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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's up

I saw a Steelers locker room today that wasn't overly concerned about its loss last Sunday at Baltimore.

Before you fly off the handle about that, realize that this is professional football. These guys can't dwell too long on what happened last week - at least not if they hope to take care of the next task.

Are the Steelers more focused this week following their 35-7 whipping?


But they're not going to allow it to consume them. That's one of the signs of a solid locker room.

© Six of the last seven times the Steelers have lost their season opener, they've rebounded to make the playoffs.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Included in those losses are some pretty bad ones - 30-14 at New England in 2002, 21-3 at Jacksonville in 2001, 16-0 against Baltimore in 2000, 37-7 to Dallas in 1997, 24-9 at Jacksonville in 1996 and 26-9 against Dallas in 1994.

You get the idea.

When the Steelers lay an egg in the opener, it's usually a pretty big one.

© Why in the world would the NFL put Bill Levy on Sunday's Steelers-Seahawks game?

Given the PR saavy the NFL usually shows, putting Levy on Sunday's game makes absolutely no sense.

Somebody in the league office got caught sleeping at the wheel on this one.


adamg said...

That game was 6 years ago. Get over it.

marc said...

agreed, it's stupid that it is even a story.

i find the chop blocking issue quite ironic. apparently, hitting someone in the head while they are "defenseless" is illegal and warrants a fine and is considered dirty.

however, hitting someone in the knees while defenseless is illegal and is considered dirty does not warrant a fine.

just another example of goodell's subjective process and lack of understanding regarding football.

i don't ever wish injury on any player, BUT, i hope the steeler's break both of yanda's legs next time they play. just saying.

adamg said...

I expect Matt Birk to end up in Flacco's or Rice's lap a few times next game. Big Snack is not the kind of bear one wants to provoke.

Cut blocking is one thing, but chop blocking is really dirty and dangerous, not to mention illegal.

Patrick said...

Agreed with every comment. I don't think I've ever looked forward to a game as much as the rematch with the Ravens.

I think it was Bouchette (but I'm not positive cause the site I saw about the chop blocking was littered with all kinds of comments) made a good point - its up to the coaching stuff to recognize this kind of stuff during a game and bring it Tomlin's attention so he can inform the refs. Dale, did anything like this happen and what do you think the fallout of this is, if any? Normally I wouldn't care and would expect nothing (and I really doubt the Ravens would have lost without doing it given the 7 turnovers) but the film doesn't lie and it shows consistently illegal blocks.

Patrick said...

Can't wait to write "They are who we thought they are" after the Ravens fall down against the Titans.

By the way, fake Patrick, turns out there was a change on the o-line, wasn't there?

adamg said...

Well, as posters on other boards have pointed out, two can play the chop block game. I wonder how Balt will feel if Ngata and Suggs get a taste of it?
I'm sure the offense has plays that can set both of them up.

Anonymous said...

If this is professional football and they are professionals acting professionally, then there should be no difference in focus level from one week to the next regardless of outcome or circumstance. Saying they're more focused this week suggests they weren't as focused last week. Meaning, executing their jobs as less than professionally. If we need to be reminded that they are professionals, it's only because last week makes that distinction utterly forgettable. This is a recycled story. Same one as before Tomlin unleashed hell. I'm not saying they'll blaze that same path this year. Just echoing what Tomlin himself said. What they put on the field last week, they gotta wear it. This is part of wearing it.

Vaflyer said...

Professionals should have the same focus week to week. What a bunch of crap. I am sorry, I just had to say it. NO employee...again NO employee in any company is ever the same every day. Things happen in life. Anon, you think you have an equal performance day to day. Guess don't. We lose focus. We need time for our brains to recover. Sometimes its just fatigue. Other times you just let your mind wander due to a bill or trouble at home with the kids. It happens to athletes as well.

Patrick said...

agree with VaFlyer but at the same time, Anonymous has a point in that this is the second time Tomlin has said something stupid and its come back to bite him. Unleash hell was the classic and now he says keep calling us old and they go out and look completely old in an ass kicking.

If you are going to act like a tough guy coach and your keep can't back it up, you start to lose credibility

Anonymous said...

Aaron Smith's corpse always is focused on playing well

Anonymous said...

Vaflyer, please. The entire 53, save less than a handful of players just weren't quite fully focused that game? Collectively? On opening day? Against their biggest division rival? Sure, occasionally professionals lose focus for a moment or an entire day, or even longer. I really don't give a squat if it happens to everyone on however often an occasion. At those times, they are putting forth an effort that's less than professional. You missed the point. I'm saying why should I put weight into them being focused this week simply because they are professionals? I know they resembled amateurs, but were they not professionals last week? You know, when they weren't exactly focused. 'They're professionals'. It's a useless throwaway line. They were professionals in the midst of that 5 game skid to the dregs of the league back in 09, too. We heard all the same drivel then, too. Capped by unretrained hell. Save it. Just do it. That effort last week was an embarrassment. For whatever reason they showed up with an effort far short of expectations. Win or lose, I think everyone on earth expected them to be competitive. The weren't. Even close. Maybe what we saw Sunday is really them. If they truly are as bad as what we saw last Sunday, then I will owe them an apology. If they are better than that, then they didn't put forth a professional effort last week. And there's no reason to put stock in the fact that they're professionals when they were less than that just last week.

marc said...

anon's last post made a very good point.

opening day against your toughest division rival. how could you not be focused and amped for that game?

with seattle's horrible record on the east coast, are they expecting to just show up and roll over them? will the steeler's come out flat, again?

you can blame the coaches for not preparing the team...i fully believe they deserve their fair share of criticism. but as a player, do you need your coaches to get you all jacked up to play the ravens, or should you be able to do that yourself?

Dale Lolley said...

The chop-block issue is a non-starter. According to the letter of the law, they weren't illegal chop blocks. And it serves no purpose to harp on it, which is why I chose not to write about it.

The Ravens employed some different schemes than they normally had against the Steelers. We didn't get to see how/if the Steelers adjusted to them defensively because the offense kept turning the ball over.

marc said...

i'm confused by your post. why were those chop blocks not illegal?

also, our defense was on the field quite often. are saying that is why they couldn't make any adjustments?

adamg said...

I think the Steeler defense is perfectly capable of adjusting to and handling a Denver-type zone, cut/chop blocking OL when they know it's coming. IMHO, Balt had never used this scheme before and didn't show it in preseason. The Steelers got caught off-guard this time; they won't be next time.

I guess technically what Balt did was legal, but it certainly is dangerous to the career of any DL. AFAIK, you cannot hit ANY player from behind in any context other than this. Frankly, if the NFL is worried about player safety, an offensive player hitting what is essentially a defenseless defender (engaged by another offensive player) from behind should be a black and white rule as illegal.

As for being professional, all teams sometimes come out flat for games for reasons no one really knows or understands. It happens.

Dale Lolley said...

The player who chops can't be coming from two positions away.

So if a guard chops a defensive tackle while engaged with the center, by rule, it's OK - though a questionable tactic. If the tackle is the chopper, it's illegal. Don't ask me what the difference is, but that is how the rule is written.

As for adjustments, you can adjust on the fly while the game is going on. That happens all the time. But in the heat of the moment, it's sometimes difficult to get the message across correctly to an entire unit.

Major adjustments – ie. shifts in scheme, etc. – are usually saved for halftime, when the coaches can show the players on the board exactly what they want.

marc said...

thanks dale. i had never heard that before regarding the chop blocking rule.

Dale Lolley said...

I hadn't either until this week.

Patrick said...

no one has because thats not how the rule has been applied.

Everyone has seen a game where a chop block was called on an O-lineman who was lined up next to his teamate enagaging the defender.

The rule makes no sense and until Florio posted some stuff that dug deep into the language, almost the entire football world thought a low block by an o-lineman on a D player who was enagged was illegal, regardless of where the cutting lineman was originally lined up.

Like I said before, the Steelers lose the game no matter, but Baltimore won't be able to do it again with the same success.

adamg said...

If nothing eles, review of that rule should now be on the agenda of the NFL competition committee (or whichever one controls rule revisions).