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Monday, September 17, 2012

Post-Jets thoughts

Lawrence Timmons takes a lot of heat on Steelers message boards - some of it deserved - for his lack of big plays.

But he might have made the biggest play in Sunday's win over the Jets when he decked quarterback Mark Sanchez just after the QB had scrambled toward the line of scrimmage and released a pass.

Prior to that hit - which drew a penalty - Sanchez had completed 4 of 5 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. After the hit, Sanchez was 6 of 22 of 58 yards.

Coincidence? I think not.

Timmons will likely be fined for his hit - which was much like the one James Harrison put on Colt McCoy last season - but it says here his teammates should kick in some money.

Without Harrison and Troy Polamalu in the lineup, the Steelers needed a tone-setting hit - even if it did cross the line. Timmons provided it.

@ I have defended the replacement officials thus far as not being all that much different than the regular officials.

But Sunday's game was a travesty.

Not only were their several bad calls made against both teams, but there seemed to be a huddle anytime a flag was thrown.

Referee Jerry Frump also took  f...o...r...e...v...e...r every time he went under the hood for a replay.

The stat sheet said this game took just 3:08 to play, but it seemed more like three days with all of the stoppages.

@ I like the Steelers' new-look offense. Ben Roethlisberger seems to have bought into it as well.

He's spreading the ball around and using a lot of different options.

I also might add that while Roethlisberger was completing 16 of his 21 passes Sunday to his wide receivers for 192 yards and a touchdown, Joe Flacco was connecting on 4 of 11 for 79 yards to his wideouts.

@ I was a little surprised the Steelers didn't use their four wideout sets a little more to take advantage of not having Darrelle Revis on the field.

After all, wouldn't you think they would want, say, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery matched up on 5-9 Ellis Lankster and 5-8 Isaiah Trufant, the Jets' third and fourth corners?

@ Will Johnson is proving to be a weapon out of the backfield and will continue to be so. He's a matchup nightmare for linebackers - especially when they don't cover him as the Jets failed to do.

@ Drew Butler has placed four of his first eight punts inside the 20. The kid's going to be all right.

@ Shaun Suisham banged a pair of 45-yard field goals at Heinz Field. Suisham struggled from the 40 to 50-yard distance last season, so that was a good sign.

@ The Steelers scrapped their outside running attack in the second half and started running right at the Jets.

It says here they should continue along that path until Rashard Mendenhall comes back and shows he's healthy.

Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer are not east-west runners.


Anonymous said...

Redman and Dwyer ran well behind a line that has been less than stellar at run blocking. They have defended the QB better. Cortez Allen continues to be impressive and is is great to have Clark back. I would like to see more pressure from Woirlds/Carter but Woodley brought it today. Jerrico keeps making the hard catches. Bet the Jets wish they still had him. Taylor improved as the game went on. The networks might be pressuring the NFL to resolve the labor dispute if the games go long due to SLOW officiating.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

adamg said...

To me, biggest message-sending hit was Ryan Clark on Greene. That knocked him out of the game and rendered him, and the running game, ineffective when he did return in the 2nd half.

Timmons could have hit Sanchez just as hard using his shoulder. Jet receivers dropped at least 3,4 catchable balls in the second half, too, that hurt Sanchez' numbers.

Nice to see sandlot Ben only coming out when needed and not having the entire offense built around that ability.

It seemed like a lot of huddling by the refs, but then again, there seemed to be more close calls than usual and Ryan used all of his challenges. Except for the 1st down spot, the refs got the calls right. I guess one could nitpick the PIs on Ike, but, iirc, he had a couple similar calls against him in the playoff loss to Den last year. IMHO, the officiating with the regular refs last year hasn't been shown to be significantly better than what the games have now.

Anonymous said...

good game overall.

O-line played better

My biggest concern was the D-line gettting manhandled, especially Kiesel

Anonymous said...

This was a good win against the quality team. I was the most impressed with Clark. The guy was all over the field.

While the run blocking clicked a bit at the end of the game it definately struggled a lot at the start.

I read one run blocking grade that surprised me, Pouncey got a negative grade for this game. Is his run blocking overrated?

Anonymous said...

I saw Pouncey get blown up a few times. like literally tossed on the ground like a rag doll

marc said...

i was getting concerned when the defense gave up scores on the first two drives. that made it six consecutive drives they were scored on going back to the denver game. but they settled in, pressured the Jet's WR's and the Jet's never adjusted. i was surprised the Jet's didn't start running pick plays, similar to what denver did.

overall, the defense was better than i expected. they need to bring that "intensity" every game though.

dwyer reminds me of bettis, and you don't run outside with those types of guys.

i stand by what i said in the preseason, the replacement refs are terrible. they were terrible in the cleveland game i saw last week, terrible in the steeler's game this week. fortunately, it didn't cost them the game, but it's only a matter of time until a there's a bad call at a crucial point in the game.

marc said...

btw, what's everyone's thoughts on that play at the end of the giants game?

kelly said...

adamg, pretty sure the hit on Greene was delivered by Mundy, but you're right, that was a big play.

DD in AZ said...

THE best part of that game was the clock controlled drive down the field at the end of the game with the perfect amount of pass/run and then the 2 hard runs at the end to punch it in when you knew we were running. I cannot recall seeing that since the Bettis days. I am sure there was a time or two since then, but very, very few from the bombs away bruce era. It was a thing of beauty!!

joe said...

all those who jumped off a ledge after week one...i hope it wasn't too tall of a ledge !

replacement refs stink. period. (imagine the lack of control they would have had if it was ravens-steelers)

looking forward to mendy in this offense, and watching this offense keep improving as the season goes on. controlling top in both games, just need to score more td's

Anonymous said...

Will Johnson has impressed me as a receiver in two games more than David in three years

he still has ways to go as a blocker like David, but he certainly has the upside on his side

Anonymous said...

Serious Question: Has anybody noticed how Brett Kiesel is getting blow off the ball? Many times this is happening on one on one matchups. Watch the long Tebow run from yesterday. Is there a chance that we could see McLendon or Hayward get more time at DE?

Lance said...

Even great players get blown off the ball (Keisel), thrown around like a rag doll (Pouncy), etc. Don't forget the other team's players get paid to play the game too, and these are elite athletes at this level. Not every battle is going to be won by an individual.

I am excited about what I am seeing with this offense, and the continual progress we are seeing weekly, Ben hit 10 recievers, that's impressive, and a good sign. The D looked better, but still had some issues, we need Harrison and Troy in there, but good to see the other players getting some reps in the win.

I will take Ike's penalties all day long the way he shut down Holmes in the last 3 quarters, he got in his head, just like the Timmons hit on Sanchez, and the hit by Mundy on Greene, those plays and the last drive down the field that took so much time off the clock and the Jets will away was Steeler football!

kelly said...

I believe the Jets O line is a solid group too; 3 pro bowlers on it? That's a tall order for any D line

adamg said...

Thanks for the correction on the Green hit being Mundy not Clark. :)

I'm not freaked out over the officiating. The regular refs miss plenty of calls, too. Who here doesn't cringe when Morrelli, Triplett or Hoculi's crew officiates a Steeler game?

Patrick said...

Some of the calls were just so bad, that it just takes away any credibility.

Yesterday I thought was especially poor in both the Ravens and Steelers game, in managing the game. At one point in the Ravens game the Eagles radio guy said can anyone explain why we are having a 5 minute delay here? And honestly no one knew, especially the refs.

Similar things went on with the Steelers game and it just hurts the product on the field.

Anonymous said...

On 102 Snaps Ziggy Hood has 2 total tackles and not one single pressure on the qb.

On 88 snaps Brett Keisel has 2 tackles and 1 hit on the QB.

on 32 snaps Cameron Heyward has 2 tackles along with 1 assist and 1 sack with those resulting in 3 defensive stops which are offensive failures.

Dale Lolley said...

Well, if those are Cam's totals, he must be better.

Apples and oranges, really. Look at Aaron Smith's career stats. There won't be too many seasons that jump off the page at you.
Yet he was considered the best 3-4 lineman.
It's all about opportunities and matchups.
You don't know what the responsibilities on a given play.

Do I think Keisel is playing particularly well? No. But Heyward isn't going to replace him. Not going to happen.
Watch Keisel take off when Harrison returns. Right now, he's limited to what he can do because of who is lining up next to him.

Anonymous said...

Dale, at some ponit there guys have to beat their man one on one that's what stats are reflective of.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Smith may not have gotten all of the sacks and tackles in the world but when healthy, he was at least providing constant pressure and blowing lineman off of the ball back into the running back by beating his man one on one something neither Keisel or Hood have been able to do thus far into the season.

adamg said...

Woodley had a good game. Hood deserves at least some credit for that by tying up the OL like he's supposed to do.

As for the refs, I don't find them appreciably better or worse than the regular refs. I do think they need to eject a few players and/or coaches to assert their authority as that seems to be the biggest problem right now. On MNF, Jon Fox completely embarrassed himself running out on to the field, screaming, yelling and then looking like a fool challenging a 12 men on the field flag when the graphic came up with the count numbers on each player showing 12 players lined up. For losing teams, the new refs sure seem to be serving as a convenient excuse for why they lost.

marc said...

well, the steelers won and many steeler fans still think the refs were terrible.

to give another example of how bad they are...during the browns game one of the bengals tackled trent richardson and in the process richardson's shoe came off. the bengal player then threw richardson's shoe out the back of the endzone. the ref initially threw a flag, the refs huddled up, then the ref picked up the flag and said there was no penalty. that was on a 3rd and 3 play deep in browns territory where they ended up punting and giving the bengals excellent field position who then scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive.

now, how would you react if that happened to the steelers against a division opponent.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only person worried about Oakland?

I still have nightmares of the game we lost there when Ben had 4 picks

Anonymous said...

I also thought John Fox was a huge jerk on MNFB. Those refs should have kicked him out of the game and had security take him off the field.

The NFL talks about protecting the shield and then you can plainly see Fox swearing and screaming at officials all game long.

Coaches should be held to a higher standard of conduct than a player. He should get fined for that mess.

joe said...

no ejections in the ravin/iggles game where punches were clearly thrown, no ejections last night during that out of control mess.
these officials are in way to deep and the entire league was watching last night. it will only get worse.
i didn't see what flacco said as blaming the refs for a loss, i saw him throwing goodells words about "protecting the integrity of the game" right back in rog's face.

kyle said...

I don't think the calls have been worse but I would say there have been more bad calls. Have they done anything worse than Hochuli's fumble mistake in San Diego? Or mishearing a coin toss? Or Troy's interception in Indy in 2005? I'd say not (although give them time, I guess). But the frequency of bad calls, in my completely unscientific opinion, has risen. And the amount of time spent talking about things is pretty bad.

I'm curious if the people who feel labor has no right to negotiate think the NFL should continue playing salary reduction hardball with the refs or if it's clear that this specialized group should be paid as such.

Dale Lolley said...

The biggest issue to me is seeing a play run to completion, watching a player call for a flag and then seeing it come out five seconds after the play is over. Then there is a huddle that takes several minutes to decide what should be called.
I've seen that several times - per game.
Yes, the regular officials make mistakes. But at least there is some flow to the game. The first quarter of the Monday night game took an hour for Cripes sakes!
Television is going to be the determining factor. If the TV execs become upset with this, they will pressure the NFL to end it.
If they like 3 1/2 hour games - and they just might (more commercials) - they won't.

adamg said...

It's my understanding the strike is over the NFL wanting to eliminate the ref's defined benefit pension and switch them to a defined contribution plan (i.e. 401k)as much as anything. This isn't because the NFL can't afford it, but reportedly because "hardly anyone has defined benefit pensions anymore".

The refs signed on to the job expecting a specific pension. Changing that in midstream is wrong, imho. 85-100k extra for a part-time job is good pay and whatever one thinks about their on field performance, the officials are doing a tough and sometimes dangerous job. They shouldn't have their pensions jerked out from under them just because the NFL wants to join the benefits race to the bottom.

Anonymous said...

If the NFL has to shell out more money to referees, you know who is going to feel the pinch? It won't be the NFL, they'll just raise prices on fans.

NFL referees get paid 200k for a part time job that some people do for free. My heart isn't breaking that they might have to pay some money for their health coverage. I'd like to welcome them to the rest of humanity.

kyle said...

It isn't just the pension plan. From what I understand the NFL wants them to be fulltime but pay them less, change their pension, and prohibit them from working other jobs. Also, like last year, it isn't a strike, it's a lockout.

And I'm not one pulling my hair out over the officiating (yet) but how good do you think "people doing it for free" would be?

Anonymous said...

No one officiates organized games for free, not even peewee games.

The NFL rakes in billions of dollars every year. They can afford pensions for a few hundred officials.