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hawaiiansteel
09-13-2011, 06:17 PM
Don't write off season just yet

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1319869/37671079E.jpg

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a brief chat with linebacker James Farrior near the end of their 35-7 smackdown Sunday by the Baltimore Ravens. It was a man-to-man talk. It was a captain-to-captain talk. And it wasn't anything like you might imagine.

Roethlisberger did not say: "I'm so sorry I played like this. Throwing three interceptions and losing two fumbles is so unlike me. I never do that against those guys."

Although he could have said just that.

Farrior did not say: "I apologize for our defense. We couldn't stop the run. We couldn't stop the pass. We couldn't stop anything."

Although he, too, could have said it.

No, the conversation was a little more upbeat. At least Roethlisberger meant it to be upbeat. This is his recollection of what he told Farrior:

"There's not much we can do about this game. Let's just make sure we stay together and keep fighting as an offense and a defense. Let's don't let anything come between us. I know we won't."

On the surface, that might not seem like such a good thing.

The star quarterback is worried that a team that went to two of the past three Super Bowls and three of the past six is capable of crumbling after just one loss, awful as it was?

But I don't believe that was Roethlisberger's message to Farrior, their teammates or you. I think he was trying to say the Steelers' leadership is so strong that it will be able to bring the team back from the massive kick to the ego delivered by the Ravens.

"I know [Farrior] will take care of the defensive guys," Roethlisberger said. "We'll take care of the offense. We'll come back from this better and stronger as a team."

I have no reason to doubt the man.

I'm certainly not willing to write off the season after one ridiculously lopsided defeat.

I know what a leader Roethlisberger has become. He played a miserable game Sunday against a team he had owned and had beaten seven consecutive times. But his body language never betrayed him. He knew he couldn't afford to sulk. He knew teammates were watching him.

"I grabbed the offense and told the guys, 'The season isn't won or lost today. The division isn't won or lost today. We just have to regroup,' " Roethlisberger said.

Presumably, Farrior said the same thing to his defense. I know what a leader he is, as well. He's the Steelers' unquestioned leader. The defense was terrible Sunday, allowing Ravens running back Ray Rice to rush for 107 yards and quarterback Joe Flacco to throw for three touchdowns. It didn't force a turnover and had just one sack.

The talk that the defense is getting too old to be effective has started. That's inevitable after this sort of lame performance, especially with eight starters in their 30s. But Farrior won't allow doubt to creep into the minds of the defensive players. I don't suspect there's much chance of that, anyway.

"You guys have been saying we're too old for years," Farrior said of the media. "You keep saying it enough, one of these days you'll be right. I just don't think it's now."

Most of all, I know what a leader coach Mike Tomlin is. His record is 48-24, including postseason games. This was, by far, his worst defeat. Only four other times did he have double-digit losses -- against New England (34-13) in 2007, Tennessee (31-14) in '08 and New Orleans (20-10) and New England (39-26) last season. After each of those games, it was as if it were The Mourning After around here. It seemed like the end of the world. But Tomlin made certain his men regrouped, and they made the playoffs in '07, won the Super Bowl in '08 and got to the Super Bowl last season.

That's why Tomlin won't panic after this loss. He won't allow his players to shrug it off as "just one game," which is a real temptation after this kind of beating. He made them aware of their mistakes Monday afternoon when they gathered at their South Side complex. He'll go about correcting those mistakes this week before the game Sunday at Heinz Field against the Seattle Seahawks.

Is it really that much of a stretch to think Tomlin will bring the Steelers back again?

Not for me.

Not for Ravens coach John Harbaugh. "That's a heck of a football team. I guarantee you, they'll be back."

Certainly, not for Roethlisberger. "I just think this was a bump in the road."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11256/11 ... z1XrjRMuY6 (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11256/1174286-87-0.stm#ixzz1XrjRMuY6)

grotonsteel
09-13-2011, 06:28 PM
I think no one is writing the season off but they need to show some fight.

Houston game will be a good test. I expect Steelers to win Seahawks and Colts games as long as there are no turnovers from Steelers Offense and Defense shows up.

Shoe
09-13-2011, 07:02 PM
I was one of those who wrote off the season in 2004, when Ben took over early on... I won't do that again (with Ben).

DukieBoy
09-13-2011, 08:12 PM
Last year, the Packers, at 8-6 and on a two-game losing streak, had to win their final 2 reg season games just to make the playoffs as the NFC #6 seed, finishing at 10-6. With 16 players including 7 starters on IR, they won 4 more to win the SB last year.

So, why would we give it up on the Steelers after one game, to a pretty good team at their home stadium?

BradshawsHairdresser
09-13-2011, 08:21 PM
Way too early to give up on this team...but they certainly have their work cut out for them.

insanesteelersfan
09-13-2011, 08:42 PM
Last year, the Packers, at 8-6 and on a two-game losing streak, had to win their final 2 reg season games just to make the playoffs as the NFC #6 seed, finishing at 10-6. With 16 players including 7 starters on IR, they won 4 more to win the SB last year.

So, why would we give it up on the Steelers after one game, to a pretty good team at their home stadium?



That's true. But the Packers management weren't WASTING 7-10 roster spots on players who couldn't beat out ANY of the 10 year olds that play on my little league football team :roll:

hawaiiansteel
09-13-2011, 08:54 PM
But the Packers management weren't WASTING 7-10 roster spots on players who couldn't beat out ANY of the 10 year olds that play on my little league football team :roll:


wow, must be a pretty good team!

what position do you play? :P

DukieBoy
09-13-2011, 09:13 PM
But the Packers management weren't WASTING 7-10 roster spots on players who couldn't beat out ANY of the 10 year olds that play on my little league football team :roll:


wow, must be a pretty good team!

what position do you play? :P


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

D Rock
09-13-2011, 10:23 PM
But the Packers management weren't WASTING 7-10 roster spots on players who couldn't beat out ANY of the 10 year olds that play on my little league football team :roll:


wow, must be a pretty good team!

what position do you play? :P

left behind

BURGH86STEEL
09-13-2011, 10:41 PM
I have faith that this team will be fine.

BradshawsHairdresser
09-14-2011, 12:53 PM
That's true. But the Packers management weren't WASTING 7-10 roster spots on players who couldn't beat out ANY of the 10 year olds that play on my little league football team :roll:


Exaggerate much?

RuthlessBurgher
09-14-2011, 01:11 PM
I was one of those who wrote off the season in 2004, when Ben took over early on... I won't do that again (with Ben).

Alan Faneca...is that you? :wink:

Oviedo
09-14-2011, 01:15 PM
The season isn't close to being over but our coaches have to be open minded and look at some changes on both sides of the football or it won't end well.

hawaiiansteel
09-14-2011, 05:57 PM
Hines Ward on Ravens loss: “It’s one game, not the Super Bowl”

Posted by Michael David Smith on September 14, 2011

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1319869/37670863E.jpg

The Ravens put a serious beating on the Steelers Sunday, but when they returned to work today, the players in Pittsburgh wanted to let everyone know they’re not going to overreact to a bad Week One.

“It’s one game,” Steelers receiver Hines Ward said. “It’s one game. It’s not the Super Bowl. It’s one game. We have to move on. They outplayed us. We turned the ball over. You turn the ball over seven times? Tell me what team can turn the ball over seven times and win the game.”

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was responsible for five of the seven turnovers Ward mentioned, with three interceptions and two lost fumbles. But Roethlisberger, like Ward, said there’s no reason to be alarmed.

“There is no panic coming from this group,” Roethlisberger said. “We know that we had a bad day. I hate to take anything away from Baltimore, but we had a bad day. We didn’t play well. I particularly didn’t play well at all. Of course it’s frustrating because the week leading up to the game I felt better than I’ve ever felt. I felt good out there, felt real comfortable, but it just didn’t come together, didn’t play well. I think we’re all entitled to a bad game now and then and we just move on.”

On the one hand, Ward and Roethlisberger are obviously right: It’s one game, and we’ve all seen through the years that Week One results don’t always tell us a lot about what the next 16 weeks of the season are going to look like.

On the other hand, what the Steelers had on Sunday wasn’t just a bad game, it was a terrible game. It may not be time to panic, but it’s at least time to take a long, hard look at how the Steelers could come out looking so bad against their biggest rivals.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... uper-bowl/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/14/hines-ward-on-ravens-loss-its-one-game-not-the-super-bowl/)

Sonny
09-15-2011, 12:09 AM
To write the season off at all, until we are eliminated from playoff contention, would be silly. It has been proven that any team, any seed, with any record, can win it all. Come on, we've had 2 10-6 teams win it, and one 9-7 team a clutch Ben drive away from winning it. You know how many times the Cardinals got blown out that season? The Giants in 07?

Really, just make the playoffs.

hawaiiansteel
09-15-2011, 02:48 AM
But the Packers management weren't WASTING 7-10 roster spots on players who couldn't beat out ANY of the 10 year olds that play on my little league football team :roll:


wow, must be a pretty good team!

what position do you play? :P

left behind


insane is a left fielder...

he plays two positions: left behind and left out.

ramblinjim
09-15-2011, 07:37 AM
Of course if we lose to the Seahawks, I'll be the drunken idiot screaming about how all the coaches should be fired and everyone on the team should be cut and we just start over. We go 0-16, we draft Andrew Luck and we build from scratch.

Then I'll sober up.

sentinel33
09-15-2011, 10:19 AM
Really, just make the playoffs.


That's all I ask for every season. I don't give a hoot about division championships. JUST GET IN!!!

hawaiiansteel
09-15-2011, 11:45 PM
Time to panic in Pittsburgh? Hardly -

Elite QBs mean everything; that's why Steelers will overcome dreadful Week 1 outing

By John Clayton - ESPN.com
Published: September 14, 2011

The way that the Steelers lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1 has fans in Pittsburgh concerned.

The Ravens' defense forced seven turnovers. A Steelers defense that featured eight defenders in their 30s looked a step slow. An offensive line that has struggled off-and-on for years lost perhaps its second-best blocker, right tackle Willie Colon, who blew out a triceps and is done for the season.

But fear not, Steelers fans. AFC teams with elite quarterbacks shouldn't panic. With Peyton Manning out at least half the season, the AFC currently has only five elite quarterbacks. When the number of elite quarterbacks slips below the number of playoff spots allotted, the playoff hopes of elite-quarterback-blessed teams can withstand a lot.

To refresh your memory, an elite quarterback under my standards is one who is capable of passing for 4,000 yards, completes 60 percent of his passes and has fourth-quarter comeback ability. Until Manning returns, the five AFC elite quarterbacks are Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub.

With one road game out of the way against Flacco, Roethlisberger faces only three elite quarterbacks the rest of the season -- Flacco, Brady and Schaub. Chances of an 11- or 12-win season are very good.

One of the reasons I extend the elite designation to a dozen or more is because of their predictable success against teams with non-elite quarterbacks. Over the past three years, for example, Roethlisberger is 23-7 against non-elite quarterbacks, a .760 winning percentage. Flacco is 26-3, Brady is 19-5 and Rivers is 19-10 after a strange 2010 season in which special teams breakdowns cost the Chargers games; Rivers went 7-6 against teams with non-elite quarterbacks in 2010. Schaub has been elite for only two years and is 12-8 against non-elite QBs.

What this tells me is Roethlisberger should go around 9-3 this season against non-elite quarterbacks. As long as he splits his four games against elite quarterbacks, the Steelers should go around 11-5. After all, the Steelers are playing the NFC West and an AFC South that has Manning on the sideline.

So relax, Pittsburgh fans. One loss on the road to Baltimore doesn't derail the path for Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2011/0914/nfl_u_jharrison_sy_200.jpg

Q: With James Harrison's offseason surgeries and his age (33), are his days in Pittsburgh coming to an end after this season, or 2012? And is Jason Worilds the answer to replace him?

Dennis in Fayettville, N.C.

A: Worilds might be a good player, but he's not ready to replace Harrison. Plus, it's not time to replace Harrison. Harrison may be at only about 80 percent because of two offseason surgeries, but he's one of the most feared defenders in football. He's still getting back into his groove and should be fine.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/69687 ... -fine-2011 (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6968750/nfl-ugly-week-1-loss-pittsburgh-steelers-fine-2011)

fordfixer
09-16-2011, 01:43 AM
On the Steelers: Humbled team singing a redemption song
Friday, September 16, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11259/1175070-66-0.stm

Nothing looms more inviting to the Steelers than the game Sunday at Heinz Field, where they not only play the Seattle Seahawks but also where they believe they can bury their performance in the first game of the season in Baltimore.

"I wouldn't kick any dirt on us," defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said. "We'll be back. We'll be back."

There was little of redeeming value from their 35-7 thumping in Baltimore on offense or defense, and players and coaches from both sides are eager for a second chance.

"There'd be something wrong if we don't expect more from ourselves," tight end Heath Miller said. "We obviously didn't play our best."

Some of them thought they traveled to Baltimore either too cocky or not ready to match the kind of emotion the Ravens brought to one of football's fiercest rivalries.

"We came out thinking like we were AFC champs," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said, "and they were obviously [upset] since February, and we didn't match that. It was real obvious."

Said defensive end Aaron Smith, "I really think we didn't play with emotion -- it's an emotional game -- and Baltimore did."

The thoroughness of Baltimore's domination in the opener -- Troy Polamalu called it a well-deserved dose of humility -- has caused many to re-evaluate whether the Steelers are candidates to return to a third Super Bowl in four years. Former NFL defensive lineman Warren Sapp, on "Inside the NFL" on Showtime, called the Steelers defense "old, slow and it's over" this week.

"Warren is acting like he's the first person to say that to us," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "We've been hearing that for a long time. I don't think we're old, I don't think we're slow, I don't think we're done. But that's up to us. We have to go out and prove that."

Said LeBeau: "It's like the guy who got up and said this could be the last day of my life. Sooner or later you're going to be right."
Lack of air

NFL teams set a record with 7,842 passing yards in the first week of the season, more than any other week in league history. The Steelers did not contribute much to that with 246 net passing yards, many of those negated by seven turnovers on offense against Baltimore.

"I was shocked by our lack of [production] because of how well we had been playing to that point," Arians said.

He expects more production Sunday against Seattle, but did not sound as eager to go to the no-huddle offense as was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a day earlier. Roethlisberger said no concessions would be made for rookie right tackle Marcus Gilbert, making his first start. Arians intimated there would be.

"We have a rookie right tackle who's never been in and going to be starting. There's a lot of variables that go into whether we use it.

"I think he'll play fine, as long as we stay in his comfort zone and don't put him in a situation where he's only got two seconds to think of a play instead of 10 while he's breaking the huddle and coming up there."
Injury update

The Steelers reported for another day of practice Thursday morning, but one did not show -- newly signed practice squad member, tight end Dorin Dickerson. The no-show had his teammates buzzing. After he did not show, the Steelers re-signed Jamie McCoy, a fullback/tight end who was released Monday to make room for Dickerson. A team spokesman said later that Dickerson was hurt. ... Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) did not practice again Thursday after missing the opener. Cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamsring) and guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee) were limited in practice. Cornerback Curtis Brown (ankle) returned to a full practice.
Tickets available

Thanks to the Seattle Seahawks, tickets are still available to the game Sunday at Heinz Field.

After getting returns from the Seahawks ticket allotment, the Steelers have made those limited number of tickets available for the game at 1 p.m. To purchase tickets, go to www.ticketmaster.com (http://www.ticketmaster.com) or call 1-800-745-3000. The prices range from $68 to $86.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11259/11 ... z1Y5iwptar (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11259/1175070-66-0.stm#ixzz1Y5iwptar)

fordfixer
09-16-2011, 01:59 AM
Steelers have opening questions to answer
Pat McManamon
http://www.foxsportsohio.com/09/14/11/S ... eedID=9926 (http://www.foxsportsohio.com/09/14/11/Steelers-have-opening-questions-to-answe/landing_browns.html?blockID=564256&feedID=9926)

PITTSBURGH — Was that train wreck of a season opener a bad game, or a bad sign?

That's the question that lingers for the Pittsburgh Steelers after Sunday's skunk-smell loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Usually losses are one-day events to the Steelers. But this 35-7 loss was so bad, so complete, so thorough a shellacking that even the players understand why so many questions linger some three days later.

"You expect it when the outcome is like that," guard Chris Kemoeatu said Wednesday. "It is what it is."

And "it" was not pretty:

• Seven turnovers, including three interceptions and two lost fumbles by Ben Roethlisberger

• The largest loss to the Ravens in franchise history

• Surrendering 170 yards on the ground, the Ravens averaging 5.5 per carry against a Steelers defense that had given up only two 100-yard rushing games last season (the Jets' 106 was an opponent's season high in 2010).

• The second-worst loss in a season opener in team history

All told, despite being only one game, it left the Steelers facing some tough questions. Are they too old and too slow on defense? Is the offensive line a problem? And will they go through another Super Bowl-hangover kind of a season?

Pittsburgh went 9-7 and lost to three of the worst teams in the league in 2009, the season after it won the Super Bowl. In 2006, the Steelers were 8-8 after winning the Super Bowl over Seattle. Now they start with a lackluster performance that had few players mincing words.

"It was embarrassing," receiver Hines Ward said.

Coach Mike Tomlin put it a different way.

"I think the people that know and competed in this league understand that there is a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes," Tomlin said. "Obviously, last weekend we were grape squashers."

No arguing that point, even though Ward also was right when he said over and over it was "one game."

But . . . those looking to view the game as a bad sign could point out a couple other statements. Kemoeatu said communication among the Steelers offensive line was good, that mistakes were "technique." And Roethlisberger said he never felt more comfortable going into a game against the Ravens.

So things were that bad when players felt good? Being comfortable obviously is relative. And poor technique sure led to some gaffes — like Roethlisberger being sacked four times and Haloti Ngata blowing up a running play before it ever got started.

What might be most concerning is the way the Steelers played. The Ravens' 170 yards on the ground were more than any team put up on Pittsburgh all of last season and more than Pittsburgh gave up in three playoff games combined. Rice is now the only back to top 100 against Pittsburgh in the last 51 games, and he has done it twice.

Suddenly, pundits are wondering if Pittsburgh's defense — the same one that carried the Steelers to the Super Bowl — is aging and slowing. Time will tell if that is true, but the line between having it and losing it can be fine. The Steelers have several key defensive starters in their 30s, among them James Harrison, Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel, Ryan Clark, James Farrior and Troy Polamalu.

Win and that age is a benefit because it's "experience." Lose and the defense is aging and slow. Lose big and all kinds of questions start flying. Perhaps the Steelers were a victim of hubris. They came off a Super Bowl, played well in the preseason and looked like one of the few teams that would be unaffected by the lockout.

Until the opener.

After the game, Polamalu raised some eyebrows when he said the loss was humbling and needed.

"I think humility is good for anybody to experience," Polamalu said Wednesday. "I don't view football as some place out of my life, but as part of my life experience. In any work environment, you can learn a lot of different things. It was a great lesson that we can hopefully learn from."

Pittsburgh's blessing may be its next opponent. Seattle comes to Heinz Field having made the playoffs a season ago, but with a 7-9 record and now on the heels of a season-opening loss to the 49ers. The Seahawks are 14-1/2 point underdogs.

"We don't take anybody lightly," Ward said. "After the performance we displayed Sunday we'd be fools if we think we can walk into the stadium and beat anybody."

"We're just trying to get a win," Kemoeatu said. "By all means necessary."

eniparadoxgma
09-16-2011, 05:07 PM
To write the season off at all, until we are eliminated from playoff contention, would be silly. It has been proven that any team, any seed, with any record, can win it all. Come on, we've had 2 10-6 teams win it, and one 9-7 team a clutch Ben drive away from winning it. You know how many times the Cardinals got blown out that season? The Giants in 07?

Really, just make the playoffs.

Completely agree.