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Monday, September 23, 2013

Post Chicago thoughts

You have to give it to the 2013 Steelers, they keep finding interesting ways to lose games.

I had to dig deep into the recesses to remember a loss like this one, a game where the Steelers handed a team 23 points - it would have been 24 had Troy Polamalu not blocked a meaningless extra point - to lose a home game.

The closest I could come was a 2002 game at Heinz Field against Houston in which the Texans scored their only touchdowns on turnovers in a 24-6 win over the Steelers. Pittsburgh dominated that game, outgaining the Texans, 422-47 in total yards.

This game wasn't quite that bad in terms of domination. The Bears certainly did some good things offensively. But this was once again a case of the Steelers beating the Steelers.

@ I keep coming back to Ben Roethlisberger needing to play like the franchise quarterback that he is.

In three games, Roethlisberger is responsible for seven turnovers - remember, the fumble in the opener was later charged by Elias to him, not running back Isaac Redman. That puts Roethlisberger on pace to account for 37 turnovers this season in 16 games.

Of course, the way the offensive line is playing, Roethlisberger won't make it through 16 games.

@ I thought it was strange that the Steelers were rotating Kelvin Beachum at RT and LT in practice with the starters this week.

Who knew they were going to do during the game as well?

The next time a coach gives me the old, "These guys need to play together to be given a chance to gel," line, I'm going to laugh in his face.

@ I understand why the Steelers are doing it though. They can't decide who's worse, Marcus Gilbert or Mike Adams.

And therein lies the problem. When you're paying your quarterback 1/10th of your salary cap as the Steelers now are, you have to try to get by with younger - read, cheaper - players at other positions.

If it's just one player on an offensive line, you can cover for that player as he grows. But right now, the Steelers have three guys learning on the fly - though in year three, Gilbert should be better than he has been.

That also doesn't explain away Ramon Foster allowing blitzers to run right by him while he steps out to block a guy who's already engaged.

There just seems to be a complete disconnect.

@ On the plus side, the running game was worlds better than it had been, so there's that.

@ You look into the eyes of some of the veteran guys in this locker room, ones who have been around for a while, and you see shock. They can't believe things have gotten this bad.

@ I'm still not convinced the Steelers' season is lost. Beat Minnesota next Sunday in London and it will certainly lift a weight.

That will put them at 1-3 heading into the bye with Cortez Allen and Le'Veon Bell coming back - I don't think they'll play Bell this week.

In 2002, the Steelers started the season 1-3 and rebounded to finish 10-5-1.

Can this team still win 10 games? I saw enough Sunday night to think it can - if it stops turning the ball over.

The Steelers are now minus-9 for the season and haven't forced a single turnover.

But Christian Ponder awaits, with rookie Geno Smith up next. The remaining schedule also includes a pair of games against the Browns, one against Oakland and Buffalo with rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel.

If the Steelers can get a couple of wins under their belt, it could turn things around for them.

This lack of turnovers can't continue for the defense. Even in 2011, when they forced just 15 turnovers all season, the Steelers did not have a stretch like the current one, where they've gone three games without sniffing a turnover.

They're due.


Anonymous said...

Have you seen anything in Jarvis Jones as a pass rusher? He seems like an instinctive LBer but I don't see much heat on the QB from him.

carync said...

This is a quote from one of the Bears that makes me think Ben won't survive the season.

We knew they had some problems with their offensive line, so we wanted to pressure them as much as possible. We were able to get past their tackles and pressure Ben quite a bit.

Read More:

carync said...

This is a quote from one of the Bears that makes me think Ben won't survive the season.

We knew they had some problems with their offensive line, so we wanted to pressure them as much as possible. We were able to get past their tackles and pressure Ben quite a bit.

Read More:

adamg said...

Dale, imo there's just a mismatch between what BR wants to do and how the rest of the offense HAS to play to be effective. I think the coaches are all game planning to minimize the time the OL needs to hold blocks and also to take advantage of their youth and athleticsm to run the ball to keep defenders from teeing off on BR. BR has never played "small ball" for any length of time and for whatever reason simply isn't adjusting his game to the new, perhaps short term, reality. If you go back to Gradkowski in preseason and even last year when Batch played, the offense seemed smoother with them running it. Can BR adapt? Watching him after he returned from injury last year and now this year, I'd lean toward no. If so, then the Steelers will have a real decision to make on keeping him around while he can still bring value in a trade.

adamg said...

There are ways to mitigate pressure like screens, draws, counter plays, but the Steelers simply don't (or can't)run them.

marc said...

adamg, the steelers will never get rid of #7 unless he breaks the law. just accept that fact.

i agree with you, to a certain degree, but i think they also showed in the second half that the offense can be diverse enough to keep defenses honest. he never has been consistent at reading the quick pass plays though.

#7 clearly needs to play better, regardless of how bad the o-line is playing. number 1 rule - protect the da#n ball!!

with that said, i just can't get over how bad the o-line is. i don't really pay attention to who position coaches may be, but i think it is a legit question as to the job being done by the o-line coach right now. also, it would be legit to bring some heat on colbert for decastro. he's playing like garbage. did they totally miss that pick?

finally, i think it needs to be pointed out how great #43 is looking out there. as fans, you can't tell who the leaders are on the sidelines. but, #43 is taking the lead on the field with his play and his non-stop aggresiveness. he refuses to give up and i hope the young guys are taking notice.

adamg said...

marc, you just have to give Adams and DeCastro time. They've not even started 10 games in their careers and Gilbert has played hurt and missed a lot of games. I thought they gave BR enough time to throw. NBC put a clock on Cutler and he was getting rid of the ball in under 2 secs. I saw someone post BR had 2.8 secs on the pick 6 meant for Cotchery.

You might be right about BR, but never say never. They got rid of Franco, Woodson, Ward, Porter, etc. This isn't a sentimental ownership that keeps players around when they don't produce.

marc said...

cutler was able to get rid of the ball so quickly because the steeler's DB's were 10 yards off the ball - literally. chicago's DB's were right up in the steeler's face. i thought the steelers adjusted to that well in the second half incorporating more fakes and then going vertical.

as for the pick six with cotchery, i wondered upon the replay if that was actually #7's fault. cotchery seemed to not realize the ball was there and i figured maybe he didn't get turned soon enough. couldn't tell.

adams/decastro may be young, but some things you can't find an excuse for. such as adams having the slowest first step this side of the mississippi. they might as well tell him the snap count is on 2 and everyone else is on 3 so that by the time he takes his first step he will be ready to go. as for decastro, i don't care how old you are or how much experience you do/don't have, when you are pulling on a run play you block the guy in the hole, no matter what. just simply inexcusable.

by the way, when bell comes back at RB, is redman done?

Anonymous said...

Can only hope the OL will improve over time, because right now, they are completely inept. I still believe the Steelers brass really screwed up not bringing Starks back in to play LT. If you put Adams at RT where he played fairly well last year, things would be much better. The argument against not bringing Starks back because he can't zone block is mute since the Steelers aren't implementing it anyway. The whole offense has many different issues but it starts with solidifying the OL. Ben has definitely regressed and needs to step up his game and Haley's playcalling isn't very good in my opinion, but if the OL can't get it together then everything else falls apart regardless if the playcalling is good and you have a two-time Super Bowl champion QB.

Anonymous said...

Let’s start with the conclusion of why the Steelers are bad and work our way back to the cause: the offense is bad because the offensive line is bad. Every Steeler fan knows that it starts up front, whether offense or defense, line play dictates how well the rest of the unit plays.

When Cowher retired, the front running candidates were Whizz and Russ Grimm, but a dark horse candidate emerged in Tomlin. Another reader brought up a comparison between Tomlin and Obama in another thread, but I had exactly the same feeling about both these candidates: who are these guys and how are they qualified?

The Rooney rule provides head coaching job interview opportunities for minorities which is commendable, but the job should go to the most qualified candidate. The Steeler players are selected based upon the guy who plays the best not his race. Troy is easily the most popular Steeler at the moment and he is liked for his play on the field and for just being a good person. The fact that he is Samoan doesn’t even enter into the equation.

If the Steelers were drafting a player would they draft a nondescript wide receiver out of William and Mary or would they draft a Hall of Fame offensive lineman? I know, you can’t draft a HOF lineman, but let put it another way: in any job, would you rather have someone who worked the trenches for years or someone who could talk theoretically about how it should be without actually having been there?

The real question is: Do you think the Steelers offensive line would be this bad under Russ Grimm? My thoughts are no. So while the Rooneys really liked Tomlin during the interview process, does it seem like he was hired to help promote the Rooney rule, walk the talk sort of thing? If this is the case, then the Rooney rule and selection are based upon reverse discrimination, selecting the candidate based upon race rather than qualifications. Again, there is no Rooney rule for the players on the field, why would there need to be one for the front office, performance should be a sufficient judge.

Sorry for the long winded rant, but the Rooneys need to be held accountable for the current state of the Steelers much in the same fashion as the head coach, the coordinators, the QB and all the way down to the offensive line.

marc said...

while i agree the owners are ultimately responsible for the employees they hire, to tie this into an alterior motive to satisfy the rooney rule is ridiculous. to imply the rooneys exercised a form of reverse racism against whiz and grim is ridiculous.

last i checked neither is a head coach in the nfl and i don't believe grimm even has a job at this point. so your thoughts that the o-line wouldn't be this bad with grimm as coach are based on a guy who's skills are not currently desired by any team in the nfl?

of course, we are all entitled to our opinions, but i suggest you put a little more thought into yours next time before you spill it all over the page.

joe said...

not much else to say about how lost the entire offense looks.
ben still seems in shock from the serious injury he took last year. terrible play, when will tomlin yank him for fumbling ? also seems to care more about proving haley wrong, than playing worth a darn.

antonio you had a nice play, but it's 17-0 for the other guys. act like you have the zero, not the other way around

Easley said...

It was nice to see a little life out of this team in the 2nd half, but it hardly changes the fact that this is indeed a very bad team as presently constructed.

Dale, I love you; the world needs optimists. But c'mon, are you serious when you say this team has the potential to win 10 games??

The hopeful assessment of the offensive line is that they are young, need time to gel, are without their anchor, etc.. Maybe, and that is certainly a better possibility to contemplate than the alternative, which is: What you see is what you're going to get. That's a truly scary thought, especially considering how many high picks went into building this line. If both those 2nd round tackles turn out to be busts, this team will be in trouble for a long time.

adamg said...

marc, Tunch and Wolf said the same thing about Adams and Gilbert's technique, but that is correctable. I doubt anyone outside the coaches can really make an informed judgement on who's not doing what because we simply don't know what the particular blocking assignments are on any given play.

Also watched the replay on the pick 6. Wexell seemed to think BR threw it off his back foot, but there was obviously a timing or route problem because Cotchery wasn't turned around expecting the ball.

That brings me back to technique. BR's fundamentals look very bad right now. His throwing motion is all over the place, throwing off back foot, not following through, etc. I'm not surprised he's making more bad throws than good ones.

I didn't watch all of the game last night, but there didn't seem to be much motion in order to give receivers a head start and get them away from press coverage.

But, amongst all the negativity, David Johnson had a nice game, showing he can get downfield, make catches and run with the ball.

Greg Mercer said...

pretty sure Ben threw off his back foot, because he had a guy in his face.

Considering the amount of pressure the Bears were getting, Cotchery seemed really slow getting to the spot on that play.

i have a hard time putting that one on Ben.

Greg Mercer said...

one more thing, I'm not sure how we can say the Steelers "are due" for turnovers. haven't we had this same problem for 3+ years?

Anonymous said...


Thanks for allowing me my opinion. First Russ Grimm was OL coach from 2001-2006. The Steelers ranking for rushing yards per game for the period:

2001 – 1
2002 – 9
2003 – 31
2004 – 2
2005 – 5
2006 - 10

So other than 2003, the Steelers were top 10 material. Everyone here understands that being able to run the ball helps time of possession which then keeps the defense fresher.

Second, my sense is that the Tomlin hiring was a political move. Granted, Dan Rooney's main qualification for being ambassador to Ireland was that he was Irish, campaigning for Obama probably helped his chances. Politics plays a part in most things but it sometimes can come back to bite.

Greg Mercer said...


any heat on Colbert yet for the OL picks and failure to get Ben a big target at WR?

It's amazing how much bigger other team's WRs than ours.

adamg said...

Here's just as plausible a theory. From 2001-2006, the OCs were Mularkey and Whisenhunt and the RB was Bettis. That made for a run-centric offense and having a qb needing only to manage the game which BR did well. 2007-2011 was the BA era where BA's and BR's desire to throw early and often neatly coincided. That's when the run game started to deteriorate and the offense began to bog down more often. The defense continued to be top flight and BR made enough sandlot plays to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. But that model ultimately was unsustainable and we are now seeing the effects.

emac2 said...

I have a few unrelated thoughts.

1. With the new practice and preseason rules I think you have to play preseason games as though they are real games. Mistake free football from day one means playing a few full games to get ready.

2. If Cleveland offered their 2 first round picks for Ben should we do it and if not how much more before you would have to think about it. Let's ignore, just for fun, the idea that ownership would be too fearful of trading him in division.

3. When you have a defense that waits for the other team to make a mistake and an offense that relies on playing error free are you putting too much pressure on players to be perfect?

4. If we continue to lead the Teddy Bridgewater Derby, going wire to wire what do we do?

Frank Beans said...

please play Markus Wheaton over Cotchery. Easily the most baffling decision of the young season.

Dale Lolley said...

Adam, the Steelers most certainly run draws and delayed handoffs. They also run screens.

On the pick to Cotchery, Roethlisberger admitted he threw the ball sooner than he wanted because he saw the blitzer coming. Cotchery had just turned when the ball arrived.

This team still has too much talent for this to continue. The offensive line has gotten better each week. All quarterbacks get pressure. It's what guys are paid to do in the NFL. Cutler was getting the ball out quickly in first quarter. When the Steelers adjusted, they got pressure on him.

I watched a 2000 team, coming off a losing season, lose its first three games and look to be going nowhere. That team rallied to finish 9-7 and miss playoffs on a tiebreaker.

Look around the league, there are a lot of bad teams out there. The bottom line for the Steelers is that they cannot be minus-9 in turnovers and expect to win. It's too big of a hole to dig out of each game, especially when you give the other team 23 points.

As for Jones pass rushing, yes, he has work to do there. That's why he wasn't starting from the get-go. He relied on his bull rush and burst in college.

Dale Lolley said...

And Wheaton is playing. He's just not getting open.
Did you watch the final two preseason games with him? He was not nearly as good as he was in the first two. They tried to feature him to see if he was ready and he clearly was not. He'll be a work in progress.

marc said...

adamg explained it nicely for me regarding russ grimm and the running game. grimm had the lineman, the RB and the offensive strategy to produce a very productive rushing attack.

but, if you want to look at statistics, how about grimm with the cardinals from '07 - '12.

yards per game rank:
2007 - 29
2008 - 31
2009 - 28
2010 - 32
2011 - 24
2012 - 32

oh, wait, arizona passes a lot, so that's not fair. ok, how about yards per attempt rank:

2007 - 30
2008 - 31
2009 - 23
2010 - 11
2011 - 17
2012 - 32

maybe that's part of the reason grimm doesn't have a job right now. who knows.

Dale Lolley said...

You either have the players or you don't. You can't make chicken salad out of chicken, well you know.

The Steelers are just stuck right now in a situation where they are breaking in a number of new linemen all at the same time. Neither Adams or DeCastro have started a whole season.

They envisioned having DeCastro start all of last season, with Adams working his way in this year. Then, you don't have two "new" guys, you only have one. Injuries derailed that.
This line will get better as the season goes on. But there are going to be and have been issues with it early on.

Anonymous said...

3 loss teams supposedly have a 3% chance of making the playoffs. Stick a fork in them - they're done. I'd rather see a 4-12 season at this point than a 8-8, 7-9 season - which is looking like their ceiling (10 wins Dale? I'm sorry, but no way) - so that they can have a much better draft position. Some really hard decisions coming up with the older vets, not to mention Ben soon, who I imagine they're going to pay much more than he's actually going to be worth with the inevitable physical breakdown & stubbornness to adjust his game from backyard football. Too much money wrapped up in older declining players.

Anonymous said...

Why the heck does it take so long for Ben to hand the ball off to the running back? I keep expecting a D-lineman to either tackle Ben or take the hand off themselves before the RB finally gets to it. On a related note, is Ben one of the worst at faking hand offs? He needs to take some notes from other QB's who do it MUCH better. Maybe actually fool a defensive player once in awhile.

TarheelFlyer said...

Bottom line is, this team lost 40-23 with the offense scoring 24 points for the Bears. Mistakes kill you in this league, they just do.

I am really scared about Ben right now. I see a lot of Delhomme in his game right now, not the Jake that went to the Super Bowl, but the guy who was so beat up that his head wouldn't allow him to make a good decision any more. It worries me.

When it come to Oline play, as bad as I think they are, they still only gave up 1 more sack than the Bears did and we ran for the same average yards per run. Except they won, and we looked like we didn't want to keep the ball.

This D is playing winning football despite not getting turnovers or the sacks that I would like to see from them. The Offense is NOT executing properly. You have to hope that Bell helps the offense, but you just never know.

We are 2-8 over our last 10 games and until Ben returns to pre-injury form I will question him. I think he may be trying to hard.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with Adam, but let me add a couple of things. First, with Kordell and Tommy Gun, running might have been preferable, see the chicken salad comment. Second, Steelers brass came to the conclusion pretty quickly that based on how the team was built, winning was easier with a good run game.

Marc, continuing your logic, here’s the stats for the Tomlin’s years:

Total YPG

2007 - 17
2008 - 22
2009 - 7
2010 - 14
2011 - 12
2012 - 21
2013 – 28

Rushing YPG

2007 - 3
2008 - 23
2009 - 19
2010 - 11
2011 - 14
2012 - 26
2013 - 31

One top 10 finish in rushing, which might have been a continuation from the Cowher years. Grimm went into a bad situation in AZ and couldn’t turn it around, though they did make it to the SB on Warner's arm. However, Crimm was able to take a good situation in Pittsburgh and continue it. Tomlin took a good situation and is making it worse. Granted, we’ve had good years with Tomlin and running the ball well doesn’t always equate to winning.

While there are still a few players like Ben and Troy from the Cowher era, it is no longer Cowher’s team, but Tomlin’s team. My thoughts are that the draft is a consensus of input from all of management, not just Colbert, so Tomlin does have input into the process. So it’s either the Steelers drafted poorly and these are the results or the Steelers are talented but the players are not coached properly (see the Tunch/Wolf comment) and the game plan is poor. In either case, Tomlin’s responsible. The team is the image of the coach, in Cowher’s case, it was a tough, smash mouth team. Teams hated playing the Steelers because of how physical they were. I have a hard time defining what the Steelers' image is today.

Dale Lolley said...

I said they had 10-win talent, not that they are still going to win 10 games. That remains true. But not when you're minus-9 in three games.

marc said...

i don't intend to defend tomlin, or anyone else, for that matter. my arguement based solely around grimm and just because he had a good stint as an OL coach with the steelers doesn't preclude him to having a better situation than the current status quo if he himself had become head coach.

this steelers team compared to earlier in the last decade has a lower quality o-line and lower quality RB's. is that tomlin's fault? does the o-line coach suck? did colbert blow it? maybe all of the above. but you can't simply say if grimm were coach it would have been all better. fact remains, grimm is so highly regarded in the nfl he does not have a job right now and, though some don't like to hear it (patrick), tomlin is extremely highly regarded by his peers and the players. i'm not defending him, just making the point.

personally, i think tomlin is an above average coach with obvious flaws...go ahead patrick and point them out. but, if this team turns around with a winning record by the end of the season then i think he will have proven his worth.

Patrick said...

If this continues and the Steelers end up with a top 10 pick in the draft, the Steelers should select the QB of the near future and let BR's big contract go. Next year's QB class is chock full of future BRs.

Frank Beans said...

all due respect Dale but what did Wheeton have the first two games, 9 and 7 snaps or something to that effect. He needs to be on the field to learn how to get open. Trotting out Cotchery is wasting Wheaton's potential development. The Steelers do not have the luxury of time.

Anonymous said...

You're right Marc, it's all speculation at this point, but if you think that the offensive line is the problem, I sense that Grimm would have a better handle on it than a defensive backs coach/one year defensive coordinator. Let LeBeau handle the defense and Grimm could probably spot a decent offensive lineman when he walked in the room. I think Tomlin asked Pouncey about drafting Gilbert and Rainey.

marc said...

then you are completely ignoring the scouts, player personnel, talent evaluators and colbert as the gm - and probably final decision maker.

marc said...

sorry for adding this on as another post but, as your logic goes, could grimm not identify a decent o-linemen in arizona? why assume he would for the steelers if he couldn't there? you just can't make those jumps in reasoning.

emac2 said...

The oline conversation going on here is completely missing the obvious reason for the lines decline.

Hartings and Faneca.

If you want to play that game you should probably blame Grimm for the lack of any current linemen from his tenure.

marc said...

that's one of my points, the talent level is clearly less.

Anonymous said...

Ok Marc, well the problem you're stuck with is that Tomlin is having difficulty identifying when decent linemen walk into the room and has to ask Pouncey. While you may consider Tomlin an above average coach, 0-3 or 2-8 in the last 10 games isn't above average and the trend isn't rising nor are the answers evident. The fact that only 3 teams have started with 0-3 records and made the playoffs mean you can stick a fork in it. Someone(s) should be held responsible but again, if you think Tomlin can pull off a winning season from an 0-3 start, then he deserves everyone's accolades, including mine.

marc said...

well, i see you have now decided that tomlin makes all the personnel decisions and basis those decisions on pouncey's player evaluations.

but, of course, grimm was not responsible for any failed decision in arizona and would have been the holy grail here in pittsburgh getting credit for all the great decisions and no blame for the poor ones.

thanks for your thoughts. have a nice day.

Anonymous said...


If you think that the talent has declined, why has it declined? While Faneca was picked at 16 and Hartings was a FA pick, DeCastro was listed as high as #5 on some drafts. So is the quality lacking, the scouting poor or is it the coaching?

Anonymous said...

Clearly the other "Anonymous" has his own agenda and cannot look at the situation critically. Which is why he brought up the race bit and Obama.

I wish people could see how transparent and ignorant they appear to reasonable folk.

Anonymous said...

Dear reasonable folk anonymous,

With one year as a senator or as a defensive coordinator, does that then qualify you for a leadership position? Maybe, but look at the Bears coach and how long he was in the league before he got his opportunity.

Dale Lolley said...

They had snaps in the 50s in both of the first two games. So Wheaton was on the field 15 to 20 percent of the time - roughly.
Again, his last two preseason games were horrendous - maybe a bit strong - but he did not play well at all. He's a rookie receiver. I guarantee you, he's not the answer to this whole equation. He might be in the future, just not right now.

Patrick said...

unfortunately, I have to do this again:

There is not one post in this thread that I am responsible for. Not the anonymous ones or the "Patrick" without a link to his name.

I don't know if Dale can confirm that through blogger metadata or whatever, but if you can, please do.

Anonymous said...

"Clearly the other "Anonymous" has his own agenda and cannot look at the situation critically. Which is why he brought up the race bit and Obama."

True ...

Dale should be keeping politics off a SPORTS blog and issue a warning to that effect.

Otherwise someone like me might go out of his way to correct the person for his ignorant political opinion that doesn't belong here.

TarheelFlyer said...

Wheaton is being talked about due to 2 things:

1. Tomlin specifically mentioned he would be used more this week...reality is he wasn't.

2. Most fans can live with Wheaton making a mistake more easily than watching Cotchery make the same one over and over.

As much as I want him in, the receivers coach is the one guy I really trust on the offensive side of the ball.

Patrick said...

I can't believe this. Patrick at 5:56 PM is not me.

Anonymous said...

unreasonable anonymous folk.

What the hell does Obama have to do with Mike Tomlin or the Steelers? You are going off on race and it has nothing to do with Tomlin and his coaching abilities.(or lack of if that's what you think)

Obvious racist is obvious...

mike s said...

Dale, I don't see the Broncos, Saints, Pats, Rats, or Giants having to settle for inferior players, and at least three of those teams pay their qb's nearly twice as much as we do.

Moreso, i think when you pay 4 guys 45M, that starts happening. Seems to be what happened to the colts. There was a time when they had like 8 position players who were the highest paid guys at their positions in the league.

I think teams really need to look at the new financial picture. You CANNOT pay your QB 20M when the cap is lower than it was 6 years ago when the top qb was in the 10M range. All players seem to worship the almighty dollar and fail to realize every dollar they get means less for the rest of the team.

Anonymous said...

You want to know why our run game and pass blocking has gone to crap...

01/01/07 Hoak retired.


Dale Lolley said...

Have you seen what the Giants have done so far this season? They've played worse than the Steelers.

And thanks for making my point with the other guys. Those quarterbacks find a way to win despite the talent drain. Ben has not figured that out. In fact, they're losing because of him, not in spite of him.

Dale Lolley said...

As for the obvious racist statements, I found no need to delete them. Those kind of sentiments are out there. Why hide from it. Let the cockroaches come out in the daylight.

And Patrick, all the regulars here know the difference between your posts and the fake ones.

Dale Lolley said...

I would also disagree with the Hoak statement. Mendenhall was very good in 2010. Look up the numbers. One of the best seasons for a Steelers back in team history

Anonymous said...

Some food for thought:

Steelers coach candidacy

After the Arizona Cardinals hired Whisenhunt as their new head coach, on January 14, 2007, the finalists for the Steelers position were reduced to Grimm and Mike Tomlin. On January 22, 2007, Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported from an undisclosed source within the Pittsburgh Steelers organization that, then-assistant coach, Grimm would replace Bill Cowher as the team's coach. A day earlier, ESPN and Sports Illustrated stated on their web sites that Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin had been chosen to replace Cowher. However an NFL source confirmed on January 21, 2007 that Tomlin had not heard from the Steelers and no contract negotiations had taken place. Grimm was one of three finalists to replace Cowher, along with Tomlin and Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

Twenty four hours later Tomlin was announced as the Steelers new coach. Steelers' President Art Rooney II told CBS Sports on January 23, 2007 that no formal offer was ever made to Grimm, explaining that team reps did talk about an offer and contract numbers with both Grimm and Tomlin on January 20. Rooney explained, "We did tell Russ nothing would be final until Sunday". I feel bad if he got the wrong impression." As a result Prisuta's story was discredited[4] and he later resigned in 2009 from the Tribune-Review to accept a position with Pittsburgh's WDVE Radio.[5]

Coach candidacy conspiracy theory

The miscommunication displayed during the hiring of Mike Tomlin over Grimm, is also the focus of a conspiracy theory. According to the theory, Grimm was originally given the job as the Steelers head coach, however the job was soon stripped from him a few hours later and given to Tomlin. The theory was endorsed by Mark Madden, a local sports columnist who often contributes to the NFL Network show, NFL Top 10, and Clark Judge, of CBS Sports, also reported that three sources "close to the team" told him that the offer was made to Grimm and later rescinded.[6]

The theory reads that sports writer Mike Prisuta's story may have turned out wrong, but when he wrote it, it was accurate. Madden stated through his own undisclosed source on August 4, 2009, that Grimm and Tomlin were the two finalists to replace Cowher. Grimm was the front-runner for the job, but only by a slim margin. Art Rooney II, then told Grimm that he would later be announced as the team's new coach. Grimm passed on that information to Prisuta. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review then published the story on January 22. However, according to Madden, the NFL responded to the decision by calling Dan Rooney, stating, that the team should award the job to a minority candidate since Dan Rooney was in fact the author of the "Rooney Rule".[7] Tomlin who was a qualified, serious candidate was on par with Grimm's qualifications. The Steelers changed their mind and Tomlin was hired.[8]

However none of these "undisclosed sources" mentioned by Prisuta, Madden or Judge have ever come forward to the media. Therefore the issue remains a topic for sports conspiracy theorists.

Frank Beans said...

That's the point Dale. The Steelers better start thinking of right now.

Here's the latest tally...

On offense, rookie WR Markus Wheaton still didn't get on the field much, playing eight snaps; slot receiver Jerricho Cotchery played 33

That's absurd on so many levels. Spread it four wide if they can't bear to sit Cotchery. It's time to start thinking outside the box and start playing arguably one of the fastest players on the team. There really is no viable excuse. He won't be getting open from the sidelines, that's for sure.

Frank Beans said...

and that was 8 out of 66 offensive snaps or roughly 12% of the time. Give Ben some more weapons and maybe, just maybe he will cut down on his turnovers.

Frank Beans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

No amount of weapons for Ben will stop him from inexplicably flinging the ball backwards twice in one game. Ben lost the bears game, no ifs ands or buts about it.

marc said...

i too think it would be nice to see wheaton out there more often. but, on the fan side of things, we just can't tell how many mistakes he might actually be making in practice and games. if #7 can't count on him to run the right routes or whatever, then he's just not ready yet. just a thought.

adamg said...

FWIW, Karoly reported when he rewatched the game that the "hurries" attributed to Adams still gave BR 2.5 to 2.9 secs to get a throw off. In the NFL, that's almost always enough time.

Anonymous said...

Bush was behind 9/11, we didn't land on the moon and aliens built the pyrimids.

Or maybe Tomlin was hired because they thought he was the best person for the job. Regardless of race despite what you might think.

Honestly if any journalist thought there was a chance the NFL forced the Steelers to hire a minority they would keep digging until they found evidence. That would be too big of a story to keep a secret.

marc said...

adamg, agreed, should be enough time. but, receivers need to be open too.

Anonymous said...

Oswald shot Kennedy, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and Building 7 fell by itself.

One of our own was ostracized for just questioning one of these theories.

Does it matter? No. Tomlin's signed through 2016 and the Rooneys don't change coaches. But don't go through life not questioning things, you'll miss too much.

So how do the Steelers improve the line play and get Wheaton on the field to open it up a little?

adamg said...

marc, agree the receivers need to get open, but it also means that game plans can be developed based on that max amount of time the OL can hold the defense out. I think the problem is will the qb buy into a plan that doesn't have as many deep routes and/or more quick passes and/or emphasising running the ball more often.

marc said...

i understand and agree, but i think the bears defense did a good job in the first half of bringing pressure to the QB and pressing the WR's to help take away the quick throw.

i think the steelers adjusted well. they stuck with the run which was clearly better this game thanks to jones/dwyer avoiding tacklers. the RB's protected better, for the most part. and they used quick fakes to take advantage of the pressing DB's then go vertical. overall, i thought the steelers offensive adjustments for the second half were good.

ultimately, you're right, that's enough time to get the ball out. i just think the bears did well to limit his ability to hit the quick throws.

Anonymous said...

Dwyer honestly looked great this last game, better than Redman and Jones at this point.

TarheelFlyer said...

I would be curious to watch the endzone tight and the sideline wide versions of the game. I used to shoot these while in college to pay my way through school. I learned a lot about what the QB is seeing.

If 3 seconds isn't enough there is something else happening that we don't see on tape. Either the receivers aren't open or Ben doesn't recognize the D being placed in front of him, or he doesn't read through his progressions fast enough, or he doesn't trust that the receiver will be where he is supposed to be.

I worry most about the abuse he has taken over the years finally getting the best of him. Look at Jake Delhomme as an example of how quickly it can unravel.

Anonymous said...

Steve McNair is a better example of Roethlisberger's style of play. Great player, but was definitely falling apart by the end of his career.