Monday, January 09, 2012

Post-Denver thoughts

Well, I couldn't have been more wrong about that game. Then again, I couldn't have been more wrong about a team all season long.

This Steelers' team really left me perplexed this season. And Sunday's game was a microcosm of everything that was wrong with it.

The offense marched up and down the field in the first quarter, yet had six points to show for it.

Then, after Denver hits the defense for a couple of plays to score in the second quarter, Ben Roethlisberger decides it's time to start chucking it deep. Only Mike Wallace can't come up with the catch - which was slightly underthrown – and the Steelers have to punt the ball back to Denver.

The Broncos again hit them for a long gain and score.

Roethlisberger comes out, gets hammered on a sack and then intercepted.

Wham, bam, thank you mam. A 6-0 advantage turns into a 17-6 disadvantage.

© Ike Taylor had a tough day, but you have to give some credit to Tim Tebow. He looked lost holding the ball against Kansas City last week and John Elway told him he should just let the ball fly.

Tebow apparently took that to heart and made some very nice throws.

His first long completion to Demaryious Thomas was an excellent throw, as was his TD pass to Eddie Royal.

After that, the Pittsburgh defense was caught in a tough place. They were bringing nine or 10 men to the line of scrimmage to stop the running game, but that was leaving the corners in one-on-one situations and Denver was winning those.

© Not having Brett Keisel, Casey Hampton and Max Starks really hurt the Steelers.

Losing Keisel and Hampton left the Steelers with just three active linemen.

Losing Starks left the Steelers with Jonathan Scott on the field.

The Steelers would have been without all three next weekend at New England, so it's just as well that they lost now instead of dragging the season out another week.

© If that was a late hit for roughing the passer on James Harrison as called, they should just quit playing football and make the games a seven-on-seven passing drill.

You think if anyone other than Harrison makes that hit that it's called? I don't.

© Some people were complaining about Harrison's hit on Eric Decker that knocked him out of the game. But that's what defenders are almost forced to do rather than take a chance at helmet-to-helmet contact - particularly Harrison.

He can't even take a chance that he'll come in contact with another player helmet-to-helmet for the remainder of his career without facing a lengthy suspension.

© The offense scored 23 points, but squandered points at the end of each half.

Some people will put that on offensive coordinator Bruce Arians – mostly because they hate Arians.

But it's Roethlisberger.

Instead of taking the short passes that are available, he constantly looks for the home run or bigger play.

Until he's content to take what the defense is giving rather than constantly trying to make the splash play, he won't be considered in the same breath as Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers.

© On a personal note, I think I made journalistic history today, writing both my game story and column on my Droid after my power cord died.

It made for a perfect ending to what was a tortuous season watching the Steelers muddle their way through a 12-4 season.

Is it possible to muddle your way through a 12-4 season? The Steelers apparently did.

52 comments:

Greg Mercer said...

i don't think you can blame Ben for the stalled drive before half. the bad snap killed that drive.

as far as the last drive goes, i'm undecided. was that a bad play by Ben or just a great play by Dumervil?

do you think they should have called timeout after Brown's catch?

Dale Lolley said...

They probably should have called the timeout.

Greg Mercer said...

but in the end, the clock didn't do them in. it was downs.

would have loved to have seen a draw on the play Ben got sacked. I don't hate Arians, but i do think he is poor at sequencing his plays and catching the other team off guard.

Anonymous said...

Greg YES!!!!! They should have.

But what lost the game was the defense game plan. They Thought Tebow wasn't going to beat them if they stop the run and took away their short routs.

Any QB in the NFL Will destroy you if you play one on one with no help over the top. Even if he only completes 10 passes and less than 50% of the time.

I guess they thought Tebow wasn't an NFL QB, Well he may not be a good one but he proved he belongs.

The question is why they didn't adjust? They played the same all the way to the last play.

HACK said...

I do put the blame on Ben at the end of the first drive....(without watching it again...and not sure I physically can) I think its 2nd and 4....and he has Heath Miller all alone in the left flat at least 4 yards down field....He pump fakes to him drawing in the coverage...then throws deep for an incomplete pass. Had he just hit Heath....He easily gets the first down....then instead of 3rd and 4 and in the shotgun. (before the high snap). its 1st and 10...and he very well is under center

Ben does not trust his players to make plays IMO...he tries to carry them on his back every play....he does well more often than not....but with the pieces in place...there is no reason this offense is not more Packers/Saints/NE like.

Greg Mercer said...

@Hack

what about the last drive? i don't think anyone was open, and Dumervil got in there pretty quick. couple that with the fact that Ben had his eyes down the field, and had seemingly avoided the pressure, and i think you have to tip your cap to the defender.

still would have loved a draw play to Redman in that situation.

disclaimer: Ben is my favorite player, and i am somewhat of a Ben apologist.

Anonymous said...

It's not that we hate Arians. It's that we realize that the Ben/Arians marriage must end because Arians doesn't reel Ben in and hold him accountable for making stupid decisions.

Does any coach on this team stand up to Ben...or did that end when Cowher and Whiz left?

adamg said...

Posted this in the previous topic, but it's worth repeating what Cowher said (in context of the ankle injury) about the offense - that's it's built around BR extending plays.

That's why many of us want Arians replaced with a coach who will stand up to BR and make him be a better qb. Or maybe if BR won't change, it's time to part ways...

Anonymous said...

Thought Scott actually played pretty well the times I was able to catch his pass blocking on replays.

Lance said...

I do not know many fans that were overly optimistic about the play offs this season with all the injuries. This has been a very strange season for sure and I agree with Dale that the play off game was a microcosm of the entire season. No way I am blaming any one player, Ben is who he is and wins 9 out of 10 of those games when healthy. Max Starks, Pouncy, Willie Colon, Mewelde Moore, R Mendanhall, Emanuel Sander, J Cotchery, The entire D line, Woodley and Harrison, Clark for the last game, you just can not make a playoff push when players are injured or missed extensive time prior to the game. There is a reason the starters are starters.

Lance said...

Time to start thinking draft and getting under the cap, I think we are 22 million over for next year. So my take is, Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, Heinz Ward, and James Farrior are all gone unless they take huge pay cuts to stay. And please has this eason proved yet that we do not need a 3rd round punter? Let Supulveda walk. Our Special Teams was the best part of the team game in and game out this season.

Our big needs for the draft are Nose Tackle and Middle Linebacker, I think it is time for the new DB's to play and am hopeful with a full preseason our D will get much younger. I like getting willie colon back next year, but where does that put the oline? Max, Legursky, Pouncy, Colon, Gilbert does not sound bad?

Dale what are yur thoughts on needs for next year? Do you have a hunch on who is retiring or will not be back?

Anonymous said...

Dale -- Your take on the Ben/Arians criticism is spot-on except I also love to hate Arians because it is fun.

But all these people who go overboard with the Arians hate are afraid to admit that much of it is misdirected frustration at Ben's immaturity (lack of smarts?) as a QB.

Is he any better now than in, say, 2007? I don't think he is. Are you an elite QB when you have never led an elite offense? I don't know, just say "two rings," shrug, and move on.

Speaking of windows, Ben is not going to be playing when he's 34, 35 years old because of all the hits he's taken.

As much as I noted the offense's complete mediocrity all season, this game is on LeBeau / Ike. Ike is good, but he usually finds a way to give up a big play or pass interference at the wrong time in big games. Or, in this case, three or four.

James Harrison did nothing. Maybe he can Tweet anti-Goodell stuff today and make himself feel better.

They did not lose THIS PARTICULAR GAME because of injuries. No way.

Robert K said...

I wonder if Lebeau felt they needed more guys in the box because Keisel and Hampton went down. That would explain him bringing the safeties up so much.

This was definately a team loss but the defense was playing down 3 starters. I think our struggles this season have more to do with Ben and the offense.

Count me amongst those who think we need an OC that can push Ben to play with discipline. Whiz was the last guy to do that.

Mark said...

I wouldn't put the interception on Ben, unless he threw it a fraction of a second early. The ball could have easily been caught by Miller (before it got to the defender), but he didn't turn around to look back until the ball was already on him. (I'm looking at :40 on the NFL highlights. The pass is to the right of Miller, just above the shoulders.)

It reminds me of another game (can't remember which one), where Ben threw the ball just before Johnson made his cut. The ball was where it should have ben, but the TE made a soft turn and wasn't there, and the deep defender gets an easy interception.

emac2 said...

I agree with the Ben call. Just a terrible season on his part.

As much as I know Dale disagrees though, I share some of that blame with the coaching staff that doesn't take him out under any circumstances. At some point you take him out to send the message that you play smart or you don't play. Keeping plays alive is great but if it simply covers up an inability to think and act quickly I'm not sure it's so amazing.

Tebow is showing us that you don't have to be a great QB to help your team advance you just have to avoid being the reason the team loses. The way this team is run right now the failure or success seems dependent on Ben's self control. Ben can win games maybe we shouldn't but he too often loses games we should win.

When a QB is outplayed by Tebow he just isn't very good and if the reason is injury you get someone else in the game. This is a very good team and we shouldn't live or die with one player. Ben is credited with his superbowl wins and rightly so but his model, especially in games like this one" should be the first year's "don't get in the way" plan.

The game was completely unwatchable. It seems like you can tell if this team will win or lose in the first 20 minutes because they rarely fix problems in game.

Trade Ben for Peyton and Luck. :)

marc said...

the broncos adjusted to the steeler's defense, but the steelers never re-adjusted. poor coaching and execution by the defense is why they lost.

the injuries made it harder, but there is no reason to lose to that denver team.

BA must go for several reasons, imo. He enables #7's style of play. Clearly, when a play breaks down, #7 is excellent at salvaging something positive. However, that cannot be the crux of your offense. #7 routinely bypasses positive yardage for the chance at spectacular plays that ultimately thwarts the progression of the offense down the field by placing the offense in difficult, one-dimensional "down and distance" situations. remember "check-down ben" against the pats?

BA game plans well, imo, as evidenced by the steelers ability to score on their opening drives. but his in game adjustments suck.

While i understand #7 may change plays at the line, BA is ultimately in charge of what is being run on the field. if he doesn't like it, then it is his reponsibility to reign in #7. with that said, the redzone play calling also sucks.

marc said...

by the way, two guys who did play well were redman and suisham. they did their jobs.

DD said...

Two things are clear to me: 1, redman is a better rb than mendenhall. Dont give me the mendy has the ability to break the big one crap either. 33 should start next season. 2, farrior has got to hang em up. He is a liability every single play.

Anonymous said...

And Heath Miller. Of course Ben did the typical Forget Heath Exists In The Passing Game After The First Quarter. But he threw some crushing blocks in the running game and made the hustle play to recover the bad snap.

marc said...

yes, heath also played well. and you are also correct, he was wide open several times in the second half when #7 decided to chuck it deep.

sigh...please hire an OC with some balls to put #7 in his place.

Anonymous said...

Dale - what are the chances Arians is fired? That should be top priority imo

also need to improve O-line and replace Farrior

joe said...

"the game was a microcosm of the season" i agree and would add the past couple of seasons too.

mendenhall hasn't been used in the short passing game since he was drafted. a huge mistake

troy comes up with some unbelievable plays, but out of position many times. ike picked a playoff game to have the worst game of his career.

the offense can't manage the clock worth a darn at the end of the half/game. ben, heath was wide open for a dump off and thus a chance at a fg

this loss was more evidence that my "fandom" of the nfl is dropping closer to zero. by no means am i claiming the refs cost us the game, i'm not saying anything close to that. but having said that the officiating the last two years is horrible. i don't think anyone knows what a legal catch is anymore (the calls are so inconcistent) nobody really knows what a defenseless receiver is either (again the calls are so inconsistent) the call on jh pushing tebow clearly shows some guys are marked by the league and some protected. on the play ike was called for pi, jh was held and would have had a sack. the calls in every game are just so inconsistent it is ridiculous.

replay...it should just go away because it takes forever and many times it just doesn't work. (think the backward pass and fumble)

easiest playoff loss by the steelers to get over, because the nfl is making it a wing the ball league and the calls around the league are laughable. there are many of us feeling the same way

i'm glad to be a steeler fan all these years, the rooney family does a great job keeping this team competitive. can't imagine rooting for the crap in bengal, san diego or arizona land.

Anonymous said...

"What ever he can do, i can do better." Do you think Ben was going to let Tebow outshine him?
Should of went for the FG at the end of the game. Our D was tired and missing key players. Doesn't matter now, Too many banged up players to make a serious push..
I was hoping that Norv would come over to our side for OC, I'm done with BA. He doesn't know how to adjust with what we have on the fly.
Mr 86??? Come on Ward, where's your love for the game? No smiles and no catch's.. It was sad seeing him just sitting there..
Zeke

G$ said...

- Better now than on the bigger stage against Green Bay or New Orleans who we cannot beat.

- 12-4, we sure are spoiled but, the reality is we did not pass the eye test. For 12 wins we had so few dominate games.

- Great foundation to build on and young guys got some critical playing time. We can learn from this. Our weaknesses are evident - time to fix.

- #7 needs to play smarter! Love the big plays but, gives too much away on craving the long ball. Take what they give you - have best Steelers receiving corp ever. Long drives give the D a break - too many FGs.

- Worst clock management I've seen in years. Screw the spike or quick play, use the timeout. It wasn't just yesterday been like this all year. Even if we get the completion, Ben can't hurry to the line for the spike.

- Moving forward:
o Ryan Clark had a great year but, any concern that our safety was team's leading tackler. That means they are making it to the next level - LBs should be leading the team. RED FLAG!

o Need to resign Cotchery - great replacement for Hines. He knows the system and good team mate.

o Can we utilize 2nd TE like New England. Heck this person has to be open - would like to see more of Saunders. DJ is "roberto duran" like.

o OLine - bravo for what they did this year with all the injuries, but we need some All-Pros here.

o Time to let the veterans move on with Steelers class - THANK YOU GUYS!

o Suisham still scares the heck out of me

o Hopefully young RB corps can focus in off season and come back in full force - Baron Batch, Dyer, Redman, Clay....and I like #34 if he's healthy.

Chris H said...

You're kidding regarding Starks, right? Not having him in was a blessing, he was getting his butt kicked in the backfield almost every play. Scott was an improvement. I don't think Starks will be back.

Anonymous said...

Well, it was a good season. It was a tough game. Denver played well and we didn’t.
The Super Bowl is really hard to get to and to win. I guess we will have to take our lumps like everyone else for now. Happens to everyone, the Colts, the Saints, the Patriots, the Ravens. Everyone has down years.
I don’t understand the Ike bashing going on right now. Ike played a bad game but he didn’t lose the game for us.
I also don’t understand the compaints about the refs. It was a badly officiated game, but I don’t think there was favoritism. The refs missed a lot of calls for Denver as well.
Hated the broadcasters for this game. I loathe Phil Simms and Jim Nantz. They are the biggest New England homers ever. I think I am going to have to mute the game next week.
It was a collective effort. I thought everyone played badly. Except special teams. Special teams played well.
I also want to praise Jericho Cotchery here. What a fantastic catch. He was severely underutilized this season, never complained, and made a key play in the game. I hope he comes back next season.
Honestly, I thought Troy has lost a step. There were a few plays where he looked like he was out of position or chasing a receiving down.
I thought we did a pretty good job containing Miller and Dumveril. Except for that one play where Dumveril just bull rushed Starks and laid his ass on the ground. That was terrible.
I thought Ben was horrible today. I have been hearing for weeks about his stupid ankle injury and I am so tired of yet. The ankle injury doesn’t have anything to do with his arm.
We were lucky the refs didn’t call that lateral and fumble. What a terrible throw.
Ben also threw a terrible interception deep in our own territory under pressure. Has nothing to do with his ankle. These are just mental errors. Just not what you would expect from someone who has been in the league for so long. He seemed kind of slow with his progressions yesterday.
And don’t give me this bull about how Tomlin shouldn’t have played him in the 49ers game. Tomlin would have been blamed if the Steelers lost the game and he didn't play Ben. It was a no win situation for him. The 49ers game was a huge game and Ben played terrible that game. Those turnovers in that game weren’t because of his injury either. Those were mental mistakes.
I am a little upset at Legursky too. He almost caused a turn over with that high snap. That’s ridiculous. There’s no good reason he shouldn’t be able to snap the ball. He did it in the Super Bowl. Wasn't he a center in college? In any case, it basically killed the drive there.
People are complaining about the defense. Guys, we were down by 14 points and the defense held down the fort and we came back. It wasn’t completely the defense’s fault. I can’t really blame too much on the coaches either. The players just played bad.
Going forward, I think it’s pretty clear that we need a guard, badly. I would be shocked if Chris Kemateaou is on the team next year. I haven’t really seen any improvement from him over the years, although the Steelers were relativey penalty free yesterday.
I thnk we also need a safety. And a kicker.
Maybe a nose tackle. Either this year or next year. Something’s definitely wrong with our run defense. I don’t know enough about football to tell if it’s the defensive line or the middle linebacker position that’s causing this, but this never happened a few years ago. A few years ago, nobody ran on us.
Suisham played well this game but he’s just not as a reliable as Jeff Reed was. It’s shame Jeff Reed was a total nutcase, otherwise he would still have been with us.
Look, it was a bizzare game and a bizzare year. The team had a bunch of fluke injuries. Mendenhall went down in the last game. Pouncey couldn’t play (That must be absolutely killing him right now). We had a bunch of our corners get injured, Curtis Brown, Keenan Lewis.
Brett Keisel and Casey Hamption left the game. Woodley, I have no idea what’s going on his “fatigued” hamstring, but he wasn’t on the field all the time.

Anonymous said...

A few points:

Redman runs way harder than mendenahll and they should open up the running back competition in training camp...he may not have the top end speed but hes runs hard.

Mike Wallace is terrible at adjusting to the ball...if he wants to be a true #1 he better learn quick.

Arians is a good offensive coordinator...bottom line.

Anonymous said...

How does a good offensive coordinator with a franchise QB for five seasons always finish middle-of-the-pack in scoring? Why has no one tried to lure him away to another job? He may not be as bad as the worst of his critics say but I don't see where the "good" bottom line comes from. Mitch Berger is a Super Bowl-winning punter.

Anonymous said...

Also...above....a bad ankle has alot to do with throwing the ball...go outside get a football and try and throw one accurate and or deep with out stepping through the whole way....it was a terrible decision to play him in san fran...and Tomlin let him make the call...Be a coach Tomlin. Make the decision.

Anonymous said...

Exactly...hes a GOOD offensive coordinator...not great...whats so hard to understand.

adamg said...

Wolfley just said on his show that Legursky played with a shoulder harness and Tomlin said at his presser that Legursky is a candidate for off-season surgery, presumably on the injured shoulder.

Apparently Starks and Hampton have ACL injuries and Kiesel a pretty bad groin pull.

TarheelFlyer said...

I have not read every comment, but much like you couldn't figure this team out during the year, I think you are missing the boat Dale. I love you. I read your blog daily because I respect your opinion, but I just cannot agree with all of your comments when it comes to our offense.

"The offense marched up and down the field in the first quarter, yet had six points to show for it."


This is typical BA stuff. Move the ball, move the ball...get little for it. We controlled the game up until that 2nd FG. I knew right then it was going to be a long day.



"Then, after Denver hits the defense for a couple of plays to score in the second quarter, Ben Roethlisberger decides it's time to start chucking it deep."


WOW! If this statement is true, then Ben R. needs to be put in his place by the head coach. As far as I know Ben doesn't call the plays, BA does. If Ben can decide to change the gameplan, he has too much power and for his own good, he MUST get a guy who will call him on the carpet and make him play the way he is supposed to.



"© The offense scored 23 points, but squandered points at the end of each half.

Some people will put that on offensive coordinator Bruce Arians – mostly because they hate Arians.

But it's Roethlisberger.

Instead of taking the short passes that are available, he constantly looks for the home run or bigger play.

Until he's content to take what the defense is giving rather than constantly trying to make the splash play, he won't be considered in the same breath as Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers."


I don't doubt that there is truth to this. Ben LOVES the deep ball, but BA is the guy who said this offseason that he only runs it so he can throw deep, not Ben. In addition, it is the COACHES JOB to get Ben to play within the system. He did it in the NE game, why not the rest of the year. Someone tell me why.


Lastly, and this is not in response to anything you posted, but I truly believe that BA has no idea how to use RB in an offense. I don't mean just running the ball, I mean using those guys to accomplish things in the offense. NO had 120 completions to 2 RBs this season...we had 40 to ALL of ours. The only time our guys catch the ball out of the backfield is if it is a dump off. We rarely have a designed dump off to the RB. How many times did we go empty backfield yesterday? How about play action? How many times did we use play action to our advantage? Not enough that is for sure. And lastly, just because you run play action doesn't mean you have to throw a bomb.

marc said...

what a great post.

every point hits the nail on the head.

BA enables BR. no two ways about it.

Anonymous said...

Run D has slipped with Aaron Smith's injuries. Hood is a nice player, but does not command the double team as Smith did. Hence, O-lineman free to hit the backers.

Farrior needs to go. Thanks for the great years, but it is over. Big Snack plays half the snaps with heart, the other half, dreaming of big macs. Troy is playing like a LB, days are numbered as a great SS.

Harrison, Woodley, Timmons need to play better, more consistent football. The young corners give me hope, BMac, c-ya...

The O-line continues to be a disaster, Colbert, fix it before Ben is done. RB, receivers, no problems.

O-line, D-line, LB in the draft please.

grater said...

We need an adult offense. The playground offense is going to shorten Ben's career and teams like the Ravens are learning how to deal with it. Time for the offense to grow up.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

Dale, I know it is too soon to predict what will be the team's future, but do you think there will be any major changes on the coaching staff? Particularly on the offensive side? Looking at this offense one really expects so much more from them.

Anon in AZ said...

The injuries caught up to the Steelers. No reason to fire or force into retirement any coaches.

In fact, some injuries were a net positive. Do you think Mendenhall the Prancer would have gotten the yards that Redman did yesterday? I don’t think so. Mendenhall is not aggressive or decisive enough to be an All-Pro back, let alone the Steelers’ workhorse.

On the other hand, you don't think if Ben was healthy and running around, they wouldn't have scored again in regulation? The offense works just fine when Ben is gunslinging.

Dale, I'm sure it's in the works already, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on where the Steelers need to improve either in the draft or through free agency.

Here are my thoughts on the current roster (of course, this is subject to further analysis for cap considerations, free agency moves, etc.):

QB: Set here. May need to replace the 3rd (Batch).
RB: Add a mid- to late-round pick or FA. Still have Mendenhall the Dancer, Redman the Ramrod, Clay and Spann.
WR: Re-sign Cotchery; good-bye Hines Ward, my favorite Steeler after Jack Lambert.
TE/H-Back: Set for now, but keep an eye out for Miller's future replacement
O-Line: Major work across all five positions. More discussion on this below.

D-Line: Need a big NT to replace Hampton. McClendon is fine to give the starter a breather, but this is a place where you need a first-round talent as a starter for LeBeau’s defense to work.
LB: Please.
CB: Great young men already in the mix, with solid (Taylor) if not spectacular (Gay) starters today.
Safety: Keep an eye open for Polamalu’s future replacement.

Looking to the draft, there is no way the Steelers draft a QB, WR, or LB in April unless the value is so great they simply can’t pass it up. Even then I don’t see them taking a QB.

They've spent high picks in the last few drafts in at DE, T, DB, C, LB, WR, DE, T, WR, RB, WR, LB. Three O-lineman, three WRs, two DEs, two LBs, one DB.


Of the three O-lineman, one T (Urbik) was cut, another T is a question mark (Gilbert), and the third is a great, but very injury-prone center (Pouncey). The o-line is such a patchwork, they almost have to spend another 1st or 2nd round pick there or make a big free agency move.

If a big Ngata/Hampton style nose tackle is there, they need to take one.

So:
FIRST Priority: O-Line, any position
SECOND: NT
THIRD: Best player available.

marc said...

if hampton tore his acl, is there a realistic chance he is able to play at all next year?

Anonymous said...

Isaac Redman was averaging 7.1 yards a carry. Why Ben was throwing the ball at all in the second half is beyond me, much less on first and ten with three minutes to go. They should have run the clock out by giving the ball to Redman.

Anonymous said...

Dale as a Steeler fan born and raised in Celveland (family influence to be a Steeler fan) I think I view the Steelers a bit differently than fans in PA.

You are 100% right about Ben.

Ben is the catalyst for the Steelers and until he stops being wreckless with the ball and decides to operate within the offense first then look to make plays he will be up and down and inconsistant keeping him out of elite status. He is the leader of this team and as he goes so will the team. The sad part is he still wins despite wreckless play which feeds his ego.

I just hope he will be humbled and want to grow up soon. So he can a third of the hits he takes are on him and his unwillingness to think about the rest of his team first.

Anonymous said...

adamg,
If you are right about the Legursky playing with the shoulder harness,
then I take back what I said about Legurksy's high snap.
Man, the bad news just keep on coming with Hampton and Starks' ACL injuries.

Anonymous said...

In the first round this year, we need to draft a left tackle, nose tackle, center, guard, cornerback, and inside linebacker. In the second round, a punter with biceps and a You Tube highlight of him making a big tackle would be perfect.

emac2 said...

Oh well.

Enough about the past.

ACL for Hampton and Starks? I had both off the team this summer anyway and I'm guessing that cinches it.

The first round pick should be best player available within reason. I would prefer a NT or guard myself though a stud ILB could be interesting.

It should be an exciting off season. I think the loss bumped us up a spot in the draft too.

marc said...

i'd like to see their salary cap situation with the expected departures of some of the vets. would they have enough room for a top notch OL or NT free agent if available?

i look forward to the young DB's taking charge next season, a new face at ILB, a new face somewhere on the OL.

i also look forward to timmons and wallace proving their worth. both, imo, regressed in some fashion this season. and ike should carry that game in the back of his mind for a while.

Anonymous said...

Just curious on who is the voice of the locker room and before game time on the D. I know back in the Joey Porter would get the guys fired up but It seems as though that guy is missing. It seems to me that this D is pretty passive and expects everyone to take care of their own business. This is true but it helps having someone to be the voice and to call out people when needed. Like I said, just curious...
Zeke

steelcan said...

On a positive note, this was an old team heading into the 2011 season, and A LOT of young players recived good amounts of playing time and showed very well. WR Brown (developing into a legit #1) WR Sanders (when healthy, a very good #3, which we saw yesterday) TE Wes Saunders ( A #3 in 2011, but should be #2 in 2012) RT Gilbert and RG Foster (belive it or not). RB Redman (more than just a short yardage back). Intersting stat, with Brown taking over Ward, the Steelers finished with the SECOND YOUNGEST starting offense in the AFC. (I wonder how many fans knew that?) I was surprised too. On defense, DE Heyward, NT McClendon, OLB Worilds, CBs Lewis,Allen and Brown (special teams gunner). Thats 12 players that will continue to grow and improve, plus I think there are a couple of players on the practice squad who could be on the 53 next year in RT Turner and DE Bryant. Plus RB Batch. Im not saying this team does not have some areas to address (NT,ILB,LG) but ALOT of soon to be problem areas were addressed positively. All the while winning 12 games on the fly. The idea that the teams window of opportunity closing is nuts, only individual players (we all know they are).

Anonymous said...

the loss does not affect draft status. Only draft status affected by playoffs results is the superbowl winner and loser, 32 and 31, the rest is based off regular season

Henry said...

Cover Zero when one long pass play ends your season.

Epic Fail on Lebeau's part. What the hell was he thinking?

pixburghese said...

@Henry,

You pinpointed it. With all the injury issues, lack of scoring, etc. etc., the Steelers still made it to overtime but blew it with no coverage over the top. Sorry, even a poor passing NFL QB can make wide open passes in one-on-one coverage. Terrible on Lebeau's part for leaving Taylor out to dry after repeatedly being beaten downfield by his man. Ike shoulda, woulda made the tackle,but the 10 in the box was stupid (reminds me of the end of the Ravensgame). Love Lebeau but that was an overestimation of his players abilities.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure it's the last 4, not 2, teams standing that are at the end of the draft now.

Anonymous said...

Ike should have dove for his legs Dave W. in Las Vegas

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