadden and made several nice pass breakups. Gay isn't great, but he's not as bad as some would have you believe.

© I watched rookie Marcus Gilbert quite a bit and he held up OK in his first career start. He was particularly effective in the run game.

He's got some tools the Steelers can build on.


Steve-O said...


1. It was a win so I'm not going to complain too much but I am curious as to what you thought about Tomlin's decision to go for it on 4th and goal during the first Steeler drive. At the time I was furious because I thought the smart thing to do was take the points. I realize it was just the Seahawks but I still thought it was a bad decision.

2. I agree with you on Marcus Gilbert, what are your thoughts on Ramon Foster at LG?

adamg said...

Was at the game and thought the OL was just not getting a real good push off in the run game. Also watched Gilbert and thought he did fine. The DE got around him a couple times, but he was able to re-direct the DE behind BR and give him a chance to at least step up. By the end of the season, he'll be that much better and comfortable.

Antonio Brown is the most exciting KR/PR the Steelers have had in awhile.

adamg said...

Foster was ok. He might be a better option at RG that Legursky, but he's no threat to Kemo at LG.

Steve-O said...

Thanks adamg, I had to watch the game online, it was choppy and hard to pick up on the nuances on the O-line.

Dale Lolley said...

It was fourth and inches, Steve. I had no problem with it. Though I would have run a QB sneak with my 240-pound QB behind my Pro Bowl center.

Foster, to me, is a backup, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Go Redzone!! The more we use him the better.

Gay didn't get exposed in this game because of Tavarius Jackson. But he played his typical 10 yards off of the wide receiver. He allowed his guys to make plays they shouldn't have made. If you put Donovan Warren in the same position, I think he stops those catches. I can't believe we didn't even put Warren on the practice squad after an excellent preseason. Hopefully we can get him back from Detroit next year. I think he will be the next Isaac Redman/James Harrison (undrafted rookie that makes good).
The Seahawks are losers because they didn't go after Gay enough. Tom Brady won't make that same mistake. Hopefully McFadden will be healthy by then. The fact that we still have to use Gay speaks to the fact that Keenan Lewis has not developed enough and likely won't. Hopefully we will catch on one of the young guys who can finally give Gay his walking papers. I never have liked him since he wore his Louisville Red at the Steelers Super Bowl parade. He was the only player not dressed in Black and Gold.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

Anonymous said...

Dale, why did they start Gay over Lewis? I thought Tomlin had said, in camp, that Lewis would start.

Thanks for the blog!

Anonymous said...

Gay started, but moved to the slot in 3 receiver sets, which happen a lot, and Lewis was the outside corner

He didn't really have much of a challenge against Tarvaris Jackson though. Ben Obomanu and Doug Baldwin are nothing to be scared of either. Both he and Gay had nice games

if McFadden misses next week they should have a better challenge against the colts' receivers. Manning or not

Patrick said...

Dale, I think I asked this in prior seasons, but I forget your answer. Do the Steelers have a replay guy in a booth upstairs who gives his opinion on whether to challenge or not? Because I don't know what Tomlin is basing his challenges on. The one today had no effect whatsoever but still, that play wasn't even close. Whats the process they use? Or does Tomlin just go with his gut sometime?

Dale Lolley said...

Gay was playing off 10 yards because that's what the defense calls for. Has for years and years. Nothing new there.

Lewis saw plenty of action in the nickel. Honestly, it doesn't matter who "starts," there is so much nickel now, that both see plenty of action.

The coaches in the booth watch the replays. But a lot of it is gut feeling, particularly on the road, when you may not get a good view. On this one, what did it hurt to challenge it. It was a scoring play, you want to make sure they got it right.

Anonymous said...

Dale-- Is Aaron Smith in a similar position to Harrison, i.e., trying to get his strength back as the season goes on? He doesn't look like much so far in 2011. If not, why isn't Hood starting over him, or at least getting more snaps (if they want to stay sentimental about it)? This is a first-round pick in his third season. I know they love their vets but I'm afraid this is becoming a Haggans-over-Woodley situation.

joe said...

redman did a great job to not block in the back on that play, not a word from the talking heads though.

with leftwich finished, seeing the replay of ben's knee getting bent,how many thought, there goes the season?

the d pitched a shutout vs a bad team, good job.

the offense needs to score more touchdowns. still. where is the play action, rollouts ??
gilbert looked like a rookie and that's ok because overall a positive day for him

redman deserved more touches last season, coaches wouldn't trust him. same with brown on returns, coaches trotted out moore. young d-linemen need to be trusted with more and more snaps this year

Anonymous said...

joe, even with leftwich on the team if Ben is gone for the season the season's done

unless it's an injury that does not sideline him all year

Vaflyer said...

I don't know that losing Ben would mean a horrible season. It would mean a change in the way things are done. Dixon nor Batch have the ability to win offensive shootouts, but this D is still good enough to beat most of the teams on our schedule.

Indy - win
Houston - loss
Tenn - win
Jack - win
Ariz - win
NE - loss...bad loss
Balt - loss
Cinn - win
KC - win
Cinn - win
Clev - win
San Fran - win
St. Lo - win
Clev - win

Now the playoffs...don't expect much, but while this team could potentially lose more of the games above, it isn't like ANY of those teams have firepower on offense. We may have to win 12-9 or 14-10, but most of those teams we would still have a chance to beat.

Anonymous said...

Oh don't get me wrong, the team can win games, but like your second paragraph said, they would do nthing in the playoffs

that's why I say the season's done without ben

Patrick said...

i still dont trust Redman

he hasnt proved anything to me yet except that one preseason game

Anonymous said...

Some people get a rise out of being the object of others scorn. I actually quite appreciate the function you serve on this message board and am glad to have you around with all your non stop Redman bashing. You are endlessly entertaining with all the squabbles you get into because of your adversarial comments. Keep up the good work!
PS. Redzone is the best running back of all time!
Mrs Issac Redman

Dale Lolley said...

I will guarantee you right now that they don't lose the rematch with the Ravens Vaflyer.

Houston will be tough down there. NE will be tough at home as well. But they won't lose to the Ravens again at home.

As for Aaron Smith, I thought he was pretty active yesterday.

joe said...

dale, do you know who decides who starts ? or how many plays second stringers get ?
sometimes the flow of the game decides it, but i am hoping to see more of hood, heyward and mclendon(sp) just wondering if dl or mt makes that decision.

i see dl getting a lot of heat for not playing the young guys more, but i was thinking that is on tomlin ??

Dale Lolley said...

Tomlin's the head coach. He makes playing time decisions.

Dale Lolley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
datruth4life said...

Dale, has McClendon surpassed Chris Hoke on the depth chart? McClendon is giving them something that they haven't had in a few years, a NT that can also pass rush. I think the Steelers redzone offense will improve the more that they get rookie TE Wesley Saunders and Heath Miller in two and three tight end sets. No way a D can cover both Heath and Saunders in the red zone. Too big, too talented and two great sets of hands. thoughts?

Dale Lolley said...

Officially, McLendon has not passed Hoke. But, as you know, he was pushing him hard for a roster spot. The torch is being passed. I don't know that he has the stoutness in the run game that Hoke does, but as a situational pass rusher, he can get after it.

Saunders has a way to go.

Henry said...

I don't see how anyone would start Legursky over Foster at RG after Foster's performance Sunday. Seeing as we're such a heavy handed right running team, we need his bulk at RG.

Legursky just isn't big enough for what we're trying to accomplish with that position. Keep Legursky as the swing inside man and Essex as the swing tackle.

Kemo will be back soon and Foster should get his job back at RG when that happens.

Anonymous said...

Legursky's name is Legursky. It rhymes with Bronco Nagurski. You can also call him The Big Legursky or Legs. He reads defenses better than Peyton Manning. Just watching him for one play is like three viewings of Rocky or Rudy in a row.

(He did do an excellent job in the Super Bowl and is a good backup.)

Kevin said...

i think we should trade Negursky and Ike Redman for Randy Moss.

Patrick said...

the force is strong with redman.

Tim said...

Not trying to knock McLendon. I like him as the #3 nose tackle. But for what it's worth, nobody even tried to block him on the play where he got a sack. It was a result of the blitz and OL confusion.

He made a nice play and everything, but saying he should surpass Hoke because of his pass rush skills seems premature. It reminds me of when everyone got excited for Ziggy's first preseason sack back in '09, for which the OL gave him a free ticket to sack their quarterback. Then again, Ziggy was partly here because of pass rush skills he had shown in college and camp. I didn't think McLendon was known for that, but maybe I'm wrong. I haven't noticed his pass rush in other games.

I think Steve's made the most of the time he's been given. I thought he played well last year when Casey was out. But still. How many NFL plays has this guy logged? A dozen or two? Hoke is proven and still getting it done, and this guy needs to prove he can stuff the run that well before I put him above Hoke.