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

Monday, February 04, 2013

Super Bowl proves Steelers not all that far off

If the Super Bowl proved one thing, it is this: The Steelers are not as bad off as some would think.

Remember, the 2012 Steelers beat both the eventual Super Bowl champions and the defending Super Bowl champs on their home fields.

They also took the Ravens to the limit in a game at Heinz Field with Byron Leftwich at QB.

So while a non-playoff season stinks and the Steelers have some salary cap issues to deal with, the picture isn't all that bleak.

@ Bad black eye for the NFL and New Orleans for the power to go out in the league's biggest event.

Maybe the league would consider scaling back its halftime extravaganza to one that only sucks up enough electricity to power a small city instead of a major one.

Nah, that's silly talk.

@ Is it too much to ask that the national anthem be performed the way it was written and intended to be sung?

I realize the Star Spangled Banner isn't the easiest tune to carry - I have some some singing myself.

But do we really need "stars" to add their own flair to it? We all know Alicia Keys is a good singer. We don't need her to bastardize the national anthem to prove it.

@ I really didn't think Joe Flacco should have won the MVP award for this Super Bowl. If I were voting, I would have cast a ballot for Jacoby Jones. Two 50-plus yard touchdowns - including a record 109-yard kick return to open the second half - were good enough for me.

@ For all of the people ripping some of Mike Tomlin's decisions this season - and I was among that crowd at times as well - realize that all coaches make a bonehead call at times.

Witness John Harbaugh's fake field goal call at the end of the first half on fourth-and-nine and well within field goal range.

@ Flacco's MVP award likely added another $10-20 million to his pricetag as a free agent, so there's that.

@ There is no way on God's green earth that Warren Sapp should be going into the Hall of Fame before Jerome Bettis, let alone Michael Strahan, who was a far better player than Sapp.


Patrick said...

Sapp was a hell of a player on those Buc defenses. Whether he is a POS is somewhat besides the point - he was a an indispensable player on those teams. Now, of course, Bettis was a great player on the majority of teams he played on, but indispensable? I doubt it. That is the reason Sapp was seen as a better DT than Bettis was a RB. There is arguments on both sides.

I agree with you about the coaches though and maybe I need to lighten up on Tomlin. Maybe.

I still say though, for me, the totality of Tomlin, and that he says such stupid things so often, irks me and makes me question my faith in him.

But, if Tomlin made that fake FG call, I think I'd be in the hospital after suffering a significant heart attack. So you're right to that extent - these guys all make bad calls. Maybe I was young and biased, but I just don't remember Cowher making those same dumb calls.

Anonymous said...

Great point, Dale. I'll add to it on the head to head with Baltimore: Ravens team has been built around the idea that they never have had to cut checks to a single position for big money. Its afforded them the ability to build a tight scheme-oriented team with a couple selfless 'stars' and still have quality (and underrated) depth at most positions.

That ends when they give the QB a 300% - 350% raise and make him 10 times more a year than their average starter. This will be compounded by the lockout last year, when there were a huge number of one-year deals cut. Now, every one of their 19 free agents is a SB winner...looking for that payday.

It gets worse. Guys heading into their last year are looking for the blockbuster...You think Jacoby Jones is playing out this 2-year $6MM deal next year?

Add to that a handful of SB-induced retirements (5+) and the requisite dip in motivation and reloading is really tough. They are losing their identity: replacing Ray Lewis leadership with Joe Flacco's 'personality' is good for 4 loses alone.

Any time a team ends a reg season 1-4 and then makes a post-season run of grit and emotion that walks out the door with Ray Ray, they will be in trouble the next year (and for several more, I expect). This whole situation is strange and rare for Superbowl winners. .

As the Ravens' fans dance on the hoods of other peoples cars in the Inner Harbor, the football future isn't too bad for the 'losers' in the AFCN.

Viktor said...

At least the game turned out to be exciting and controversial instead of a blowout.

I'm glad Ed Reed got a ring.

Loved watching the hits by Walker!

I thought the plays called for Kaepernick on that last drive were questionable at best.

Hope the Steelers grab a DT/NT in the 1st Rnd.

ibygeorge said...

Thanks for a Steeler view of the super bowl. Batch did orchestrate a win against the champs. But, I have to disagree with"Steelers aren't so bad off". With less RBs WRs, and new coaches, next years offense on paper will be outperformed by this years anemic offense.

TarheelFlyer said...

Just throwing some random thoughts out there this morning.

First, congrats to Joe Flacco on his MVP! Be thankful that the 49ers blew it on that last possession. Yeah, the call on 4th down was missed IMO, but they had 3 other shots at the end zone...and didn't get in. He is the rule of thumb coach, get in whenever you can, don't try to use up the clock cause, you might not get in.

Second, I think this team is further off right now than we would like to admit. Yes, we beat some good teams this year including the SB champs, but the reality is we still have plenty of holes.

Third, has anyone else heard that Anquan Boldin could be a cap casualty? He could solve a LOT of our ills IMO.

Fourth, this draft must make a positive impact on next years team, and this coming draft must also find some impact players for us.

marc said...

this superbowl has made me less of a nfl football fan.

i watched a ref get two-handed shoved back 2-3 yards with no flag. i watched a player punch another player in the facemask, in front of a ref, with no flag. i watched a defensive player line up on the other side of the ball and not get called for offsides. how does a multi-billion dollar a year sport not hire more competent officials?

and then there is the PED's. all the signs are there that we saw with MLB several years ago. ubelievably cut, monster players (even by historical football standards). incrediblly fast rehabs from major injuries. performances that can only be described as "unbelievable", "once in a lifetime", or the like. and yet, the NFLPA has done everything in its power to put off HGH testing. tell me, if the NFLPA is so upset about the safety of the game, then why do they try to avoid testing that would help remove a drug used to make people bigger, faster, and hit harder? has anyone asked demaurice smith that question yet?

i lost interest in MLB when mcguire broke the HR was so obvious. i still watch the playoffs, but i'm just a casual fan now. i'm losing interest in the NFL too...again, it's just so obvious. i'll still watch the steelers, cause i love 'em, but that's probably it.

Anonymous said...

I guess the highlight of a Ravens SB is like Mike says, they get their ring but they won't be the same team next year. Ray is retiring, if they have to franchise Flacco then Reed is likely going to walk. That right there changes their defense dramatically. If they have 19 free agents like Mike said, then that will change as well. That seems to point to the Ravens dropping a bit in our division next year so Cincy is the competition with the way they've been building and drafting.

15 days to the Combine. 80 days to the draft.

Henigin said...

Best possible result for Steelers fans in the Super Bowl, given the two teams that were involved in it.

-The 49ers didn't win a 6th to match our beloved Black & Gold
- The Ravens won on a controversial non-call that will be talked about endlessly and will trump going forward the chatter that still hangs around thanks to Seahawks fans from Super Bowl XL.
- Beyond the non-call, the news cycles and possibly even long-term story line of this Super Bowl just might be the power outage over the Ravens' win or Ray Lewis' "last ride".
- As you pointed out, Dale, Joe Flacco's price tag went way up
- Ray Lewis is done

Whack said...

I just don't get the panic over SF tying us on the number of super bowls... we... the Steeler's can always get more. Who cares how may super bowl trophies we have, when the Packers have what... 13 NFL Titles???

What really disgusts me is seeing Baltimore get a trophy... Now, not only have they beaten us 3 out of the last 4 meetings... won the division the past two seasons... but now they have a Lombardi... that's two in the past 12 or so years to match our 2... that is truely disgusting...

kyle said...

Warren Sapp is an ass of the highest caliber but he absolutely was a better player than Bettis or Strahan. The only downtime in Sapp's career was when Oakland stupidly put him in a 3-4. I hate Sapp but I was not suprised he got in first ballot.

On the national anthem, I didn't see Keys' rendition but before you get all uptight about bastardizing try to remember that the tune was taken from an old pub song and the poem was never meant to be sung. Francis Scott Key's poem was set to that melody and it was adopted as the national anthem. And as much as people liked Whitney Houston's version I'll take Hendrix, Feliciano, or Gaye singing wildly different versions any day and twice on Sundays.

Whack (again) said...

and to add to that, it looks like with all of their pending free agents, flacco ready to suck up a lot of cap space and Ray ray retiring this was the ravens last shot at glory... I would have been much much happier seeing them all fail...

Ok, not that I got that out of my system, who we going to draft in the first round with the 17th pick???

Anonymous Brian said...

I'm more glass is half-empty. I think Ben is past the midpoint of his career because of the beatings he takes -- I don't see him staying healthy.

Also have major money being paid to aging stars who are rarely on the field or 100% (but at least the D still played winning ball down the stretch).

The O has never shown the ability to carry the team. Hopefully the o-line is due for a healthy 2013, which would at least increase Ben's chances.

We're competitive with the Ravens, but bottom line is that they have been a tougher, better, smarter (yup) team than the Steelers the last two years and Flacco is good enough to win a Super Bowl so the Flacco Sucks brigade really doesn't have a leg to stand on anymore. Who cares if he, or Ben, or whoever is "elite" or not. (And yes, I find his uncanny ability to get PI calls annoying also.)

Easley said...

I find myself in deep agreement with Anonymous Brian. Ben is starting to remind me of an Audi I used to own--a superb machine when it was running well, but, after the accumulation of many miles, it became terribly unreliable and spent more time in the shop than out. The biggest difference between Ben and Flacco right now is that Flacco stays on the field.

And the biggest difference between the Steelers and Ravens is they have an elite RB, and a true money receiver in Boldin.

Dale Lolley said...

I realize what the national anthem is and where it was taken from. That does not give a singer license to do with it whatever they want. Sing it the way it was meant to be sung, not in a way to show off. It's not about you, it's about the event.

I disagree that Ben is any more likely to be injured than any other QB. It happens. This year was a freak circumstance. I've seen him take bigger hits with no issues.

Ron Kurimsky said...

Dale, if you watched the playoffs (let alone the super bowl) and came away thinking that the Steelers are not that far off - you must be either smokin some funny stuff or just not paying attention. I didn't see it that way at all. Every playoff team outclassed the Steelers. From an offensive line that actually open a hole, to a wide receive (Bolden) that can go up & fight for the ball to a coach staff that knows how to mix up the play calling & install some mis-direction. And, a head coach (Harbaugh) who has the stones to fire an offensive coordinator mid stream & hire another who takes them to a World Championship - WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT MAN? Do you think these things just appear with a click of a finger? Not that Far off? Pls gimme a break. That would be one of the most rediculous statement I've read from a "sports reporter" in a very long time.

Anonymous said...

I'd tend to agree with Ron, we had a team that underachieved this year. A number one defense and an "elite" QB, yet don't make the playoffs? Hang this one on the coaches.

Speaking of coaches, did anyone see where Bruce Arians was voted Coach of the Year? Interesting how he was good enough to be offensive coordinator here, yet is COACH of the year someplace else. Something don't seem right somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me.... wasn't good enough.

Anonymous said...

Forget Arians, our BEST offense with him ranked 12th and we routinely averaged in the 20's. Glad he did OK with Colts (sympathy vote) but he was never better than average here. I've never seen an offense pile up so many yards and so few points. What an idiot.

Easley said...

What the Arians rebound has taught me is that, as fans, we tend to have knee jerk reactions about coaches, and really don't know what the hell we're talking about. I'm as guilty as the next guy--I ranted about Arians's offense and was happy when he was fired/retired. But then what happened? Chuck Pagano, who had been the defensive coordinator for the Steelers biggest rival, hired him instantly. That spoke volumes. And then, when Pagano got sick, Arians led a team that was 2-14 the year before, and playing with a rookie QB, to the playoffs. So maybe Arians isn't as big an "idiot" as many of us thought.

Dale Lolley said...

The Colts' record was built mostly on beating up on Tennessee, Jacksonville, Kansas City, etc. They had one good win all season - over Green Bay.
They beat Minnesota early in the season when Peterson was still working his way into shape. So spare me the Arians BS.

Yes, the Steelers underachieved this season. So in one sentence, you are saying they underachieved, yet in the same breath, you're telling me the Steelers are far off from being a good team. Which is it?
Did they underachieve, or are they a bad team that played to its potential. Can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

He was our OC for 4 or 5 years, how was the decision to get rid of him knee jerk? And by the by, the Rooney's fired him, and they know a little about football.

Just cause a coach gets hired doesn't mean much, the NFL is an old boys network where terrible coaches get work over and over again. It's about name recognition and who you know. Mike Martz offenses were awful for years but he kept getting jobs. Greg Williams just got hired despite how bad his D has been for year AND being nationally disgraced.

kyle said...

I guess my point was there is no way it's "meant to be sung." Maybe you didn't care for Alicia Keys' rendition, that's fine, like I said I didn't see it but there is no "correct" way to sing a song.

The 2003 Steelers went 6-10. The 2004 Steelers went 15-1. I love how everyone thinks it takes years and years to be good. It takes years and years for the Browns because their ownership and decisions have been terrible.

Dale Lolley said...

By the way, I guess Rotoworld agrees with me. Looking at each team's NFL roster as the season ends and what they need to do heading into the offseason, it ranks the rosters of each team. Steelers are 10th. Ravens are 9th.
Steelers underachieved in 2012.

Whack said...

after watching the play-offs... I tend to agree with Dale...

IF the teams, which on paper looked good... or even great during the regular season were to have stormed straight through the play-offs to the super bowl... then I would be feeling as some of you, "that the team is in terrible shape in need of rebuilding"...

However, that did NOT happen... it was the Ravens, and I believe it just as easily could have been the Steeler's in Baltimore's position if it were not for an injury to Big Ben...

and that is what makes how this season turned out for the Steeler's so hard to take...

Anonymous said...

The Steelers record was built mostly on losing to teams like Tennessee, Oakland, Cleveland and San Diego. We had two good wins, Baltimore and NY Giants, most of the other teams weren’t that good like KC, Phillie, NY Jets. We beat Washington when RG was still learning the ropes. Sounds like a lot of underachievement to me.

How did Bruce Arians take a team that was 2-14 the year before and take them to an 11-5 mark and the playoffs? Conversely, how did Mike Tomlin take a team that was 12-4 the year before and turn them into an 8-8 team? Arians got his team focused, they were playing for Chuck Pagano, their coach with leukemia. Arians got the momentum going in their favor. Conversely, Tomlin got his team focused on blowing late game leads (Oakland, Tennessee), fumbles (Cleveland), dropped passes (Cincinnati) and interceptions (Dallas, Cincinnati 2). Tomlin got the team riding a negative wave of energy right out of the playoffs. It was obvious that Tomlin didn’t have the team ready to play in the San Diego game and after that, the season was over, even if there were a few games left to play. I remember commenting before the second Cincinnati game that they weren’t going to win because they didn’t have any heart, it was that obvious. So these guys are professionals making a lot of money, so Tomlin shouldn’t have to get them ready? Think again, Ray Lewis got his team to play, since he’s retiring, maybe we can get him to be our cheerleader. The physiological aspect of any sport is just as important as the physical. So spare me the Arians BS, it was the Tomlin BS that we had to deal with.

So let’s see, how are they not a good team? We’re losing our number 1 receiver, Wallace, who had an off year. Do the Steelers even have a number 1 running back? Their offensive line has tremendous potential, potential being a word to describe not being there yet. So if the new line coach, Bicknell, doesn’t get the line playing right out of the blocks, does Ben return to being the human piƱata? Speaking of such, do the Steelers even have a backup quarterback? Hampton and Harrison are getting old. Woodley and Polamalu may be slowing down due to injuries, we’ll see if they can play the entire 2013 season effectively. Speaking of injuries, didn’t Polamalu and Mendenhall get re injured and Ben never seemed the same after getting injured. Injuries happen, but either the Steelers need to get better on conditioning or do a better job of when to allow injured players to return or tell them try not to get thrown around on the back of a teammate’s legs. Yeah, I was thinking specifically of someone.

So yes, the Steelers underachieved in 2012 and at this point in time, have a lot of question marks on whether they are a good team, from the head coach down to the players.

kyle said...

Lots to cover here:

They beat Washington in Week 8. I don't think Griffin was "still learning the ropes" mid-season.

Maybe Bruce Arians took a 10-6 team that didn't have a QB for a 2-14 year and then got the top rated QB in the draft and went 11-5.

Yep, they're professional adults and don't need a cheerleader. If Jim Harbaugh doesn't turtle it for 4 plays at the end how much good did Ray's "focus" do for the Ravens? Also, physiological refers to the physical, I assume you meant psychological.

You expend a lot of energy extolling the virtues of Bruce Arians "master motivator" turning around a team in one year but then assume that the Ravens can't get worse and the Steelers can't get better. Make up your mind. Oh, wait. You have. You've decided to be a fatalistic sad sack.

Lighten up.

Tom said...

I can't understand why this hasn't been covered yet, because we all watched the Ravens in the regular season and nothing suggested they'd even win a playoff game...

Ray Lewis knew the Ravens weren't good enough to win, they needed something, a push, to win, so he said he was retiring. I would bet a lot of money on Lewis playing another year or 2 if they didn't win the Super Bowl, and I'd bet even more that had he not said he would retire the Ravens would've rolled over in Denver.

His 'leadership' certainly spoke volumes, but like the last 5 years his on field play was average at best, and it was a calculated move to go so public with his decision.

He was aware of the need for a cause to get the Ravens over the line, something for the team to rally around, and that was key. This was something that was visibly lacking from every area of the Steelers team this year, coaches, players, the lot.

I hated watching the Ravens win, the 49ers came back really well in the second half, above all I really can't believe that there is a Super Bowl MVP QB in the AFC North, that isn't called Roethlisberger. Forget 6 rings, the Ravens win is much closer to home and it hurts to see their players happy, usually the start of a new year is a sad time for the Ravens, and in recent years it has been because of the Steelers.

DAVE said...

I'm with Dale.

If we even get a decent running game and have a healthy Ben. We're right in the thick of it next year. I'm excited.

Besides, we have a great little pattern going here:
2001 and 2002 - playoffs
2003 - miss
2004 and 2005 - playoffs + SB
2006 - miss
2007 and 2008 - playoffs + SB
2009 - miss
2010 and 2011 - playoffs + SB
2012 - miss

The next two years are looking good and it goes to show that the Steelers don't string bad seasons together.

Whack said...

I believe the Colts players were playing for Pagano because of their feelings toward Pagano... not because of anything special about Arians... other than him being the interim head coach.

Let's see what Arains does in Arizona... where Arains built the coaching staff... not Pagano

Anonymous said...

Everyone is so quick to play the cheesy "psychology" card. The Ravens turned it around because the players just wanted it for Ray Lewis, BS. How about the coaches rearranging most of their oline?? All the sudden Flacco has ALL DAY to find a receiver and the running game gets better. THAT is the decision that got the Ravens a SB more than anything else. Coaching decision and players on the field. Not some BS psychological ploy. Flacco was hardly touched during the playoffs. No wonder he just turned it on all the sudden.

Arians sucks.

Anonymous said...

Kyle, lots to cover here:
Interesting comment that when the Steelers beat Washington in Week 8, that you didn't think that Griffin was "still learning the ropes" since it was mid-season. My guess is that RG was learning the ropes his entire first season, otherwise he would have learned how to slide or run out of bounds more often. Also, there’s a reason why Le Beau is 14-2 against rookie quarterbacks, he shows them new rope tricks. Funny though, one of the losses was against Cleveland this year when the Steelers had 8 fumbles to go with Batch’s 3 interceptions.

Arians took a 2-3 team and went 8-2 in Pagano’s absence. A good bit of the Colt’s team from 2010 was gutted. You may have heard that a guy named Peyton Manning left. Ditto Dallas Clark. Joseph Addai? Jeff Saturday? While some were on the down side of their careers, replacements still need to be found. I agree though, the Colts were playing for Pagano rather than Arians, but Arians was at the helm when it happened, so he gets credit.

Actually, if they're professional adults and don't need a cheerleader, then the team deemed having the better players automatically wins and we wouldn’t need to play the game. The Steelers lacked in leadership this year with the losses of Ward, Farrior and Smith. Granted, it was the right move to release them, but no one really stepped up to fill the leadership void. Tomlin should have recognized this as a problem when releasing them. The Colts were playing for their fallen coach Pagano. The Ravens were playing for Lewis. Everyone here forgotten about how the Steelers played for the Bus? Point is they were playing for something that helped them reach their goal.

As much as I dislike the Ravens, I do respect them for the good team that they are and enjoy the rivalry, more so than the Bengals or Browns. Don’t care for Ray Lewis and his antics, but yet he fired the defense up for years, I can respect that. The Steelers don’t have that sort fire or leadership right now. Good catch on the physiological versus psychological, eyes and spell check don’t fail me now.

I think my comparison was between Bruce Arians and Mike Tomlin. How you came to “ but then assume that the Ravens can't get worse and the Steelers can't get better” is fascinating. Psychic or just reading between the lines? OK, I’m holding three fingers up, read between the lines. That was for the name calling at the end. Last time I got a putta for saying that the Steelers didn’t have the heart to beat the Bengals. See how that turned out? This is where we are right now, it’s my honest assessment. Things will change between now and September, can’t say whether it will be bad or good, Tomlin hasn’t shown me enough as the master motivator.

marc said...

amazing, criticize tomlin for not getting the team pumped up and then use a player as your example of how it should be done. just brilliant.

let's put it this way, if a player can't get focused and jacked up for his game then please exit stage right. this game is for men, not boys.

arians got fired because his results, as in points, were slightly above average while consistently placing #7 in bad spots. when the owner says keep our highest paid player a little cleaner and you fail, well, you'll be looking for another job. it should be noted that arians was not the only coach for the colts and though he won the award, there were many more people who i am sure rose to meet the challange when pagano left.

finally, this team definitely lackded leadership this past season. but, it has to come from the players to be genuine. the coach cannot assume that role because too many times he needs to also be the enforcer.

kyle said...

They beat a playoff team, in fact, they were 3-2 against playoff teams. Not great, that's for sure, but not exactly being "outclassed" as thoroughly as you suggest.

Peyton Manning did leave, he had a pretty good year. Not so much for Clark or Addai, Saturday made the pro bowl but that was on name recognition alone, nobody from Green Bay's line deserved to be there.

First off, "better players" in a sport with 53 on a roster is entirely subjective. Match ups would make more sense. But either way, I've said this you think Jack Lambert needed someone to get him psyched for a game? Do you think Rod Woodson needed lots of pep talks? If you need Ray Lewis dancing around and talking about "fire" and "heart" to play your best than I don't want you on my preferred team.

You kinda make my point. The Colts were playing for Pagano but they still lost. So it can only take you so far right? So the Ravens were two close plays from the Super Bowl last year, Lewis retiring was that last little bit? And if they had lost the Super Bowl? Would that have meant that Ed Reed had to announce his retirement too?

You were responding to a post about how the Steelers aren't that far behind and then ran through a litany of reasons why you feel they are. Things change. They change quickly in professional sports most of the time.

Sad sack makes you imply that you're flipping me the bird? That's pretty tough, even for the internet.

The problem with "heart" and cheerleading and getting "fired up" is exactly the problem that Chuck Noll had with it. It doesn't last and it doesn't make you any better than you already were. Chuck Noll treated his players like adults. He installed a game plan and practiced the team to execute it. I'd rather have a bunch of self-motivated players than a bunch of dummies hanging on Ray Lewis' every word.

Patrick said...

I thought I was the only one kyle fought with.

kyle said...

Ha. You wouldn't know it from the similar comments that marc and I just posted but he and I spent a fair amount of the lockout on this blog debating who was in the wrong or right or what should happen. I don't come on here looking for fights. When someone says something I disagree with, I mention it. If they draw conclusions I think are flawed, I say something to try to make the discussion a little more interesting. The problem is, without tone or really knowing someone, the internet devolves into fighting. It sucks. How's school?

Patrick said...

how's school? I'm not sure if thats a serious question or some kind of sarcasm.

I've been out of lawschool a year and half now though.

Dale Lolley said...

Point of clarification, the Steelers beat the Bengals in Cincinnati, so I don't know what drops cost them in that game.
In fact, the Steelers went 4-3 against playoff teams this year.

Anonymous said...


Don’t care if it’s the singer, the song, the words or the tune, move me. Don’t care if it’s the coach, the player, the water boy, move me. Tomlin didn’t seem to have the team ready in a lot of games that they should have won. Cowher was a Pittsburgh boy through and through, he wore his emotions on his sleeve. Anyone remember the game where he stuck the photo in the refs shirt pocket showing the Steelers only had 11 men on the field? He got fined for that. Anyone remember the time the opponent was running down the sideline and Cowher looked like his was ready to jump out and tackle him? Now granted, he was the opposite of Noll, who was pretty even keeled. Keep in mind, between Bradshaw and Ben, we didn’t have much in the way of quarterbacks. Cowher still found a way to make it work and Tomlin is riding on Cowher’s coattails with Ben. The players tend to follow the coaches’ lead, so I sense that Cowher may have been more of a hard ass where Tomlin might be more of a one of the boys coach.

As far as getting jacked, I think both Kiesel and Harrison alluded to it after the San Diego game, that some players weren’t ready to play.


You indicated they were 3-2 versus playoff teams, Dale indicated 4-3. I show they split with Baltimore and Cincinnati, lost to Denver and beat Washington, what am I missing? Losing to Tennessee, Oakland, Cleveland and San Diego is getting outclassed, wasn’t an implication, it was a fact.

Actually, not playing the game was tongue in cheek, the better team doesn’t always win, that’s why they play the game. Why doesn’t the better team win? Desire, attitude, heart, sometimes luck, the ball does bounce funny sometimes. We were missing all those things this season. I loved Jack Lambert’s attitude. Miked up, he tackles Earl Campbell in the backfield and tells him “that should cool your ass for a while.” John Elway’s first game was against the Steelers and he looks across the line and sees Jack Lambert smiling at him….. with no teeth. He said he knew he was in trouble. You don’t have many of those type of players anymore, back then, they played for pride. Silverback is the closest we have to Lambert, but again, he’s aging. Noll coached in an era of men, no one was dancing when they got a sack or TD, Noll would have sent them packing. I don’t consider the Ravens defense dummies, I watched too many games that resembled heavy weight prize fights. I see a few Steelers playing with consistent attitude: Redman, Colon, Harrison. Polamalu plays with attitude, but tends to be a quiet leader by example.

Fatalistic is what pissed me off…… lol

What the drops cost them was confidence. Drops in other games were momentum changers. Add in defensive collapses, fumbles, special team penalties and interceptions, all of which reinforced the season long trend of the team finding ways to lose games and it reflects a lack of focus, discipline and priority.

Anonymous said...

wow not even my ocd is going to make me go through and read all of this. really guys

kyle said...


It wasn't sarcasm. I remembered you had said you were in law school in Philly. I didn't know if you had graduated. Congrats.


My bad. They were 3-3. They did have losses to teams who didn't make the playoffs. I'm not trying to say that going .500 against playoff teams means they were great. I'm saying it means they weren't miles away.

Jack told Dorsett "that'll cool your ass off." And people celebrated sacks and touchdowns. It just wasn't ubiquitous.

Other Anonymous,

Yeah, this is pretty ridiculous. Combine is in a couple weeks. That's good right?

Slab said...

Sheez. The Steelers beat the Super Bowl champs on the road with their 3rd string QB. They lost 5 games by 3 points. They had a 7th round rookie start 5 games at 2 different positions. the top 3 impact defensive players rarely played together. the difference between the Steelers and the Ravens this year boils down to one thing- injuries. Who is the Ravens 3rd QB? How many games did he play in? I'm pretty confident that if Flacco had missed 1/4 of the season and they lost his backup, too, the Ravens season would have been a bit different.

Anonymous said...

You guys should probably put off your murder-suicide pact until we have a losing season. Ben wasn't great down the stretch (injuries or whatever), and they lost the close games. Players retired, and draft picks were injured. Not their year, but 16 teams had a worse one.

-Zac in Tempe

marc said...

i liked noll and i liked cowher. two different styles and they both worked. i do not think one is any better than the other.

after a few years, this was tomlin's team and they responded well to him. his style is different, but it is also proven, imo. as i have said before, i do not think he is a great coach, but he is good and good enough to win a superbowl.

what i have never, and will never accept is placing blame on a coach for a player's lack of intensity and focus. they are professionals for crying out loud.

i have a meeting in 10 minutes with a client for which i am thoroughly prepared. made my notes, printed things out, everything's in order, a list of important questions, another list of questions about his family in case i forget...etc, etc. now, if i happended to enter that meeting unprepared, would my wife go to my boss and tell him he's not doing his job getting me prepared?

when you have a good coach and players don't respond to the process, then you get new players.

Slab said...

The difference between NFL teams is marginal and the season will almost always hinge on health and a few key plays. If Denver can close out the Ravens in the opening week of the playoffs (which was much more likely than the miracle Baltimore pulled off), the playoffs obviously play out entirely diffently. If you watched the Steelers play this year, they really could have won each game with the losses hinging on one or two bad plays.

Anonymous said...

Here you go Patrick and Kyle, the Steelers were in tied games the most of any team throughout the season. Wouldn't say playing "down" to their opponent's level but definitely on or at their level.

Zipposteelers said...

It's time for the Team to draft a young splash playmaker that is feared by other teams. Enough of the Scholar and gentleman stuff from Tomlin, Our Backs are against the wall in an uphill battle in The AFC North. We need Big Mean Hungry soldiers looking to knock out anyone who tries to take this division..8-8 teams don't bring championships. The Steelers have never valued WR's as much as "D" , Let wallace go, he is a fast receiver but he is not a complete Football player, He has no fight for the ball like Hines Ward did. With Wallace the team already has shown they just need speed and a half ass effort at WR to be good. Where was the WR coach when Wallace said he was losing focus? Sucks.
Give BB some weapons and let's win the sixth ring.
The Steelers tried to hold onto older pro bowlers instead of letting them defect and the cap will be adjusted to comply. So no big FA on the horizon. This is Time for the Steelers to pick the next pro bowler with a demeanor of Greg lloyd , or Joey Porter, James Harrison. Or 8-8 is relevant.

kelly said...

The steelers already have 6 rings.

Zipposteelers said...

Ha ,had to laugh at my gaff,}

I meant

Stairway to Seven

My Apologies to Steeler Nation..

Patrick said...

well thanks Kyle. My best buddy.

I graduated in 2011, passed PA bar, work at a firm with its headquarters in Pittsburgh (although after working "there" for 15 months, I'm still not considered a full-time employee) and since I work 12 hour days, can only post on here when its almost midnight.

don't ever go to law school people

Patrick said...

I work out of philly, if anyone cared for that clarification

(cool story bro)

Bell said...

In my opinion anyone who thinks that the Steelers wernt better than the ravens this year are kidding themselves. We were better than them period and its not close. Now going forward I don't know what the team is going to look like cause of the cap situation but u have to pay to win. That is the one negative to winning championships. Key players want big money.

Not sure why everyone takes shots at Wallace for not fighting for the ball. That's the one quality u want out of a receiver? Our problems on offense for the past years certainly are much bigger than "fighting for the ball". Strange how I don't remember the complaints when Mike was killing it week in and out.

Our offense has been too talented to not be scoring 28 a game and that's the biggest problem. With our defense we maybe only lose 2-3 games the past several years. Injuries are why the season went downhill.

What the future holds we'll see but I have faith that the right decisions will get made.