PDA

View Full Version : Steelers are on a steady decline: Cleveland Plain Dealer



hawaiiansteel
07-22-2010, 07:19 PM
Pittsburgh Steelers are on a steady decline: Tony Grossi's AFC North preview

Published: Thursday, July 22, 2010
by Tony Grossi, The Plain Dealer

http://media.cleveland.com/browns_impact/photo/byron-leftwich-pittsburgh-steelersjpg-3798acba27377518.jpg

The Steelers are hoping QB Byron Leftwich can keep them afloat until Ben Roethlisberger returns from a six-game suspension.

As NFL training camps prepare to open next week, Plain Dealer pro football and Browns beat reporter Tony Grossi takes a closer look at Cleveland's rivals in the AFC North Division.

No team in the AFC North suffered a worse off-season than the Pittsburgh Steelers.

To wit:

Franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger drew nationwide and civic scorn, plus a six-game NFL suspension, following accusations that he sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman March 5 in Milledgeville, Ga.

Receiver Santonio Holmes, MVP of the team's 2008 season Super Bowl championship, was traded to the Jets after an off-field transgression in March.

Right tackle Willie Colon and receiver Limas Sweed were lost for the season after suffering Achilles tendon injuries in off-season practices. Charles Scott, a rookie tackle who may have competed to fill Colon's starting spot, broke a bone in his foot working out and will need three months to recover from surgery.

Then came news that top draft choice Maurkice Pouncey, a natural center expected to start at right guard, is the focus of an NCAA investigation of the Florida football program. That won't affect Pouncey's NFL career, of course, but it piled on the bad news for a franchise that has declined steadily since winning the Super Bowl in the 2008 season.

At a youth football camp in Pittsburgh last week, Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, said: "We know we have a huge challenge ahead of us. We didn't have the type of off-season that we're proud of."

Roethlisberger may have his suspension lifted after four games. In his place, the Steelers plan to use Byron Leftwich, who appeared in five games for them in their most recent Super Bowl year. Leftwich was immobile when he was 24 -- six years ago. His effectiveness behind an offensive line in disrepair is a huge question mark.

As always the case with Pittsburgh, there are fewer questions on defense. Draft selections Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson will be phased in gradually as situational rushers, per the Steelers Way. But with age creeping up on their formidable defensive front and rock-solid linebacker James Farrior, who is 35, the Steelers need to have an offense on the rise, not on the descent, to remain an elite contender.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Full camp opens: July 30, Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa.
2009 result: 9-7, missed playoffs.

2009 vs. Browns: 1-1. 27-14 in Pittsburgh, 6-13 in Cleveland.
2010 outlook: Back to the pack.

2010 uncommon opponents: Tennessee and Oakland.

Rookie to watch: OL Maurkice Pouncey. The Florida center, who had higher rankings than the Browns' Alex Mack in 2009, will break in as a starting guard.

Veteran to watch: QB Byron Leftwich. Reacquired in a trade with Tampa Bay in April, the immobile passer will start while Ben Roethlisberger serves a six-game league suspension.

Training camp issues: How will Roethlisberger's off-season troubles affect his relationship with teammates while coaches ready Leftwich for the season opener? How does the depleted offensive line scramble to protect the immobile Leftwich? Can safety Troy Polamalu prepare for the season without suffering another injury?

Crash
07-22-2010, 07:37 PM
Grossi is a Browns cheerleader. Rumor has it he actually breaks "the code" and cheers in the press box.

ter1230_4
07-22-2010, 07:42 PM
The good people of Cleveland are experts in the field of Decline.

Jooser
07-22-2010, 08:36 PM
Cue the make fun of the City of Losers images:

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/d53a2574d030ba4473e322f88ff23c9e6ad.jpg
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/12702709_l.jpg
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/39306BrownsPlayoffs.jpg
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/m_a550278d069c4286b0edd0ba10020c1f.gif
http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/70024404445723078a20c-1.gif

LMAO, Pittsburgh on a steady decline, that's like saying Cleveland is on a steady incline! WTF! http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/doggy.gif

NorthCoast
07-22-2010, 09:17 PM
More wishful thinking....even with the supposed 'decline' the Steelers should beat the Browns handily unless Arians puts together another genius game plan like last December...

fezziwig
07-22-2010, 10:38 PM
If we are on the decline then at least we were on top to decline. The Browns have never been good enough to sink any lower.

proudpittsburgher
07-23-2010, 08:13 AM
Grossi is a Browns cheerleader. Rumor has it he actually breaks "the code" and cheers in the press box.

If he's a Browns fan, what exactly does he have to cheer about? And, an aside, as a journalist, it's not so much a "code" as it is professionalism.

Oviedo
07-23-2010, 09:27 AM
Ho hum!!!

Another prediction of the Steelers declining and having little chance to be successful this season. Pretty much out of the same script the "media experts" have followed for the past 5-6 years during which we have won 2 Super Bowls.

proudpittsburgher
07-23-2010, 10:46 AM
Ho hum!!!

Another prediction of the Steelers declining and having little chance to be successful this season. Pretty much out of the same script the "media experts" have followed for the past 5-6 years during which we have won 2 Super Bowls.

The franchise should take it as a compliment, Oviedo. No columnist wants to just predict what most people know. They want to go with something out of left field, so when they hit it right one out of ten chances, they tout it like they were 10 for 10. Now, with Baltimore, maybe they are right, I don't know, see me at midseason. But year in and year out, many pick the Bungles, Ravens and some even the Browns to win the North . . . not to many pick the Steelers, and we keep cashing in.

fezziwig
07-23-2010, 03:47 PM
I hope the team puts all this up on the bulletin board for the players and coaches to read.

RuthlessBurgher
07-23-2010, 03:52 PM
I hope the team puts all this up on the bulletin board for the players and coaches to read.

Better yet...in the team bathrooms for the players and coaches to wipe with. :wink:

NW Steeler
07-23-2010, 04:18 PM
A steady decline since the SB win in 2008? That is only one season removed. I love this. Every time we are left for dead we have a great season.

brothervad
07-23-2010, 06:54 PM
Wow I see how this works:

Steelers decline = 9-7 miss the playoffs

Browns decline = team abandons city and then is replaced by a steamy pile of sh!t


hmmm, methinks I will take the occassional Steeler decline once in a while


brothervad

SteelHoss
07-24-2010, 12:53 PM
Obviously that writer gets his drinking water from the Lake!

skyhawk
07-24-2010, 05:13 PM
Wow I see how this works:

Steelers decline = 9-7 miss the playoffs

Browns decline = team abandons city and then is replaced by a steamy pile of sh!t


hmmm, methinks I will take the occassional Steeler decline once in a while


brothervad

:Cheers

DukieBoy
07-24-2010, 08:34 PM
Sourced from a city whose sportis teams have trailblazed "DECLINE", motivated by chronic hopelessness and envy. The Browns will catch fire less often than the Cuyahoge River.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
07-24-2010, 09:34 PM
Never forget to remember:

Cleveland is just "DNA Level C" spelt backwards!

fezziwig
07-25-2010, 04:23 PM
As I said before, " to decline means you at one time had to be at a higher point. " I'd rather experienced a higher point to have declined. These clowns have never known anything more than being at the bottom of the heap.
Whether we are in a decline or not and say that we are for this example, we will decline, come back and be on top again before they ever maintain a team, QB or coach for more than a few seasons.