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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Post-St. Louis thoughts

The big news coming out of Sunday's 12-6 win by the Steelers is obviously the state of Ben Roethlisberger's left leg.

Roethlisberger was knocked out of Sunday's game in the third quarter on a play that should have been penalized in former head of officiating Mike Pereira's opinion.

There was no penalty on the play and things were left up to the defense to close this one out.

There is a possibility Barron could draw a fine for lunging at Roethlisberger's knee.

As for Roethlisberger's injury, the Steelers are assuming it's a sprained knee and that he'll be out four weeks. That's best-case scenario.

Roethlisberger had an MRI Sunday night to make sure the ACL is not torn, but team doctors are cautiously optimistic that it's not.

In the meantime, the Steelers will turn to Mike Vick.

* There have still be protests outside of Heinz Field regarding Vick, just in case you're wondering.

* The Steelers can all but bury the Ravens with a win over Baltimore Thursday night.

* The way Pittsburgh's defense is playing right now, I wouldn't bet against them. The players have a way of rallying around a backup quarterback.

And the young defense is playing well. Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward have been beasts.

In fact, the whole defensive line is continually making plays. Yes, Cam Thomas, I saw you busting through the line into the backfield to force the back to change directions and get stuffed.

* The special teams coverage units also give the Steelers an excellent chance to win each week. The coverage against very dangerous Tavon Austin Sunday was very good.

* The sledding was tough out there for Le'Veon Bell in his first game back, but it will get better. I know Rams were gouged the previous week by Washington, but they did shut down Seattle's run game in Week 1.

* St. Louis came in allowing opponents to complete 81 percent of their passes. Roethlisberger and Vick were a combined 25 of 30, so the Rams lowered their completion percentage allowed.

* The offensive line had its hands full, particularly in the second half with St. Louis' pass rush.

The Rams' defensive line is very, very good, probably the best the Steelers will see.

* It was funny watching Twitter erupt when the Steelers finally missed on a two-point conversion. Yeah, because they were never going to miss.

* At that point, the Steelers had pretty much done what they wanted on offense. Why not go for 2?

* Ryan Shazier had his arm in a sling Sunday. That wasn't the case all week, so there's something going on there that the team was letting on.

I thought Vince Williams would start in his place. The team instead went with Sean Spence. I can't say that was a bad choice. Spence played well.

But I really like Williams' game.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

on the road against a tough D. playing in a dome on turf. you have to kick that extra point there

That was extremely dumb and almost cost them.

Not surprised to see you tote the company line and not criticize Tomlin.

Robert BNR said...

Gotta feel pretty confident with your offense scoring on their first two possesions. Dont be dumb.

Anonymous said...

That sure put a damper on the party, didn’t it? I didn’t think the Steelers were going to win and called it 24-17 (22-18) Rams. I sensed that Fisher defenses are tough and holding the Steelers to 12 proved it. Small solace that we won the battle but lost the war with Ben out. Timing was very bad on this one, not that any time would have been good, but a short week facing Baltimore doesn’t give Vick/Haley/Tomlin much time to prepare.

Can only hope it’s a four week injury for Ben. I’m glad there are still protests against what Vick did. I’ve made a conscious decision not to watch the Steelers when Vick’s playing. Have sent two letters to Goodell in the past: One tongue in cheek regarding Brady and one very serious letter regarding Vick, with Blank on the distribution list. We’ve had pit-labs for the last 20+ years. They’re family, they protect us yet our grandkids sleep on them. I’ve hunted in the past and killed livestock as well, but I never beat, drowned and electrocuted the animals, just shot it and ate it. I understand second chances but I can’t fathom the behavior that would make a person do what he did, not to family anyway.

BTW Dale, 25 of 30 is 83%, so it increased the Rams % completion allowed.

Steve-O said...

Dale,
is Senquez Gholson attending the games? I know he's not playing but it would be nice to know that he's getting mental reps.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how much Mark Barron got back in the locker room from DC Gregg Williams for that hit? #kidding #notkidding

datruth4life said...

Schefter and LaConfora are reporting that Ben will be out 4 to 6 weeks after the MRI taken on Sunday night, an MCL sprain with no damage to the ACL. That is a best case scenario that any Steelers fan will take since the alternative was Ben being down for the season.

Dale, how do you like the play of Boykins and Cockrell in the Steelers secondary? Will Cortez Allen be part of the 7 regularly without a helmet on Sundays now?

McFadden 41 said...

I find it amazing, people don't mind rapists, alleged rapists, wife beaters, child beaters, womanizers, guys who cheat on their wives, dead beat dads, drug users, other assorted criminals and just all around jerks on their team, but a guy who committed a crime and went to prison and hasn't had am ounce of trouble since, that's where we want to protest and draw the line? People hunt and kill innocent animals everyday, but that's ok because they eat them? Sadly there are a lot of people, too many really, who don't see what he did as wrong. But the man paid his debt and has tried hard to turn it around. If people are gong to boycott the team because of him, that's their right as Americans to do so. But i think a little perspective is needed.

That being said, I'm curious to see if a fine is levied. That hit on Ben clearly should have been flagged. But as usual, old Rog and his hit men get away with another one.

McFadden 41 said...

I find it amazing, people don't mind rapists, alleged rapists, wife beaters, child beaters, womanizers, guys who cheat on their wives, dead beat dads, drug users, other assorted criminals and just all around jerks on their team, but a guy who committed a crime and went to prison and hasn't had am ounce of trouble since, that's where we want to protest and draw the line? People hunt and kill innocent animals everyday, but that's ok because they eat them? Sadly there are a lot of people, too many really, who don't see what he did as wrong. But the man paid his debt and has tried hard to turn it around. If people are gong to boycott the team because of him, that's their right as Americans to do so. But i think a little perspective is needed.

That being said, I'm curious to see if a fine is levied. That hit on Ben clearly should have been flagged. But as usual, old Rog and his hit men get away with another one.

Anonymous said...

@ McFadden ,

This is how I look at my own personal situation: Let’s say there’s someone you don’t like. You can kill them or hire someone to kill them, but in either case, you’re equally guilty. If you eat meat, you’re either the killer or the accomplice i.e. you pay somebody to kill and process the animal for you. I just made a conscious decision to take responsibility for what I eat. I know, I’m missing out on the steroids, hormones, antibiotics, nitrates, meat glue and all the other wonderful things in store bought meat, so be it. Mine is for survival, Vick’s was for sport or pleasure.

You’re right regarding some of the crimes you mentioned, I think some people do cringe over some of these crimes while others look away, where do you draw the line? New Yorkers chanted “no means no” during the Steelers draft selection one year, a subtle form of protest. But when stars commit these crimes, it’s easy to look the other “for the sake of the team.” However when the crime involves an animal, a child or a woman, who can’t defend themselves and are subject to abuse, society has a tendency to look at those crimes more seriously, i.e. Ray Rice. True Vick paid his due and I commend him for that but so have a lot of other people who I wouldn’t invite into my living room either.

Everyone has their opinion and standards which they live with.

Patrick said...

can we talk about Tuitt? Is this guy more special than Heyward?

Anonymous said...

More special? Yet to be seen, but he's certainly growing WAAY faster and definitely has tools to be at the very least as good as Heyward

finnsteeler said...

How has Heyward played so far this season? Is he being doubled and setting plays up for others or just had some off games. So far Tuitt has outperformed him but I am not worried at all because the defense has been great in last two games. They just showed how good the depth at ILB is against Rams.

Who sets up the protection calls? This was a major problem in the second half against the blitz. They had free rushers multiple times. I think this is where missing Pouncey hurts a lot. They should have reacted somehow in the second half. There are many levels where this can be fixed: excecution, orginal play call or audible. If oline can't get the assignments right coaching should call for extra blockers. Somebody has to be able to fix this. Ravens have blitzed us a lot before, they win us when they win in the lines, just saying. Oline was great against SF and bad at pass pro against Rams. I am really interested to see how Munchak and Haley call the Ravens game.

ibygeorge said...

Your post last week about Anonymous posters was great. You should put it in your heading.
As far as knee injuries in the NFL, is there any equipment that players can wear that is not cumbersome that would provide protection, especially for QBs? Is the NFL promoting for any research into such equipment, such as they did with the helmets. It's in the NFL best interest. This should be a wakeup call to Goodell, since the Steelers are the most presented featured team to the national TV audience. Who now wants to watch Vick?

ibygeorge said...

Your post last week about Anonymous posters was great. You should put it in your heading.
As far as knee injuries in the NFL, is there any equipment that players can wear that is not cumbersome that would provide protection, especially for QBs? Is the NFL promoting for any research into such equipment, such as they did with the helmets. It's in the NFL best interest. This should be a wakeup call to Goodell, since the Steelers are the most presented featured team to the national TV audience. Who now wants to watch Vick?

Anonymous said...

@ Robert BNR

it seems like you are the dumb one here. Before Bell barely scored the 1-yard TD, the Steelers were stopped 7 consecutive plays inside the 10 yard line. They were getting stuffed inside the 10 just like they were at NE

Im all for going for 2 pts 50-80% of the time but there will be times during the year where you have to kick the extra point. Blindly going for 2 every chance is not a good strategy. Dummies like Robert BNR and Tomlin cannot comprehend this

Dale Lolley said...

The Steelers were going through the Rams like a hot knife through butter at that point. Scobee has already missed one PAT. I've got no issue with going for 2. Sorry some don't agree. Don't see how that makes me a homer, etc.

Anonymous said...

There is no equipment that will protect a QB from a safety diving into his legs. If that's supposed to be a foul, then the refs have to call it.

As for the anonymity thing, I used to have a google account that I no longer wanted so I am anonymous. It doesn't make my opinion any less valid than someone else who happens to provide a screen name but is equally anonymous. Dale need a thicker skin.

Going for 2 on the road against a good D was a bad call, regardless of the outcome. Gotta play it a little more closer to the vest in those circumstances. I will say that usually that type of decision comes back to haunt the Steelers but thankfully, the defense rose up and prevailed.

Let's see if this team has a killer instinct and sends ratbirds to 0-4.

Pistol said...

Was at the game yesterday and have a few takeaways myself.

1. Heyward and Tuitt are absolutely BEASTS and wreak havoc if not doubled. Rams tried to go one on one w Tuitt at the start and he was in on virtually every play.
2. I can see why they start Will at safety. You can see the guys love him and respect him and he is super smart on the field to make up for his average athleticism. He totally baited Foles into that pick at the end of the game. It was beautiful to watch.
3. Thank god Bell is back and the start of the game was awesome to watch. Teams will have no answer when all the regulars are back and is good enough even without Ben to tread water and at least go .500.
4. Steelers fans completely took over the Edward Jones Dome. You almost felt bad for the Rams players because it was virtually a road game for them.

Birthday Boy said...

The extra point(s) rule was changed in order to make the play more exciting, not to convince teams to go for 2 more often. Because the defense can potentially score on any attempt now, the change is successful. But the old chart teams used to determine to go for 1 or 2 should still apply. Our Steelers not following the chart yesterday could've needlessly and easily cost the game. It was foolish.

Anonymous said...

Going for 2 might win us a game as well.

The key is, how often do we convert? If we make it 50% of the time then we come out ahead.

joe said...

dale, i'm not the only one wondering about using james or villanueva near the end zone. either as a decoy or the intended receiver. any ideas as to why they aren't trying this ? yes i realize james isn't even getting a hat on game day. seems to be he should, just for this reason.

Marc said...

I've brought this up in the past, why wouldn't the steelers have #7 wear knee braces on each knee? would he have still gotten hurt, sure. but there's no way his knee buckles that much with a brace on. maybe 2-3 weeks instead of 4-6, at best.

good ole refs at it again. impossible to imagine how a player lunging into a QB's knee under his own accord doesn't get penalized.

my concerns rang true with the rams creating multiple opportunities to run defenders free through the line. I wonder who will be making the oline blocking calls with #7 out and vick under center. decastro?

game against ravens is so huge. ravens will clearly be the more desperate team. flacco to steve smith was pretty much their entire game plan in the second half.

tough on the short week, but I hope to see vick moving around a lot and a heavy does of bell. if dline keeps up its intensity, the defense should do well.

Anonymous said...

Isn't 25 for 30 equal to 83.3%? So wouldn't that mean their completion percentage of 81% coming into the game would go up?

Birthday Boy said...

True, but the conversion rates make the choice equivalent, so you need to choose wisely based upon the current score. When you're ahead by 9, you go for the gimme kick. If you're ahead by 8 or 10, maybe you take the risk. Yesterday's choice was bad.

ibygeorge said...

Really, I didn't realize that a post name is equally anonymous. Is this reply just as anonymous???

ibygeorge said...

Really, I didn't realize that a post name is equally anonymous. Is this reply just as anonymous???

finnsteeler said...

Sorry but the old chart should be used only closer to the end of games, usually 4th quarter or after halfway of 3rd.

The chart exist because of odds and scoring and in the first half the odds are there are going to be so many more scoring plays that it is too early to try to think it all the way trough. Mike Holmgren once almost blew a game because there was early safety and uncharacteristic score in game and in the second quarter they played two two point tries failing on both which was costly. After the game he told he had to do it based on chart and got crucified by everyone.

The chart is valid but only when you are absolutely sure there is only going to be a restricted number of scoring plays after that. I think they made right decision, hey we hadn't failed before that but I get if you wan't to take the one pointer just not because of chart.

Patrick said...

pretty sure that was Rich Kotite , not Mike Holmgren but I could be mistaken.

Dale Lolley said...

Look, the Steelers feel confident their offense is going to score in those situations more often than not. They want to put the pressure on opponents to also go out and score. And at the point they went for 2, they had just cut through the Rams defense twice. They bogged down the first time inside the 5, but they were having their way with them.
They had been 5-5 on 2-point conversions with Roethlisberger at QB. They do it every day in practice. They feel they're going to convert on them a lot more often than they are not. Period.

As for throwing to Villanueva, they tried that once in training camp, it was pretty ugly.

joe said...

so they have given up after one try ? dude caught a bunch of passes as a te. couldn't be much worse than some of the plays they called in the red zone this year !

kyle said...

He caught 34 passes in his one year as a TE at Army. Now, he had five touchdowns, which is nothing to sneeze at but still, there's more to being a red zone threat than just being tall.

adamg said...

Dale, do you think Tyler Murphy will be called up from the practice squad since he has at least some familiarity with the offense having sat in on qb meetings in training camp?

Anonymous Brian said...

What's wrong with my thinking about the following?

Two-point conversion rates / their relation to total scoring (and therefore "coming out ahead" as a percentage) over the course of a season don't matter - what matters is the individual games in which the decisions are being made.

The Pats-Panthers Super Bowl - each team scored four touchdowns and a field goal. Pats won by three points, Panthers had two failed two-point conversions. Also see Jax-Pit 2007 wild card, nearly the same thing. That's where I'm coming from.

I know it's only three games in but the idea of going for two regularly feels less like a strategy and more like, OMG We're So Excited There's This Cool New Rule Let's Score Some More Points We've Got All These Weapons!

DD said...

I believe the D has played better than nearly everyone had anticipated. Any concern with their ability to tackle though? Dudes are getting way too may yards after initial contact in my opinion.

Birthday Boy said...

Ben and many other people have stated that going for 2pt conversions gives away some goal line strategies, and over time will decrease the likelihood of scoring TD's and conversions. It's best not to attempt them constantly just because it's currently working.

Birthday Boy said...

My point is that there really is no more reason to go for 2 this season than last, when you consider all things. And I know from watching, that teams almost never go for 2 when ahead by 6pts. It's smarter to take the gimme kick to make it 7. If the other team scores a TD later, they will kick for the tie. The 2pt conversion is a needless risk, similar to the hail Mary. You save those for late game desperation.

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