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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tueday news and notes

Mike Tomlin correctly said today that the Steelers' biggest problem was not so much stopping Peyton Manning in the no-huddle offense, but stopping Denver's run game.

Willis McGahee averaged 4.0 yards per carry and consistently gained yardage. That left the Broncos in a lot of second and third-and-short, allowing Manning to throw a lot of short stuff, negating the Pittsburgh pass rush.

Add to that a QB such as Manning, who has a quick release and is accurate, and you have a recipe for disaster.

@ Tomlin also said that Jonathan Dwyer has earned more playing time. Look for Dwyer to be the primary ball carrier this week against the Jets.

The Steelers have been working in that direction for a couple of weeks now.

Of course, Rashard Mendenhall is also getting closer to a return. After watching Adrian Peterson rush for 84 yards and two scores last week, the Steelers might be a little more inclined to allow Mendenhall to come back.

Peterson tore his ACL a week before Mendenhall last year.

@ James Harrison ran on Monday and didn't experience any discomfort. He'll do the same Wednesday, with an eye on returning to practice Thursday or Friday.

@ Marcus Gilbert (hyperextended knee) and Ramon Foster (orbital migraine) checked out OK and are expected to return to practice at some point this week. Same goes for Troy Polamalu (calf strain).


alexrkirby said...

I'd like to hear why Tomlin thinks the run was so successful against us.

Has Keisel started to show his age? Hampton? There was more than one guy on our dline getting handled.

Anonymous said...

Hampton actually looked decent but of course he is not an impact player when the opposing offense is going no huddle

marc said...

no doubt the d-line was a weak spot. however, i don't completely agree it was the failure to stop the run that led to denver's success.

since they went to the no-huddle at 9:40 in the second quarter, they had 8 rushes and 16 passes. only twice were they 3rd and short, and only once was that setup by a run.

after the steeler's got burned on the long TD, they put #43 back at safety and manning responded by running the ball 3 out of 4 times, quite successfully. the steelers then brought #43 back into the box and manning ripped off 6 consecutive pass plays to eventually score another TD. i view this as the passing game setting up the running game for the broncos. the fact the steelers couldn't stop manning gave them room to run the ball.

all in all, manning was 14 of 16 after going to the no-huddle. he abused the steelers defense by keying on #43 and finding the mismatches. the steelers didn't stop the run, but that's not why manning was successful. he was successful because all he had to do was change the play based on where #43 lined up. if the steeler's defense remains that transparent, then they will have trouble stopping the no-huddle offenses all season long.

Anonymous said...

dline wass dominating the fist quarter

after that manning started the no huddle and we barely had 3 linemen out there. Not really concerned with run D, at least against most teams

Dale Lolley said...

So, what you're saying Marc, is that the Broncos' ability to run had an effect on what the Steelers did defensively.
Because the Broncos were able to run the ball successfully, the Steelers were forced to bring Polamalu back up into the box.
Polamalu, by the way, wasn't able to disguise as he usually does because of the presence of Mundy on the field. I wrote a story about it last week.
Clark told me Polamalu would have to play things more straight up because of Mundy's inexperience. That was his fourth start and just second with Polamalu. They have lost both starts with Mundy opposite Polamalu.

marc said...

dale, i'm saying the opposite. the broncos ability to pass forced the steelers to adjust, which opened up the run.

in the bronco's first 3 possessions, i believe they had 7 rushes for 16 yards. after they established the pass with the no-huddle, the steelers were forced to make a change, and then the broncos were very successful running the ball. as i said, i believe the pass set up the run.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight Marc, I'm glad you pointed that out for us and I agree with that 100%.

Dale, all of this talk about Manning's quick release being the reason why we applied no pressure is annoying, he had all day to throw back there and was most of the time. We shouldn't have to rely on exotic blitz type defenses or bringing an extra man every time in order to get to the QB.

Cam Heyward was a bright spot for us but Keisel and Hood were awfull. Keisel his age w/e but Hood, when is this guy going to stop playing with the opponets hands and just blow them the f* up like Justin Smith does for SF, he is supposed to be strong enough to do it.

Cam Heyward will be the reason why either Keisel or Hood are healthy demotions this year.

Anonymous said...


Al Woods was the only defensive lineman to get a single pressure on Manning all game.

kyle said...


I think the point Dale was making is that after the Broncos initially had little success running and started throwing the ball well, which, as you pointed out, set up the run, the Steelers were then unable to stop the run. If the Broncos had thrown to set up the run and the Defense was still able to stop the run it would have limited Denver. The Steelers weren't able to stop the run at that point and thus Manning pretty much went up and down the field.

Anonymous said...

He went up and down the field anyway Kyle.

marc said...

he want up and down the field well before they established the run in the fourth quarter.

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree with Anonymous on Ziggy's game. I would like more violence in his punch, and he seems to get moved too much for a guy who's that strong. Also, if you don't trust Rainey to return kicks or catch a screen pass he doesn't have a lot of value.

It's just one game, and they didn't play that bad for being without Clark against Manning. Maybe someday he'll have to beat us in the middle of a mosquito infestation and we can have the advantage. Get 'em next week.


Robbie said...

Dale, Josh Miller dropped a mini-bombshell on the radio today. He said according to people he knows with the Steelers there are some things that are "not peachy" going on within the team.

He wouldn't elaborate but basically implied that if we knew what he knows then we wouldn't be surprised if the Steelers end up having a much worse season than expected.

Have you heard anything similar?

Anonymous said...


Is there a link to the interview?

NS in Atl

kyle said...

The Broncos had 7 points in the first half. Not exactly moving the ball at will, wouldn't you say?

Robbie said...


Is there a link to the interview?

NS in Atl"

There's no link. It wasn't an interview, Miller co-hosts a show in PGH.

They were discussing whether the Pirates or Steelers would win more games the rest of the year. The other two hosts chose the Steelers, but Miller chose the Pirates and he dropped that nugget as a reason why the Steelers might not be winning as many games as we think they will.

Anonymous said...

We'll be fine, we lost to Peyton Manning, a lot of teams will lose to him this year.

Patrick said...

at Josh Miller doesn't have an axe to grind...

Anonymous Brian said...

Polamalu must have the world's most delicate calves.

Dale Lolley said...

I haven't heard anything about any rifts. I do know that Heyward isn't necessarily the most popular guy on the team.
But rifts aren't always bad. I know the offense and defense didn't necessarily get along well in the 90s. They did OK.

Anonymous said...

Miller was always getting spit showers from Cowher, whether it was the sideline or a Christmas Party. So I'm sure he's seen his share of lockerroom disfunction and drama, and is relatively inoculated to it. The only 'rift' I can imagine that might scuttle the season is if Roethlisberger plans on tanking to root out Haley. Seriously doubt that one, too competitive. No idea what Miller was implying, but I kinda doubt it had to do with rifts. Maybe health/depth/talent related, my guess. That, or he was just talking out his backside.

Anonymous said...

That said, the Heyward thing is a bit surprising. After this camp and the number of fights he got in, I can understand if he's not too popular in among the OL. But I've always understood Heyward to be a high character/good citizen type. I suppose guys like that can be unlikeable, but I'm still kinda surprised to hear that about Heyward. Unless it's just isolated to the OL, and coming off the heels of a spirited camp.

marc said...

dale, i find the heyward thing interesting. is it a case of him being "cheap" in practice/camp against the OL or are guys showing resentment towards him because he's giving it 100% all the time and therefore going over the edge every once in a while?

Anonymous said...

my sources tell me Harrison will play

Dale Lolley said...

I think some of the defensive players are a little disappointed with Cam at times because he doesn't seem like - believe it or not - he has much intensity.
Fighting in practice is one thing. But not finishing plays is another.