Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Post-Tennessee notes

I came into this game offering the Titans plenty of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, but after watching them play, I had to wonder how they won three games, including thumping Baltimore at home in Week 2

Then I remembered how Baltimore had won its Super Bowl the previous week by beating the Steelers.

That same trend has held true the last two weeks as well.

Buffalo won its Super Bowl by beating New England in Week 2 and promptly lost to Cincinnati the next week.

Houston won its Super Bowl in Week 3 and lost to Oakland in Week 4.

It's a good reminder of one of former coach Bill Cowher's go-to sayings, "Don't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows."

The Steelers didn't get too low after their losses to Baltimore or Houston and bounced back the following weeks with victories.

© For those of you keeping score at home, Jonathan Scott was on the field for all five of the Steelers touchdowns Sunday.

He was subbing for Max Starks – who was getting a breather – at left tackle on their first two scores. He was in at right tackle for Marcus Gilbert on their final three.

Scott is much better suited to play right tackle – where he won't face premiere pass rushers every week. Because of that, the Steelers won't rush Gilbert, who left with a shoulder injury, back next week.

© OK, admit it, you were saying, "Here we go again," when Chris Johnson ran for 21 yards on his first carry.

The Steelers defensive players were saying it as well. Then they actually remembered to stay on their feet, stay in their gap and converge on the backside.

Johnson didn't have a cutback lane the rest of the game.

© Jonathan Dwyer admitted after the game that he thought he was going to score on his 78-yard run in the second quarter.

But this is the NFL, not the ACC.

That was a pretty big hole right in the middle of the line. I'm pretty sure Rashard Mendenhall would have scored on that play, which is why he'll be the starting back once he's healthy again.

© Isaac Redman did a credible job replacing Mendenhall as well, though he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry.

His biggest contribution with some crushing blitz pickups.

© Ben Roethlisberger was off badly on his first two passes, though Mike Wallace somehow came up with the second throw for an 11-yard gain.

You can't blame Roethlisberger, though. He was just so surprised that he actually had a pocket to step up into.

© All kidding aside, the offensive line did an outstanding job in pass protection – though running the ball effectively sure did help.

How bout all those play-action and three-step drops?

Tennessee was playing plenty of cover-2 and the Steelers took advantage by working underneath. It's what they should have done at Indianapolis, but had a bad combination of Roethlisberger refusing to throw underneath when it was open or having everybody going deep at other times.

© There's no reason the Steelers shouldn't be 5-2 – right where everyone felt they should be – in a few weeks heading into a big game at Heinz Field against New England.

Then they face Baltimore the week after that. Come out of that stretch at 6-3 and it's all downhill from there to the playoffs.

© Keenan Lewis just keeps getting better the more he plays. Now, he'll get to continue to improve and the Steelers don't face New England for a few weeks, but he's trending in the right direction.

He and William Gay – who is also playing well – have turned Bryant McFadden into a high-priced special teams player.


Steve-O said...

My hero for the game has to be Max Starks. He held his own after and extended break and it looks like we finally have a line that can form a pocket and push the pile too.

Dale, I've got to ask... I know Hines had a great day but it seems to me that he lacks any semblance of explosiveness. Is it time for him to become a red zone receiver and let Brown/Sanders take over or are they just not quite ready yet?

Henry said...

After his play today and seeing his pic on the,

I vote Woodley wears pink shoes regardless of what the calendar says.

adamg said...

Besides the fake punt, my favorite play of the game was seeing Redman moving the entire pile of players for about 4 yards right before the TD pass to Johnson.

Max Starks seemed to stabilize the entire OL.

Ben/BA played smart football today, establshing the run and taking what the defense gave. The run game set everything else up. And who can argue with 5 TDs plus a FG? I hope it's lesson learned.

Defense buckled down and played with discipline. I noticed Chris Johnson diving to the ground on his own. It told me he didn't want to get hit anymore. Hoke was outstanding, too.

Dale Lolley said...

I think we've seen enough mistakes from the second-year guys to see that they aren't quite ready for full-time play. Plus, all those guys are on the field so much, what difference does it really make who's out there at the start of a game?

Adding Starks allowed them to bring Scott off the bench as the swing guy. And he moved in at right tackle and played well.

Steve-O said...

I think there's one more comment that has to be made. Many, including myself wanted William Gay to start his new career as a former Steeler sooner rather than later. Gay has silenced his doubters (including me) for now...

John Kang said...

Pouncey never ceases to amaze me. On Dwyer's long run, Pouncey was right behind him...

Greg Mercer said...

i disagree that Mendy should be the starter. He may be able to hit the home run, but he loses yards on too many plays. Redman may have not had a great rush average, but he kept the down and distance manageable and the O-line seemed to feed off his toughness and enthusiasm.

plus, he didn't almost fumble every other play.

datruth4life said...


I think there's nothing like some competition to have players play better. I'm not for benching Mendy, but hopefully the play by Dwyer and Redman will make Mendy step up his game. Love the way Ben got the ball out of his hands today. Also love the difference Starks made.

If the Steelers can resign Starks to a two-year deal and get a talent OT and G in the draft, now you are talking about a starting OL next year of Starks, M. Gilbert, Pouncey and Colon.

I think we saw today that Timmons is a better ILB than a 3-4 rush OLB. I'd rather see Worilds (if healthy next week) and Chris Carter rushing the QB from that ROLB spot than Timmons. Let's hope Tomlin has seen enough of the Aaron Smith as a starter at LDE and goes back to Ziggy. I have to believe that Ziggy and Lamarr Woodley definitely have some chemistry together on that left side. Aaron Smith needs to be the sub and then retire at the end of the year, along with Farrior.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or was Cameron Heyward generating some decent pass rush today?

Steve-O said...

Heyward was putting some pressure on the QB today but by the time he came in the Titans were behind and CJ2K was already sitting out with a hamstring injury. No disrespect, the kid played hard but everyone knew they had to pass so it was a little easier to pin your ears back and just rush.

KT said...

Good point about Redman's blocking. Beyond that, I liked the kid's hustle. 49 yards might not be much, but how many of those did he get on 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th efforts.

Overall I argue that this is another example of the Steelers putting some muscle behind Tomlin's credo "The Standard is The Standard."

bruinmann77 said...

I have to give a big old shout out to Max he played great today and looks in good shape and yes Dale you are right Scott looked much better at RT. I did think that Gilbert did perform well today as well as Leg and Foster. It was also nice having Miller being used in the passing game for a change wow .I liked the way Redman ran today and yes think Dwyer light has come on and yes he be the steal everyone thought .

bruinmann77 said...

yes Hayward and Hood at LDE were good today looks like Hood likes that LDE .Gay and Lewis have played very well and it great not hearing Ike name being called all day.

joe said...

many posted good points above....but the key was tomlin finally won a challenge !! :)

hoke looked darn good yesterday

datruth...i agree about a little competition. i think it was the lack of o-line, but mendy lost some confidence/became a bit timid or something. watching this week will have him motivated for next week i believe.

Josh said...

I'm just excited to see yet another most-random Steeler play QB.

I also agree that BA called a great game and should use this approach more. Get the ball out quickly, use play action and keep the pressure off of the OL to consistently block for slow-developing plays.

adamg said...

Watched Hoke get chopped, blocked completely in the back by an OL, then a few plays later, a WR throws the exact same block and because he's WR doing it, it's a block-in-back penalty. Just makes me shake my head. The NFL deems this hit a dangerous play everywhere except when it's done to a DL.

vaflyer said...

Just a couple of random thoughts on the game:

Ben and BA need to remember how they called this game. They actually opened up the long ball by throwing the dink and dunk first and being committed to running the ball. I have no problem with throwing the ball deep to the WRs, we have the talent at the position to do that. We don't have the Oline talent to do it without setting the D up for it.

I think what we found out yesterday is that we have plenty of RBs to go around. Dwyer might still get a helmet next week if Moore isn't healthy. IMO, the only way the kid develops, and I do think he has talent, it to have a helmet and get 5 or so touches a game.

Wallace is fast!

Starks added some stability to our Oline that was lacking. I hope Gilbert is healthy again, but it makes me wonder, what happens next year? Colon will be back. Do we move Gilbert to the left side? Do we move Colon to guard (this is my preference)? Honestly if Gilbert develops over the year, I think I would be okay with:

Starks/Kemo/Pouncey/Colon/Gilbert as a starting Oline next year. I am even okay with Scott, Legs, and Foster as backups. Essex is the guy I want upgraded with maybe a 2nd round pick.

When it comes to DLine, I really didn't miss Hampton or A. Smith. I am okay with A. Smith being a backup next year, but that should be the end. The other nose tackle who played yesterday, I thought looked okay as well.

I look forward to having Harrison back at OLB. Carter has work to do, but it was a learning experience for him. I still worry about our ILB position situation. IMO, we MUST draft an ILB this year in the draft.

McFadden won't be back next year. Lewis is coming along and I don't see them paying him that kind of money again to sit. If Allen is healthy again this week, I expect we see him dress. I would still take an elite guy if I could get one in the draft first round, but if not I am okay with not taking anyone this coming draft. I would love to see Mundy and W. Allen both upgraded with future starting talent if possible.

Anonymous said...

Great game from the Steelers. The D kept CJ in check, as they always do!! Redman played a really good all-around game, glad to see it for him.

Offensive line gets game ball, against an over-rated Titans team!!

What was with the Big Ben interception before the half, didnt understand that one at all???

Anonymous said...

Huge win, especially for how it went down. Except for the Titans first drive (yup, here we go again...), a true beatdown of a team with good lines on both sides.

The only annoying things were Ben's interception & the special teams screw-ups, made up for with five TD passes & the fake punt, respectively.

It looked like a different team out there. I am breathing a huge sigh of relief, hopefully not temporary for the defense. And the O-line. Why in God's name wasn't Starks here earlier?

Yeah, Mendenhall could have run through that hole Dwyer did for 76, but no way he moves that pile the way Redman did near the goal line in the second quarter.

What was Keenan Lewis looking for in the backfield on the Titans last TD? Good time to have that happen if it's going to, though. Maybe thought he had help sooner? Anyway, fingers crossed, looks like he might be an NFL cornerback.

I know Arians thinks it hurts Ben's feelings to tell him not to always hold the ball forever, and that Starks stabilized the O-line so he was a little more comfortable, but there's no way I'm believing Ben-Bruce didn't also make a concerted effort to get the ball out faster. Maybe because of the sprained foot as much as the cover 2?

Anonymous said...

Agree, I prefer that happens to Lewis now rather than in an important game. Dick, Lake and Tomlin will surely be on his ass to correct that, he being a young player with a lot of snaps and everything

superfan99 said...

I really don't think that TD was Lewis' fault. He was supposed to have safety help, but Hasselbeck looked Mundy off, and Mundy was late getting over.

adamg said...

On the pick, BR reportedly "saw something" and decided to ad lib instead of spiking the ball as planned. Unfortunately, nobody else on the offense got the message.

Hoke and Hampton are two entirely different NTs. Hoke's lighter and quicker. Hampton's surprisingly quick, too, but he's more of an immovable object geared for non-zone blocking. I think Hoke's style is probably better suited for playing teams that are using the stretch run game.

Tim said...

For those of you keeping score accurately at home, Scott was on the field for 4 out of 5 Steeler touchdowns. The 3 after Gilbert went out on the right side, and the one to Ward in the second quarter.

He subbed for Starks for exactly two plays, immediately after the fake punt: the sweep to Antonio Brown, and the PA TD to Ward right after.

Also, for those of you keeping score accurately at home, Darnell Stapleton and Justin Hartwig were on the field for every offensive touchdown during the 2008 Super Bowl run. All of them! 100%! Dang those guys were good. I love stats.


I'm glad to see my criticism of you (the suggestion that you watch the games) did not change your reporting in the slightest. I'm sure someone with better credentials than me told you Scott was subbing for Starks for most of that opening touchdown drive. I guess we'll never know the truth, and will have to agree to disagree again.

How about just an asterisk? You know, for the things you overheard.

Tim said...

I've been saying since 2004 that Ben needs to go to some kind of remedial school for clock management.

You don't run a play, you don't spike the ball. You call timeout. That is the ONLY option. I really don't like to try and make myself sound smarter than professionals, but that's what has me so frustrated. The fact that I'm better at this than these millionaires. Ben Roethlisberger doesn't know, Mike Tomlin apparently doesn't. The announcers never do. If anyone else on the team knows (Heath is smart, right? Starks? Legursky? Ward?), they don't step up to overrule the QB.

Brown is down with 24 seconds left. If you spike the ball, you have 13 seconds left, one precious timeout remaining, 4th and 3. Field goal time. Congratulations. If you run a play (let's assume it results in a 1st down) you will have to use your timeout and probably wind up with about 7 or 8 seconds left. First down, 7 seconds left, no timeouts. MAYBE a shot to the end zone before the field goal. Congratulations. Call timeout now, and you have 3rd and 3, no timeouts left, and 23 seconds. Now you have time to run a real play that's not an INT. You can try for the sidelines, or use the middle and then spike the ball. In any case, you are in a much better situation. You might have multiple attempts at the end zone from closer up, or get closer for a field goal. But what you're not doing is limiting yourself to only one play remaining.

Nobody likes to talk about these things in a win. It's always, "What's the difference?" But it happens so frequently with Ben, it's embarrassing. It's cost us points in the past, including Sunday, and it will hurt us more in the future.

And yeah, I know, if I'm so smart how come I'm not a coach in the NFL? Well maybe I should be. I refuse to believe I know more about the game than Mike Tomlin, so maybe he has poorly timed strokes during all two-minute drills. If they pay me $1 a year, I'll stand next to him and tell him when to call timeout and when to spike the ball.

That's ridiculous, but why can't they get someone to do it? Who's the assistant who looks at replays for the team? Can they put someone smart there? Someone not on the sideline and "too close" to the game to say, "Mike! Call timeout you idiot!!!"

adamg said...

IIRC, Scott came on the field for the final play of the first TD pass to Heath Miller. I remember it because I was surprised to see Starks come out after playing the entire series to that point.

Patrick said...

Tim I agree with you completely on the time management problems. Its not brain surgery and they continually botch it.

But, who are you to slam Dale for reporting and opining on things he picked up from other people? Are you mad that he isn't citing where he came up with his opinion? If he agrees with something Wolfey or whoever analyzed, then who cares if he expresses here. If you disagree then fine, but you don't have to be ridiculous about it.

adamg said...

First, Tim, the spike was called on 2nd down, so after the spike it's 3rd and 3. That leaves around 26-27 secs, enough time to get a 1st down, spike the ball, take a shot to the endzone, then call TO if that fails and try a FG.

If Ben hadn't decided to ad lib, that's most likely what would have happened.

Tim said...


If you have the game taped, watch it. Starks was in for the whole drive, including the TD. And the spike would have been on 3rd down. There was an incomplete pass to Sanders on 1st (remember when he slid down on his butt and it still hit him in the hands?) and on 2nd down Brown caught one for 7 yards. The spike would have made it 4th.

Also, adamg, Brown hit the ground with 24 seconds left. The following snap was taken ASAP, and that was with 13 seconds left, not 26-27. And it was 3rd down.


I appreciate the level-headed response. I have no idea how much of Dale's reporting is from other people. No idea. But when he says things that are either opinions that are either incredibly wild (STRONG implications that Scott and Johnson are in fact the answers at LT and FB, without actually saying it -- certainly saying that we are wrong for wanting them replaced), or facts that are flat out wrong (72 and 78 are different numbers with different names and different body language, and about 100 pounds apart), I question it. This isn't reporting on the inner workings of the pentagon, this is a public game that we can all see. It's not brain surgery, but he continually botches it.

Then to hear that he is getting this free, public information from someone else and running with it without checking for himself... I don't know if that makes it better or worse. Better, because it means he's salvageable if he puts the effort into it, worse because so far he hasn't.

I want him to watch the games, pay attention, and report accordingly. I don't think that's too much to ask for from any serious fan, let alone a professional reporter. But what we're getting from Dale is no different then what I get from the guy next to me at the BJ's bar when my directv goes out. Wtf is the point of that?

Patrick said...

I thought the int/bad fake spike play was 3rd down too. Pretty sure it was 3rd, which is why it was dumb.

Tim said...

I've been thrilled with Lewis' progress lately, but he does deserve at least half the blame for that TD.

3rd and goal from the 20, and the guy runs a streak. Not a huge shock. He was right with him, and then slowed down. Not sure why. No route underneath. His receiver the only one in the area. The ball was a little underthrown. If he'd just stayed with him like he could have, it would have been either an INT or incompletion. So, stay with the guy, even if you expect safety help. Especially if there's no one else to cover.

Plus, 3rd and goal from the 20? Don't let him just run right by you. That was like the Ravens in the Divisional playoff.

...Hopefully Lewis learns, and keeps getting better. For the first time in his career he actually looks comfortable on the field.

Robert K said...

If Scott is so good then why did Starks beat him out to start at LT with only 3 days practice?

Its not like Starks is a pro bowler. If he could beat out Scott that quickly then Scott must be pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

Tim, if you are that upset with Dale's alleged incompetence & borderline dishonesty, why be such an enthusiatic poster?

Anyway, I agree, I've been saying for fifteen years that Ben-Bruce-Tomlin can't do basic clock management in those situations. My favorite example of this is the wasted down / spike in the 2008 game at Baltimore (a couple of plays before the Santonio controversial TD), but there are many others. Just watch Super Bowl 43 after Santonio's catch-and-run down to the six. There's like 50 seconds left and Ben is sprinting to the line of scrimmage signaling for a spike. They ended up taking their last timeout -- debatable, but not terrible -- but whatever you do, you do not spike it in that situation.

(Yes, I'm nitpicking about a three-year-old Super Bowl win, but only to illustrate the point -- why would you even think of spiking in that situation?)

Dale Lolley said...

Tim, believe it or not, I'm working while watching the game, trying to take notes. I don't have the ability, as I'm sure you do, to stop each play, rewind and break it down.

If you look back again, you'll find that Scott was on the field for all five TDs. But maybe your TV screen was a little blurry.

If you continue down this road, you're going to get yourself banned on this blog. It's OK to disagree. In fact, it's healthy. But I'm not going to allow you to hijack my blog. Start your own if you don't like this one or this author.

Reporting is a mix of gathering news on what you see and what you hear from informed sources. I wouldn't expect you to know that.

Believe it or not, it's Roethlisberger who's deciding whether to spike or call a timeout, 90 percent of the time. They practice it all the time. He's pretty good at it.

I want you to show me, Tim, where I ever said that Scott was the answer at LT. You're making stuff up there.

I also said that Johnson did a nice job as a lead blocker in Houston. In Houston!

Now, enough from the peanut gallery.

kyle said...

Not to pile on here the receptions DJ had undermine your earlier point about him not being a consideration for defenses as far as being more than a blocker? No? Even though one was a for a touchdown? Still no? Yeah, I don't think he's great either but until this team has a probowler at every position I'm not going to get too worked up over how good the occasional blocking back/H-back/2nd or 3rd TE is. Have to make sacrifices somewhere, I think that's a prudent spot.

Tim said...

I understand you are going off of one viewing only. So do I, until the next day. My expectations were simply too high. I expect you to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the game, and that's unrealistic. For example, your dates about Buffalo/New England/Cincinnati, Houston/Pittsburgh/Oakland are all wrong. Your point is valid and the Cowher quote applies, but you mixed up numbers that are all between 1 and 5. I knew what you meant, as did everyone, and it's no big deal. Maybe you were extremely exhausted when you wrote it or something. Maybe you just don't give a crap because this is your blog, not your main gig. But I would be embarrassed to be that wrong in one of my meaningless blog comments. So I'm taken aback a bit when someone's actual work is that sloppy. Again, that one's small potatoes and shows nothing of your knowledge of the game. Those related to actual football are the ones that get me. From now on, if I read your stuff, I'll read it with a different mindset. I think that'll help keep me from any hijacking.

As for the Scott stuff, I admit I didn't think it through... I hadn't considered that you have a full view of the entire 120 yard football field, and I do not. In addition, I interpreted the word "field" quite specifically, and that's my bad too. So I will recant my claim that Scott was not on the field for Heath Miller's touchdown. I do not have sufficient evidence to support that claim, and so I will take your word for it.

What else... I truly am glad to see you are no longer in the mood to see your blog hijacked. I'm assuming all those fake Patricks have been banned. Good burn on the reporting thing. I really didn't know reporters used sources or asked questions. I thought they were all fact-checky and nothing else. Boy, did I have it backwards.

I'm aware it's the QB who primarily decides whether to spike, call TO or run a play. But in the event that a QB stupidly decides to spike it or run a play, the head coach or anyone on the field can overrule him by calling timeout. The refs don't say, "Sorry Hines, no timeout. Ben wants to run a play." I remember the spike against Baltimore in '08, and the wanna-spike in the Super Bowl. I was disgusted both times. He really has no clue or instinct for that at all. There are probably a dozen more examples out there, including this last playoff run. Saying he's good at it is subjective (Tom Brady is faster than a lot of people, you know). But Ben's got to be one of the worst decision makers I've ever seen in a play-spike-TO scenario.

I said you implied Scott/Johnson were the answers, or at least implied that we were wrong for calling for their replacement. But looking through your blog archives to prove a point is nowhere near as fun as turning on a Steeler victory to prove a point.

I consider your work, especially lately, to be not well thought out. If you don't agree with that, then we disagree. Which is healthy. But now, just today, I've learned to accept it. I'll no longer say or imply that you are half-assing your job/hobby. Instead, when I disagree with something, like who was on the field for a particular play, I'll say, "I disagree."

Anonymous said...

"If you look back again, you'll find that Scott was on the field for all five TDs. But maybe your TV screen was a little blurry."

Not to pile on here....but you're wrong.

If Scott was on the field for all 5 TDs he was wearing Starks' jersey for the first one. I am quite certain my TV isn't blurry and that I can tell the difference between the number 78 and the number 72. I was watching Starks closely and KNOW he was on the field.

As a matter of fact, I just checked the DVR to be certain. Starks was at LT on the initial TD to Miller and Scott wasn't on the field at all. 78(Max), 64(Legs), 53(Pouncey), 73(Foster), 77(Gilby) left to right.

Scott was in at LT for the 2nd TD(Ward's first).

Tim said...


I love to discuss this stuff, and my friends are not Steeler fans! There's only so much my girlfriend's ears can take. I love detailed, intelligent Steeler conversation.


No one's piling on.

Johnson did not undermine my point. I do not think he proved himself a threat. A "threat" is someone who can perform at an above average level. I've said all along, coming out of the backfield he can run routes, catch and run, but not better than any fullback in the league. You saw his touchdown. Was the degree of difficulty something too much for a fullback in the mold of Kreider, who was NOT the receiving type? Or was it something Doug Legursky, Dan Klecko or Jumbo Elliot could have done?

My points on Johnson are these:

-His receiving ability is at or below the level of a fullback.
-His special teams ability is at or below the level of a fullback.
-His RAC is below the level of a fullback. He doesn't run at all out of the backfield.
-His lead blocking ability is FAR below the level of a fullback, and THAT is a big deal.

He's a sacrifice in one enormous area, and has no redeeming value anywhere else. In-line blocking? We've got Saunders, who can surely become that decent, and I don't see why we need three blocking tight ends on one play anyway. If we must, I'm sure the fullback can fill in, and that drop off (if any) will be much smaller and much less meaningful than what we have now.

adamg said...

OK, checked the play-by-play and the spike/pick happened on 3rd down @8 secs left although it's hard for me to believe it took 20 seconds from 2nd down to 3rd down.

They were at the 33 - a 50 yd FG. That's not a gimme for Suisham. Probably better to try for a 1st down, get closer, call timeout and then try the FG. If you don't get the first down, half's over and you get the ball to start the second half. Obviously not the cut-and-dried decision some would like to believe.

Tim said...

Or, call timeout with 23 seconds left and have options. They were on the 27, not 33. That makes it a 45 instead of a 51.

Patrick said...

adamg the point you are missing is that in that situation, no one is fooled by the fake spike/whatever that was supposed to be. The only people fooled were the 10 other guys on offense. You are either running a play or calling a timeout, a spike does you absolutely no good because its now 4th down and you could have taken the timeout and it be 3rd down.

So when Ben tried to "trick" the titans into thinking he might spike it, it was dumb and luckily didn't result in 7 for the other team. Thats the problem of rodeo Ben - he gets caught up in the moment and doesn't think things through. Like people have said, hes made these mistakes before.

MoeTown said...

Tim -

I never post here; only read from afar. However, your run-on replies made me create an acct. You need to quit posting in Dale's blog with such hard-headed, long-winded opinionism (and yes, I made that word up). Seriously, I get your a die-hard fan ~ we all are but enough of the hard opinions until someone proves me wrong bravado (all w/o inner knowledge from coaches/practices/contacts/players/etc...). Open dialogue; not shove your opinion down the readers throats on a Blog not named "Tim's" is uncool. And before you reply, yes we can agree to disagree.

Go Steelers and Thanks Dale for the great insight and reporting as I've been a fan of yours for quite some time.

kyle said...

Kreider wasn't a threat either and despite Mendenhall's requests, a true fullback would do little good with this offensive line. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that a fullback is only effective if he gets through the hole or forces someone out of it. There isn't usually a hole with this team. Redman was a little more effective because he hits the scrum and falls forward or just keeps driving his legs.

Dale was never actually defending DJ or J. Scott. He was tweaking the noses of the steeler fans who seem to think that DJ and J. Scott are the reasons the steelers can't run the ball effectively when in reality a poor offensive line coupled with a hesitant runner who seems to think he's Barry Sanders topped off with a playcaller who likes to telegraph his plays are more to blame.

DJ is better than Carey Davis and the next guy they get will probably be better than DJ. When it comes to backburner positions you shouldn't put too many resources into improving them because the pay off isn't worth it.

Tim said...

I know Kreider wasn't a threat in the passing game. My point is that he and Johnson are at the same level there, but Kreider was an amazing blocker every play and Johnson only blocks his guy to a satisfactory level every other play. I don't expect them to go out and get another Kreider, but rather someone with Kreider's background. Someone who knows what he's doing and has lead blocking in his blood. A fullback. That guy will be able to make all the same plays in the passing game as Johnson, improve the running game enormously, and maybe get a few yards on a FB trap now and again as well. I don't see the downside.

kyle said...

I'm still not clear how Mendenhall as a top ten rusher last year with the same personnel. I mentioned that before and your response was his yards per carry. There were people behind him on that list with more carries. How did he go from being a top ten rusher to people wanting Redman to start with the same line and same non-fullback? I don't think DJ matters as much as you think he does. That was my point. I know Kreider brought nothing as a ball carrier or receiver. They got DJ in the seventh round. If they invest more than that in a fullback I'd be disappointed. The position is all but gone in the nfl at the moment and not nearly as prevalent in college as it used to be. You don't draft a dumpy white guy because it used to work. I'd prefer the steelers have the best 4th wideout than the 4th best fullback.

Tim said...


Sorry I'm bumming you out with my hard opinions and long responses. I'm calling out Dale because his opinions aren't even real. He knows Scott is an abomination at LT and that Johnson is useless. But he's "tweaking the noses" of Steeler fans who say so. Why be so needlessly contrary? I can't answer that. Maybe to sound more "in the know" than the rest of us? I have no idea. I likened him to Skip Bayless, who I stopped reading after an article defending Cedrick Wilson, who tried to run 30yards for a touchdown down the middle of the field, with 6 seconds and a timeout remaining, when a field goal would have won it.

If I really thought he had those opinions genuinely, I'd just say, "Wow, what an idiot" and walk away.

Anyway, the opinion stuff is just part of it. Sometimes it's not debateable. I can't believe we have to "agree to disagree" about what player was on the field for a particular play.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dale for the info.

I don't have any problems with your reporting, but I have to admit that I don't always understand what exactly you are implying when you take your little "jabs" at the Steeler community.

Are you trying to say that Scott wasn't an issue at LT? I'd have to say he wasn't the ONLY issue for sure, but he surely you can't tell me he was not part of the problem.

Simply saying Scott was on the field for x number of touch downs is an insanely weak argument for implying he is an adequate NFL left tackle. I saw him get beat every way an offensive lineman could be beaten even when given help from a running back or tight end. Sorry, that just doesn't cut it.