Troy's the best player we have on our defense...when we lose him, the rest of the defense is "depressed" because the just lost the best playmaker on D.
To draw another parallel, Ben's the best player on our offense...when we lose him, the rest of the offense would be similarly "depressed" because the just lost the best playmaker on O.
Seems to me that Ben gets injured multiple times every year. A thumb here, a toe there, a hyperextended knee...you name the body part, and Ben's probably injured it at some point. Ben's only played in all 16 games one time in 8 seasons, while Troy has played in all 16 games 5 times in 9 seasons. We won 3 out of the last 4 games without Troy...when Ben was suspended, we also won 3 of the last 4 games without him. Should we just say " F Ben. He can't stay healthy thus he is a detriment to the team." Of course, not...that's ridiculous. As ridiculous as a Steeler fan saying "F Troy."
Final Ruthless Mock:
1.22 CB Marcus Peters, 6'0" 197 lbs., Washington
2.56 FS Damarious Randall, 5'11" 196 lbs., Arizona State
3.87 TE Clive Walford, 6'4" 251 lbs., Miami
4.121 DE Henry Anderson, 6'6" 294 lbs., Stanford
5.160 WR Titus Davis, 6'1" 196 lbs., Central Michigan
6.199 OLB Kyle Emanuel, 6'3" 255 lbs., North Dakota State
6.212c OLB Max Valles, 6'5" 251 lbs., Virginia
7.239 RB John Crockett, 6'0" 217 lbs., North Dakota State
Steelers secondary thriving without Polamalu
Posted: Wednesday November 7, 2012
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Will Allen knows he's not Troy Polamalu. He also knows the Pittsburgh Steelers don't need him to be for the defense to play with its typical cruel efficiency.
The checklist for Allen on a given week never changes: Run to the ball. Don't get beat deep. Go where you're supposed to. When appropriate, hit somebody.
Allen has no delusions about what will happen whenever Polamalu's right calf finally heals. He'll go back to the bench and watch one of the best safeties of his generation go to work.
Until then - and Polamalu has already been ruled out for Monday night's home game against Kansas City - Allen will do his best to be Polamalu-lite.
"I'm just doing my job,'' Allen said Wednesday. "I just want to be on my Ps and Qs and I want to be effective and have urgency. When I'm reading my keys and I'm helping this team, that's the main thing that I care about.''
The Steelers turned to Ryan Mundy to fill in when Polamalu initially hurt his calf in the season opener against Denver. Mundy, however, struggled in pass coverage and earned a couple of costly penalties at crucial times, most notably an unnecessary roughness penalty against Oakland that send wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey to the hospital.
Polamalu returned against Philadelphia on Oct. 7, though his comeback lasted all of a quarter before he reinjured the calf, this time more seriously than the first. He hasn't stepped on the field since, though the secondary hasn't missed a beat.
Pittsburgh (5-3) leads the NFL in pass defense at the midway point, allowing 174 yards per game. That number is dropping every week and took a big plunge when Allen and company shut down Eli Manning and the defending Super Bowl-champion New York Giants last week in a season-turning 24-20 victory.
Manning completed 10 of 25 passes for 125 yards and an interception as the Steelers frustrated one of the league's most dynamic passing attacks.
Then again, it's becoming a habit.
Pittsburgh has beaten Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III and Manning during its three-game winning streak, three very different quarterbacks with three very different ways of going about their business.
None of them were successful against a defense that has rediscovered its bite even without Polamalu and his flowing locks freelancing all over the field. The only place where the Steelers have really missed Polamalu is in splash plays.
There are few - if any - better than Polamalu when it comes to instinctively creating turnovers. With the four-time All-Pro standing on the sideline for the last month in grey sweats, Pittsburgh has taken the ball away just three times.
The Steelers hope those numbers will pick up against the woeful Chiefs (1-7), whose minus-21 turnover differential is by far the NFL's worst. Pittsburgh just doesn't need to get its hands on the ball to survive, though. The defense is just fine sending the opposition trudging off the field to punt, something happening with increasing regularity.
Pittsburgh is allowing teams to convert just 30 percent (11 of 37) of third down opportunities during its winning streak thanks to better execution on first and second down, and a sudden burst of chemistry in the secondary.
"We're starting to put the pieces together for where we need to be,'' cornerback Keenan Lewis said. "The (defensive) line, they're getting to the quarterback much faster. The linebackers are playing out of control. It's helping us out in the back end.''
Then again, Lewis and fellow corner Ike Taylor are doing their part. Victimized early in the season - particularly in road losses to Oakland and Tennessee - the duo have shut down the likes of A.J. Green and Victor Cruz in recent weeks.
Lewis sent a message on the first play against New York, swatting down a deep ball from Manning to Hakeem Nicks. It was Lewis' way of saying he wasn't going to be intimidated by the surroundings or the circumstances.
"I just wanted to let `em know that they can't catch us off guard,'' Lewis said.
The Giants never did. Taylor collected his first interception of the year late in the first quarter with a spectacular diving grab. It was a difficult catch, one that allowed him to laugh about the easy one that clanged off his chest in the end zone later in the game.
"I'm inconsistent,'' Taylor said. "You know my hands (are) suspect, that's just how it is.''
Taylor knows he can afford to joke about it when the Steelers win but he's only too aware the drop extended a New York drive the Giants eventually scored on.
"Is it something we can work on? Yes,'' Taylor said. "Does it help your team out? Yes, because it gives the offense more opportunities to make plays.''
Just don't expect the defense to take any unnecessary chances to make them happen. That's what Polamalu does. Until his familiar No. 43 is back in the lineup, Allen and the rest of his buddies are fine just sticking to the fundamentals.
Besides, in a way, Allen notes the only difference between a punt and a turnover is who gets to run around with the ball.
"The more and more we play together, the better we're getting,'' Allen said. "We've just got to continue executing and having a sense of urgency and attention to detail and playing fast and playing hard and I think that'll take us a long way.''
NOTES: The Steelers signed WR Derek Moye and put him on the practice squad while cutting TE Jamie McCoy from the practice squad. ... Pittsburgh is 3-0 at home.
I still don't understand how REDMAN is not the clear starter for this game. WTF!
I say as long as we are winning without Troy then allow Troy to sit the bench to heal even further. The guy is older and needs the time to not only heal but to regenerate. Why not make sure he is 110% recoverd instead of like last time. The longer he sits the better chacne we have him for the pllayoff portion of the season. I could understand if ALlen was as ba as Mundy but, that is not the case.
As for Gilbert, he can collect pine until the cows come home. Adams seems to do well enough or just as well and he doesn't seem to get hurt as much like Gilbert. If DeCastro got the okay to start I would have him collecting pine too at ths time but, with some spot playing to allow him to get the game time speed and practice in. In other words, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I do want Mendenhall to be the starter because I still believe he has more to offer. Now, if Mendenhall shows he can't move the chains then, set his butt down and bring in Dwyer.
Haley knows how to balance our attack to exploit the specific weaknesses of a game day opponent. It's a joy to see how he doesn't just throw a template out there no matter who we play and he actually tailors our attack for specific opponents.
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!
I know Gilbert has become this year's favorite "bashing boy" but he is the same person who started 13 games for us last year, did a solid job and was our Rookie of the Year. I would never discount him as part of the OL equation. Get him through this rough spot he is going through by coaching him up and he will be a future asset.
So far, in-between injuries, our top three RBs have produced:
Dwyer - Two 100 yard rushing games
Redman - One 100 yard rushing game, one 100 yard receiving game, 2 TDs
Mendenhall - One game with 100 scrimmage yards, 1 TD
In this offense, a variety of backs can produce at a good level...
That production all started after Haley reportedly simplified the run plays in the playbook and emphasized what we do best.
That is what a great coordinator should do. Adjust the scheme for the players not put a beloved template out there and force the players into it.