Daily Archives: April 3, 2012

Roethlisberger On New Unis, Ward, Leadership Within the Steelers

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Ben Roethlisberger has always been the center of attention in the Steel City, and Tuesday in New York City he along with 31 other NFL players were on hand to debut their teams new Nike NFL uniforms.

While the Steelers uni didn’t change much, Ben said that he liked the fact it’s a little lighter than that of the old Reebok unis.

“It’s a lot lighter and more comfortable in games, so late in games your going to feel like your not wearing anything,” Roethlisberger said.

The Steelers franchise QB talked about not being able to do much so far with new OC Todd Haley, and also said he would have hoped to have been able to meet and chat with the former Chiefs HC by now.

“You could be a lot busier if you could meet with him and talk to him,” Roethlisberger said. “If you have someone new come in I think you should be able to meet early.”

As far as the chatter that there was bad blood between he and the team about the dismissal of close friend, former OC Bruce Arians, Roethlisberger said it’s all hype.

“Way overblown, there’s nothing to that,” Roethlisberger said.

Another big topic in Steeler Nation has been Hines Ward, and his sudden announcement that he would retire, this after he said he wanted to continue playing, even if it was with another club.

Ward walked away two weeks ago, staying within the Steelers organization his whole career, walking away with 1000 career catches.

Roethlisberger says the retirement did surprise him a bit.

“I guess I was because of how he said he wanted to play,” Roethlisberger said. “Only you know your own body, so he knows his body and his health better than anybody, so when he said that I thought he was really gonna go somewhere and play. I was a little surprised by it, but not disappointed by it since he was gonna go out as a Steeler.”

The QB said that he didn’t know the inner workings of the team trying to keep Ward, but said that there’s a lot of things that we as fans and media don’t see or know about the club and trying to keep Ward.

“There’s a lot of behind the scenes things that we don’t even know about,” Roethlisberger said. “Whether it was a money issue, or a health issue, who knows.

“I went through this a little bit with Jerome when he left, so when you lose an iconic figure like that, you never want to see him go, but everyone’s got to go at some point.”

As far as stepping up and being a leader, he said that not only is it going to be on him, but also on the rest of the young players of the Steelers to start to lead by example, and show the rookies and first 2-3 year players how it’s done.

“I have become the oldest guy on offense and the oldest guy in the locker room, it’s kind of one of those things I’ll do my best to try and be a leader,” Roethlisberger said. “We’ve got some other guys that can do it, but it’s time for some of those younger guys to step up.”

Source: Steelers Gab

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Steelers new Nike uniform unveiled

The much-anticipated unveiling of the new Nike NFL jerseys took place in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday, with NFL players modeling the new styles. Steelers fans will be happy to know the familiar bl…

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

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Report: Bruce Arians wants Colts to sign Leftwich

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The Colts are going to get their quarterback of the future with the first overall pick in the draft, but a report out of Pittsburgh has them looking for someone to show the new guy the ropes. Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians wants the team to sign…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Cincinnati running back Pead visiting Steelers

Isaiah Pead rushed for 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, and his stock has only risen since he concluded a decorated career at the University of Cincinnati.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Sheet drops on new Nike uniforms at 11:00 a.m. ET

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Never before has the NFL enjoyed so much anticipation for a shift in uniform supplier.  Of course, never before has the NFL launched a 10-year partnership with a shoe and apparel company that has developed a reputation for outside-the-box uniform designs. And the anticipation comes in relatively equal measure from those who fear dramatic changes…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Agree to Disagree – NFL meetings

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At last week’s NFL meetings, several rules changes were adopted or defeated or tabled. The guys tell you what they think of all of that.

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

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Demetrius Bell will visit Packers this week

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Free-agent tackle Demetrius Bell is getting around.  Which means he’s not getting the kind of offer he wants. His free-agent tour will continue this week with a visit to the Packers, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Bell most recently visited the Steelers and Eagles.  He was a seventh-round pick of the…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Nike uniform revolution is taking shot at NFL

The gaudy uniform craze that began with Nike co-founder Phil Knight’s alma mater has gripped every school from Maryland to Boise State. Is the NFL next?

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Mike Wallace: The receiver the Pittsburgh Steelers can’t lose

The speedy third-year receiver out of Mississippi, Mike Wallace, has made himself a very valuable asset to the Pittsburgh Steelers offense. He presents a down-field threat each and every time that he steps onto the field. Just his on-field presence causes opposing defenses change the way in which they try to defend him. Defending him

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Week 2 Film Review: First Roethlisberger Injury Occurs During Wallace’s Day of Dominance

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No team is the same from one year to the next, but one can learn about where a team is going by studying where it has been. We’ve watched each Steelers game last year play-by-play and pulled out a certain amount of trend-setting and trend-extending plays that earned the Steelers both a 12-4 record and a first-round playoff loss. We’ll highlight what each of those plays meant from a bigger picture perspective on the season that was in 2011.

The hit QB Ben Roethlisberger took from Seahawks DE Raheem Brock drew both a 15-yard penalty flag and a $ 15,000 fine from the league (a “Fline”), but in the long run, it was one of many hits the mobile quarterback took that ultimately wore him down to the point of ineffectiveness.

It just didn’t really stop him, or the Steelers’ defense, from kicking the tar out of Seattle.

The Steelers shut out the Seahawks in their second consecutive game since defeating them in Super Bowl XL. It was a 21-0 win in Week 5 of the 2007 season the first time, and this time, it was 24-0, and the Seahawks, led by QB Tarvaris Jackson, failed to cross midfield until the fourth quarter.

Wallace v. Browner

The Steelers led 14-0 late in the second quarter – plenty cushion for a defense that allowed just 164 total yards on the day – when Brock hit Roethlisberger low. He returned to the game to finish off a field goal-scoring drive.

How healthy was he, though? At the end of the third quarter, the Steelers went five wide, with Wallace on the line between Hines Ward and Heath Miller. The Seahawks come out in man coverage, hoping the pass rush can get to Roethlisberger before the speedy Wallace can get down field.

It almost worked. Roethlisberger took a (legal) shot just after he launched a deep pass for Wallace, who burned Browner off the line, held up, then burned him again as he adjusted for the throw, which was off the mark by quite a bit.

Wallace makes a sensational catch on a poorly thrown pass for a 53-yard gain. Incidentally, I choked when I saw Brandon Browner in the Pro Bowl at the end of last season. I’m not sure I can recall a cornerback as overmatched as Browner was in this game. I didn’t see the rest of his season, but wow…he was awful in Week 2.

It wasn’t that Roethlisberger’s injured knee affected the throw, but it was a clear example of the numerous opportunities the Steelers had in 2011 to get Wallace the ball in a position to be able to run after the catch, but for many reasons (in this case, taking a shot to the chops), they weren’t able to connect.

It wasn’t the same play, but Wallace had to adjust to a poorly thrown Roethlisberger pass against Denver in the AFC Wild Card playoff game in January. Wallace was unable to maintain possession of that one.

For a team to base its offense heavily around the idea of getting the ball deep down the field, the inability to sustain pass protection long enough for Roethlisberger to step into his throws, and the additional hits he took outside the pocket, eventually would make that deep option far less successful, albeit dangerous.

This play in Week 2 worked, but the frequency of these kinds of plays early in the year would lead to Wallace’s diminished production and Roethlisberger’s multiple injuries down the stretch.

Goal Line Futility

After a (brutal) pass interference call against Browner, the Steelers had first and goal on Seattle’s 1-yard line. Enter Doug Legursky as a blocking fullback. First carry, RB Rashard Mendenhall, behind the motioning TE David Johnson, no gain. FS Earl Thomas knifes in to make the play.

They’ve got approximately 570 pounds in the backfield to block, and another 225 from Mendenhall. Thomas weighs maybe 200 pounds. No one got a hat on him.

Second down, same formation, but they run play action out of it. TE Weslye Saunders blocks his man inside, leaving S Atari Bigby free to sack Roethlisberger for a 7-yard loss. The blame probably falls on RT Marcus Gilbert, who should kick down and cut the angle off for the free rusher, but he pushed too far inside, and couldn’t get back to stop Bigby.

Another misfire in the red zone.

Third down, another pass, Seattle blankets every Steelers receiver. Roethlisberger scrambles, and is taken down inside the 1-yard line. Every receiver the Steelers had on the play ran a quick route, turned, didn’t see the ball and stopped. That was another problem with the team’s overall red zone struggles. While I don’t know the play call or the specific intentions of it, it appears the call was essentially a quick-hit throw by Roethlisberger, and if nothing was there, he was to run it. But Roethlisberger ran away from his receivers, and none of them followed him. He nearly gets across the goal line, but Seattle made another tough stop.

The Steelers elect to go for it on fourth down, and in comes the heavy package again, and again, the run off left guard behind Johnson and Legursky. Again, no one prevents Thomas from knifing in and making a play. Legursky missed him in the hole, and Mendenhall had no chance.

Credit the Seahawks, who had a very strong defensive team in 2011, but the Steelers had 1st and goal from their 1-yard line, gained nothing and walked off the field without any points. I liked the decision to go for it, but the execution was poor, setting the tone for a season of disappointment inside the 20.

Don’t Forget 43

The series after the Steelers’ goal line SNAFU, Steelers SS Troy Polamalu forces a 3-and-out almost single-handedly. On first down, Seattle tries to scrape him with TE Zack Miller while running a flare to RB Marshawn Lynch. Polamalu isn’t fooled, and pushes Lynch out of bounds for a 1-yard gain. They try to run away from Polamalu on second down, but he chases Lynch down from 12 yards away for a 1-yard loss. Third down, Polamalu lines up on the offensive left side, and chases Lynch down again, this time for a 1-yard gain.

Polamalu, top to bottom, played brilliantly in 2011. He had a few gaffes in coverage (we’ll get to those in this series), but he was so crucial for this team in run support, the year would have ended much worse if he wasn’t out there.

He made the splash plays in 2010, which was the biggest reason why he was named Defensive Player of the Year (the defensive player with the most splash plays, not the best all-around body of work, wins that award now, just ask Terrell Suggs). Polamalu made less splash plays, but was more important to the defense in 2011. That first possession, and others that season, are evidence to it.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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