the season in a nutshell
you know, after today i was mostly frustrated because I think in general - we can probably agree 6-7 of those 8 losses were self-induced. The last 3 minutes of todays game was an accurate synopsis of our entire season. I can't ever remember watching a steeler team literally hand victory to the opposition. several times. yet, I have to admit as much as this season was about missed opportunities - I would probably feel worse if we had simply been outplayed in all those games. Make no mistake, we handed victory to oakland, tennessee, cleveland and of course cincy today. Yet are we a complete rebuild or is it still perhaps another tweaking? i think it's probably the latter.
still, let's take a look at the problems that will need resolved.
we have a #1 defense except for the last 5 minutes of a game
we have (arguably) the best corp of young receivers in the game - yet they can't hold onto/catch the ball
we have been drafting O-linemen like crazy - but we can't keep enough healthy to have them gel into a unit.
we have a rookie punter who routinely bombs 60 yarders when he's trying to pin the opposition, and 30 yarders when kicking out of our end zone.
the team MVP this year will likely be suisam. how would that have sounded back in sept? and while that's not a problem - it's a total indictment for the rest of the team.
our young DLmen haven't stepped up and taken the jobs we drafted them for.
we rarely get pressure, rarely get sacks and for the last few years have been at the bottom of the league in turnover ratio.
here's the good.
we have a sound organization that will not overreact like we are and will in all likelihood rebound next year.
we have a HOF quarterback
the running backs are solid if not spectacular.
the injuries in the O-line resulted in mucho quality playing time for many rookies.
there are not many bright spots on the defense. a longer off season should help troy continue to heal - but does anyone really think we get 16 games out of him anymore? ryan clark had a very strong year. Timmons as well in my opinion. Larry foote played solid but let's be honest - he's not the long-term solution. harrison was just starting to get back to form. I think he still has 1 or 2 good years left. Is dick lebeau still a genius? still a master of the zone blitz? it sure seems like the league has figured him out. it's simple, spread us out - run 10 yard out patterns for high percentage gains and wait for the LB on the TE mismatch for the big play. serious work to be done for sure. does it start with a new DC? I kinda feel like the offense can get it's act together. Can we afford to wait a year or two while we shuffle personnel and scheme on defense?
ultimately, this season has been no fun at all. each week was frustrating, even the games we won. football is over, we got no hockey and we're staring into the fiscal abyss.
where are the mayans when we need them......
We have a HOF QB?? He singlehandedly lost the last 2 games. We lost today because the only guy who didn't seem to realize it was a playoff game was your HOF QB. The season in a nutshell came down to Ben sucking.
I don't disagree that ben has played horribly since his return from injury. the question is, does he suck or did he simply have a very very bad stretch of football? I'm going with the latter. He's played too good for too long to suddenly become a bad QB. he's got one year in with haley. they may not like each other, but 8-8 or 7-9 will probably motivate the both of them to figure out how to be productive.
ben IS a HOF QB.
now if you want to know the reason he's been so bad? I blame his baby. he's probably averaging 4 hours of sleep a night.......:stirpot
I don't think Ben just turned bad, but he went back to the bad habits instead of playing within the system like he did prior to the games he took off. But if it's an attitude problem and not wanting to play within Haileys system then it's something that ain't gonna get better until someone gets his head right. Today's loss fell 100% on him.
Originally Posted by Starlifter
We don't have a top defense. Even Phil Simms said before the game we have a ranking but it isn't a defense that makes game changing plays. His words, but exactly what I have been saying.
Originally Posted by Starlifter
You are right--it is time to go a different direction on defense. As you correctly stated, the league knows how to beat LeBeau. This league is all about attacking the QB every play, every down. Not freaking rushing three players against 5 or 6. We saw yesterday how a defensive line can play when the four DL are committed to going after the QB and not screwing around scheming and trying to fool people when they just fool themselves. We also saw a large number of rookies and first year players contributing in the Bumgals defense because they didn't have to spend three years learning the system. Just move them into the positions they have always played and let them go.
Put Woodley at DE because he can't play OLB without getting hurt and give him one mission, get the QB. If we don't change this defense we will continue a third year trend with the worst sack totals in decades.
Ovi, put down the crack pipe son. The Bengals offense scored 6 effing points yesterday. The offense has put the defense on the ropes the whole season with three and outs and turn overs. And guess what, the defense usually answers he bell. The Law Firm of BG-Ellis came into yesterday's game averaging the second most yards in the league over the past three games and he did exactly JACK SQUAT against this defense yesterday. We played without Ike Taylor as well, and he held A.J. Green to one 7-yard catch in the first matchup this season, so there's no reason to think that he wouldn't have been just as effective today had he been healthy. The fact of the matter is the offense has been bordering on SUCK-A-TUDE since our last Super Bowl win and it's been the defense that has kept us competitive, not an explosive offense. The 4-3 answers no questions. If we manage to find a solid NT and replace Foote with someone with a little bit of speed, we are very competitive on defense still. But on offense, we still can't block, we can't run the ball, the WR's drop pass and fumble away games, and Ben is still pouty over the fact that he doesn't like Haley. How you could possibly watch yesterday's game and still criticize the defense is beyond me.
I agree with you the defense played very well yesterday and this loss is solely on the offense. However this defense has been nothing more than a fantasy football defense all year - the kind that produces stats except for the one stat that counts - wins. True enough the offense has consistently put them in bad positions all year - but it's not the fault of the offense we were horrible at getting pressure on opposing QB's, getting sacks, forcing turnovers, forcing 3 and outs. this is a defense that make oakland, KC and tennessee look like offensive juggernauts. How many games this year that despite of everything, came down to holding on the last drive and we all just KNEW the other team would drive the field for the win. I'll have to go back and take another look, but other than KC and timmons interception (which actually occurred in OT) did we stop ANY team this year that needed a score on the last possession to either tie or win the game?
Originally Posted by Jooser
Excellent points Jooser.
Originally Posted by Jooser
+1...Just put it down....
Originally Posted by Jooser
Could the season be explained away as easily as saying that at no point did the Steelers really dominate the Line Of Scrimmage?
The OL, through injuries & lack of talent, never really 'dominated'an opposing DL this season. Sure- they held their own, but very rarely were giany holes blown open by rampaging OLineman so that RB's could take it to the house. Starks is a solid vet, and needs re-signing. Pouncey & DeCastro are long-term solutions. Gilbert & Adams will likely duke it out for RT next season with the 'loser'being the back-up 'swing tackle'. Chadman thinks both these guys, in time, will be our starters. But right now, neither are superior to Starks.
that leaves LG, where Colon actually looked to play alright, despite many people's fears. Of course, he went & hurt himself. Foster is a solid guy, but not a dominant guy.
Seen a few people say that this Steeler team never really got an 'identity'. Well, perhaps they need to add a big nasty LG, then run Dwyer/Redman behind our high round Interior OL guys, and grind teams with our power running.
Same goes for the DL, where Hampton wasn't the same guy, and McClendon didn't make us forget about Hampton. Keisel, Hood & Heyward form a pretty reasonable DL rotation, but they need that dominant bull up front to drag in blockers, the way Hampton used to in his prime.
If you don't win the LOS, you don't give yourself enough opportunity to win football matches.