Sunday, October 02, 2011

Post-Houston thoughts

The Steelers made enough mistakes in this game to last them a season, but were somehow in it to the end.

The mistakes, though, were made by many of the players the Steelers consider their future, which is somewhat disconcerting.

You had Ben Roethlisberger refusing to take checkdowns that were available, instead holding onto the ball far longer than he should and taking some ridiculous hits. I know, it's an age-old issue for Roethlisberger, but you're supposed to get wiser as you get older.

You had Mike Wallace taking a silly taunting penalty after a great 22-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter that would have put the ball inside Houston territory. Instead, the Steelers were forced to punt later from their own 48 instead of possibly being in field goal range. Wallace has to be better than that.

You had LaMarr Woodley constantly getting too far upfield on runs away from him, allowing Arian Foster lanes to cut back to his side.

"I have to be better on that," Woodley said. "I have to play the cutback and the boot instead of just playing the boot."

Ya think?

You had Antonio Brown making some great adjustments on back-shoulder throws. But then fair-catching a punt at his own 5 and being seemingly oblivious to what he was supposed to do on hot routes on a number of occasions.

You had Maurkice Pouncey taking a stupid unnecessary roughness penalty after a nice run by Mewelde Moore to the Houston 6 at the end of the first half. That pushed the Steelers back to the 21 and set up what would be a blocked field goal to end the first half.

You've got to be better than that if you hope to win on the road against quality opponents.

© Is the season over? Certainly not.

Few expected the Steelers to win in Houston. It was disconcerting to see how they lost, with Houston running the ball at will in the first half.

The Steelers did tighten up in the second half - save the 42-yard TD run by Foster - but, again, you have to be better than that to win on the road against a quality opponent.

© Roethlisberger was in a walking boot and on crutches after the game after suffering a sprained foot.

I'd be surprised if he doesn't push to play next week, however, with the season on the line against a surprisingly good Tennessee team.

The Titans have already beaten Baltimore and Cleveland, so if the Steelers can find a way to beat Tennessee, it's like making up a game on the competition.

© Mike Wallace had four catches for 77 yards in the first half, then wasn't targeted again in the second half.

There were some opportunities for Wallace without safety coverage over the top in this game, but the Texans gambled that their blitz could force Roethlisberger to throw before Wallace had a chance to get deep.

It worked, save a 40-yard catch by Wallace in the second quarter.

Most of the time, however, Wallace was bracketed, something the Steelers had better get used to.

© If I'm Mike Tomlin, I go for it on 4th and inches from the 8 down 10-7 on the opening play of the fourth quarter.

The Steelers had just run seven times for 55 yards and had the Texans on their heels.

Instead, Tomlin kicked a field goal and took the 10-10 tie.

61 comments:

Steve-O said...

Dale,

Is it me or does Woodley look slow... and fat? On Foster's big run it looked like a weak arm tackle and on several other runs he looked like he was wearing sandbags for shoes. Now that he's got his money he doesn't seem to have 'it".

Dale Lolley said...

No, he's not slow and fat. He's the same size he's always been. Woodley is a streaky player, always has been.

Steve-O said...

I'm going to have to adjust my TV from "wide" to "normal" cause he sure looked that way today (kidding). But in all seriousness, it sure looked like we had trouble containing the RB's when they bounced it to the outside.

Patrick said...

I missed a lot of the game because the TV map I normally use pulled the bait and switch on me and I wasn't going to a bar today for the game.

So I'm going to focus on the play calling here that I followed online. I cannot for the life of me understand why after basically running the ball down their throats they came back on the field after HOU's TD and threw the ball consistently to end up with 3rd and 26. You know Ben is running for his life every time he drops back. You know your oline can't pass block and you're only down by 7. Why put yourself in that situation?

I don't like Tomlin, I don't like the nonsense that comes out of his mouth, and I don't think he controls his staff. But you can't argue with the success hes had. Still, how does common sense escape him to the point that the same weaknesses and problems that this team has had for years have now grown to the point that its practically the team's identity? Its sloppy playground ball that isn't going to be bailed out forever by an aging defense anymore.

The bright side is they are 2-2 with losses to two likely playoff teams. Its not like at the beginning of the season if someone told us they would be 2-2 at this point with these losses we would be shocked.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

Dale what are your thoughts on Aaron Smith? He is being pushed around on almost every run play. Do you think they'll keep starting him or, align Kiesel and Hood, once Kiesel heals?

Tim said...

Dale,

You didn't see the Pouncey personal foul.

joe said...

flo and starks gone. pretty much everyone else is the same. the oline needs one of them back. if starks will come back, tomlin needs to get over himself and get him back.
lotta people made mistakes again this week. no help for the oline and those mistakes keep continuing, the season will be a looong one.

marc said...

#7 checkdown?...if anyone expects him to checkdown by now, you're crazy. it's the main reason why he's not elite.

keep giving redman more carries, he's earning them. mendy is playing himself out of the lineup.

two playoff caliber opponents, two 100 hundred yard rushers. get used to it. besides taylor, the steeler's CB's are so bad they have to over-commit to defending the pass. that would work, except the d-line is on the decline right now and can't win the battle consistently.

the titan's will feast on this offense next week. i say leave it up in the air as to who the QB will be then start dixon and run a bunch of rollouts and designed QB runs. mix it up a ton and see what happens. not much else is working right now.

some define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a differenct result.

Anonymous said...

Tomlin needs to get over himself?? Really??

Tomlin does not decide who's a cap casualty and who isn't. As it stands the steelers are, as far as I can remember, 2 million in cap room

Simply not enough to sign either starks nor flozell

Should they have cut some veteran in TC, that's another thing, but tomlin didn't have control over that one either

adamg said...

3 tough road games to open the season, so I'll take 2-2.

Dale, what was your take on Daniels(?) catch on 3rd and 10 that kept the winning TD drive alive? It looked close, but CBS was slow with the replays. Did anyone ask Tomlin about that, understanding they had only 1 TOL at that point?

As for Ben, he is what he is, a playground qb.
I'd like to blame BA, because I think he enables BR, but BR just consistently seems to do what he wants to with no consequences except being hit a lot. I expect BR to want to play this Sunday, but imho, the offense is better off without him.

adamg said...

Dale, one other question. At the Seattle game, I had my glasses on the Steeler bench and thought I saw Colon, but the player I thought was him had no outward signs of any arm surgery like a wrap or sling. Same thing with a picture of him at the Lupus event the other day. Is he healed already or just never hurt that badly in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Tomlin made the right call to tie up the game. There was absolutely no reason to go for it in that situation, no intelligent coach in the NFL would have gone for it.

Anonymous said...

There's really not alot to say. I really think that the first drive of the game is the end of the great 2000s Steelers defense. Warren Sapp is right. Of course if the youngsters could take a step forward things could be alot better. I mean, Harrison's no longer dominant because of the back, how about Woodley & Timmons justify their contracts? I do think Woodley looks heavier than he has. Where are the big plays, the hits, tipped passes, anything from these two?

Just think how terrible the defense has been. Throw out the game against Tavaris Jackson. The two good teams they played, the Ravens and Texans, destroyed them. Completely physically dominated them (this was not just because of scary mean cut blocking by those bullies on the other team). In the Texans game, after getting shoved around for a half, they finally made some stops in the second half (Texans' best player not playing by then), and then give up an absurdly EASY game-losing three-minute touchdown drive. Heck, even the Colts game, after scoring a touchdown they gave up a game-tying touchdown to CURTIS PAINTER.

They have forced one turnover. They get zero pressure on the opposing QB.

That one pass breakup from Keenan Lewis means Bryant McFadden can go away as far as I am concerned. He is completely incapable of that even when healthy.

Yeah, the offensive line is terrible too.

The Ben / Bruce offense will always be sloppy, inconsistent, and reliant on broken plays to put points up. (Yeah, I know, they went to two Super Bowls that way.) Which is why they need a dominant defense to help them along. Which is scary that it's no longer around.

Also, the team looks like they are completely devoid of emotion for the most part. On TV anyway, they do look tired, old, and slow.

Tomlin made some comments after the game about returning to fundamentals. I wish Ben (if he's healthy enough) and Bruce would head in that direction instead of having an offense based around Ben attempting to do something heroic every other play. (Which must be what you're expecting if your BEST O-line includes J. Scott & Legursky.)

Mark said...

As much as I don't like him, Belichick has gone for 4th and short many times, and many people consider him an intelligent coach. It is the right play. Ben behind Pouncey is higher percentage than Suisham, who missed one last week. Kicking the field goal is the safe (from criticism) play, because conventional wisdom says take the points, regardless of the distance or the game situation.

adamg said...

At that point the game was 10-10. The offense had been moving the ball, scoring on both 2nd half possessions. It was unfortunate that 2 TOs had already been used or one could have been taken for the coaches in the booth to get a good look at the Daniels catch that kept the subsequent Houston drive alive. I noticed Houston hurry up to run a play which suggests they knew it wasn't a catch. That was one turning point.

The other came after Brown returned a kick to Houston's 48 with 3:30 left in the game. There was plenty of time for a game tying drive mixing run and pass plays, but instead we got 3 straight pass attempts and a 3 and out.

superfan99 said...

I still have confidence that the defense will rebound. The offensive line is what it is.

The big question for me is, why isn't Arians calling more designed plays for Wallace? Bubble screens, end arounds, slants, etc. Get the ball into his hands quickly, he's the most explosive player on the field. He wasn't targeted at all in the second half.

Vaflyer said...

Just a couple of comments on the game and our future.

1. QB and the offense - We must put a couple of plays in the mix. How about a shovel pass, a draw, something just to slow the pass rush down. Our lack of commitment to the run is going to get Ben killed.

2. RB - Mendenhall looks very, very tentative. It is like he doesn't trust himself right now.

3. WR/TE - Brown is still going to make mistakes, I expect them. Saunders, where is he? Do we actually have a plan on how to use Miller as a weapon, or do we just happen to call a play that uses him every once in a while?

4. OL - Gilbert is a rookie who looks better than the vet at the other end. Honestly, I don't think the middle is the issue, its the tackles. The way to beat this OL right now is to line up 2 good DEs with rushing ability and then overload and blitz up the middle. It could be a sack every play as the OTs can't stop the ends, so you get pressure from everywhere.

5. DL - I have less of an issue than most on here. They are to occupy people on run plays, not make plays. Unfortunately at the moment, the LBs aren't making plays.

6. LB - Timmons and Woodley need to raise their level of play. Farrior looks very very old and slow. Foote just looks bad. We need to give Sylvester some more touches.

7. CB - Not sure how you fault them this game. Lewis I think looked good, and they only had 1 completion to a WR all day, the play Johnson got hurt on. The catches were to guys the LBs were supposed to have.

8. S - I think they struggled with their tackling, but otherwise, I thought they looked okay.

I will have more in a minute, although some won't like what I say.

Anonymous said...

Yes Woodley has been bad but Farrior and Foote have been 10 times worse. They are huge liabilities on the field

superfan99 said...

I agree with VaFlyer, although there were a couple cutback runs in this game where the D-Line was completely overpowered. (Part of that could be the fact that Ziggy Hood is playing out of position. The other thing is Woodley needs to be more disciplined. Don't worry about containing Matt Schaub on a bootleg, just stop Foster).

William Gay and Keenan Lewis played well in this game. Ike Taylor's earning his money.

Anonymous said...

Mark said...
As much as I don't like him, Belichick has gone for 4th and short many times,
..................................

When Belichick typically goes for it instead of kicking the FG he is much further out, making it a decision between a doubtful FG and a 50/50 running play. Even then I don't necessarily agree with the call.

Going for it in that situation smacks of desperation. It tied the game, which is nothing short of miraculous given the first 2 quarters of the game. Had the Steelers just steadied the boat and continued to play sound football in the 4th they would have pulled it out. Instead they went back to Big Ben taking 8 yard sacks trying to win the game by himself. More than anything this team needs discipline, not the emotional stupidity that they have been displaying for 4 games.

Vaflyer said...

Okay, I promised more. We ran 25 plays out of the shotgun formation. 25! Out of that we ran the ball twice. How come our Oline can't hold up? Cause everyone knows that once we go to shotgun, we are passing and trying to pass down the field.

BA can't leave fast enough for me.

marc said...

i felt arians' play calling had improved last season. however, it seems he is getting back into his groove of just randomly calling plays without much of a plan.

i swear, it seems like he gets worried #7 might yell at him if he doesn't give the QB a chance to win the game on his own.

please may this be arians last year with the steelers. i don't want the guy to be without work, just work for another team.

Anonymous said...

Dale -- Redman had four plays in the second half yesterday that were far superior in total to anything Mendenhall has done all season. Behind the same offensive line. Why does he not get more playing time? (I know Mendy's got a hamstring, so maybe Redman will this week; but he's earned it regardless of bin Laden's health status.)

adamg said...

The defense is fixable. The biggest problem is the LBs are abadoning their assignments and running around trying to make plays instead of letting the play come to them. Foster's 42 yd run is a good example. The defense is built on every player doing their own job, when they are undisciplined, the D breaks down. The defense looked a lot better in the 2nd half except for that one long run.

I don't know what they can do with the offense given the OC's and QB's disdain for establishing a running game and a short/quick passing game.

Anonymous said...

Ward said on the post game Hous was keying off him on running plays. The coaches saw it and adjusted to have the plays run counter to Ward's motion. Mendenhall probably would have gained yards, too, but he was out with a hamstring injury.

Pistol said...

Im not as down as some on the Defense. I do see where Farrior who has been an amazing Steeler really is just to slow to play that position.

Secondly, i think with arguably the worst offensive line in the NFL your playbook shrinks a ton!! Not defending Arians but he always seems to be the scapegoat no matter what.

Agree would love to see more quick stuff to any of the 3 youngsters they all have jets to make huge plays out of nothing.

Patrick said...

Hey, they lost, are 2-2, and are not on a good path. On the other hand, they are one game out of first in the division, can catch up to the leader with a win at home against Baltimore, and have an easier schedule the next few weeks. I wouldn't call it a pushover schedule, but it is doable for this team in its current state of disarray.

Too much is being laid at the defense's feet. The Steelers' D allowed 17 points, which is exactly what it is designed to do. You can nitpick individual mistakes, helpful penalties or whatever, all of which happen in every NFL game. Overall the aged defense did its job as it is designed to do it. I concede that there were a lot of rushing yards, which is not within the goals of this D. However, the point total is what governs wins and losses.

As Dale said, Woodley is streaky. The problem is that Harrison is not at 100% on the other side with the recovery from the back still ongoing and the eye issue he had in the game. Dale, any word on his eye? Usually, Harrison, like Polamalu, gives us those splash plays that change the course of the game. We just aren't seeing those from those two. Maybe they are getting old.

The offense sucks. Without an offensive line, nothing good is going to happen. I liked the series where Redman and then Moore run up the middle and got into the redzone. I would have put Redman back in for Moore to keep pushing the pile. Dale, why didn't that happen?

joe said...

dale, any word on when keisel will be back ?

sad to see smith dropping off as much as he has, but he had a heck of a run. 13 years of "above the line" play.

tomlin hasn't liked starks since he got here, they should have tried to re-do his contract. it's time for tomlin to step up and make some changes next week.

sounds like another broken bone in his foot for ben. lefty on ir is a real bummer. doubt batch lasts until halftime if he has to start next week

marc said...

the titans d-line dominated the browns o-line on sunday. i would have to say the browns o-line is probably more talented than the steeler's o-line. this will not be a good matchup for the steelers.

they cannot expect any of their QB's to take 5-7 step drops against the titans. they will need quick hitters, designed rollouts and draw plays. the titan's CB's aren't that great, the QB just needs some time.

if they sit back in that shotgun all game long then forget it - chalk up the L now.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is any "probably" about it, the Cleveland offensive line is light years in superiority to Pittsburgh's.

marc said...

i didn't know how to envoke the sarcasm in the "probably" statement.

Anonymous said...

why is eveyone whining about Aaron Smith? He actually played well. James Farrior is the one who has dropped off a cliff and sucks now

adamg said...

Tunch and Wolf and Hartwig have been discussing the line play today. They had Chris Hoke on and he said because of the 2 gap defense they play, if the OL can wipe out one guy, the running gaps are opened. From what I gather, offenses have decided to target Casey Hampton with stretch plays and then chop him when he moves. If the refs aren't going to call it, then the Big Snack is going to have to take matters into his own hands.

Vaflyer said...

Of all the positions on Defense that I am worried about...LB is the biggest. Timmons and Woodley haven't been good yet. Harrison has been okay and is coming around. Farrior and Foote have been horrible.

Stat wise, it is the lack of turnovers. We aren't getting to the QB and therefore aren't forcing mistakes. It isn't good.

The Offensive line is a mess. Move Gilbert to LT, Kemo to RG, Foster to LG or maybe try Essex or C. Scott there, sign someone new for RT. Put Scott at RT when he returns.

marc said...

adamg,
dale explained the rule that the chop block is not illegal if coming from the next position down the o-line. if it is coming from 2 positions down or more, then it is illegal. the debate revolves around whether it is a dirty play or not, which i think most agree that it is.

i am sure this is not the first time they have had to try and deal with that type of blocking.

marc said...

also, i was rewatching some of the running plays. ziggy is getting manhandled. farrior looks like he is shooting gaps with a blindfold on. woodley is an easy kickout block for the offense. timmons can't shed an o-linemen to save his life.

sigh, this is what fans of average teams have to deal with every year. i must remind myself how good these guys have been recently.

GMoney said...

Please don’t doubt my Black and Goldness, here are some of my random thoughts. 2-2 start not too bad and not ready to shut it down yet, but our performances haven’t shown me much to think there is much more in the tank. Every good team, good company, etc. goes through a retooling period – I’m thinking this year might be our retooling period for the following reasons. Yes it.s only been 4 games, but I didn’t see the championship caliber team we are accustomed too.

- Lack of OTAs and additional practices is showing – there is a lack of cohesion and discipline. This is evident in Woodley and Pouncey. These are still very young guys that are continuing to learn.

- OLine is terrible and it’s not going to get much better. I have no blame for #34 – as soon as he touches the ball there is someone in his face. We’ve had questionable OLines in the past, but we’ve had stifling defenses to make up for our OLine deficiencies (see next bullet). Honestly, do we really think this can get better? How was this not noticeable in practice OR, did we not notice it because it practiced against OUR DLine which we see is below average. If Ben can’t stand upright, what do you think about CBatch is gonna do? DDixon get your helmet ready….to run for your life!

- DLine play is getting pushed all over the place – this is then affecting our LBs. Our defense is based on DLine causing disruption and LBs making tackles. Our DLine is getting pushed backwards thus impacting the LB play. Our QB pressure comes from the LBs – they are being asked to drop back into coverage. Yes Woodley’s play is lagging (he is streaky), but I have seen him drop back in coverage too many times. Farrior looks slow, ASmith looks slow – it’s time for Sly and Cam to get in there. This has to be our lowest sack total through 4 games ever.

- Our DBs haven’t even been tested because teams are running all over us.

- #43 is flying around the field and being asked to make too many plays. He is being asked to make up for so many deficiencies. Yes he is gonna gamble and most of the times Troy is right, but there are times we will get burned for big plays. Timmons also is being asked to do a lot because our DLine is lagging – he is out of position, but it’s not his fault.

- Big Tomlin fan, but needs to take fault for lack of discipline. These “thug” taunting penalties are unacceptable and not Steeler way. Can Mr. Rooney fly in from Ireland and show this team tapes of Swann and Stallworth – yes they celebrated, but didn’t point or jab after every catch or first down. Mean Joe never jumped up and down. Just ban all of this – it’s not needed! These young receivers (and yes Wallace’s penalty was lame) have propensity for this cocky crap – just stop it! Go watch tapes of Jerry Rice if you want to learn something. And this same crap goes for Ike, Kemo (the pile jumper-onner), Pouncey

- Have seen enough of Cotchery in preseason to think he can be the likely possession WR to replace Hines.

Anonymous said...

Dale, do you think we are going to see Ben play on Sunday?

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time believing that Big Snack getting chop blocked is the cause of all the issues with stopping the run. If you chop block him isn't he taking out 2 defenders out of the play? I would think this would be a good thing. Yeah, he can't move down the line that way on stretch plays, but how fast could he move anyways?

Seems like a very lame excuse for what is happening.

Dale Lolley said...

Doesn't matter if I saw the personal foul or not - and I did and didn't think it rose to that level. The fact was, the officials thought it was questionable. And it served no purpose at that point.

I believe Ben will play this week. His foot is sprained, not broken.

I think Mendenhall would have gained many of the yards that Redman did as well, but Redman is breaking more tackles than Mendenhall. He is a stronger runner, but doesn't have the big-play speed of Mendenhall.

adamg said...

marc, zone/chop/cut blocking is not new, but both Tunch and Wolf said they've never seen so much of it against Hampton. Fortunately, there are techniques that can counter it. I'm sure Coach Mitchell will be working hard with his linemen to ensure they know how to counter it.

I interperted what Hoke said as sort of like being in a 10 car pile up once one lineman gets chopped and knocked off his feet.

I usually put the glasses on Hampton when I'm at games and he's still got a lot of quickness in all directions. Offenses are working so hard to get him off his feet because he continues to be a force inside.

bruinmann77 said...

I thought AS played his best game last night and Troy was unreal yesterday. Hopefully Lewis can step it up and play starting CB. The biggest issue is still the OL especially the OT play of Scott and Essex.I would love to see Gilbert finally moving to LT and find a RT. I am shocked that the running Game looked better with Redman and Moore than with Mendy.
Dale my question is if Moore and Mendy can't go who will the add and if Smith and Kissel can't go who do they bring up.
I like Brown play but he really need to learn the hot reads.

Anonymous said...

bruinman - if moore/mendy cant go, they still have Redman and Dwyer

if Smith and Keisel cant go, they still have Hood, Heyword and McClendon

they should look at playing Sylvester at MLB instead of the 2 slow geezers

Vaflyer said...

Dale,

Quick question:

When was the last time, they actually planned to move Ben in the pocket? A roll out, bootleg, something just to change where the DL needs to go to in order to sack the QB. Something to move the pocket around a little. It can be effective at slowing down the outside rush if used correctly.

marc said...

adamg,
i know it's not new. you said "If the refs aren't going to call it..."

i was simply pointing out to you that what they are doing to hampton is not illegal, so what are you expecting them to call?

adamg said...

From what I gathered, Hampton feels he is being illegally cut.

bruinmann77 said...

The steelers still need to carry 3 running backs on their active lineup.

Anonymous said...

I second Valflyer's point about designed rollouts, etc. This would actually take advantage of some of Ben's skills in a systematic way, rather than just having him drop back, wait for the pocket to collapse, and then run around until someone gets open.

I would guess they rarely do it because Ben & Bruce don't like to.

It seems like what rollouts they have are those little crosses underneath to Ward or Miller that often make it back to the line of scrimmage.

With the line in its current state, the offense needs to be based entirely on the first drive of the Jacksonville wild card game from 2007.

Also, isn't it worth at least a shot to see what Sylvester can do? Even if he fails isn't it pick your poison at this point? Farrior/Foote are a step slow or Sylvester has yet to learn the honors calculus of LeBeau's defense and makes a mental mistake? What's the difference>

Dale Lolley said...

They had rollouts in the game plan against Indy.

But really, what difference does a rollout make if the tackle is being beaten at the snap?

Teams are now lining their ends up way outside the tackles and crashing. You saw it in the checkdown draw to Moore Sunday. Both linebackers were way outside the tackle box and the ends were lined up out over the tackles. That's what sprung Moore's run. The Pouncey drew the late unncessesary roughness penalty to negate it.

Vaflyer said...

There are ways around the fact that the DEs line up way outside the OT. I am sorry, but I have had it with BA. We have the most predictable stagnant offense in Ben's whole time as a Steeler.

Pistol said...

Dale,

Thanks again for the best blog on the net for inside info!

How close are C.Brown and C.Allen from getting some in game reps?? The scheme Lebeau runs is so complex id think it would be hard for them to contribute much this year.

bruinmann77 said...

I like the play of Lewis yesterday and would like to see him on the field and hopefully the youngster will see the Field soon.I also not sure if i have any faith right now in the OL especially the Left tackle spot.Again the defense only gave up 16 Points but the Offense and the play calling was terrible. also way do the steelers was so many TO especially on Offense.

KT said...

Very interesting analysis. I'd thought that the true back story to the season wasn't the "aging" of the defense per-se, but the ability of the Steelers to draft and integrate quality youth into the unit.

Based on what we saw of the run defense, Heyward and Hood are not yet able to compensate for the drop off.

But you point out a whole host of other mistakes that younger players made. For as bad as the team played, if it were not for those mistakes, perhaps the Steelers could have pulled it out.... Thanks for the observations.

Dale Lolley said...

I think that is what Tomlin is referring to when he continues to say the Steelers are still a work in progress.

Yes, some of the older guys are dropping off, so some of the mistakes by the young guys are a little more apparent and meaningful.

As for the young CBs, I don't think they'll make a move until they have to. They'll let them learn as much as possible before putting them into the fire. But Tomlin really, really likes what he's seen of them.

bruinmann77 said...

persiveI still think they better get their buiness together on the Offensive side.Especiallly with the poor play of lt and the inability to get plays in on on time.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't know that getting the plays in on time is a big problem. The one timeout in the second half was once they were already at the line of scrimmage. Don't know if somebody was lined up wrong or Roethlisberger didn't like the play.

It hasn't been a big issue.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale not sure i agree it seems like they blow a few TO so far this season on the offensive side . Any talk abbey Moving Gilbert to the Left side and maybe moving Merridth or bring up Turner to play the right side.

adamg said...

The TOs taken early did hurt them in this game because not having them kept Tomlin from possibly challenging the 3rd down catch on the winning TD drive.

Since we're talking about TOs, why wasn't one called on that 3rd and 2 that resulted in a 1 yd catch by Miller in the first half?
It was obvious BR changed the play and there was confusion with the clock winding down. Call a TO and get on the same page.

marc said...

i saw some very interesting analysis regarding mendy's run plays against the texans. basically, it showed he really wasn't dancing around too much, but poor blocking created some problems for him.

while that may be true, my biggest problem with mendy is his lack of vision. no running back always gets a nice hole to run through, but they've gotta find a way to cutback and use the blocks they are given. he doesn't appear to be particularly adept at that.

Anonymous said...

Dale,
Is there anything that the fans aren't being told with the cut of Hills? I know he wasn't going to make the pro bowl or anything, but it seems odd that he went from vying for a starting spot to off the team, being replaced by Essex. He looked serviceable at right guard and would have at least been a legitimate backup at two positions, which seems fairly valuable (especially at this point).

Anonymous said...

I never liked how Essex was signed through the middle of training camp. I was hoping it was cause of some injuries and he was just a camp body and wouldn't put a risk a young guy

Now we're stuck with him at our left tackle, and Hills, while no star, is in denver

really sucks