You guys are pointing at coaching staff for discipline and I won't disagree.
But I am also a firm believer in players stepping up to keep their own in line. Hate to say it, but a Ray Lewis would be riding Woodley's ass the entire season on staying in shape and contributing.
The defense lost a huge amount of leadership in Farrior. Clark tried to step up but I think the Steelers need a badass LB or lineman to be in charge, get in their teammates faces, set the mood for getting ready for an NFL game.
The players need self-policing now more than ever with the new NFL rules and I am not sure Tomlin has been able to find 'his man' to serve that role.
Just pointing out that Tom Shaw, in the article provided, doesn't say Woodley was out of shape, but that he was training correctly. There is a difference.
Casey Hampton is fat, and always has been. Chances are, always will be. He didn't miss any games to conditioning this season.
Colon is concerning. It's all differing injuries with him. That could very well be on conditioning.
When we talk about injuries, let's not forget the role age will play. The older you are, the more your body breaks down. Ike Taylor, Willie Colon, Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Heath Miller, James Harrison... these guys are all over 30. And Ben, Ike & Heath's injuries can hardly be blamed on conditioning.
Can the Steelers be fitter? Perhaps... sure, why not?
But Tom Shaw isn't saying the Steelers are out of condition- he's saying that the conditioning training the players are doing might not be correct.
It's certainly worth investigating.
As for discipline.... now that is something that the Steelers need to tighten up on. The responsibility will ultimately fall on Tomlin to bring them into line, but as Northcoast said- some of the players need to stand up & assume the leadership of this team. Forget team captains- guys like Keisel etc are probably terriffic captains.
But team leaders the way a Ray Lewis is a team leader, or how Jerome Bettis was... that is what this team needs. Discipline does not ALWAYS have to come from the boss- often times people will respond best to their peers. Case in point- imagine if Hines Ward had been in Wallace's ear all season. How would that have changed Wallace's output?
Not really something you can address in midseason.
I'm asking myself...
#1 - Hasn't Tomlin communicated that he's done this to Rooney. If not, has Tomlin communicated it to his players at all? If both are a "no" then that is a big problem.
#2 - Has the coaches, nutritionists, and strength and conditioning coaches set goals (and/or requirements) for each player?
#3 - If both 1 and 2 are a "yes" (doubtful) then the players need to be held accountable.
The new CBA took out a lot of the off season conditioning that the teams used, so now its up to the players to follow up on the conditioning themselves in the off season. I think the coaching comes into play when improper techniques are used by the players, especially the OL where you have more wieght and collisions in short area and short time spans.
But, with Harrison, Woodley and Polamalu hurt, only Ryan Clark stepped up on the defensive side of things...
On the offensive side, the time was ripe for Roethlisberger to take command of the locker room...he was too busy trying to undermine Todd Haley, apparently...
Mike Wallace was too busy pouting...
Just not sure who that is on defense, or offense for that matter (I wouldn't say Ben has the highest personal discipline).