View Full Version : Diaappointed, but ready to move forward
09-11-2012, 01:20 AM
Posted by Teresa Varley on September 10, 2012 – 8:04 pm
The Steelers arrived back in Pittsburgh in the wee hours of the morning after Sunday night’s loss in Denver, but the players were back at the team’s practice facility by mid-afternoon to watch film.
For running back Jonathan Dwyer, who had nine carries for 43 yards while sharing time with Isaac Redman, it was a chance to look at the mistakes he made and start working on correcting them.
“I made some little mistakes, things that aren’t acceptable in our (running backs) room,” said Dwyer. “They are things I will get fixed and we will all get fixed as a running back unit and we will all be better next week.
“I have room for improvement. I am never satisfied with anything I do. Every day is an interview with us here in Pittsburgh and that is the way I want to keep it.”
Dwyer liked the fact that the Steelers held the edge over the Broncos in time of possession, 35:05 to 24:55, but knows they have to capitalize on opportunities. The Steelers had to settle for a field goal after driving 64 yards in 8:55 and he knows they need touchdowns, not field goals, on drives like that.
“We did pretty well controlling the ball, making plays, but we need to do better with our opportunities in the red zone scoring points,” said Dwyer. “We need to try to keep their defense on the field for a long time so we can give our defense a break.
“Everybody is fine. Everybody is disappointed about the loss, but it’s early in the season. We will move on, learn from our situation, get better and get ready for New York this week.”
Dwyer knows that Sunday’s game against the Jets at Heinz Field is a big one, as the team does not want to start the season in too deep a hole.
“This week is very important,” said Dwyer. “Every week is important. The first didn’t go as we wanted, but we are going to make sure we put ourselves in a better situation this week than we did last week
09-11-2012, 01:37 AM
Steelers regroup after another Denver disasterASSOCIATED PRESS
PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger is over the Denver Broncos.
After watching one season end and another begin with a pair of painful losses nine months apart in the Mile High city, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is OK if his team's travel plans don't include Denver for a while.
"I'd like to say I hope we come back here, but I hope we don't," Roethlisberger said after the Steelers fell 31-19 Sunday night. "I hope they come back to our place because it's a nice advantage."
A rematch in the playoffs isn't out of the question, even if the Steelers were less than thrilled with letting Denver and Peyton Manning pour in 24 points during a spirited second-half rally.
"We just weren't making any plays -- any significant plays," safety Troy Polamalu said. "We weren't getting pressure. We weren't getting pass breakups. We just weren't making plays."
At least, not the kind of plays the Steelers are used to making.
Once the Broncos switched to the no-huddle offense in the second quarter with Manning calling the shots at the line of scrimmage, the Steelers looked a half-step slow. The four-time MVP passed for 253 yards and two scores and was barely touched over the final two quarters as Pittsburgh failed to win on Hall of Fame defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's 75th birthday.
"We just couldn't get to Peyton," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "He was getting the ball out quick."
Something that's hardly a part of Roethlisberger's game.
The quarterback never met a play he didn't like to extend, though Denver's swarming defense took advantage of a battered offensive line to sack him five times and force him into a handful of tough throws.
The biggest coming on a late sideline pass to Emmanuel Sanders on Pittsburgh's final meaningful drive that Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter turned into a game-deciding 43-yard interception return for a touchdown.
"I should have called timeout," Roethlisberger said. "The play clock was running down. I hate to burn timeouts, but I should have. We were covered all over the place. There's no one to blame but myself."
The ending marred a solid if not exactly spectacular start to the Todd Haley era in Pittsburgh. The Steelers brought in the fiery Haley as offensive coordinator in the offseason to become more effective running the ball and take some of the pressure off Roethlisberger's broad shoulders.
Though Pittsburgh struggled moving it on the ground, needing 26 carries to manage 75 yards, the Steelers controlled the clock and the game for long stretches. They converted 11-of-19 third downs, and during a 14-minute span between the second and third quarters ran 30 plays while Manning took all of one snap, a kneel-down at that.
Not bad for a unit that lost right tackle Marcus Gilbert to a hyperextended left knee and right guard Ramon Foster to an eye injury in the first half. Neither returned, leaving Pittsburgh with a patchwork line that looked awfully similar to the one the Steelers used in January's 29-23 overtime loss to the Broncos in the playoffs.
The group managed to keep the Steelers competitive until the end, and coach Mike Tomlin is optimistic Gilbert and Foster will be back in the lineup Sunday against the suddenly explosive New York Jets (1-0).
Though the loss was disappointing, it pales in comparison to the 35-7 debacle against Baltimore in last year's season opener, when Pittsburgh turned it over seven times and looked overwhelmed.
"This one wasn't as bad, but it's bad for me because I hate to have that happen and it stings," Roethlisberger said.
Pittsburgh recovered to win 12 games last fall. Expectations are just as high again this season, though the schedule isn't nearly as user-friendly. Three of the next five games are on the road, with the two home games against the Jets and instate rival Philadelphia.
The Steelers are hardly ready to panic -- they never are -- but they didn't plan on spending the second half against the Broncos chasing receivers downfield. It happened anyway, with Manning's 71-yard touchdown pass to DeMaryius Thomas looking eerily like Tim Tebow's 80-yard strike to Thomas on the first play of overtime in January's playoff game.
Thomas took a short pass from Manning, used a couple of blocks and sprinted for a score to give Denver a 14-13 lead, with Pittsburgh safety Ryan Mundy -- who chased Thomas fruitlessly down the sideline in the playoff game -- in hot pursuit.
Same players. Same end zone. Same result.
At least this time, the season isn't over. And Denver is off the schedule. At least for now.
"You always want to start strong," Keisel said. "We've got some things we need to get better at. We'll take a look at this and hopefully learn from our mistakes
09-11-2012, 01:46 AM
Steelers dominate Broncos in possession through three quarters, but lose
09/10/2012 12:01 AM
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stood outside his team's locker room Sunday night, acknowledging every player that walked past him. No high-fives. Not pats on the behind. Just a genuine, old-fashioned handshake.
Before talking about it with the media, Tomlin was publicly proud of his team — despite a 31-19 season-opening loss to the Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
"It was a tough defeat, as they all are," Tomlin said after his second consecutive defeat to the Broncos in Denver. "That was a tough, hard-fought game, and just in a nutshell, I thought they made significant plays in the second half of the football game, particularly down the stretch. We lacked the significant plays, the game-defining play. They made them. Obviously, when that happens you're going to lose football games like we did tonight. We accept that."
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers dominated time of possession through three quarters (30:53 to 14:07), converting on 10-of-16 third-down plays and 1-of-2 on fourth down. Pittsburgh capped an 80-yard touchdown drive with 14:11 left in the game to take a 19-14 lead, but the Broncos scored the last 17 points.
The final time-of-possession comparison was 35:05 to 24:55, meaning the Broncos held the ball for much of the fourth quarter.
"We needed to possess the ball, needed to get stops, and time of possession was just that," Tomlin said. "Though, you look at the scoreboard, they got it done. We didn't. The plan did not come to fruition. ... Just not enough significant plays made, particularly down the stretch."
Tomlin said he did not recognize any rust from Peyton Manning, the NFL's only four-time MVP who was making his Broncos debut after missing all of last season because of injury.
"He's Peyton," Tomlin said.
Through three quarters, Pittsburgh limited Manning and company to 206 total yards. The Broncos finished with 334.
"Any loss is a bad loss. Nobody wants to lose," Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel said. "We've got some things we need to get better at. We'll take a look at this and hopefully learn from our mistakes."
Keisel was also impressed with Manning, who was 19-of-26 passing for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
"He was sharp, he was real sharp," Keisel said. "He's a great quarterback, and he got them the win today
09-11-2012, 07:34 AM
It was the first game on the road against a team that will probably win their Division. It was not a "bad" loss like Baltimore last year.
I like lots about the new offense although the OL has me scared to death that we may have Heath Miller playing OT soon. Concerned about the defnese but Denver is tough place to play. This week's game against the Jets will be very telling. I could see us easily hammering them. I could also see a close loss. The real team needs to stand up this week.
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