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fordfixer
01-24-2010, 09:58 AM
Published: January 23, 2010 11:19 pm

BILL EGGERT | Plenty of reasons for Steelers’ lost season
By BILL EGGERT
For The Tribune-Democrat
http://www.tribune-democrat.com/local/l ... 32046.html (http://www.tribune-democrat.com/local/local_story_023232046.html)

As we hunker down for the remaining playoff games this season countless Steeler fans wonder what happened this year.

Why could the Black and Gold defeat teams like Minnesota and Green Bay, and yet lose to doormats like Oakland, Cleveland and Kansas City?

Was the difference just Troy Polamalu’s absence, or was there more?

The Steelers had the toughest schedule in 2008, and yet went to and won the Super Bowl. The 2009 schedule was light years easier on paper, and yet Pittsburgh only went 9-7.

Reasons why the Steelers imploded this season have had fans flummoxed.

And so as we watch other teams go to the Big Dance, conspiracy theorists propose their reasons as to what happened:

1) Despite warnings, The Rooneys built Heinz Field on an ancient Native American burial ground, forever cursing the Steelers’ chances of winning games there.

2) The Blarney Curse: Dan Rooney’s abandonment of the Steelers to become the US ambassador to Ireland unleashed a horde of invisible leprechauns to wreck havoc on the Steeler players.

3) Roger Goodell’s allowing dog abuser Michael Vick back into the NFL unleashed an uber-storm of bad karma on the reigning Super Bowl champions.

4) The Roswell Incident involving the UFO crash in 1947 caused a rip in the time-space continuum , resulting in the Steelers’ inexplicable incompetence 62 years later.

Seriously, there are a few legitimate reasons that could explain the unexplainable:

1) NFL All-Pro Troy Polamalu’s injury exposed a large defect in the Steeler dee-fense: Its secondary.

Ike Taylor, William Gay, Tyrone Carter and Deshea Townshed should all be arrested for impersonating NFL players after getting scorched numerous times on passes from little-known quarterbacks. Polamalu’s free-ranging style of play covered a multitude of sins in the Steeler secondary.

2) The defensive line was hurt by the injury to All Pro Aaron Smith, freeing up opposing offensive lines to double team James Farrior and Lamarr Woodley. James Harrison was also MIA much of this season, though Steeler analyst Craig Wolfley felt that Harrison was frequently the victim of uncalled incidents of “… habeas grabus …”

On the offense, the biggest problem was the offensive line, which was pretty “offensive.”

Big Ben spent most of the season on his back, after being sacked numerous times.

Partly he was to blame, for holding onto the ball too long, but too many times the line was about as effective as a sieve. This season especially, All Pro Alan Faneca’s absence (due to the Rooney’s cheapness) was sorely missed.

The Steelers’ special teams were not very ‘special,’ they were actually pretty pathetic.

How many times did an opposing team ‘take it to the house’?

Only kicker Jeff Reed was dependable (as always) and he will no doubt be unfortunately gone next season, as he played this season without a contract. The Rooneys’ famous frugalness strikes again.

So was it all just a few key injuries, or perhaps something more? Granted, the coaches can’t get on the field and execute; only the players can do that. But where was the normally unflappable Mike Tomlin? He looked shell-shocked during the five game skid. He issued empty threats about benching players, but that was about it.

I expected much more from Tomlin during this crisis. Possibly there was something toxic in the locker room; that was one rumor floating around.

They say that success breeds complacency. I’m not sure what failure breeds. Hopefully dissatisfaction.

Also a good draft to plug up some rather large holes.

Maybe we need more Terrible Towels to unleash their power ...

I guess we’ll just have to wait ’til next year.

RuthlessBurgher
01-27-2010, 02:39 PM
I love when idiot writers resort to the "Rooney cheapness" excuse. They didn't happen to notice the rather large checks that were written out to James Harrison, Heath Miller, Max Starks, and others prior to this season? Or the mega-blockbuster deal given to Ben Roethlisberger the year before that? Yeah, sure...we should have paid Alan a huge deal like the Jets gave him for a guy who has a decade of wear-and-tear on his body, and let some of our young up-and-coming guys walk. That's smart. This guy has heard of the salary cap, right? There may not be one next year, but the cap played a huge part in why Alan was let go after 2007 (well, that and the unfortunate change in his attitude).

And by the way, who the hell was double teaming James Farrior this season? What games was he watching?

cruzer8
01-27-2010, 02:53 PM
If the Rooney family is so cheap then why are the Steelers always at or near the cap while other teams remain as close to the floor as possible?