PDA

View Full Version : Things That Need To Change



ter1230_4
10-20-2011, 04:18 PM
I am generally an upbeat Steelers fan, but so far this season there are several areas which make me think that this just may not be our year. The following things need to change for the Steelers to make the Super Bowl run that we all believe they are capable of:

1. Injuries The Steelers seem like they are having an unusually high number of injuries this year. I don't think there has been a single game this year where at least one offensive lineman hasn't gone down and been unable to return to the game. As a result it has been completely impossible for the offensive line to develop the cohesiveness that is so critical. And now the injury bug has hit the defensive line--it looks like we only have 4 healthy D lineman for the Arizona game. Add in the injury to Harrison, and the Steelers have had more than their fair share. Is this just bad luck, or is it a function of having an older team? Probably a little of both, since the Offensive lineman who have been injured are relatively young, certainly in comparison to the Defensive lineman who are currently out injured. Injuries are part of the game of football, and sometimes the best team doesn't win because they have too many in a particular year (like the 1976 Steelers). But we need to get everyone healthy and have better luck on the injury front.

2. Lack of Takeaways. The Steelers only have 2 takeaways in the first 6 games of the season, which is historically bad. Last year the Steelers averaged over 2 takeaways per game, which is 6 times better than what they have been doing this year. Since 1940 only 20 NFL teams have gotten 2 or less takeaways in the first 6 games of the season. When you consider that the Steelers also had no takeaways in the Super Bowl against Green Bay or in the second half of the AFCCG against the Jets, the Steelers have gone nearly half a season with 2 takeaways. This is no way to win a championship. One of the major consequences of the takeaway failure has been that the Steelers offense never has a short field. Going into last week's game against Jacksonville the Steelers had only started 2 drives out of 44 in the opposing teams territory, and both of those were the result of good punt returns by Brown. I don't recall starting any drives against the Jags in their territory last week, which means that 96% of the time this season the Steelers have started on their own side of the 50 yard line. This is one of the reasons the Steelers offense has struggled to score points this season (albeit not the only one). So what is the reason for the lack of takeaways, lack of intensity by the Steelers or bad luck? As with the injuries, it's probably a little of both. I just don't think that the Steelers defense so far this season has played with the kind of intense , reckless abandon that cause turnovers. But even bad teams get more takeaways than the Steelers have been getting. There is definitely an element of the ball not bouncing their way. An example of this is the opening kickoff to the Texans which was fumbled but recovered by the Texans, who then went on a 10 minute opening drive. I think that might have been a very different game if the Steelers had managed to come up with that fumble. Same with Green Bay's fumble of the first punt in the Super Bowl. Hopefully the Steelers D will start to play with more intensity and the ball will start bouncing our way more often.

3.Special Teams. One of the biiggest failings in the lost season of 2009 was on Special Teams. I think that the Steelers gave up 5 or 6 return TD's that year, which just killed us. Now even though Special Teams have not given up any return TD's so far this year, they have made critical errors in each of the last 3 games. Against Houston there was a relatively easy FG attempt that was blocked and would have been returned for a TD if not for an idiotic blocking penalty by the Texans. I believe that was the first FG blocked since the 2001 AFCCG against the Patriots. The following week against the Titans, there was an onside kick recovery and a blocked punt. And against the Jags there was a roughing the kicker penalty which led to the only Jags TD and a shanked punt that led to a Jags FG. With everything else going on, Special Teams needs to stop making such critical errors.

I gotta say, the game in Arizona this week scares me.

pittpete
10-20-2011, 07:08 PM
I will take the blame for # 2
I drafted them in my fantasy league :wft

JTP53609
10-20-2011, 09:35 PM
Ter, this is not a rip on you or anyone for that matter but it is pretty funny how we are sitting at a 4-2 record (granted it is a sloppy 4-2) and we have been to 3 super bowls in 6 years and half of steelernation is talking about how this is not our year. It very well may be a stinker year, but there are many cities in America that would trade a bad year to follow a super bowl year anytime, it is an annoying trait, but like tomlin says "it is what it is". That being said lets go Steelers, we need to get to 5-2 so we can split the raven, patriot games and sit at 7-3 going into the bye.

papillon
10-20-2011, 09:50 PM
Ter, this is not a rip on you or anyone for that matter but it is pretty funny how we are sitting at a 4-2 record (granted it is a sloppy 4-2) and we have been to 3 super bowls in 6 years and half of steelernation is talking about how this is not our year. It very well may be a stinker year, but there are many cities in America that would trade a bad year to follow a super bowl year anytime, it is an annoying trait, but like tomlin says "it is what it is". That being said lets go Steelers, we need to get to 5-2 so we can split the raven, patriot games and sit at 7-3 going into the bye.

It's not only been sloppy, but the quality of teams that the Steelers have beaten is very bad. The combined record of the teams that the Steelers have beaten is 7-15 or something like that. The sloppy play will allow you to beat the lesser teams, but the Steelers can't beat the Patriots and Baltimore or even Cincinnati playing as sloppily as they have. They certainly can't show up for only one half of football like they did last week.

I'd love to look at the 4-2 record and say the Steelers are on the rise. The reality is that they are an up and down team and there's no way to tell if they'll be the good Steelers or the bad Steelers this weekend,.

It should be exciting though. :P

Pappy

JTP53609
10-20-2011, 10:10 PM
Pappy,
While I cannot disagree with anything you said, I will just say this, we did find a way to beat 4 pretty bad teams, and in 2 of those games (indy and jax) we found a way to hold on and win rather than blow a lead and lose like we did in 09. Like everyone remembers, we had leads at K.C and home against Oakland that year and we did not finish and we lost, at least we found ways to win these games this year though.

Had we won that K.C. game in 09 I think that year is much different, we go from being 6-4 to 7-3...

papillon
10-20-2011, 10:25 PM
Pappy,
While I cannot disagree with anything you said, I will just say this, we did find a way to beat 4 pretty bad teams, and in 2 of those games (indy and jax) we found a way to hold on and win rather than blow a lead and lose like we did in 09. Like everyone remembers, we had leads at K.C and home against Oakland that year and we did not finish and we lost, at least we found ways to win these games this year though.

Had we won that K.C. game in 09 I think that year is much different, we go from being 6-4 to 7-3...

JTP, that's a good point that I hadn't thought about. You're exactly correct that the '09 team seemed to find ways to lose while this year's version seems to find ways to win (even though the wins are against the lesser teams). Another positive is that Tennessee is 3-2 and Seattle is 2-3, so the Steelers have beaten two teams that are near .500 (at this point in the season).

Pappy

ter1230_4
10-20-2011, 11:58 PM
[quote="JTP53609"]Ter, this is not a rip on you or anyone for that matter but it is pretty funny how we are sitting at a 4-2 record (granted it is a sloppy 4-2) and we have been to 3 super bowls in 6 years and half of steelernation is talking about how this is not our year. It very well may be a stinker year, but there are many cities in America that would trade a bad year to follow a super bowl year anytime, it is an annoying trait, but like tomlin says "it is what it is". That being said lets go Steelers, we need to get to 5-2 so we can split the raven, patriot games and sit at 7-3 going into the bye.

So we're Steelers fans and we're spoiled, so what's your point? We all want to squeeze as many championships as possible out of the tube of Roethlisberger. Anything less than the Super Bowl constitutes failure. I was just talking about some trends so far this year that don't augur well.

As for this year's team finding ways to win as opposed to the '09 team, don't forget that the Steelers had a 6-2 record in '09 before embarking on their implosion tour. I'd be thrilled if this year's team could make it to 6-2 but I think that is very unlikely.

hawaiiansteel
10-21-2011, 01:35 AM
Tomlin knows takeaways will come

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com
Posted Oct 18, 2011


Through six games the Steelers defense is ranked number one overall in the NFL, but when it comes to turnovers it’s the opposite end of the spectrum.

The Steelers are ranked last in the NFL in the takeaway/giveaway category with a minus 10, due in part to 12 turnovers by the offense and only two takeaways by the defense.

“I can’t pinpoint it, but what I can say is that you generally are opportunistic when you are on the minute details and you are playing extremely hard,” said Coach Mike Tomlin of the low number of takeaways so far this season. “So that is all we are going to do. We are going to remain focused on the minute details of our assignment. We are going to try to play together within the scheme and we are going to play extremely hard.”

LaMarr Woodley has the team’s only interception, while Troy Polamalu has the only fumble recovery, which he returned for a touchdown against Indianapolis. The two takeaways are the fewest in the NFL.

“We think that those opportunities will increase as you do those things,” said Tomlin. “That has always been my philosophy in regards to those types of plays, so I am not going to change in that regard. What we are not going to do is start taking calculated risks and doing things that are unsound in the effort to make those things happen.

“We are playing good defense. We just need some of those signature type plays that will make the ends of games more comfortable.”

* * *

The Steelers have had a home-field advantage so far this year, winning all three games at Heinz Field. But on the road things have been tougher, with a 1-2 record after a win over Indianapolis and losses to Baltimore and Houston.

The goal is to get on track on the road this week against the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“You acknowledge that playing on the road creates some things that you don’t necessarily deal with at home, silent counts and so forth,” said Tomlin. “That provides advantages for their defense, particularly with crowd noise. Whatever the elements are I am less concerned about that and more concerned about us putting together winning performances. It is a hostile environment. You don’t have the support of your own crowd.

“I am just acknowledging that we have been below the line in many instances on the road and that needs to change.”

* * *

Television cameras caught safety Troy Polamalu talking on a cell phone on the sidelines during the Steelers-Jaguars game, something that is against NFL rules.

The conversation had nothing to do with the game, though. Polamalu was talking to his wife Theodora after he suffered concussion-like symptoms in the game.

“He was talking to his wife,” said Tomlin. “He has had a history of concussion-like symptoms in the past. She was concerned. In this era of player safety you would think that common sense would prevail in some of these things. It wasn’t a personal call. He wasn’t checking on his bank account. He was talking to his wife to let her know that he was fine and that was it. He borrowed a phone from a doctor.”

The phone call could result in a fine for Polamalu, but the hope is it won’t.

“I am not anticipating anything,” said Tomlin. “Like I said, I would hope that common sense would prevail in this instance and in the era of player safety, such as we are in.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 8381f7fc61 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Tomlin-knows-takeaways-will-come/f933f2a0-9eba-4c5c-92da-298381f7fc61)

Slapstick
10-21-2011, 02:46 PM
JTP, that's a good point that I hadn't thought about. You're exactly correct that the '09 team seemed to find ways to lose while this year's version seems to find ways to win (even though the wins are against the lesser teams). Another positive is that Tennessee is 3-2 and Seattle is 2-3, so the Steelers have beaten two teams that are near .500 (at this point in the season).

Pappy

Seattle should be 3-3 following this weekend... :brownssuck

JTP53609
10-21-2011, 06:00 PM
Ter, this is not a rip on you or anyone for that matter but it is pretty funny how we are sitting at a 4-2 record (granted it is a sloppy 4-2) and we have been to 3 super bowls in 6 years and half of steelernation is talking about how this is not our year. It very well may be a stinker year, but there are many cities in America that would trade a bad year to follow a super bowl year anytime, it is an annoying trait, but like tomlin says "it is what it is". That being said lets go Steelers, we need to get to 5-2 so we can split the raven, patriot games and sit at 7-3 going into the bye.

So we're Steelers fans and we're spoiled, so what's your point? We all want to squeeze as many championships as possible out of the tube of Roethlisberger. Anything less than the Super Bowl constitutes failure. I was just talking about some trends so far this year that don't augur well.

As for this year's team finding ways to win as opposed to the '09 team, don't forget that the Steelers had a 6-2 record in '09 before embarking on their implosion tour. I'd be thrilled if this year's team could make it to 6-2 but I think that is very unlikely.

I agree with all you said, and I basically said the same thing.

steelfin
10-21-2011, 10:07 PM
While we are probably spoiled, the point of the post is that changes are required to be a contender this year.

At this point we are not playing the type of football to make a run this year.

Unless something drastic changes in the next few weeks it is going to be ugly when we play NE and Baltimore...

IMHO one of our biggest issues is the inconsistency of our offensive production. I am not saying the defense is playing A ball but it is compounded by the inconsistent offense.

3 and outs on offense will hurt any defense. I have not been a big BA fan for several years and this year is not changing my opinion. Whether the issues are BA, the O line, Ben's play, youth of the receiving corp or a combination, changes need to be made.

Our best game offensively was when Ben was hurt and we concentrated on short to mid range passing routes. The Pats make a living playing that game...and they are arguably the most prolific offense in the league.

We need to stay with that game plan for a few games and see how it goes. We should also mix in the no huddle. The Pats use it every game....BA says it doesn't always make sense or fit in the game plan...I say give it a shot for a couple games and see what happens....It highly doubt it will be worse than what we have seen up to this point...Ben makes a lot of money for a reason...Let him do his thing.