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View Full Version : What is the most significant thing Steelers can do to improve in 2013?



supersteeler
01-02-2013, 06:29 AM
For me, it's staying healthy and limiting injuries especially the O-line/ scoring points. If we look back one of the issues we had was scoring points, we only hit 30 or more one time, 5 losses @ 3 points was a killer for us not making the post season.
It all starts up front, our O-line played well in spurts but never had the continuity, as so many players were injured in the course of the season. When you have good blocking the other parts of the offense fall into place especially running the ball, something we didn't do well in.
Ben didn't play well down the stretch, we had the fumbles in Cleveland, dropped passes in some games, special team blunders, and lack of a pass rush at times. Even with those issues winning two of those 5 losses and we would be playing Sunday, thats why I contend the offense was our thorn in the side.
Early in the season we had some defensive breakdowns, but they were corrected and they started to play well, but the offense took its turn to breakdown, we never had both units on the same page outside of the 4 game win streak.
Not to compare us with New Englands offense but we only averaged 21 points a game, while they averaged almost 35. If this offense could of musterd up an average of 24 points a game we would of had a different outcome this season.
Yeah, we had issues at times on defense but they still managed to be one of the tops in the league. It all comes back on the offense and its been a trend for sometime now, the inability to score points when you have to.
Sorry, but 21 points a game average isn't doing it. The Steelers need to take a long look at correcting this problem we've had not only this year but years past. I thought we had the talent in skilled positions, receivers, TE, QB, and even running back, it all goes back to having a great line, one that can stay healthy. I'm not going to blame Haley, this offense was doing well in other departments earlier in the season. Ben was having his best year, we were a leader in third down conversions, and was dominating time of possesion. The only issue even then was scoring points.
We had the same issue in B.A.'s offense....scoring points. Yeah, we were productive from the 20 to the 20 but too often had to settle for 3 instead of 7"s.

Message to the Steelers:

Find a way to get that paltry average of 21 points a game to 24 and we may see a big difference in the outcome of the 2013 season.

Side Note:
Obviously you need all 3 units clicking to have success not just the offense, but when you can score points even when the other units are having issues you can still win ball games.....See New England!

flippy
01-02-2013, 08:00 AM
1. Find the Carnell Lake of OLine coaches and fix the OLine

2. Improve the D front 7 and start getting to the QB regularly.

3. Fix ST. Get a coach. Find a real punter. Get a kicker with enough leg for when Tomlin wants to try a 54 yarder.

4. Get the team focused on nutrition and conditioning.

5. Bring in a vet who can provide leadership in the lockerroom.

6. Get rid of the malcontents. No idea who they are, but the Steelers do from the inside. Might even be guys we don't expect.

supersteeler
01-02-2013, 08:14 AM
Flippy, all good points you made, but name me just ONE significant area they could get better at to improve in 2013?

I don't care how they do it but we need to score MORE points!
When a RB has too many fumbles, a team might make him carry the ball around all through practice and even on the sideline...all week. The Steelers offense should take a page out of that RB senario and carry signs.......Score More Points! ......Just sayin.

Oviedo
01-02-2013, 08:38 AM
Fix the offensive line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

flippy
01-02-2013, 09:15 AM
Flippy, all good points you made, but name me just ONE significant area they could get better at to improve in 2013?

I don't care how they do it but we need to score MORE points!
When a RB has too many fumbles, a team might make him carry the ball around all through practice and even on the sideline...all week. The Steelers offense should take a page out of that RB senario and carry signs.......Score More Points! ......Just sayin.

I'd go with #1. Get the right OLine coach and get this unit rolling.

Slapstick
01-02-2013, 09:52 AM
Act like professionals and don't give the ball to the other team.

SidSmythe
01-02-2013, 10:49 AM
Pick your best RB in training camp and go with him after you've addressed the O-Line

flippy
01-02-2013, 10:51 AM
Act like professionals

You coulda stopped there :)

Slapstick
01-02-2013, 12:10 PM
Pick your best RB in training camp and go with him after you've addressed the O-Line

I'd settle for using the RBs that you have in situations that maximize their strengths...

phillyesq
01-02-2013, 01:10 PM
The Steelers need to improve their pass rush. This includes more push from the guys inside, particularly Ziggy Hood, and from the outside. Harrison began to improve as the year went on but Woodley was awful. He needs to show up in shape next year and ready to contribute. He was routinely handled by subpar right tackles and even tight ends. That simply cannot happen. An improved pass rush should lead to more mistakes and turnovers.

On the offensive side, better health is needed from the offensive line. Gilbert and Colon in particular both need to work on their conditioning. Colon was a very good run blocker, but I have to think that his giant gut contributed to his knee issues. Gilbert's inability to finish games is a major liability, and counting on him going into the season is a major risk.

Better health on the offensive line should help the running game, but so will better backs. Dwyer cannot carry the ball more than twice consecutively without leaving the game, Mendenhall's lack of ball security has not improved since his rookie year and Redman is a fine situational player but ill suited to carrying a significant load. Rainey was a good returner, but I saw little from him as a pass catcher or runner to lead me to believe that he is part of the solution at RB.

BigRob
01-02-2013, 02:17 PM
1. Find the Carnell Lake of OLine coaches and fix the OLine

THIS! We must do this!

ikestops85
01-02-2013, 02:24 PM
I, like many others, would say improvement of the offensive line but I really think the offensive line could be good if they stay healthy. So, since I think the O line will be okay, I think we have to significantly improve the pass rush. I think that will lead to more turnovers and a shorter field for the offense which will help them score more points.

Oviedo
01-02-2013, 03:58 PM
I, like many others, would say improvement of the offensive line but I really think the offensive line could be good if they stay healthy. So, since I think the O line will be okay, I think we have to significantly improve the pass rush. I think that will lead to more turnovers and a shorter field for the offense which will help them score more points.

Getting more than a pathetic 37 sacks would be a major start especially when the two OLB we pay $16M+ annually (over 13% of our cap) for manage a whole 10 sacks between them.

The five year trend is:

2008--51 sacks
2009--46 sacks
2010--48 sacks
2011--35 sacks
2012--37 sacks

And we still have those who don't believe we have a major problem on defense and don't think changes need to be made.

Slapstick
01-02-2013, 04:05 PM
In 2011 and 2012, our two LBs weren't healthy..just like our o-line...

Oviedo
01-02-2013, 04:17 PM
In 2011 and 2012, our two LBs weren't healthy..just like our o-line...

Do you think Harrison is going to drink from the "fountain of Youth?" He is 34 and won't get better. Woodley can't stay healthy. So next year we just hope versus making proactive structural improvements?

phillyesq
01-02-2013, 04:21 PM
Do you think Harrison is going to drink from the "fountain of Youth?" He is 34 and won't get better. Woodley can't stay healthy. So next year we just hope versus making proactive structural improvements?

The Steelers needs to add a new outside pass rusher, no question. I'm not sure what other "structural improvements" you mean, but I'll assume that you mean shifting to a 4-3. Whether those who failed to get pressure this year - particularly Woodley and Ziggy Hood - line up in a 3-4 or 4-3 - they will have essentially the same assignment on third downs, i.e., to get to the passer. They need to do their jobs better, simple as that.

hawaiiansteel
01-02-2013, 04:37 PM
Kovacevic: Lucky ’13 for Steelers? Why not?

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=1I_4Z c6pRAaqdDhqB6M4_c$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYsvLn9k8eiG4aD jFcRJDjZyWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

The Steelers' Steve McLendon celebrates a defensive play against the Browns at Heinz Field Dec. 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

By Dejan Kovacevic
Published: Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In the spirit of the new year, when a half-empty glass turns half-full with the tick of a clock, when unused two-point plays represent hope for the future rather than rockhead moves of the past, even an 8-8 season for the Steelers can be cast in a positive light.

Can‘t it?

No?

OK, then, I‘ll try instead — in the spirit, of course — to conjure up 13 good thoughts for the franchise going into 2013 …

• Heath Miller.

(Hey, this is easy!)

• You will love Steve McLendon — and not just because he seemed to make a splash play in half of the, oh, two or three snaps he‘d get at nose tackle each game.

You‘ll also love the fire of a kid who, when I asked him Sunday to describe his style, replied: “My unique style is built from three guys: I want to be powerful and strong like Casey Hampton. I want to be smart like Chris Hoke. And I want to be elusive and quick like Jay Ratliff.”

That‘s Dallas‘ star nose tackle.

“Get those guys together, and that‘s Steve McLendon.”

• Dan Rooney is back.

He‘s 80 now, and the ship is still Art II‘s to steer. But if all the old man‘s presence achieves is avoiding another case of the team president picking offensive coordinators, that‘ll be plenty.

No matter your feelings on Bruce Arians or Todd Haley, it‘s hard to dispute that the dumping of the former was the front office‘s most un-Steelers-like move in quite some time.

• Might have been a mere snapshot, but it was nice to see Haley and Ben Roethlisberger walk off Heinz Field together after the game Sunday, chatting and laughing all the way into the locker room.

I‘ve expressed doubts about whether they‘ll ever bond over the “Rosetta Stone” playbook, but the next visible sign of snarl between them will be the first.

• Lawrence Timmons.

If you don‘t know, then you haven‘t been watching.

• The Steelers appear to be $12 million over the salary cap for 2013, which sounds ominous. But remember that Omar Kahn, the Steelers‘ cap wizard who someday will heal the ozone layer in search of greater challenges, took on a similar task in 2011 and still scrounged up enough loose change to sign LaMarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu and Timmons.

This won‘t be a big deal. One prominent guy will go — I‘m guessing Hampton — but others will simply take cuts or defer.

After which, Omar can begin confiscating aerosol cans.

• Signing Keenan Lewis is paramount, and I‘ll be surprised if it doesn‘t get done. I know he‘s making some noise now, but he loves where he is.

If it doesn‘t happen, though, it shouldn‘t escape notice that Cortez Allen was terrific in covering for Ike Taylor. His five takeaways in the final two games accounted for a quarter of the team‘s season total.

“I am extremely blessed to make that happen,” Allen said.

Same can be said for the Steelers at a vital position.

• The Bengals are the new AFC North power?

Please.

• Eventually, the Steelers have to quit messing around with Max Starks, don‘t they?

Every summer, it‘s the same drama as to whether he‘ll be back. Roethlisberger dons a No. 78 jersey in Latrobe, Starks passes a physical, signs for the minimum, suits up in the nick of time and steadily holds down left tackle — the toughest job in football — game after game.

Starks pointed to his grass-stained socks Sunday and said, “I saved a piece of Heinz Field, just in case I do go.”

No reason for that to happen.

• Stop messing around with Ramon Foster, too.Every summer, he‘s the backup at both guard positions, at least until others drop around him and he starts all year long. Yeah, i know a first-round pick went into David DeCastro and that Willie Colon can move mountains with a pink finger when healthy, but the latter hasn't made it through any of the past three seasons. Durability counts.Foster and Starks have two things in common, one being that they were the only linemen to avoid parentheses after their last names and the other being they're about to try the open market.I know this one isn't likely but felt compelled to ask, anyway. “It‘s possible,” Foster said Sunday with a grin, “because Maurkice Pouncey has generously offered to give up some of his pay to keep me.”That apparently was news to the All-Pro center at the next stall: “I did what?”

• James Harrison will be kept, which is right, but maybe someone will challenge him to be much more of a leader than he‘s been known to be.

If nothing else, ask him to belligerently impose his rigid workout regimen on Woodley.

• Mike Tomlin.

See Timmons explanation above.

He‘s a good coach who had a lousy year. Happens.

• They‘re the Steelers.

They‘ve had seven losing seasons in 40 years.

The only one this century, 2003, was followed by a 15-1 gem the very next winter and the Lombardi the year after that.

Anyone really want to bet against a bounce-back?

Did I even mention the QB?

http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacevic/dejancolumns/3216549-74/steelers-game-starks#ixzz2Gqfnoud7

squidkid
01-02-2013, 04:45 PM
discipline.

playing undisciplined football is inexusable regardless of what talent is on the field

ikestops85
01-02-2013, 05:06 PM
discipline.

playing undisciplined football is inexusable regardless of what talent is on the field

I have to agree with ya squid. I haven't seen a steeler team this undisciplined since the 2006 season when Cowher mailed it in.

Steelerphile
01-02-2013, 06:01 PM
For me Big Ben needs to spend this offseason, studying the playbook, film, and improving his mind. As he goes into the latter part of his career, he won't be able to fall back on his ability to shake off tacklers and run around and find big plays. If he were as dedicated to the film study and recognizing coverages as Manning and Brady are. The offense would be a strength.

People say the OL needs to be fixed every year, but they have invested high picks into the line and people still say it. When the defenses fear the passing attack the way defenses fear the Patriots passing attack, the defenses will slough off the line of scrimmage and the running game will come easier.

They do have to commit fewer penalties.

I'm not sold on either Redman or Dwyer as a No. 1 back and I am not sure if Mendenhall will stay or return to form either. I would like to see another back come in, who has some speed. Maybe Rainey can bulk up.

I wonder if my boy DJ will come back next year. I think he would have performed better than Will Johnson as a lead blocker. Will Johnson had a few moments as a blocker but I don't think he overall made much of an impact , IMO. If not DJ, someone other than WJ.

I think Wallace will probably leave and I think the Steelers will be able to find another capable receiver in free agency or in the draft.

Don't know what they can do, other than coach up who they have, in terms of the pass rush. I doubt they can afford to draft another DL or outside linebacker high. Maybe they will get lucky on a lower pick, but rookies seldom play much in the Steelers defense, except in case of dire need. I think they could emphasize creating fumbles in their minicamps. That is something I would like them to try to increase turnovers.

fordfixer
01-02-2013, 08:49 PM
Fix the offensive line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And and and and................. waiting for the other shoe to drop :-) :-)

Chadman
01-02-2013, 08:59 PM
Need to dominate on both lines. If the Steelers do that, everything will look better as they'll be able to impose their will on teams, unlike this season where they were just holding ground too often.

Sugar
01-02-2013, 10:00 PM
Need to dominate on both lines. If the Steelers do that, everything will look better as they'll be able to impose their will on teams, unlike this season where they were just holding ground too often.

They've been investing high draft picks on both lines. Hopefully, they can stay healthy enough to make it worthwhile.