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Thread: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

  1. #1
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    Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Well, we're all getting fired up about the new batch of recruits we drafted, and getting ready for camp and pre-season... I thought I'd pull this out from the end last year when we lost to Jax... Will our picks help solve some of these problems?... Either way, what better way to "pick-up" than where we "left-off"...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Same old problems surface
    By BOB LABRIOLA
    Editor

    The NFL playoffs are a culmination of a team’s season. For the 2007 Steelers, their playoff game was a reflection of their season, as well.

    The 75th season in franchise history included a 10-6 record in the regular season and the 18th division championship since 1970, and both of those things occurred in Mike
    Tomlin’s inaugural season as the team’s coach. Like Bill Cowher before him, Tomlin delivered a division title and a home playoff game in his rookie year.

    But this 75th season also was one in which special teams breakdowns happened far too often based on the amount of time spent working on that phase of the game during the offseason and preseason, a season when the defense allowed a late game-winning drive four times.

    NOT-SO-SPECIAL TEAMS

    There are a lot of statistics that can be cited to make this argument, but the number of times bad special teams contributed to losses trumps all.

    Against the Jaguars in the Wild Card Game, there were two plays that had the figurative impact of a punch to the solar plexus.

    This was the first playoff game at Heinz Field since 2004, and that constitutes a long wait for Steelers fans, and so the place was rocking for the opening kickoff. “The crowd was pumped and we knew they would be,” said Jaguars tackle Tony Pashos, who also experienced this as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. “The Steelers have a great crowd, and they brought their A-game.”

    The noise intensified as the Steelers took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. If there was a lid on Heinz Field, it would have blown off, but then came Jeff Reed’s ensuing kickoff. Ninety-seven yards later, Maurice-
    Jones Drew was shoved out of bounds at the Steelers 1-yard line by Anthony Madison.

    “That was such a huge play, the first kickoff return that Maurice took back,” said Coach Jack Del Rio. “Our football team had just been jolted. We didn’t give up an opening touchdown drive all year, and to have them go down in the playoff game and start that way, that was a little bit of a blow that we took. We talked about the emotional surge that they were going to have early. We anticipated that. It’s a proud franchise. For Maurice to come back and deliver a blow to them and then be able to punch it in, that was a big lift.”

    The other instance of a special teams breakdown came on a punt from the Pittsburgh 27-yard line with 2:50 to play and the Steelers leading 29-28.

    Daniel Sepulveda’s punt traveled only 40 yards, and it was right down the middle of the
    field, perfect for a return.

    Dennis Northcutt obliged with a 16-yarder and the Jaguars got to start at their 49-yard line.

    TOO MUCH BEND

    The defense then took over, and repeated what it had done against Denver, the New York Jets, and the Jaguars on Dec. 16. That the Jacksonville offense was aided this time by a couple of blatant holding penalties going uncalled on a fourth-and-2 run by David Garrard is no consolation, and an additional 19 precious yards were allowed by a terrible display of tackling by Tyrone Carter.

    “We didn’t keep our containment,” said James Farrior. “We had guys chasing him, but we
    couldn’t get him.” What Farrior wouldn’t say is that Troy Polamalu was being do-si-doed by Marcedes Lewis, James Harrison was being pulled away from the hole by Khalif Barnes and Casey Hampton already had been gangtackled.

    The Jaguars then got all the way to the Steelers’ 1-yard line before they ran out of downs and kicked the game-winning field goal. “To have it right there in your hands at the end and let it slip away, that hurts,” said Deshea Townsend.

  2. #2
    Hall of Famer Flasteel's Avatar
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    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    Well, we're all getting fired up about the new batch of recruits we drafted, and getting ready for camp and pre-season... I thought I'd pull this out from the end last year when we lost to Jax... Will our picks help solve some of these problems?... Either way, what better way to "pick-up" than where we "left-off"...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Same old problems surface
    By BOB LABRIOLA
    Editor

    The NFL playoffs are a culmination of a team’s season. For the 2007 Steelers, their playoff game was a reflection of their season, as well.

    The 75th season in franchise history included a 10-6 record in the regular season and the 18th division championship since 1970, and both of those things occurred in Mike
    Tomlin’s inaugural season as the team’s coach. Like Bill Cowher before him, Tomlin delivered a division title and a home playoff game in his rookie year.

    But this 75th season also was one in which special teams breakdowns happened far too often based on the amount of time spent working on that phase of the game during the offseason and preseason, a season when the defense allowed a late game-winning drive four times.

    NOT-SO-SPECIAL TEAMS

    There are a lot of statistics that can be cited to make this argument, but the number of times bad special teams contributed to losses trumps all.

    Against the Jaguars in the Wild Card Game, there were two plays that had the figurative impact of a punch to the solar plexus.

    This was the first playoff game at Heinz Field since 2004, and that constitutes a long wait for Steelers fans, and so the place was rocking for the opening kickoff. “The crowd was pumped and we knew they would be,” said Jaguars tackle Tony Pashos, who also experienced this as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. “The Steelers have a great crowd, and they brought their A-game.”

    The noise intensified as the Steelers took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. If there was a lid on Heinz Field, it would have blown off, but then came Jeff Reed’s ensuing kickoff. Ninety-seven yards later, Maurice-
    Jones Drew was shoved out of bounds at the Steelers 1-yard line by Anthony Madison.

    “That was such a huge play, the first kickoff return that Maurice took back,” said Coach Jack Del Rio. “Our football team had just been jolted. We didn’t give up an opening touchdown drive all year, and to have them go down in the playoff game and start that way, that was a little bit of a blow that we took. We talked about the emotional surge that they were going to have early. We anticipated that. It’s a proud franchise. For Maurice to come back and deliver a blow to them and then be able to punch it in, that was a big lift.”

    The other instance of a special teams breakdown came on a punt from the Pittsburgh 27-yard line with 2:50 to play and the Steelers leading 29-28.

    Daniel Sepulveda’s punt traveled only 40 yards, and it was right down the middle of the
    field, perfect for a return.

    Dennis Northcutt obliged with a 16-yarder and the Jaguars got to start at their 49-yard line.

    TOO MUCH BEND

    The defense then took over, and repeated what it had done against Denver, the New York Jets, and the Jaguars on Dec. 16. That the Jacksonville offense was aided this time by a couple of blatant holding penalties going uncalled on a fourth-and-2 run by David Garrard is no consolation, and an additional 19 precious yards were allowed by a terrible display of tackling by Tyrone Carter.

    “We didn’t keep our containment,” said James Farrior. “We had guys chasing him, but we
    couldn’t get him.” What Farrior wouldn’t say is that Troy Polamalu was being do-si-doed by Marcedes Lewis, James Harrison was being pulled away from the hole by Khalif Barnes and Casey Hampton already had been gangtackled.

    The Jaguars then got all the way to the Steelers’ 1-yard line before they ran out of downs and kicked the game-winning field goal. “To have it right there in your hands at the end and let it slip away, that hurts,” said Deshea Townsend.
    Maybe you should forward that to smartmonies via PM or something so he'll stop trying to proclaim how much better than us Jacksonville was in that game.



    "I hate him. Everybody says I'm supposed to be polite when I talk to you all, but I hate him..." "He talks too much, he doesn't make sense, he's fat, he's sloppy, he acts like he's the best thing since sliced bread. He's ugly, he stinks, his mouth stinks, his breath stinks, and basically his soul stinks, too.

    "Not too many people have personalities like that and survive in life. I don't know how he does it."


    -Kris Jenkins on Warren Sapp

  3. #3

    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel
    Maybe you should forward that to smartmonies via PM or something so he'll stop trying to proclaim how much better than us Jacksonville was in that game.
    it depends on which part of the game you're referring to... during a couple of stretches, they kicked our butts... and during a stretches, we kicked their butts...
    2013 MNF Executive Champion!
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    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Bottom line is that a loss leaves a bad taste, and is a horrible way to end the season... But the reason I posted it was to "pick-up" where we "left-off" and meld the off-season into this one.....

  5. #5
    Hall of Famer Flasteel's Avatar
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    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerOfDeVille
    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel
    Maybe you should forward that to smartmonies via PM or something so he'll stop trying to proclaim how much better than us Jacksonville was in that game.
    it depends on which part of the game you're referring to... during a couple of stretches, they kicked our butts... and during a stretches, we kicked their butts...
    That's pretty much my argument as well.



    "I hate him. Everybody says I'm supposed to be polite when I talk to you all, but I hate him..." "He talks too much, he doesn't make sense, he's fat, he's sloppy, he acts like he's the best thing since sliced bread. He's ugly, he stinks, his mouth stinks, his breath stinks, and basically his soul stinks, too.

    "Not too many people have personalities like that and survive in life. I don't know how he does it."


    -Kris Jenkins on Warren Sapp

  6. #6
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    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    I have hopes that the D will not be as weak during crunch time this year. When we need a big play I hope Ike/Troy/Woodley/Smitty can deliver one. We didn't have that in 06 or 07.
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    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerNation1
    I have hopes that the D will not be as weak during crunch time this year. When we need a big play I hope Ike/Troy/Woodley/Smitty can deliver one. We didn't have that in 06 or 07.
    IMHO, it all starts up front... The injury to Smith hurt.... I hate to say it, but we have an age/depth issue there....

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    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerNation1
    I have hopes that the D will not be as weak during crunch time this year. When we need a big play I hope Ike/Troy/Woodley/Smitty can deliver one. We didn't have that in 06 or 07.
    IMHO, it all starts up front... The injury to Smith hurt.... I hate to say it, but we have an age/depth issue there....
    Nky,
    I'm a big LB guy. I want our front 3 to lock up 4 of the 5 olineman and leave one LB one on one with a back or TE. If the front can command one double team our sack total will rise.
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    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerNation1
    Nky,
    I'm a big LB guy. I want our front 3 to lock up 4 of the 5 olineman and leave one LB one on one with a back or TE. If the front can command one double team our sack total will rise.
    And if that can happen, I have no doubt that LeBeau can create schemes (as he always does) to get them to the qb..... I agree with you completely... My only issue is that the D-line is not as strong as it has been in past years, and depth may become an issue at some point... Hell, I think that was the reason (or at least a serious contributing factor) as to us giving up late-game drives at the tail end of the season.... And just as we found out, those "late drives" will cost us the game... Yea, I love our LBs', but they need help....

  10. #10
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    Re: Flashback: The end of the '07 season...

    Age and all that bangin around up front lends to a high probability of injury once again for the D-line unfortunately. There was no immediate fix to that obviously, so I think we need to cross our fingers. I don't doubt their talent and skill, but its a valid worry.

    That killed us the last couple games.

    And of course special teams, which I imagine has to be improved by some of the players signed/drafted. That unit could see a big turn around if coaching can get a scheme together for them and make them understand how important this aspect of the game is. That often gets lost...
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