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Thread: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

  1. #1

    Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    After going 10-6 last year, I really don't see any reason why the Steelers can't improve...regardless of strength of schedule...

    Of course, you never know what will happen when they play the games, but...

    Improvement #1 - LaMarr Woodley vs. Clark Haggans...Woodley is the real deal, IMO...his presence will shore up the strong side of the defense considerably...

    Improvement #2 - Lawrence Timmons vs. Larry Foote...Hell, I like Foote...I think he's a solid player...but, an athletic Mack LB adds so much to the Steelers' 3-4 (Chad Brown back in the day...Kendrell Bell 7 years ago)...

    Improvement #3 - Rashard Mendenhall/Mewelde Moore vs. Najeh Davenport...Najeh isn't bad, but I firmly believe that Mendenhall is more talented...I also believe Moore to be a superior 3rd down RB...

    Improvement #4 - Limas Sweed vs. Nate Washington...I like Nate, too...but, if you can recall Sweed catching the go ahead TD vs. Ohio State in the Shoe, you are looking forward to what he will do in a black helmet...

    Improvement #5 - Matt Spaeth 2008 vs. Matt Spaeth 2007...do I need to go into detail here?

    Improvement #6 - Justin Hartwig vs. Sean Mahan...even with the loss of Faneca, this makes the line better than last year...

    This is not to mention improvements at punt returns nor recovery from injuries (Clark, A. Smith)...

    Of course, they have to play the games...I'm not counting chickens...

    But, I am optimistic...
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  2. #2
    Bob
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    I agree with everything you stated.

    IMO, it will boil down to 2 things.
    1. Can we protect Ben?
    2. Can we pressure the opposing teams QB?

    If we can even see a 20% increase in both, heck, even a 10% increase would be nice, we will go far...

    My 2 yen

  3. #3
    Hall of Famer Iron Shiek's Avatar
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    I'm right there with you brother. That is a great list.

    I think you have one omission, and its in my avatar: Coach has the 1st year under his belt. I think that is bigger than people think.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Shiek
    I'm right there with you brother. That is a great list.

    I think you have one omission, and its in my avatar: Coach has the 1st year under his belt. I think that is bigger than people think.
    Yeah, great list and great addition IS. No question Coach Tomlin will be more confident and comfortable than he was last year.

    I personally LOVE the tough schedule. Better to be battle tested going into the playoffs, than to come in soft and be one and done.

  5. #5
    Hall of Famer Iron Shiek's Avatar
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpmpit
    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Shiek
    I'm right there with you brother. That is a great list.

    I think you have one omission, and its in my avatar: Coach has the 1st year under his belt. I think that is bigger than people think.
    Yeah, great list and great addition IS. No question Coach Tomlin will be more confident and comfortable than he was last year.

    I personally LOVE the tough schedule. Better to be battle tested going into the playoffs, than to come in soft and be one and done.
    And honestly, when we are 10-5 going into that last weekend with the division wrapped up, lets not rest our starters dammit! It never seems to work out for those teams that do that!

    Yes, bring on that tough schedule. Steelers are tougher...
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  6. #6
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    [quote=Iron Shiek]
    Quote Originally Posted by rpmpit
    Quote Originally Posted by "Iron Shiek":24gzunpc
    I'm right there with you brother. That is a great list.

    I think you have one omission, and its in my avatar: Coach has the 1st year under his belt. I think that is bigger than people think.
    Yeah, great list and great addition IS. No question Coach Tomlin will be more confident and comfortable than he was last year.

    I personally LOVE the tough schedule. Better to be battle tested going into the playoffs, than to come in soft and be one and done.
    And honestly, when we are 10-5 going into that last weekend with the division wrapped up, lets not rest our starters dammit! It never seems to work out for those teams that do that!

    Yes, bring on that tough schedule. Steelers are tougher... [/quote:24gzunpc]

    Agreed!

  7. #7
    Hall of Famer Flasteel's Avatar
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    Great list and subsequent comments. I'd also like to add that some of our top players on the offensive side of the ball are still maturing and progressing in their game. Guys like Holmes, Miller, and especially that dude who wears number seven should all be even better than last year based on the elevation of their game and second season with Arians calling the shots (unfortunately).



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  8. #8
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob
    I agree with everything you stated.

    IMO, it will boil down to 2 things.
    1. Can we protect Ben?
    2. Can we pressure the opposing teams QB?

    If we can even see a 20% increase in both, heck, even a 10% increase would be nice, we will go far...

    My 2 yen
    Agree 100% with the two metrics you identify. Goals should be:

    <40 sacks allowed (I think we will always be around 40 because of how Ben holds onto the ball to extend plays)

    >45 sacks against opposing QBs. If we get >50 we will win 12 games. Nothing changes a game more than a sack.

    Here is another that I'll throw in >15 INTs. INTs is one area we need to improve in. The key is keeping Troy back in civerage and not wrestling 300lb linemen.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  9. #9
    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick
    After going 10-6 last year, I really don't see any reason why the Steelers can't improve...regardless of strength of schedule...

    Of course, you never know what will happen when they play the games, but...

    Improvement #1 - LaMarr Woodley vs. Clark Haggans...Woodley is the real deal, IMO...his presence will shore up the strong side of the defense considerably...

    Improvement #2 - Lawrence Timmons vs. Larry Foote...Hell, I like Foote...I think he's a solid player...but, an athletic Mack LB adds so much to the Steelers' 3-4 (Chad Brown back in the day...Kendrell Bell 7 years ago)...

    Improvement #3 - Rashard Mendenhall/Mewelde Moore vs. Najeh Davenport...Najeh isn't bad, but I firmly believe that Mendenhall is more talented...I also believe Moore to be a superior 3rd down RB...

    Improvement #4 - Limas Sweed vs. Nate Washington...I like Nate, too...but, if you can recall Sweed catching the go ahead TD vs. Ohio State in the Shoe, you are looking forward to what he will do in a black helmet...

    Improvement #5 - Matt Spaeth 2008 vs. Matt Spaeth 2007...do I need to go into detail here?

    Improvement #6 - Justin Hartwig vs. Sean Mahan...even with the loss of Faneca, this makes the line better than last year...

    This is not to mention improvements at punt returns nor recovery from injuries (Clark, A. Smith)...

    Of course, they have to play the games...I'm not counting chickens...

    But, I am optimistic...
    Just to keep an even handedness about this....

    Regression #1 - Alan Faneca gone and replacement will come out of camp

    Regression #2 - Return Units, Moore has done it, but, we're still lacking and unsure whether he's the answer or not.

    Regression #3 - Coverage Units, unless, some players really stand out in camp as ST demons, I can't see this getting better

    Regression #4 - Defensive Line, all are another year older after sub-par sesaons and injuries a year ago. Draft choices and depth haven't proven they're worth.

    Regression #5 - Overall line play (offensive), they have to be better as a unit, and many positions are still in flux.

    These may not actually be regressions, but areas of concern and uncertainty that could cause problems if they don't improve from last year.

    Pappy


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    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
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  10. #10
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Re: Contenders? Why The Hell Not?

    Contenders? Ben thinks so.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_574391.html

    Roethlisberger: Steelers can contend for Super Bowl
    By Scott Brown
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    Ben Roethlisberger is taking a break from football and going fishing. The Steelers quarterback made it clear, however, that no matter what he catches next week, his focus is ultimately on reeling in something much bigger.
    "Hopefully, we win the Super Bowl," Roethlisberger said Tuesday while working at the youth camp that bears his name at Mars High School's football field. "That's my goal this year and I think we've got the personnel for it."

    Roethlisberger may be the biggest reason for optimism in regard to the Steelers attaining that goal. He is coming off a breakout season, one in which he made the Pro Bowl and shattered a Steelers single-season record with 32 touchdown passes, and he should have better command of the offense Bruce Arians installed last year.

    Roethlisberger didn't just crack the ranks of elite quarterbacks last season. He also established himself the unquestioned leader of the offense in his fourth year as the Steelers' starting quarterback.


    story continues below



    "I think it's been a gradual process, but you could kind of see it coming along last year," Steelers tight end Heath Miller said. "He knew that this was his offense, and he knew that everyone in the huddle was looking into his eyes because they knew he was our leader."
    Roethlisberger, 26, admittedly has had to grow into that role -- he took over a veteran-laden offense when an injury thrust him into the starting lineup as a rookie in 2004 -- and he said he plans to be even more vocal this season since he is more comfortable with Arians' offense.

    "Because it was a new offense (last season) it's kind of hard to be too vocal as a leader when you're not sure what's going on all the time on offense," Roethlisberger said. "This year I think I'll be able to develop even more and hopefully just be able to continue to grow into my leadership role."

    Even though the Steelers are finished with offseason practices and don't report to training camp until July 27, Roethlisberger said he has been preparing in earnest for the upcoming season.

    The 6-foot-5, 241-pounder said he will return to Pittsburgh after his fishing trip and resume working out on a daily basis as well as chatting with Arians, the Steelers' offensive coordinator, regularly.

    As for what he can do following a season in which he finished second only to Tom Brady in passer rating (104.1) and also befuddled opponents with his Houdini-like ability to escape the pass rush, Roethlisberger said there is plenty.

    "I'm never going to be satisfied with where I'm at," Roethlisberger said. "I'm always going to try and get better, whether it's reading defenses better, knowing what's going on, on offense. There's a lot of little things I'd like to do to get better."

    And if Roethlisberger manages to get better, the Steelers only figure to do the same.

    The team won an AFC North title but faded in the latter part of the 2007 season and lost to Jacksonville, 29-27, in an AFC wild-card game.

    Despite the disappointing end to a season that started with such promise, Roethlisberger said he is confident the Steelers can contend for the Super Bowl this year.

    "I think we've got a lot of pieces," he said, "and we're a year better."

    Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

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