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Thread: Battered Steelers will try to regroup for another run

  1. #1
    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Battered Steelers will try to regroup for another run

    Sunday nightís 29-23 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC wild-card playoffs left the Pittsburgh Steelers stunned and devastated. But amid the sudden end to their 2011 was a stark reality: They probably didnít have enough good, healthy bodies to make it much further, anyway.

    Already without center Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) and running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee), the Steelers lost defensive end Brett Keisel (groin) and nose tackle Casey Hampton (knee) to first-half injuries against the Broncos.

    And quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hasnít been full strength since spraining his left ankle in Week 14 against the Browns.

    Roethlisberger seemed to understand that the Steelers had been doing it with mirrors for a few weeks, barely getting by the Browns in two late-season meetings, and overcoming a 20-6 deficit to force overtime against the 8-8 Broncos, who had lost their final three regular-season games.

    Roethlisberger ignored his own injury on a few late runs, and said afterward he was far from the only Steeler playing with pain.

    "Adrenaline does some crazy things," Roethlisberger said. "You want to be there for your guys. You want to show them itís about heart, and thatís what we did. We had a lot of guys do that (Sunday). Itís unfortunate we came out on the wrong end."

    Coach Mike Tomlinís mantra is that the Steelers donít make excuses for injuries.

    The next man steps in and the goals remain the same. But the pile of battered bodies reached the point by halftime Sunday night that the Steelers were playing a defensive line of Ziggy Hood, second-year reserve Steve McLendon and rookie Cameron Heyward against the best running quarterback in the league.

    No Steeler pointed directly at injuries as the reason for Sundayís loss. Maybe thatís because they know too well how dangerous a wounded team can be. The Green Bay Packers, with 15 players on injured reserve last season, reached the Super Bowl and beat the Steelers despite losing All-Pro cornerback Charles Woodson and starting receiver Donald Driver to first-half injuries at Cowboys Stadium.

    In addition to the rest, safety Ryan Clark missed Sundayís game not because of injury, but because of a sickle-cell trait that Tomlin felt jeopardized his health by playing in Denverís high altitude.

    "Itís a different feeling," Clark said of the Steelersí first-round exit, their second in five seasons under Tomlin. "Definitely a feeling of incompletion and dissatisfaction. I feel like we left a lot (unfinished) this year as a whole."

    As long as Roethlisberger is around, the window for championships will remain open for the Steelers, but this seasonís injuries seem to have robbed them of a good chance at another title.

    It remains to be
    seen whether Mendenhall can make it back by the beginning of training camp after whatís expected to be major offseason surgery.

    Backup Isaac Redman rushed for 127 yards Sunday after gaining 92 against the Browns in Week 17, but heís not considered an every-down back because he lacks top-end speed.

    Two other veterans of multiple Super Bowl runs -- receiver Hines Ward and defensive end Aaron Smith -- face uncertain futures.

    Asked if the current group of Steelers has another championship in them, safety Troy Polamalu paused before answering.



    "God willing," Polamalu said. "Itís tough to say right now, but weíre very talented and we have a lot of young guys, so we have a good mix of experience. Time will tell."

    It became clear a few weeks ago that this might not be the season the Steelers won the seventh Super Bowl title theyíve sought since beating the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa at the end of the 2008 season.

    The team that frustrated Tom Brady [stats] and stuffed the Patriots [team stats]í offense in a 25-17 victory in Week 8 at Heinz Field was a shell of itself by Sunday. Even if they had managed to hold off the Broncos, the Steelers seemed to be in no position to do that again Saturday night in Foxborough.

    Still, asked Sunday night if things might have been different had the Steelers not seen so many players go down, Tomlin was unwavering.

    "You know better than that," Tomlin said. "We donít live in that world."

    http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/foot ... ion=recent

  2. #2
    Hall of Famer ikestops85's Avatar
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    Re: Battered Steelers will try to regroup for another run

    I don't understand why Redman isn't considered an every down back. He was one of the few steelers who played an excellent game. He blocks well, he can catch a pass out of the backfield, and he runs harder than anybody else that we have. I think they better start looking at his results instead of his measureables.
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    Re: Battered Steelers will try to regroup for another run

    While you can point to the defense as the number one reason for our loss in Denver, I don't think the defense is the path to our next ring.

    The league is all about offense now. We have weapons on offense to be sure. IMO, the Stairway to Seven is all about getting number 7 the ability to score a lot of points. He needs protection, he needs receivers that are hungry for the ball like Brown is and he needs creative plays from a creative coordinator.

    Ben constantly running for his life and receivers dropping balls or not going after balls isn't good enough. Yeah, Ben can make big plays out of nothing but too much of that and he ends up with an injury that takes him out of that kind of play anyway.

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    Hall of Famer Mister Pittsburgh's Avatar
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    Re: Battered Steelers will try to regroup for another run

    Quote Originally Posted by Eich
    He needs protection, he needs receivers that are hungry for the ball like Brown is and he needs creative plays from a creative coordinator.

    Ben constantly running for his life and receivers dropping balls or not going after balls isn't good enough. Yeah, Ben can make big plays out of nothing but too much of that and he ends up with an injury that takes him out of that kind of play anyway.
    Ben is Ben's worst enemy half the time. But don't get me wrong, Arians does him no favors other then create plays from bad formations and to coddle Ben.
    @_Hellgrammite

  5. #5

    Re: Battered Steelers will try to regroup for another run

    If Arians retires, I would like to see Fichtner get the nod at OC...he brings the continuity that Tomlin loves, has a great understanding of the passing game and has experience as both WR coach and QB coach of the Steelers...

    As his replacement, I would want someone who would coach the p!ss out of Roethlisberger, just like the QB coach he hired to help him work on his mechanics during the 4 game suspension.

    Roethlisberger would be sad to see Arians go, but he couldn't complain too much if Fichtner was the guy...
    I want gay married couples to be able to protect their marijuana plants with guns.

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    Re: Battered Steelers will try to regroup for another run

    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick
    If Arians retires, I would like to see Fichtner get the nod at OC...he brings the continuity that Tomlin loves, has a great understanding of the passing game and has experience as both WR coach and QB coach of the Steelers...

    As his replacement, I would want someone who would coach the p!ss out of Roethlisberger, just like the QB coach he hired to help him work on his mechanics during the 4 game suspension.

    Roethlisberger would be sad to see Arians go, but he couldn't complain too much if Fichtner was the guy...
    Why are we all so worried about how Ben will feel if BA retires or is even fired? Who cares how he feels!!! He is still getting paid to do a job. And paid alot of money. Brady has been through how many OC in the last 8 years? What like 4 OC. You see him crying, moaning and sulking? No, he just takes what or who is given to him and does his job. And does it well.
    Ben needs to "grow up". Quit him like a baby...

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    Re: Battered Steelers will try to regroup for another run

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh
    Quote Originally Posted by Eich
    He needs protection, he needs receivers that are hungry for the ball like Brown is and he needs creative plays from a creative coordinator.

    Ben constantly running for his life and receivers dropping balls or not going after balls isn't good enough. Yeah, Ben can make big plays out of nothing but too much of that and he ends up with an injury that takes him out of that kind of play anyway.
    Ben is Ben's worst enemy half the time. But don't get me wrong, Arians does him no favors other then create plays from bad formations and to coddle Ben.
    Agreed. I'm ready for new ideas on offense. Arians does coddle Ben and I think they're both too comfortable with each other to take Ben's game to the next level. We need a coordinator that knows how to play to Ben's strengths and can create gameplans that keep the defense guessing.

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