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Monday, September 08, 2014

Monday with Mike (Tomlin)

Because of the Thursday night game this week, Mike Tomlin's weekly press conference was today.

Tomlin was understandably troubled by the 11 penalties the Steelers committed on Sunday in their 30-27 victory over Cleveland.

By comparison, the team's high for penalties last season was nine in a loss to Miami. Eleven penalties is not a good way to start.

Tomlin properly noted that the penalties were particularly troubling for the offense in the second half and led to the team's struggles sustaining drives in the final two quarters.

There were also a couple of penalties that helped the Browns sustain drives.

Cleaning them up moving forward will be critical.

@ Tomlin had good news on safety Shamarko Thomas and running back Dri Archer.

Both sustained only ankle sprains - though Thomas' was to his Achilles tendon.

Thomas' injury was announced as an Achilles issue, which immediately makes you think of a tear, which would have ended his season.

As it is, both are listed as questionable to play this week, as are wide receivers Lance Moore and Martavis Bryant and corner Brice McCain, all of whom missed the game against the Browns.

@ The talk of the day was the Ray Rice video finally being  released.

Like we actually needed to see it to realize that Rice had assaulted his then-fiance, now wife.

What did people think happened in that elevator? That he had hit her was never the issue, though apparently, he had tried to sell it to his teammates, team and NFL that she was attacking him.

That was obviously not the case and the Ravens released Rice and the NFL quickly followed suit by suspending him indefinitely.

Rice will probably never play in the league again, which is fine. Playing in the NFL is not a right. It's an honor.

@ Of course, the hot story was William Gay's interview regarding Rice. I spoke to him about the same subject a couple of weeks ago and he said basically the same things he did Monday - about an hour before Rice was released.

Gay, whose mother was the victim of a murder-suicide when he was 7, believes in not only helping the victims of abuse but in counseling the abusers as well. In fact, he's spoken to groups of abusers himself, trying to help them understand the fallout of their actions.

@ The Steelers talked a lot today about how they have to work on getting their defensive play calls into the game more quickly.

That was an issue against the Browns, who were running a fast-paced no-huddle. There were several times in the second half where players just didn't know what the play was because things were happening so quickly.

That is a solvable problem.


Anonymous said...

How in the World could that be a problem at all? It isn't like the up tempo speed/no huddle is a new thing in the NFL. This team has been killed by it for yrs. AND, I assume they practice against it weekly as Ben practices it, right??? It is 100% coaching if this is the case and both LeBeau and Tomlin are accountable for that. It is unacceptable to be THAT unprepared.

Theosa said...

It’s a valid point by Anonymous. LeBeau’s defenses have always struggled against the hurry up quick tempo offenses, so miscommunication is not the only culprit here. My biggest worry would be Steelers leaking runs and not creating turn overs seems like a constant lately and that could be demise of playoff hopes of this team in 2014. Hope they get better as the season progresses but Thursday would be a good day to find out if “communication” between Steelers defense got any better.

Dale Lolley said...

No, this team has not been killed by this particular issue for years. The speed no-huddle was basically brought to the NFL by Chip Kelly. Sure, plenty of teams run the no-huddle. They run the hurry-up at the end of games.

But to do it exclusively? Not so much.

Nobody expected the Browns to do it because they hadn't shown it. If you're playing the Eagles you prepare for it, or at least are more prepared for it.

LexingtonLegend said...

Didn't we just play the eagles?

Anonymous said...

Dick Lebeau's teams have struggled against the no huddle? THE ENTIRE LEAGUE has a hard time with the no huddle.

Up until the last few years our defense didn't have many problems with any kind of offense.

Theosa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theosa said...

Payton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady running no huddle with their star cast is one thing and Brian Hoyer with no name receivers and running backs is another.

Anonymous said...

I think the Steelers were completely caught off guard by the "hurry up no huddle" which really affected their communication. This was a great game plan against the Steelers who are breaking in a bunch of new players to the defense.

They talk from the coaches this week was, strangely enough, about Jonny Football. The guy looked horrendous in the pre-season, but the Steelers spent part of the time preparing for him, and making a point to talk about it in the media. I thought that was really strange.

It used to be that the Steelers defense dictated the game plans, and not the other way around. I think they have the players to do it again, but it will take some time to develop the young guys.

I hope to see more base defense and more Tuitt and Shade Tree. Also, I think Will Gay has a case to start over Taylor, if this trend continues.

Anonymous said...


Early in the game when Kiesel entered, they moved Thomas to NT and took out McLendon I your opinion, do they like Thomas more at NT, or was this just part of a rotation?

I personally think Cam Thomas is not very stout. He moves well, but seems to get pushed around a lot, which is the same issue with Keisel. I love to see what happens with Heyward, McCullers and Tuitt on the field on first down.

Anonymous said...

Cam Thomas is bad...there is a reason the Charger didn't want him.

Tuitt better learn fast and Heyward better get back to the good play he ended last season with.

Dale Lolley said...

I can agree with that, Theosa.

Look, teams run that speed no-huddle to mask their own problems. They attempt to get the snap off before you're ready. They do that because it works.

The Steelers are going to have to find a way to deal with it.

Moving Thomas to NT was part of the rotation. Heck, at one point, they had Keisel at NT

TarheelFlyer said...

It would not surprise me to see the Steelers take DE again early in the draft. Keisel will be gone and more than likely so will Thomas. We have a lot of youth at the position when you include the PS, but I expect we either draft someone or sign a different UFA.

marc said...

I don't think so. tuitt/heyward are the future. any DE's they draft will probably be mid/lower rounds. FA's would probably be just for backup purposes. at least that's what I'm hoping for.

I'm also hoping mcullers rounds into form over the next year. he's huge and would require double teams - something that I feel is essential for this defense to stop the run consistently.

dale, any thoughts on how cortez allen played? is ike taylor's replacement next year currently on the roster? thanks for all your work.

Dale Lolley said...

Allen was OK. Like pretty much everyone, he missed a tackle here or there.

I liked what I saw of Shaq Richardson in the time he was actually on the field, but that was the problem, he kept getting hurt.

They'll draft one for sure. And it wouldn't surprise me to see a vet brought in as well, kind of like the defensive line this year.

DD said...

I don't think Baltimore is the "comeback team of the yr" many of the prognosticators built them up to be, but you bet your bottom dollar that our D had better actually capitalize on some of those turnovers they should have capitalized on this past Sunday if they expect to win. I imagine Flacco is licking is chops looking at film and since we know they will come out pedal to the metal, the best way to stop that is to actually pick one off (I know that will never happen with Ike but maybe others?). Oh, and TACKLE!!!

BlackNGold said...


Do you believe that yesterday really was the first the Ravens or the NFL saw that video footage?

Dale Lolley said...

I didn't initially. But from everything I have seen since, yes.

But, and this is a big but, I don't think the Ravens or NFL seriously pursued the on-elevator tape. For whatever reason, they didn't think it would come out and they didn't want to know what was on that tape. They wanted to believe that Rice was telling the truth.

marc said...

from what I read, the story rice gave the ravens matches what was on the "in-elevator" tape. I think they tried to get away with it, but once the tape came out, they had to save face. that goes for goodell, nfl, and the ravens.

Anonymous said...

If the NFL did not view the video, how can you trust they are competent enough to dish out suspensions when they do not do their homework on the violations.

Anonymous said...

From the Steelers standpoint, we can hope that the Rice debacle is a distraction for the Ravens. The Steelers have a real opportunity Thursday night, would love to see the Ravens down 2 games in the division.