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fordfixer
12-18-2009, 02:31 AM
Embattled Steelers are preaching team unity

By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, December 18, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 58361.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_658361.html)

What happens when you combine the NFL's fourth-ranked defense with an offense featuring a 3,000-yard quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger), two potential 1,000-yard receivers (Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward) and a potential 1,000-yard rusher (Rashard Mendenhall)?

You get the 6-7 Steelers.

The Indianapolis Colts entered Thursday night's game against Jacksonville with a 13-0 record, along with the NFL's 17th-ranked defense. The New Orleans Saints, also 13-0, feature the league's 21st-ranked defense.

How is it that two unbeaten teams have defenses ranked lower than the Steelers, who along with the Washington Redskins, are currently the only two teams with Top 10 defenses with losing records?

"There's probably a lot of teams in the league that'd like to be where we are,'' defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said regarding his defense following Thursday's practice. "The bottom line is: We haven't won enough games, and we have to do something about that.

"That's not offense, defense or special teams. That's all of us.''

LeBeau said this year's defense is being compared with last year's unit that ranked No. 1 in total defense, No. 1 against the pass and No. 2 against the run.

"I said last year, that's an aberration,'' LeBeau said. "You take the top team this year. They'd be way behind what we were last year.''

Last year, the Steelers led the league in total defense, permitting 237.2 yards per game. This year, the New York Jets are currently ranked No. 1, allowing 264.7 yards per game.

On paper, the Steelers' defense is ranked higher than the two teams who, entering last night's game, were tied for the best record in the league.

The Steelers are No. 1 against the run and No. 13 against the pass. Indianapolis was No. 17 against the run and No. 20 against the pass. New Orleans is No. 19 against the run and No. 23 against the pass.

Overall, the Steelers' defense isn't making enough plays to compensate for an offense that ranks below two of the league's elite units.

The Steelers are second in the league with 39 sacks and haven't permitted a 100-yard rusher in the past 31 regular-season games. However, the Steelers have recorded only eight interceptions, compared with 15 for Indianapolis entering last night's game and 24 for New Orleans.

"Their offenses are making plays,'' Steelers safety Tyrone Carter said of the Colts and Saints. "But if you look at it, their defenses are stopping guys and making plays. Last week against Atlanta, New Orleans came up with an interception, and they made another key stop. That's two possessions that the Saints stopped and got their offense in position to make plays.''

The Steelers' offense ranks No. 9 overall No. 12 rushing and No. 16 passing. Indianapolis is No. 4 overall No. 5 rushing, No. 3 passing. New Orleans boasts the league's top-ranked offense - No. 5 rushing, No. 3 passing.

Said Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward: "You really can't pinpoint why we don't have a better record. We're all in it together.''

flippy
12-18-2009, 01:05 PM
lack of redzone efficiency
inability to create turnovers
3rd down efficiency both ways
and special teams are crap

fix those and we'll be ok.

Lebsteel
12-18-2009, 01:48 PM
lack of redzone efficiency
inability to create turnovers
3rd down efficiency both ways
and special teams are crap

fix those and we'll be ok.

If our special teams would have just played average and not given up the big plays, we would easily be 9-4 right now without any other changes.

The game that made me totally sick was Oakland when we gave up three long 4th quarter TD drives. Of course, if Reed wouldn't have missed a field goal....though in fairness it was a long try.

SteelAbility
12-18-2009, 03:16 PM
lack of redzone efficiency
inability to create turnovers
3rd down efficiency both ways
and special teams are crap

fix those and we'll be ok.

I would venture to say fix ANY of those and we'd be in good shape for the playoffs. I could easily see us between 8-5 and 10-3 if any of the above were average.

steelblood
12-18-2009, 05:21 PM
lack of redzone efficiency
inability to create turnovers
3rd down efficiency both ways
and special teams are crap

fix those and we'll be ok.

exactly. I don't know why the Steelers keep talking like it is a mystery. I hate that.

feltdizz
12-18-2009, 05:26 PM
while the ST's stink....

3rd down on offense and defense is the main problem.

Sugar
12-18-2009, 07:37 PM
while the ST's stink....

3rd down on offense and defense is the main problem.

I think the point was just that with only league average ST play our O and D are good enough to make the playoffs. Returns for touchdowns, missed FG's and giving the opponent excellent field position have bit our behinds all year.

NJ-STEELER
12-19-2009, 12:08 AM
team unity??


did someone tape hines' mouth shut?

Shoe
12-19-2009, 09:48 PM
What happens when you combine the NFL's fourth-ranked defense with an offense featuring a 3,000-yard quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger), two potential 1,000-yard receivers (Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward) and a potential 1,000-yard rusher (Rashard Mendenhall)?

You get the 6-7 Steelers.

Is that amazing (and sobering) or what?

skyhawk
12-20-2009, 12:59 AM
It's also because the Steelers have one of the worst offensive lines in football.