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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

More silver linings

Looking for more in terms of silver linings from Baltimore's Super Bowl win?

Try this one on:

While we all know that there's often a letdown for teams after winning the Super Bowl - the Steelers can attest to that - take a look back at the last time that the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000.

Coming off that win, the Ravens were considered to be the NFL's next possible dynasty, led by a defense that was being compared to many of the greats.

What happened after that?

In 2001, the Ravens went 10-6, yet finished second to the Steelers in the AFC North standings. Pittsburgh whipped them in the playoffs, 27-10.

The following season, the Ravens stumbled to a 7-9 year and failed to make the postseason.

So while everyone in Pittsburgh is focused on what happened with the Steelers in 2012 and who this team is going to be without in 2013 - and rightfully so - don't forget to look at who the defending Super Bowl champs are going to be without as well.

Ray Lewis will retire. Paul Kruger and Ed Reed - two main cogs of the defense - are both unrestricted free agents and could be out the door.

In fact, take a look at Baltimore's list of impending free agents, and you will see a list that is longer than any other team in the league. And it includes the likes of quarterback Joe Flacco, Reed, Kruger, left tackle Bryant McKinnie, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, cornerback Cary Williams and tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.

Some of those guys are restricted free agents, but even at that, those guys will be getting significant raises if the Ravens intend to keep them.

And Flacco is likely to get a big increase from his $4.61 million salary of last season to at least $20 million in 2013.


ibygeorge said...

Agreed the Ravens will be in the Super Bowl slump next season, but on paper their offense is looking better than ours. They have a #1 WR and RB, we don't. I thought we had a 30 point a game offense going into last season, but it looked like we were still in the Super Bowl slump. Rooney's objective was to run more efficently and protect Ben. We did either with a talent surplus. So far it looks like less talent next season.

Dale Lolley said...

Let's wait and see how things play out. They had no running game for much of 2012 because they overestimated the talent they had at running back.

DAVE said...

of course making Elvis Grbac your QB might have had something to do with the decline. :)

Anonymous said...

Torrey Smith is in no way a #1 wr. They are way better than us at the RB spot though. I take pierce or Rice over any of our guys, including Mendenhall.

Dale Lolley said...

That's a no-brainer, Anonymous. But, running back is one of the few positions in the league where a guy can step in and be a big difference maker.

Easley said...

I sure hope Kruger leaves, and goes far away from us. That guy is a beast.

DAVE said...

Peter King from answered my question about Jerome Bettis not making the Hall of Fame in his Tuesday mailbag column. Not sure he really shed any light on anything...oh well.

MMQB - Tuesday Edition

Anonymous said...

flacco is so stupid he probably will take a sweetheart deal

ravens will def have a falloff losing Ray, Reed, Kruger and Mckinnie

other silver lining is we stand alone with 6 SBs could be like that for a long time

Anonymous said...

Torrey Smith is in fact a true #1 receiver

even if he isnt, Boldin still has a couple good years left

Smith > Wallace

Dale Lolley said...

Torrey Smith is in no way, shape or form better than Mike Wallace. You're smoking something.

Blount Trauma said...

Please expand on that, Dale. I was thinking Smith was better. Comparable speed and hands, and I was giving Smith the edge in body control and in the ability to high point (and fight for) the ball. I'm not nearly smart enough to even pretend to have an opinion on route running, and I know that's a key.

Patrick said...

have to like the potential of Torrey Smith better than Mike Wallace. I think he could develop into a WR a caliber just below Andre Johnson. I don't see that happening with Wallace.

Wallace is going to have those "c'mon man!" moments for the rest of his career. They are frustrating.

marc said...

if he's not better, they are pretty darn even. smith's speed is a hair slower, his hands are the same and he actually goes up and fights for the ball downfield. imo, wallace is very poor at going up for a ball. further, wallace's route running is average on a good day and i have to assume smith is no worse.

separately, it was nice to see flacco's agent state he should be the highest paid QB in the league. i'm looking forward to that contract being underperformed over the next 3-4 years.

Dale Lolley said...

At this point in his career, Smith is strictly a deep guy. He truly is a one-trick pony. You don't see him catch anything underneath. I think this is partly because he doesn't run the best routes.
For all of the criticism of Wallace, he'll go over the middle. And his route running improved over his first season a great deal. He's a better receiver than Smith.
Heck, people are complaining about Wallace catching 64 passes on 119 targets, Smith had 49 catches on 110 targets this season. I'm no math whiz, but I can see that's far less than 50 percent.

Anonymous said...

Torrey Smith is most definitely better than Wallace

Dale is dead wrong

Anonymous said...

nice stats Dale

the big difference is most of Smiths targets were deep down field.

Wallace has a ton of those stupid screen passes to pad those stats u mentioned

weak analysis

Anonymous said...

Patrick: Once again proving you are an idiot.

kyle said...

At this point Wallace is better than Smith because of catches like the one in the Giants game. Smith catches bombs. Wallace catches bombs and occasionally takes a short pass to the house. I have not seen Smith do that. Maybe he can but it hasn't really come up yet that I've seen. I don't exactly keep close tabs on the guy though.

ibygeorge said...

Yes, but don't you think Wallace is gone. It's is Smith better than Brown? And no Steeler is better than Boudlin.

Dale Lolley said...

Uh, Ok. You want to look at Wallace's numbers when he was averaging 20 yards per catch. His numbers are better than Smith's then as well.

Dale Lolley said...

2011, Wallace had 72 catches for 1,193 yards and 8 TDs on 113 targets, an average of 16.1 yards per catch.

In 2010, it was 60 for 1,257 and 10 TDs on 100 targets, a 21.0 yards per catch average.

Torrey Smith averaged 17.1 yards per catch this season when he caught less than 50 percent of the passes thrown his way. So yep, I can see how ALL of his catches were bombs.

Dan said...

"Torrey Smith is in no way, shape or form better than Mike Wallace. You're smoking something."

The only thing that Wallace might have on Smith is speed. Smith is clearly better in every other facet.

Wallace is a glorfied Nate Washington with a bad attitude. He'll take the money and run to whichever team is foolish enough to break the bank on him, and he'll be perfectly content to spend the rest of his life going 5-11.

Anonymous said...

I don't see a "silver lining", I'd rather win a Super Bowl and have my cap screwed up for the NEXT FEW YEARS, than not win and be in great cap shape.

2ndly, Flacco is "stupid" for taking a "sweetheart deal"? So you would SAY..."No thanks, I'm concerned about the salary cap, don't pay me"... LOL!

Anonymous said...

So Dale? Who do we get as a replacement for Wallace. You cna't win a Super Bowl playing Martyball anymore, I say we have to pick a WR #1, because PASSING OFFENSE and SCORING is what NFL fotball is all about and the Steelers need to join that club.

Dale Lolley said...

You're right Dan. The receiver who in two seasons still hasn't eclipsed 100 career catches is "clearly" better than Mike Wallace. Get real.

Dale Lolley said...

Yep, the receiver who had eight games this season - including one against the Steelers when he had one catch on seven targets - where he had two or fewer catches, is clearly better than Mike Wallace.

Eric T said...

Dale, I don't know why you bother with these jokers.

Should we be expecting any roster moves made for cap purposes (other than the Rainey release), ala the Giants cutting Bradshaw?

DAVE said...

Speaking of Ahmad Bradshaw, any chance he'd be a fit for the Steelers?

He's only 26, should be fairly cheap having just been cut, has had 2 1,000 yrd seasons, has a career ypc of 4.6 and catches out of the backfield.

I could've sworn he was 28 or 29, but at 26 he could be a steal. (The big if...if he can stay healthy)

Dale Lolley said...

I don't see the making any moves until they have to, which is in March. No real reason to do so before that

Dan said...

"Yep, the receiver who had eight games this season - including one against the Steelers when he had one catch on seven targets - where he had two or fewer catches, is clearly better than Mike Wallace"

He is, and cherry picking numbers doesn't change that fact. Switch Smith and Wallace, which would actually give Roethlisberger a WR who has decent hands and who tries and is able to adjust to catch a ball that's not perfectly in stride, and T. Smith's numbers would surpass Wallace's.

Wallace is good at putting up garbage time numbers. For example, his best game this year was the second half of the Chargers game, long after it had gotten out of hand.

Wallace really hasn't been great for the past year and a half. Teams have figured him out.

I respect your opinion, Mr. Lolley, and I usually agree with your take on things, but I stridently disagree with you on this. Don't let Wallace's one great play against the Giants mislead you into thinking that Wallace is a complete receiver. Given his attitude, I say good riddance. Maybe Wallace and Mendenhall can share a cab to the airport.

kyle said...

"Don't let Wallace's one great play against the Giants mislead you into thinking that Wallace is a complete receiver."

And don't let Wallace's attitude mislead you. Wallace's catch and run against the Giants is something he's done before and something I have not seen out of Torrey Smith. Smith seems good at adjusting for the ball. Wallace is ok at it. Wallace's catch to beat Green Bay his rookie year was very good and another type of catch I have not seen out of Torrey Smith.

Smith might turn out to be fantastic but to say you've seen enough of him to definitively state that he's easily better than Wallace is shaky at best.

Dan said...

"Wallace's catch to beat Green Bay his rookie year was very good and another type of catch I have not seen out of Torrey Smith."

Have we ever seen Wallace make a catch like that since?

I admit, I was probably too hyperbolic re: T. Smith being clearly better. But seeing the performances that T. Smith, Boldin, and J. Jones had this post-season, combined with Wallace's performance and attitude over the past year and a half or so, has basically made me fed up with Wallace.

I think that Wallace is the most overrated Steelers player in recent memory. I don't think that he's as good as he thinks he is, and and I don't think that he's a top 20 receiver.

Dale Lolley said...

How about Wallace's TD catch against KC? People have selective memories when it comes to Wallace.
Guy had 32 touchdown catches in four seasons with the Steelers. To say he only made a couple of plays is ignoring the facts.

Torrey Smith has 99 career catches on 205 targets. Wallace, 235 on 404. So they both average about 100 targets per season, yet Wallace's production is nearly 1/3 better. And he's every bit the deep threat - if not better - than Smith.

Anonymous said...

Dale: I could go 20 percent (or 10 pecentage points) better, but 1/3 is a stretch.

99/205 = 48%

235/404 = 58%

58/48 = 1.2

Dale Lolley said...

Thanks for making my point. Better is better.

Dan said...

"How about Wallace's TD catch against KC? People have selective memories when it comes to Wallace.
Guy had 32 touchdown catches in four seasons with the Steelers. To say he only made a couple of plays is ignoring the facts."

I remember the KC catch- I was going to make the quip that his knees are better than his hands. However, for every circus catch he made, he had five passes clank off of his hands (or passively allow the DB to defend or intercept a pass).

No one is saying the Wallace is terrible or can't make great plays from time to time. He obviously can. His speed is formidable. My point is that and you and others overrate him.

I can see someone arguing that Wallace is better that T. Smith. However, I think your "what are you smoking" retort is every bit as hyperbolic as my "T. Smith is clearly better" position. The numerical comparisons demonstrate that they're close on numbers alone.

This is all moot, though, because there's no chance he's a Steelers next year.

Anonymous said...


People are just thinking that because the Ravens just won a Superbowl, while we didn't even make the playoffs.

Its really not even a question whether Wallace is better than Smith or not.

Wallace is better if you have a brain. End of Story.

Sri Lanka Tours said...

hoping that Kruger laves, my fb status

stop being retarded said...

smith is better and no one should be comparing targets and catch % considering flacco sucks accuracy wise compared to ben especially preplayoffs

Dan said...

"Its really not even a question whether Wallace is better than Smith or not.

Wallace is better if you have a brain. End of Story."

You haven't watched Steelers football for the past two years, have you? Have you been in a coma? That's the only way I can understand someone making that comment.

Dan said...

T. Smith was the more productive of the two this year. Wallace had 15 more catches, but T. Smith had as many touchdowns as Wallace, more yards, more first downs, and no fumbles (compared to Wallace's 2).

marc said...

you can't compare the numbers between the two because it's two different types of offenses that target their WR's in different ways.

no one has said wallace is bad, or even average. but rather, he is overrated and not as good as smith. when a WR has great speed and is often sent deep, it is EXPECTED that he go up and fight for the ball. wallace is poor at that, smith is very good at it. that is the major difference between the two.

kyle said...

"wallace is poor at that, smith is very good at it. that is the major difference between the two."

I think that's A difference between the two.

Smith is clearly better at going up for the ball. To my eyes, Wallace is clearly better underneath, in the screen game, and taking short catches for extra yards. I don't think it's night and day with these two. I think they're both very fast, if limited elsewhere, receivers.

Zipposteelers said...

Smith is better than wallace, Wallace has no ability to fight for the ball. Boldin fights for it and so does Smith. Wallace is an average WR at best , He is fast and he could come back to haunt the Steelers if he gets hooked up to a good QB. If he is all about the money, he won't care where her plays or who he plays with.
Funny thing about the NFL, It's a business with fans.
emotional ties are stupid. wallace is gone and The steelers need big changes to win, Starting with Tomlin, who holds plays in his back pocket and cannot motivate a team as evidenced by the Chargers game.
Tomlin has ruined the Steelers team by bringing in average talent and not being able to coach them up to even the basic Football rules.
let's unleash hell, yeah right.

marc said...

i just have to disagree with that, kyle. i don't think wallace is really that good at scampering around after catching a screen pass. his yards-after-catch (YAC) per reception is 4.3...miller,brown, and sanders were all better than that. additionally, i think he goes down to easily (for a WR).

imo, if smith and wallace switched teams at the beginning of this past season, the steelers would have been better off.

kyle said...

Wallace's yards after catch is also better than Smith's but the total yards after catch isn't what i'm talking about. Smith (or Wallace) gets 10 or 15 yards on the end of a bomb if the DB falls down. I'm talking about gaining yards in traffic. Wallace is not fantastic at it but he has shown much more of that than Smith has.

I might be the only one not definitively stating one is better than the other but from what I have seen of both Wallace has shown more. I don't know when jump balls became the sole rubric for WR success.

marc said...

well, smith has 4.8 YAC per reception. that is better than wallace. and some of those bombs are at the sidelines or touchdowns which result in zero yards after the catch, so it goes both ways.

jump balls are not the only determining factor here. but when a WR's primary weapon is the deep pass, he better be good at going for the ball instead of shying away like a little girl...which wallace has done more then once.

we could also talk about wallace's 2 fumbles compared to zero for smith.

or smith's 38 first down catches in 49 receptions versus wallace's 33 first down catches in 69 receptions. to put that into perpsective, there were 14 players who caught passes for the steelers this season and all but chris rainey had a higher percentage of their receptions go for first downs than wallace. i don't know, that doesn't exactly invoke an image of someone fight through traffic for a first down, not to me anyway.

kyle said...

The difference is Flacco doesn't throw underneath to receivers. Rice and the tight ends (and even Leach) get those throws. Smith gets more first downs because he gets a lot of throws down field. Wallace, for all his faults, gets more variation in his targets. And I looked up Wallace and Smith in regards to yards after catch for this season and Wallace was ahead, not by much, but ahead. Gotta love stats.

I'm not saying any of this as proof that Wallace is amazing and Smith is garbage. I really don't think they are miles apart. Smith just has not shown me enough for me to say he is better than Wallace.

kyle said...

I should add that I'm not disputing the numbers you found. I guess our sources got their numbers a different way. I honestly don't remember where I looked, it was before the playoffs.

marc said...

wallace has more "total yards after catch". i converted the YAC to be "per reception" since i felt that was a better apples-to-apples comparison.

i understand your thought process, and would agree if it weren't for the fact the rest of the steeler's receivers were more efficient with the ball in their hands than wallace.

this whole conversation got me thinking of hines ward and i went back to check his stats thru his whole career. the guy was never big on yards per catch, or plays over 20 yards, or even TD catches (he had more than 7 only 3 seasons)...but he got open, made catches, and fought for the ball and every yard. ward didn't need great speed to do all that.

once wallace loses his speed, he's toast.