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Thread: It's Time To Worry About The Line

  1. #1
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    It's Time To Worry About The Line

    It's time to worry about line
    by Dale Lolley

    The announcer on the stadium's public address system, a feature added just for Wednesday's practice, called the exercise a "passing under pressure drill."

    The Steelers' quarterbacks better get used to.

    In 17 games last season, including the playoff loss to Jacksonville, Pittsburgh quarterbacks were sacked 53 times.

    Not all of those sacks can be blamed on the offensive line. Judging from the first week of training camp, it doesn't look like things are going to get better in 2008.

    A casual observer would say either the Steelers defense is really good, or the offensive line just stinks.

    Don't get me wrong, Pittsburgh's defense is good. It ranked first in the NFL in yards allowed in 2007.

    But let's not confuse the facts. The offensive line is getting manhandled on most plays at Saint Vincent College.

    When the first-team offense has gone up against the first-team defense on running plays, most of them end with a pile of bodies in the backfield or, at best, at the line of scrimmage. When the quarterbacks have dropped back to pass, they have been sitting ducks. Fortunately, hitting the quarterback is not allowed in practice.

    It hasn't been a pretty sight.

    To be fair, Chris Kemoeatu, who is expected to replace Alan Faneca at left guard, and Marvel Smith, the starting left tackle, have each missed time because of injuries. Kemoeatu has a triceps strain and has yet to practice, and Smith sat out Wednesday with a sore groin.

    It's not just that the line is looking outclassed in those team blocking drills. The individual work has not been very good.

    Second-year man LaMarr Woodley, who will start at left outside linebacker in place of Clark Haggans, has looked unblockable, regardless of who is lined up against him in one-on-one drills. James Harrison, the Pro Bowl right outside backer, has looked just as good.

    The Steelers don't seemed concerned. Maybe it's because Kemoeatu hasn't practiced. But it's not realistic to believe he'll be as good as Faneca.

    Even with Faneca, last year's line was a mess.

    The battle at center between incumbent starter Sean Mahan and newcomer Justin Hartwig hasn't exactly been all that heated.

    Mahan, who played below expectations last season, has taken the majority of the snaps with the first-team offense. Hartwig has seen less time than expected. Neither appears to be a long-term answer at the position.

    Maybe it's too early in training camp to worry about such things. Maybe the Steelers have some grand scheme to improve Roethlisberger's protection.

    Maybe that will include Roethlisberger calling his own plays and running the no-huddle to keep opposing defenses from zeroing in on him.

    "In high school and college, when things are going faster and I'm calling stuff, it always seems to work out better for me," Roethlisberger said.

    Also, if you don't allow the defense to huddle, those players will probably get tired of chasing him at some point.

  2. #2
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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line

    great, looks like my worst fears for 2008 will come true.

  3. #3
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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line

    Well, that can't be good. Hopefully, this is just a passing thing. But thanks Colbert, Tomlin, and Cowher for letting the LoS deteriorate to this.

    And yet, we still have idiots like DVSONE blaming Parker for the running game's problems, or other toolbags claiming the reason for the sacks is that Big Ben holds on too long. Please.

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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line

    Please bring in Bentley and at least give him a workout. Cripes, this is ridiculous. It is time to protect that 100 million dollar investment.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

  5. #5
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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line

    Oh Boy!
    I guess since it's going on two years after these needs should have been addressed, NOW it's time to worry.

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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line

    I think everyone has a concern about the O-line, but this kind of update just gives me a sick feeling in my stomach... Hey, maybe with some MORE time to gel, they will get it together, who knows... And you gotta admit, going against our D is not the easiest thing to do... But I still just don't like the sounds of this.

  7. #7
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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line



    I hope that our defense is that good...we could be in for a long season or a lot of max protect which will reduce our offensive output...

    Man this sucks.
    ours is not to wonder why just invert and multiply...

  8. #8
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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelTorch
    Hopefully, this is just a passing thing.
    Of course it is just a passing thing. The line seems to do reasonably well blocking for that running thing.

  9. #9
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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line

    It's early, the defense always progresses faster than the offense in TC. Now if this is continuing into the last preseason game, then I will worry. We all know that this line is going to take some time coming together. It would be nice to see Bentley, but I'm not holding my breath. Ill wait and see what the product is against Houston and then start to make my judgements!
    <a href=http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6946&dateline=1338146203 target=_blank>http://www.planetsteelers.com/forums...ine=1338146203</a>

  10. #10
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    Re: It's Time To Worry About The Line

    Quote Originally Posted by AkronSteel
    We all know that this line is going to take some time coming together.
    Very true.... But we said that ALL YEAR last season... First, they need to decide on a center and give it to Hartwig... Second, they need to let them get alot of work in together as a complete unit... But either way, there is not a whole lot different from last season, which is what has me somewhat concerned.

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