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View Full Version : Contenders? Why The Hell Not?



Slapstick
06-25-2008, 09:15 AM
After going 10-6 last year, I really don't see any reason why the Steelers can't improve...regardless of strength of schedule...

Of course, you never know what will happen when they play the games, but...

Improvement #1 - LaMarr Woodley vs. Clark Haggans...Woodley is the real deal, IMO...his presence will shore up the strong side of the defense considerably...

Improvement #2 - Lawrence Timmons vs. Larry Foote...Hell, I like Foote...I think he's a solid player...but, an athletic Mack LB adds so much to the Steelers' 3-4 (Chad Brown back in the day...Kendrell Bell 7 years ago)...

Improvement #3 - Rashard Mendenhall/Mewelde Moore vs. Najeh Davenport...Najeh isn't bad, but I firmly believe that Mendenhall is more talented...I also believe Moore to be a superior 3rd down RB...

Improvement #4 - Limas Sweed vs. Nate Washington...I like Nate, too...but, if you can recall Sweed catching the go ahead TD vs. Ohio State in the Shoe, you are looking forward to what he will do in a black helmet...

Improvement #5 - Matt Spaeth 2008 vs. Matt Spaeth 2007...do I need to go into detail here?

Improvement #6 - Justin Hartwig vs. Sean Mahan...even with the loss of Faneca, this makes the line better than last year...

This is not to mention improvements at punt returns nor recovery from injuries (Clark, A. Smith)...

Of course, they have to play the games...I'm not counting chickens...

But, I am optimistic...

Bob
06-25-2008, 09:20 AM
I agree with everything you stated.

IMO, it will boil down to 2 things.
1. Can we protect Ben?
2. Can we pressure the opposing teams QB?

If we can even see a 20% increase in both, heck, even a 10% increase would be nice, we will go far...

My 2 yen

Iron Shiek
06-25-2008, 09:21 AM
I'm right there with you brother. That is a great list.

I think you have one omission, and its in my avatar: Coach has the 1st year under his belt. I think that is bigger than people think.

rpmpit
06-25-2008, 09:28 AM
I'm right there with you brother. That is a great list.

I think you have one omission, and its in my avatar: Coach has the 1st year under his belt. I think that is bigger than people think.

Yeah, great list and great addition IS. No question Coach Tomlin will be more confident and comfortable than he was last year.

I personally LOVE the tough schedule. Better to be battle tested going into the playoffs, than to come in soft and be one and done.

Iron Shiek
06-25-2008, 09:33 AM
I'm right there with you brother. That is a great list.

I think you have one omission, and its in my avatar: Coach has the 1st year under his belt. I think that is bigger than people think.

Yeah, great list and great addition IS. No question Coach Tomlin will be more confident and comfortable than he was last year.

I personally LOVE the tough schedule. Better to be battle tested going into the playoffs, than to come in soft and be one and done.

And honestly, when we are 10-5 going into that last weekend with the division wrapped up, lets not rest our starters dammit! It never seems to work out for those teams that do that!

Yes, bring on that tough schedule. Steelers are tougher... :Steel

rpmpit
06-25-2008, 09:45 AM
[quote="Iron Shiek":24gzunpc]I'm right there with you brother. That is a great list.

I think you have one omission, and its in my avatar: Coach has the 1st year under his belt. I think that is bigger than people think.

Yeah, great list and great addition IS. No question Coach Tomlin will be more confident and comfortable than he was last year.

I personally LOVE the tough schedule. Better to be battle tested going into the playoffs, than to come in soft and be one and done.

And honestly, when we are 10-5 going into that last weekend with the division wrapped up, lets not rest our starters dammit! It never seems to work out for those teams that do that!

Yes, bring on that tough schedule. Steelers are tougher... :Steel[/quote:24gzunpc]

Agreed!

Flasteel
06-25-2008, 10:16 AM
Great list and subsequent comments. I'd also like to add that some of our top players on the offensive side of the ball are still maturing and progressing in their game. Guys like Holmes, Miller, and especially that dude who wears number seven should all be even better than last year based on the elevation of their game and second season with Arians calling the shots (unfortunately).
:Boobs

Oviedo
06-25-2008, 10:19 AM
I agree with everything you stated.

IMO, it will boil down to 2 things.
1. Can we protect Ben?
2. Can we pressure the opposing teams QB?

If we can even see a 20% increase in both, heck, even a 10% increase would be nice, we will go far...

My 2 yen

Agree 100% with the two metrics you identify. Goals should be:

<40 sacks allowed (I think we will always be around 40 because of how Ben holds onto the ball to extend plays)

>45 sacks against opposing QBs. If we get >50 we will win 12 games. Nothing changes a game more than a sack.

Here is another that I'll throw in >15 INTs. INTs is one area we need to improve in. The key is keeping Troy back in civerage and not wrestling 300lb linemen.

papillon
06-25-2008, 12:12 PM
After going 10-6 last year, I really don't see any reason why the Steelers can't improve...regardless of strength of schedule...

Of course, you never know what will happen when they play the games, but...

Improvement #1 - LaMarr Woodley vs. Clark Haggans...Woodley is the real deal, IMO...his presence will shore up the strong side of the defense considerably...

Improvement #2 - Lawrence Timmons vs. Larry Foote...Hell, I like Foote...I think he's a solid player...but, an athletic Mack LB adds so much to the Steelers' 3-4 (Chad Brown back in the day...Kendrell Bell 7 years ago)...

Improvement #3 - Rashard Mendenhall/Mewelde Moore vs. Najeh Davenport...Najeh isn't bad, but I firmly believe that Mendenhall is more talented...I also believe Moore to be a superior 3rd down RB...

Improvement #4 - Limas Sweed vs. Nate Washington...I like Nate, too...but, if you can recall Sweed catching the go ahead TD vs. Ohio State in the Shoe, you are looking forward to what he will do in a black helmet...

Improvement #5 - Matt Spaeth 2008 vs. Matt Spaeth 2007...do I need to go into detail here?

Improvement #6 - Justin Hartwig vs. Sean Mahan...even with the loss of Faneca, this makes the line better than last year...

This is not to mention improvements at punt returns nor recovery from injuries (Clark, A. Smith)...

Of course, they have to play the games...I'm not counting chickens...

But, I am optimistic...

Just to keep an even handedness about this....

Regression #1 - Alan Faneca gone and replacement will come out of camp

Regression #2 - Return Units, Moore has done it, but, we're still lacking and unsure whether he's the answer or not.

Regression #3 - Coverage Units, unless, some players really stand out in camp as ST demons, I can't see this getting better

Regression #4 - Defensive Line, all are another year older after sub-par sesaons and injuries a year ago. Draft choices and depth haven't proven they're worth.

Regression #5 - Overall line play (offensive), they have to be better as a unit, and many positions are still in flux.

These may not actually be regressions, but areas of concern and uncertainty that could cause problems if they don't improve from last year.

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
06-25-2008, 12:20 PM
Contenders? Ben thinks so.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_574391.html


Roethlisberger: Steelers can contend for Super Bowl
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ben Roethlisberger is taking a break from football and going fishing. The Steelers quarterback made it clear, however, that no matter what he catches next week, his focus is ultimately on reeling in something much bigger.
"Hopefully, we win the Super Bowl," Roethlisberger said Tuesday while working at the youth camp that bears his name at Mars High School's football field. "That's my goal this year and I think we've got the personnel for it."

Roethlisberger may be the biggest reason for optimism in regard to the Steelers attaining that goal. He is coming off a breakout season, one in which he made the Pro Bowl and shattered a Steelers single-season record with 32 touchdown passes, and he should have better command of the offense Bruce Arians installed last year.

Roethlisberger didn't just crack the ranks of elite quarterbacks last season. He also established himself the unquestioned leader of the offense in his fourth year as the Steelers' starting quarterback.


story continues below



"I think it's been a gradual process, but you could kind of see it coming along last year," Steelers tight end Heath Miller said. "He knew that this was his offense, and he knew that everyone in the huddle was looking into his eyes because they knew he was our leader."
Roethlisberger, 26, admittedly has had to grow into that role -- he took over a veteran-laden offense when an injury thrust him into the starting lineup as a rookie in 2004 -- and he said he plans to be even more vocal this season since he is more comfortable with Arians' offense.

"Because it was a new offense (last season) it's kind of hard to be too vocal as a leader when you're not sure what's going on all the time on offense," Roethlisberger said. "This year I think I'll be able to develop even more and hopefully just be able to continue to grow into my leadership role."

Even though the Steelers are finished with offseason practices and don't report to training camp until July 27, Roethlisberger said he has been preparing in earnest for the upcoming season.

The 6-foot-5, 241-pounder said he will return to Pittsburgh after his fishing trip and resume working out on a daily basis as well as chatting with Arians, the Steelers' offensive coordinator, regularly.

As for what he can do following a season in which he finished second only to Tom Brady in passer rating (104.1) and also befuddled opponents with his Houdini-like ability to escape the pass rush, Roethlisberger said there is plenty.

"I'm never going to be satisfied with where I'm at," Roethlisberger said. "I'm always going to try and get better, whether it's reading defenses better, knowing what's going on, on offense. There's a lot of little things I'd like to do to get better."

And if Roethlisberger manages to get better, the Steelers only figure to do the same.

The team won an AFC North title but faded in the latter part of the 2007 season and lost to Jacksonville, 29-27, in an AFC wild-card game.

Despite the disappointing end to a season that started with such promise, Roethlisberger said he is confident the Steelers can contend for the Super Bowl this year.

"I think we've got a lot of pieces," he said, "and we're a year better."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

costanza2k1
06-25-2008, 12:36 PM
Anytime we have a healthy Ben playing on our team we're in contenders for the big show. I've been reading the comparisons between the Browns and the Steelers and there simple aren't any. You can't compare Anderson to Ben...there's just no way and I'm not talking stats. I'm talking about heart which can't be measured. Ben has championship heart and poopie stain Anderson doesn't.

Slapstick
06-25-2008, 01:25 PM
Just to keep an even handedness about this....

Regression #1 - Alan Faneca gone and replacement will come out of camp

Regression #2 - Return Units, Moore has done it, but, we're still lacking and unsure whether he's the answer or not.

Regression #3 - Coverage Units, unless, some players really stand out in camp as ST demons, I can't see this getting better

Regression #4 - Defensive Line, all are another year older after sub-par sesaons and injuries a year ago. Draft choices and depth haven't proven they're worth.

Regression #5 - Overall line play (offensive), they have to be better as a unit, and many positions are still in flux.

These may not actually be regressions, but areas of concern and uncertainty that could cause problems if they don't improve from last year.

Pappy

Actually, I don't consider these to be regressions per se...they are, unfortunately, some of the same problems that plagued the Steelers last year...

The closest to a regression might be Faneca, but he didn't perform like the Faneca that we used to know last year...

Shawn
06-25-2008, 02:26 PM
The Steelers 2-14...mark it.

:wink:

I agree...other than our schedule there is no reason we shouldn't have a very competitive team. How competitive? Ehhh...that will highly depend on our OL and if we can stay healthy.

Bob
06-25-2008, 02:49 PM
I agree with everything you stated.

IMO, it will boil down to 2 things.
1. Can we protect Ben?
2. Can we pressure the opposing teams QB?

If we can even see a 20% increase in both, heck, even a 10% increase would be nice, we will go far...

My 2 yen

Agree 100% with the two metrics you identify. Goals should be:

<40 sacks allowed (I think we will always be around 40 because of how Ben holds onto the ball to extend plays)

>45 sacks against opposing QBs. If we get >50 we will win 12 games. Nothing changes a game more than a sack.

Here is another that I'll throw in >15 INTs. INTs is one area we need to improve in. The key is keeping Troy back in civerage and not wrestling 300lb linemen.

Good point about the INTs. Now if Ike would just have caught even 1/3rd of the catchable INTs that hit his hands?!?!?!?!?!?!

SteelHoss
06-25-2008, 03:03 PM
Anytime we have a healthy Ben playing on our team we're in contenders for the big show. I've been reading the comparisons between the Browns and the Steelers and there simple aren't any. You can't compare Anderson to Ben...there's just no way and I'm not talking stats. I'm talking about heart which can't be measured. Ben has championship heart and poopie stain Anderson doesn't.


Very well said. :Agree

papillon
06-25-2008, 03:06 PM
Just to keep an even handedness about this....

Regression #1 - Alan Faneca gone and replacement will come out of camp

Regression #2 - Return Units, Moore has done it, but, we're still lacking and unsure whether he's the answer or not.

Regression #3 - Coverage Units, unless, some players really stand out in camp as ST demons, I can't see this getting better

Regression #4 - Defensive Line, all are another year older after sub-par sesaons and injuries a year ago. Draft choices and depth haven't proven they're worth.

Regression #5 - Overall line play (offensive), they have to be better as a unit, and many positions are still in flux.

These may not actually be regressions, but areas of concern and uncertainty that could cause problems if they don't improve from last year.

Pappy

Actually, I don't consider these to be regressions per se...they are, unfortunately, some of the same problems that plagued the Steelers last year...

The closest to a regression might be Faneca, but he didn't perform like the Faneca that we used to know last year...

I actually stated the exact same thing that they may not be regressions, but, that they are areas of concern and uncertainty. Between STs, lack of depth at D-line and sporadic O-line play it cost the Steelers at least 2 games and probably a 3rd and one of them was a playoff game.

They need to improve in the areas I have listed as regressions, staying status quo won't get it done in my opinion.

Pappy

AngryAsian
06-26-2008, 07:20 AM
I have to concur with Pap.... staying sedentary in these areas of concern will only bury this team this year. We have to see improvements or our season is done before it even starts. I'm hopeful that this year will be different in those areas. It seems that ST is being addressed with some new blood being infused. The DL I think will be the most toughest area to keep fresh and competitive this year.

Shawn
06-26-2008, 09:28 AM
I am hopeful that Hartwig will be a major improvement. I am hopeful that Kemo might turn some heads. I am also hopeful that Marvel and Aaron Smith...having them healthy will bring large dividends.

With that said, thats alot of being hopeful.