LeBeau, Lawrence, and Larry...
Yes, I was thoroughly disgusted with the play of the O-Line and the work of our OC, and believe we will definitely have our hands full several more times this season. But as the hours tick by, it becomes more of a time of "evaluation" instead of "emotion", at least for me... As one poster has said; "One game, move on". ... While I try to subscribe to that attitude, it is hard to overlook the glaring problems we have, and will be faced with again on other Sundays. IMO, the defense is shaping-up as another stellar unit... However, it's almost too hard to believe that we are now on a pace for 64 sacks on Ben...
Either way, I always look forward to Jim Wexells' comments after the game in the Steeler Digest. Here they are for this weeks' debacle...
...just my opinion
by Jim Wexell
From the notebook of a sportswriter who wonders how such a bright, sunny day could turn so bleak:
• If you hurry, you can still read my story last Friday about how the Steelers’ offensive line was beginning to jell.
• Going once, twice.
• If the Eagles could allow 41 points only six days before allowing the Steelers six, it’s possible the Steelers could turn those nine sacks allowed into one against the Ravens, isn’t it?
• Well, let’s look at the last time the Steelers’ offense performed this poorly. On Sunday, the Steelers gained 180 yards total offense, rushed for 33, and were sacked nine times. On Nov. 27, 2006 at Baltimore, they gained 172, rushed for 21 and were sacked nine times. They came back the next week and beat Tampa Bay at home, 20-3, and allowed one sack.
• I must note that when it rains on the road, it pours.
• Those Steelers offensive linemen were unflappable Sunday. Yes, that’s the word when a lineman allows his man to run right past him as he looks at the next wave of rushers and says, “Oh, no, not you, too.” Yes, unflappable.
• Bruce Arians should motion all of his tight ends behind the middle of the offensive line and let the quarterback try to stick his only receiver with a pass in quadruple coverage.
• The key to this formation is to make sure this “second-level” offensive line allows the snap to get through to the quarterback.
• Amazing that the game was still close, and that’s all on the Steelers’ defense.
• Since the score was so tight throughout, why not be more patient with the running game? No, it wasn’t working, and didn’t have much hope of working, but we’ve been surprised in the past by a patient coach determined to get his back untracked.
• This may expose my lack of knowledge in the player personnel field, but who’s Juqua Parker? He led the Eagles with 2.5 sacks and I don’t remember the CBS crew saying his name. Upon further research, the guy’s been around eight years and now has 18.5 sacks. I thought Omar Gaither and Trent Cole had all the sacks.
• Still want to extend the contracts of those soon-to-be free agents?
• Yes, this is an overreaction to the offensive line, but some of it just came off as lack of effort.
• Granted, this Eagles team cut a defensive lineman who’s now playing that position for the world champion and DL-rich New York Giants, so there’s some talent there. In fact, that was the most ferocious pass rush I’ve seen since the 1985 Super Bowl.
• Does Juqua Parker have a little brother?
• The Steelers should have kicked the field goal on their last fourth down and gone for the onside kick/Hail Mary combo later. I presume that’s what Mike Tomlin was telling his special teams coaches on the sideline.
• Just to temper some of my criticism of the O-line: Ben still holds the ball too long, the receivers don’t flash open consistently, and the playcaller isn’t adapting to either problem very well.
• After the players finish reading this column, they should put their blinders back on, because this week’s not going to be pretty for them.
• Unless you play defense. That was another terrific Dick LeBeau game against a West Coast offense. Under LeBeau, since he returned in 2004, the Steelers have allowed four touchdowns to West Coast offenses.
• Amazing that the Eagles couldn’t score more points with a defense that routinely set the table for a red-hot quarterback.
• Bryant McFadden is playing shutdowncaliber cornerback, but the surprise has been William Gay. He’s covering and hitting like he’s been playing in this league for five years.
• As much as I want to see Lawrence Timmons’ speed on the field, Larry Foote still makes plays. LeBeau is working the situation deftly.
• Had it not been for three perfect punts down the stretch by the Eagles, the Steelers would have pulled this game out. Unbelievable.
• Again, this deflated feeling rightly falls under the category of overreaction, particularly since the Steelers could have stolen this road game, but my instincts tell me this offensive line will continue to be abused by quality teams until drastic measures are taken.
• So Joe Flacco finally gets to sample Heinz Field. May he never get the taste out of his mouth.
Hall of Famer
Re: LeBeau, Lawrence, and Larry...
Jim Wexell seems to think that Bruce is on the proverbial hot seat. I hope he's right.