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fordfixer
01-04-2010, 08:16 PM
Why? The question with no answer
Monday, January 4, 2010
http://www.steelers.com/article/116720/

By Mike Prisuta
Steelers.com

They understand what happened to them, how a promising, 6-2 start degenerated into a profoundly disappointing 9-7 finish that ultimately denied the Steelers an opportunity to defend their Super Bowl championship in the playoffs.

Why it happened is another matter entirely.

“Not enough winning,” linebacker James Farrior observed.

That was especially the case during a five-game losing streak from Nov. 15 through Dec. 10 that dropped the Steelers to 6-7 and left them no longer in control of their postseason fate.

They were able to rally and win their final three games, including Sunday’s regular season finale at Miami, 30-24. But the particulars of how they became susceptible to such a profound midseason meltdown remain a mystery to most Steelers.

“We felt like we had control,” Farrior said. “We felt like we were being the team we wanted to be and were going in the right direction. We were shocked (by the losing streak). Everybody was a little surprised and taken back by it.”

And nobody had a definitive answer as to why it happened in the visitor’s locker room at Land Shark Stadium.

“You can’t put your finger on it,” cornerback Deshea Townsend said. “Every game seemed like we were in it. We just didn’t close them.”

“I can’t pinpoint why,” wide receiver Hines Ward said. “We lost a lot of close games. We’re accustomed to winning those close games.”

Added free safety Ryan Clark, “I don’t know, man, I guess we went out to lunch.”

The Steelers will have an offseason that’s commenced ahead of schedule to sort out the details.

“It was one of those funky years,” offensive tackle Willie Colon said. “All you can do is learn from it.”

Three interceptions registered against Miami, one each from cornerbacks Townsend and Ike Taylor and one from Clark, and sacks by linebackers LaMarr Woodley (two) and Lawrence Timmons (one) helped confirm what Coach Mike Tomlin already maintained about the manner in which big plays made at the right times affect the outcome of games.

“In the last three games we made timely plays,” Tomlin said. “In the five prior to that we didn’t; same football team.

“That’s how fragile it is in the NFL. That’s how fine a line it is in the NFL. We respect that, we know that. I think that knowledge enabled us to continue to fight and win the last three games.”

If there’s any solace to be taken in missing the playoffs, it is that the Steelers at least finished strong.

“Let’s be real, there are a lot of teams that are capable of going 6-10 or whatever faced with the circumstances this group of men was faced with,” Tomlin said. “They knuckled down, hung together and did the best of their ability to fix it.”

But such solace falls short of salvaging a season that failed to meet expectations.

“It’s not about moral victories,” Tomlin said. “We have a singular goal every year and that’s to be world champs. We understand that there are 32 teams vying for it; there can only be one.

“I’ve been in this league nine years, man, seven times I’ve been disappointed. That’s the reality of it.”

Mister Pittsburgh
01-04-2010, 08:34 PM
I got 3 answers you can verify by going back and watching gamefilm there Tomlin.

Answer 1:
Your secondary blows and REPEATEDLY gave up huge passes in huge situations, specifically on 3rd downs. Hopefully Troy can stay healthy and be the player he was pre knee injury next season. Hopefully the draft picks, Burnett & Lewis can step up and play in the NFL. Hopefully your upcoming draft is deep in S & CB's and you pick some winners. Some of your current backups are too damn old. If Deshea & Carter are still the backups next season we better freaking pray there are no injuries and that Ryan Clark will re-sign with the B&G.

Answer 2:
For all the glorified yardage and catch numbers your QB-WR-TE had, our redzone offense sucks. It sucked in 2008, and it sucked in 2009. Lets shoot for it not sucking in 2010. Division titles aren't handed out for having more offensive yards than your opponents, they are handed out for crossing that white line between the two orange pylons more than your oppenent!

Answer 3:
Your interior linemen suck, specifically Hartwig, Stapleton, Essex. They are horrible, non-mobile, and light in the azz in Hartwigs case. Therefore, you have no run game because your interior linemen are no good. The best you can hope for is that they are fat enough to get in the opponents way long enough for Ben to throw the ball. I pray that A.Q. Shipley is a sleeping badass and emerges as a dominant center. Kemo being healthy along with Foster at RG might not be too bad surrounding a decent C. In my dream world, Urbick also becomes a stud OG and Foster could play RT so we can let Willie Colon go as he is not too damn good. He gets at a minimum one penalty per game and gives up at least one sack a game. We have let a once proud unit anchored by Jeff Hartings and Alan Faneca dwindle away to a bunch of interior linemen that would be luck to be backups on a good team. We are lucky our QB actually does better when he is about to get suplexed by DLmen and escapes them.

Start with those answers Mike, and we might be alright in 2010. Ignore them again, and look for more losing.

BradshawsHairdresser
01-04-2010, 08:41 PM
I got 3 answers you can verify by going back and watching gamefilm there Tomlin.

Answer 1:
Your secondary blows and REPEATEDLY gave up huge passes in huge situations, specifically on 3rd downs. Hopefully Troy can stay healthy and be the player he was pre knee injury next season. Hopefully the draft picks, Burnett & Lewis can step up and play in the NFL. Hopefully your upcoming draft is deep in S & CB's and you pick some winners. Some of your current backups are too damn old. If Deshea & Carter are still the backups next season we better freaking pray there are no injuries and that Ryan Clark will re-sign with the B&G.

Answer 2:
For all the glorified yardage and catch numbers your QB-WR-TE had, our redzone offense sucks. It sucked in 2008, and it sucked in 2009. Lets shoot for it not sucking in 2010. Division titles aren't handed out for having more offensive yards than your opponents, they are handed out for crossing that white line between the two orange pylons more than your oppenent!

Answer 3:
Your interior linemen suck, specifically Hartwig, Stapleton, Essex. They are horrible, non-mobile, and light in the azz in Hartwigs case. Therefore, you have no run game because your interior linemen are no good. The best you can hope for is that they are fat enough to get in the opponents way long enough for Ben to throw the ball. I pray that A.Q. Shipley is a sleeping badass and emerges as a dominant center. Kemo being healthy along with Foster at RG might not be too bad surrounding a decent C. In my dream world, Urbick also becomes a stud OG and Foster could play RT so we can let Willie Colon go as he is not too damn good. He gets at a minimum one penalty per game and gives up at least one sack a game. We have let a once proud unit anchored by Jeff Hartings and Alan Faneca dwindle away to a bunch of interior linemen that would be luck to be backups on a good team. We are lucky our QB actually does better when he is about to get suplexed by DLmen and escapes them.

Start with those answers Mike, and we might be alright in 2010. Ignore them again, and look for more losing.

Add in problems with an aging ILB, poor performance by OC and DC, and crappy ST play.

From the article, it sounds as though the players and Tomlin are living in denial, as though they are a great team that just caught a couple of unlucky breaks. Can they really be so blind as to not be able to see these problem areas?

It's hard to be encouraged about this team's future...How will they ever correct the problems if they can't even see them?

Chadman
01-04-2010, 08:42 PM
I got 3 answers you can verify by going back and watching gamefilm there Tomlin.

Answer 1:
Your secondary blows and REPEATEDLY gave up huge passes in huge situations, specifically on 3rd downs. Hopefully Troy can stay healthy and be the player he was pre knee injury next season. Hopefully the draft picks, Burnett & Lewis can step up and play in the NFL. Hopefully your upcoming draft is deep in S & CB's and you pick some winners. Some of your current backups are too damn old. If Deshea & Carter are still the backups next season we better freaking pray there are no injuries and that Ryan Clark will re-sign with the B&G.

Answer 2:
For all the glorified yardage and catch numbers your QB-WR-TE had, our redzone offense sucks. It sucked in 2008, and it sucked in 2009. Lets shoot for it not sucking in 2010. Division titles aren't handed out for having more offensive yards than your opponents, they are handed out for crossing that white line between the two orange pylons more than your oppenent!

Answer 3:
Your interior linemen suck, specifically Hartwig, Stapleton, Essex. They are horrible, non-mobile, and light in the azz in Hartwigs case. Therefore, you have no run game because your interior linemen are no good. The best you can hope for is that they are fat enough to get in the opponents way long enough for Ben to throw the ball. I pray that A.Q. Shipley is a sleeping badass and emerges as a dominant center. Kemo being healthy along with Foster at RG might not be too bad surrounding a decent C. In my dream world, Urbick also becomes a stud OG and Foster could play RT so we can let Willie Colon go as he is not too damn good. He gets at a minimum one penalty per game and gives up at least one sack a game. We have let a once proud unit anchored by Jeff Hartings and Alan Faneca dwindle away to a bunch of interior linemen that would be luck to be backups on a good team. We are lucky our QB actually does better when he is about to get suplexed by DLmen and escapes them.

Start with those answers Mike, and we might be alright in 2010. Ignore them again, and look for more losing.

Add in problems with an aging ILB, poor performance by OC and DC, and crappy ST play.

From the article, it sounds as though the players and Tomlin are living in denial, as though they are a great team that just caught a couple of unlucky breaks. Can they really be so blind as to not be able to see these problem areas?


They had the same problems last year and won the Super Bowl- so yeah.

BradshawsHairdresser
01-04-2010, 09:39 PM
I got 3 answers you can verify by going back and watching gamefilm there Tomlin.

Answer 1:
Your secondary blows and REPEATEDLY gave up huge passes in huge situations, specifically on 3rd downs. Hopefully Troy can stay healthy and be the player he was pre knee injury next season. Hopefully the draft picks, Burnett & Lewis can step up and play in the NFL. Hopefully your upcoming draft is deep in S & CB's and you pick some winners. Some of your current backups are too damn old. If Deshea & Carter are still the backups next season we better freaking pray there are no injuries and that Ryan Clark will re-sign with the B&G.

Answer 2:
For all the glorified yardage and catch numbers your QB-WR-TE had, our redzone offense sucks. It sucked in 2008, and it sucked in 2009. Lets shoot for it not sucking in 2010. Division titles aren't handed out for having more offensive yards than your opponents, they are handed out for crossing that white line between the two orange pylons more than your oppenent!

Answer 3:
Your interior linemen suck, specifically Hartwig, Stapleton, Essex. They are horrible, non-mobile, and light in the azz in Hartwigs case. Therefore, you have no run game because your interior linemen are no good. The best you can hope for is that they are fat enough to get in the opponents way long enough for Ben to throw the ball. I pray that A.Q. Shipley is a sleeping badass and emerges as a dominant center. Kemo being healthy along with Foster at RG might not be too bad surrounding a decent C. In my dream world, Urbick also becomes a stud OG and Foster could play RT so we can let Willie Colon go as he is not too damn good. He gets at a minimum one penalty per game and gives up at least one sack a game. We have let a once proud unit anchored by Jeff Hartings and Alan Faneca dwindle away to a bunch of interior linemen that would be luck to be backups on a good team. We are lucky our QB actually does better when he is about to get suplexed by DLmen and escapes them.

Start with those answers Mike, and we might be alright in 2010. Ignore them again, and look for more losing.

Add in problems with an aging ILB, poor performance by OC and DC, and crappy ST play.

From the article, it sounds as though the players and Tomlin are living in denial, as though they are a great team that just caught a couple of unlucky breaks. Can they really be so blind as to not be able to see these problem areas?


They had the same problems last year and won the Super Bowl- so yeah.

ST coverage was much worse this season.
DC performance was much worse this season.
Farrior's play declined sharply this season.
Secondary play was much worse this season (due in part to the absence of Troy,
but still, glaring problems were exposed this season).

Mister Pittsburgh
01-04-2010, 11:34 PM
I got 3 answers you can verify by going back and watching gamefilm there Tomlin.

Answer 1:
Your secondary blows and REPEATEDLY gave up huge passes in huge situations, specifically on 3rd downs. Hopefully Troy can stay healthy and be the player he was pre knee injury next season. Hopefully the draft picks, Burnett & Lewis can step up and play in the NFL. Hopefully your upcoming draft is deep in S & CB's and you pick some winners. Some of your current backups are too damn old. If Deshea & Carter are still the backups next season we better freaking pray there are no injuries and that Ryan Clark will re-sign with the B&G.

Answer 2:
For all the glorified yardage and catch numbers your QB-WR-TE had, our redzone offense sucks. It sucked in 2008, and it sucked in 2009. Lets shoot for it not sucking in 2010. Division titles aren't handed out for having more offensive yards than your opponents, they are handed out for crossing that white line between the two orange pylons more than your oppenent!

Answer 3:
Your interior linemen suck, specifically Hartwig, Stapleton, Essex. They are horrible, non-mobile, and light in the azz in Hartwigs case. Therefore, you have no run game because your interior linemen are no good. The best you can hope for is that they are fat enough to get in the opponents way long enough for Ben to throw the ball. I pray that A.Q. Shipley is a sleeping badass and emerges as a dominant center. Kemo being healthy along with Foster at RG might not be too bad surrounding a decent C. In my dream world, Urbick also becomes a stud OG and Foster could play RT so we can let Willie Colon go as he is not too damn good. He gets at a minimum one penalty per game and gives up at least one sack a game. We have let a once proud unit anchored by Jeff Hartings and Alan Faneca dwindle away to a bunch of interior linemen that would be luck to be backups on a good team. We are lucky our QB actually does better when he is about to get suplexed by DLmen and escapes them.

Start with those answers Mike, and we might be alright in 2010. Ignore them again, and look for more losing.

Add in problems with an aging ILB, poor performance by OC and DC, and crappy ST play.

From the article, it sounds as though the players and Tomlin are living in denial, as though they are a great team that just caught a couple of unlucky breaks. Can they really be so blind as to not be able to see these problem areas?


They had the same problems last year and won the Super Bowl- so yeah.

ST coverage was much worse this season.
DC performance was much worse this season.
Farrior's play declined sharply this season.
Secondary play was much worse this season (due in part to the absence of Troy,
but still, glaring problems were exposed this season).


I agree. Our defense was so dominant last year that it hid the problems outlined above. Answer 1 wasn't as much of an issue last year. Take out Troy & McFadden and throw age on Deshea, Carter, and replace McFadden with Gay and it becomes major issues for the secondary. I also think Aaron Smith helped hide some of Farriors deficiencies.