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hawaiiansteel
10-03-2011, 01:04 AM
Kovacevic: Sorry Steelers at crossroads

By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, October 3, 2011

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1334024/38072215E.jpg

Texans' Brian cusing beats Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall enroute to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter.

HOUSTON — One cringe-worthy, panoramic scan of the Steelers' locker room at Reliant Stadium told the story late Sunday afternoon.

In one corner, nose tackle Casey Hampton was bristling when asked how the once-proud, now-porous defense could possibly — even mathematically — allow Houston's offense to go 115 yards on 19 plays for its first drive.

In another, $61 million linebacker LaMarr Woodley was explaining his whereabouts during the game. I missed the alibi.

In another, tight end Heath Miller was speaking the glaring truth of this ghastlier-than-the-score 17-10 loss to Houston: "It's fair to say every man in this room can improve."

And sitting all by himself, silent amid the carnage, was Ben Roethlisberger. But only after the quarterback was helped into the room by two team employees, his left ankle iced and bandaged.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Or as linebacker James Harrison summarized in what might soon appear on T-shirts in the Strip: "We stink."

If only everyone associated with the team could see that, maybe something could be done about it. As it is, the Steelers remain stuck in a Texas-sized state of denial. Most players talked about "just getting back to tackling," to borrow Woodley's term, or about other aspects of execution. Coach Mike Tomlin was no exception, saying, "We understand that our issues are fundamental. We've got to do the basic football things a little better than we are now."

Just fundamentals?

A little better?

Are you buying this?

Count me squarely in Harrison's corner. Yeah, the Steelers deserved the benefit of the doubt after Baltimore. Anything's possible in an opener. And yeah, I saw traces of encouragement in how the Steelers took care of Seattle and Indianapolis, despite the caliber of competition.

Not this one.

This was a matchup against a legitimate if unspectacular opponent, and the Steelers earned a D-minus grade at best. This was a team that not only wasn't making plays but also looked like it was incapable of making them. This was a team that looked — all together now — old and slow, not to mention undisciplined, unmotivated and unprepared.

The Steelers could have shut everyone up, once and for all, about the age thing. Instead, they attached an exclamation point to it.

Funny thing, though: The season isn't lost. Not yet, anyway. The record is 2-2, with Tennessee, Jacksonville and Arizona on the horizon. All kinds of Browns and Bengals remain. But Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert need to work off Harrison's evaluation rather than pretend that all they need are a few tackling drills on the South Side.

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1334024/38072174E.jpg

That means making real changes, and I can think of three places to start:

1.Find offensive tackles.

Seriously, this is getting dangerous. Every snap Roethlisberger takes behind Trai Essex, Marcus Gilbert and any other tackle on this roster, he's another step closer to injured reserve. It doesn't have to be Max Starks or Flozell Adams. Hold open tryouts for exceptionally large men. Do something.

2. Reset the defensive line.

The embarrassing run defense is the easiest to address. For all that Aaron Smith has achieved for the franchise, he's not getting it done now. Benching him would be silly, but spelling him and Brett Keisel after Keisel returns would put fresh, young Ziggy Hood and Cam Heyward on the field. That could help Woodley and the pass rush, too.

This week, it was Arian Foster running for 155 yards. What will Chris Johnson do next week?

3. More Isaac Redman.

Redman's talent doesn't compare to Rashard Mendenhall's, but it was impossible not to notice that Redman's entry in the second half — six carries, 40 yards — sparked the offense. He hit the holes with authority. He dragged guys with him. He looked like he wanted to be out there, for crying out loud.

From there, the Steelers must pick up their chins. They're either going to embrace one last chance to succeed with this not-so-long-ago illustrious group, or they're going to throw it away. People need to step up, and not just the battered quarterback.

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1334024/38072214E.jpg

Safety Troy Polamalu was asked if the Steelers can recover.

"I would hope," he replied softly. "Only time will tell if we answer the bell or not."

Time isn't on their side.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1ZgSoCEtm (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_759885.html#ixzz1ZgSoCEtm)

Shoe
10-03-2011, 01:22 AM
No disrespect to Foster, who is legit... but if CJ2K was running the ball today, he would've had 200+ today.

Bring Flozell back. Why they didn't anyway is beyond me. (Not Starks though. He's slower than slow.)

Why would benching Smith be silly? If he wore down over course of games, that might be something. He's getting manhandled in minute one. That indicates that he can't match up physically.

Writer is correct in citing Redman showing his "want to" in being out there. I think that's the biggest thing on this team right now--complacency. It's the same with Antonio Brown, who just thirsts to be out there cuz he is dying to make plays. The veterans are playing like they are waiting for something to happen. We need young, spunky guys with effort... yeah, they'll make some mistakes. But it's better than sitting back and just gettting teed off on like sitting ducks. Get Redman in, Brown, Sanders, maybe Sylvester, etc.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-03-2011, 07:32 AM
Maybe the defense can be patched up, or even turn pretty good, with those replacements that are mentioned above.

But the O-line .... how is it even POSSIBLE to make that better? Who in the world is available to play for us?

Someone was saying it's not a matter of us not wanting to pay Hotel enough money to come here, but that we truly don't have the $5MM he is asking for.

BradshawsHairdresser
10-03-2011, 08:41 AM
Maybe the defense can be patched up, or even turn pretty good, with those replacements that are mentioned above.

But the O-line .... how is it even POSSIBLE to make that better? Who in the world is available to play for us?

Someone was saying it's not a matter of us not wanting to pay Hotel enough money to come here, but that we truly don't have the $5MM he is asking for.

I think there's enough dead weight we could cut to come up with $5 million. Couldn't we give him most of what he wants in signing bonuses and skirt the cap, anyway?

And how come teams like the Rats can pick up quality FA veteran O-linemen, but we can't?
That really burns. But I guess we were perfectly content with the likes of Jonathan Scott,
Trai Essex, and Doug Legursky as starters.

feltdizz
10-03-2011, 09:42 AM
Maybe the defense can be patched up, or even turn pretty good, with those replacements that are mentioned above.

But the O-line .... how is it even POSSIBLE to make that better? Who in the world is available to play for us?

Someone was saying it's not a matter of us not wanting to pay Hotel enough money to come here, but that we truly don't have the $5MM he is asking for.

I think there's enough dead weight we could cut to come up with $5 million. Couldn't we give him most of what he wants in signing bonuses and skirt the cap, anyway?

And how come teams like the Rats can pick up quality FA veteran O-linemen, but we can't?
That really burns. But I guess we were perfectly content with the likes of Jonathan Scott,
Trai Essex, and Doug Legursky as starters.

Baltimore cut Todd Heap and Derrick Mason... we don't have the balls to cut Aaron Smith and McFadden

aggiebones
10-03-2011, 10:52 AM
We have already cut McFadden once..or let him walk. Either way, he may already be paid for this season. He may actually become a factor at some point. Maybe Lewis breaks his hand in week 7, just about the time McFadden heals up a bit. Is he overpaid, probably for what he is giving. But we are likely riding him as far as we can. Not alot of top CBs hanging around.
Similar with ASmith. He has some value, ESPECIALLY with Keisel out right now. He still made some plays yesterday. He won't be back next year, but has some value this year.

When Farrior, ASmith and Ward are possibly gone next year, we'll see if we are sooo much better like many think here.

Fact is the OL is a disaster and we aren't winning ANY games as it is. Injuries of mediocre OL, leaves less than mediocre backups logging most of the minutes.
You can have one undrafted, gutsy player on the OL that everyone rah-rahs for, but we have like 4...not good.

anger 82&95
10-03-2011, 11:13 AM
Kovacevic: Sorry Steelers at crossroads

By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, October 3, 2011

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1334024/38072215E.jpg

Texans' Brian cusing beats Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall enroute to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter.

HOUSTON — One cringe-worthy, panoramic scan of the Steelers' locker room at Reliant Stadium told the story late Sunday afternoon.

In one corner, nose tackle Casey Hampton was bristling when asked how the once-proud, now-porous defense could possibly — even mathematically — allow Houston's offense to go 115 yards on 19 plays for its first drive.

In another, $61 million linebacker LaMarr Woodley was explaining his whereabouts during the game. I missed the alibi.

In another, tight end Heath Miller was speaking the glaring truth of this ghastlier-than-the-score 17-10 loss to Houston: "It's fair to say every man in this room can improve."

And sitting all by himself, silent amid the carnage, was Ben Roethlisberger. But only after the quarterback was helped into the room by two team employees, his left ankle iced and bandaged.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Or as linebacker James Harrison summarized in what might soon appear on T-shirts in the Strip: "We stink."

If only everyone associated with the team could see that, maybe something could be done about it. As it is, the Steelers remain stuck in a Texas-sized state of denial. Most players talked about "just getting back to tackling," to borrow Woodley's term, or about other aspects of execution. Coach Mike Tomlin was no exception, saying, "We understand that our issues are fundamental. We've got to do the basic football things a little better than we are now."

Just fundamentals?

A little better?

Are you buying this?

Count me squarely in Harrison's corner. Yeah, the Steelers deserved the benefit of the doubt after Baltimore. Anything's possible in an opener. And yeah, I saw traces of encouragement in how the Steelers took care of Seattle and Indianapolis, despite the caliber of competition.

Not this one.

This was a matchup against a legitimate if unspectacular opponent, and the Steelers earned a D-minus grade at best. This was a team that not only wasn't making plays but also looked like it was incapable of making them. This was a team that looked — all together now — old and slow, not to mention undisciplined, unmotivated and unprepared.

The Steelers could have shut everyone up, once and for all, about the age thing. Instead, they attached an exclamation point to it.

Funny thing, though: The season isn't lost. Not yet, anyway. The record is 2-2, with Tennessee, Jacksonville and Arizona on the horizon. All kinds of Browns and Bengals remain. But Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert need to work off Harrison's evaluation rather than pretend that all they need are a few tackling drills on the South Side.

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1334024/38072174E.jpg

That means making real changes, and I can think of three places to start:

1.Find offensive tackles.

Seriously, this is getting dangerous. Every snap Roethlisberger takes behind Trai Essex, Marcus Gilbert and any other tackle on this roster, he's another step closer to injured reserve. It doesn't have to be Max Starks or Flozell Adams. Hold open tryouts for exceptionally large men. Do something.

2. Reset the defensive line.

The embarrassing run defense is the easiest to address. For all that Aaron Smith has achieved for the franchise, he's not getting it done now. Benching him would be silly, but spelling him and Brett Keisel after Keisel returns would put fresh, young Ziggy Hood and Cam Heyward on the field. That could help Woodley and the pass rush, too.

This week, it was Arian Foster running for 155 yards. What will Chris Johnson do next week?

3. More Isaac Redman.

Redman's talent doesn't compare to Rashard Mendenhall's, but it was impossible not to notice that Redman's entry in the second half — six carries, 40 yards — sparked the offense. He hit the holes with authority. He dragged guys with him. He looked like he wanted to be out there, for crying out loud.

From there, the Steelers must pick up their chins. They're either going to embrace one last chance to succeed with this not-so-long-ago illustrious group, or they're going to throw it away. People need to step up, and not just the battered quarterback.

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1334024/38072214E.jpg

Safety Troy Polamalu was asked if the Steelers can recover.

"I would hope," he replied softly. "Only time will tell if we answer the bell or not."

Time isn't on their side.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1ZgSoCEtm (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_759885.html#ixzz1ZgSoCEtm)
'He hit the holes with authority” This used to be a prerequisite for Steeler running backs…

hawaiiansteel
10-04-2011, 01:31 AM
Slow start costs Steelers

SUNDAY, 02 OCTOBER 2011 WRITTEN BY BOB SMIZIK


Facing a high-caliber opponent for the first time since the opening week of the season, the Steelers weaknesses were exposed to such a degree that despite significantly upgrading their play in the second half, they were beaten by the Houston Texans, 17-10.

The Steelers work in the weeks ahead is clear. Upgrade the offensive line so it at least can give Ben Roethlisberger a chance; somehow manage to upgrade or hide the weak spots in the defense.

The Steelers were absolutely manhandled by the Texans in the first half but trailed only 10-0, with a large number of penalties against Houston being partially responsible for the closeness of the game.

That gave the Steelers a chance to regroup in the second half and they were able to do that but still did not have enough.

The first half was plug ugly as Houston opened the game by driving 95 yards and using 11 plays to set the tone for the first two quarters. The defense was ravaged by quarterback Matt Schaub and running back Arian Foster.

The Steelers did not appear to have an answer but they did in the second half. The Steelers dominated the third quarter but their other weakness thus far this season -- the offensive line -- did not allow Roethlisberger to operate at anything close to peak efficiency.

He engineered a touchdown drive on the Steelers first possession of
the third quarter but the Roethlisberger magic was not there and that, clearly, not all his fault.

On the Steelers final possession, a Roethlisberger pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, but a penalty, roughing the passer, overturned the playt was the second Houston touchdown negated by a penalty. On the last play of the first half, the Texans blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown but a penalty overturned the play.

Prior to that field goal attempt, Roethlisberger missed a wide open receiver in the end zone -- a play that could have considerably altered the outcome of the game.

Foster, the NFL’s leading rusher last season, make the Steelers defense looked old and slow. He torched it like it hadn’t been torched in years -- 155 yards on 30 carries.

Roethlisberger completed 16 of 30 passes for 206 yards. He was intercepted once, on a desperation heave at the end of the game, and did not throw a touchdown. His passer rating was 60.3. Schaub’s was 100.9.

After another lackluster showing by Rashard Mendenhall in the first half, the running game did significantly better in the second half with Isaac Redman and Mewelde Moore carrying the ball.

With Tennessee, Jacksonville and Arizona coming up on the schedule, the Steelers have a chance to regain their footing and be ready for a more demanding part of the schedule.

But as of today, there are no easy answers for the team’s glaring weaknesses.

http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazet ... s-steelers (http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/30292-slow-starts-costs-steelers)