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Thread: Kovacevic: Chaotic Steelers a bloody mess

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    Kovacevic: Chaotic Steelers a bloody mess

    Kovacevic: Chaotic Steelers a bloody mess

    By Dejan Kovacevic

    Published: Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, 9:57 p.m.

    LONDON — This, as the natives here say, is a bloody mess.

    It's not just that your 2013 Steelers are 0-4 for the first time in 45 years, this after a far-worse-than-the-final 34-27 flogging from the Vikings on a historic and yet thoroughly forgettable Sunday at Wembley Stadium.


    It's not even that, in the general sense and with gusto, the Steelers really stink.


    It's that they're so much of a mess it's hard to know where to start. Or even what to make of their all-over-the-map reaction to it all.

    A kind person might suggest that's natural for a franchise that's won for so long.

    Anyone feeling kind?


    Anyone feeling, gee, they were due for a down year?


    For that matter, anyone feeling hope in any form for the foreseeable future?

    Let me state this bluntly: The very best thing that can happen to the Steelers the rest of this season is to stop this from spiraling out of control. To stop the bleeding from this bloody mess.

    And I'm not sure they can do even that little.


    “More than anything,” Mike Tomlin said at his news conference before the first question, “we'll focus on getting better. That's what's going to change the outcome of these football games. Those that don't ain't gonna be a part of us. I have great patience. As long as I see belief and effort and continued improvement. If I don't … they ain't gonna be a part of it. Whoever it may be. It's just that simple.”


    If only.


    Meaning, if only we'd see the first sign of accountability.


    If, for example, Dick LeBeau has Troy Polamalu sniffing up at the line every other snap, and the secondary has been burned for huge plays while not appearing to have, you know, safeties playing safety, might Polamalu drop back?


    I asked Tomlin: “No, because it's about missed tackles.”


    I asked Troy: “Our No. 1 goal is to stop the run.”


    OK, hey, just stick with that, then. Because the rest of us must be blinded by all the times the Vikings threw deep against isolated corners.

    If, for another example, Mike Adams can't even serve as a turnstile against the Vikings' terrific Jared Allen — a turnstile at least slows you down — um, why did he play?

    I asked Tomlin: “You know, when Ramon Foster went down, Kelvin Beachum was playing guard. In terms of the people that we intended to be prepared to play this week, it's only a certain number who can. Anybody else we'd have put in would have been below the line in terms of preparation.”


    Say what?


    That's a clear reference to Guy Whimper, the backup tackle who by logical extension must be the world's worst at what he does to live below the Adams line.


    But why fuss over Whimper's first-team reps when Adams was flat-out giving up on plays?


    He occasionally conceded a path to the franchise's $102 million quarterback!


    On the game's penultimate snap, with Allen his obvious assignment just to his left, Adams went to his right to double-team some other guy!

    Never mind accountability for a disintegrating second-round bust. How about actual in-game accountability?
    None of this is to suggest that Polamalu's positioning or Adams' Gandhi-style blocking or the potential Whimper cavalry were singularly decisive. I'm just citing examples. And I could cite a ton more, not least of which is the head coach's laughable plan to fly 3,761 miles a couple days before kickoff.

    The accountability for that when Tomlin was asked if the itinerary was a factor?


    “Nope.”


    It was a weird night. Off the field, too.


    Tomlin was all over the locker room even after media were allowed, talking to players, asking questions, shaking hands. Never seen that.


    Moreover, I'd never heard Roethlisberger say things like this: “Right now, you could say we're the worst team in the league. That hurts, but …”

    Or this, when I asked if he shares Tomlin's stance that jobs should be lost: “Yeah, and I'd start with me.”

    But I have heard Ryan Clark say things like this, which he reiterated: “It'll look like we're a bad football team. We don't believe that.”


    Which is it?


    The hard fact is, this team hasn't got a clue right now.


    The offense looks like kindergarten chaos, with Roethlisberger either winging it or running for his life or both while the opponent somehow preps emergency quarterback Matt Cassel with a slick set of quick-release options.


    The zero-takeaway, zero-contact defense has become such an embarrassment that Adrian Peterson waltzed through a hole the size of the English Channel for a TD not once but twice, something unthinkable for this group for the better part of a decade.


    Jobs? Yeah, let's talk jobs. But let's not limit the topic.

    Playoffs? You're talking about playoffs?

  2. #2
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    I used to love DK's articles. His coverage of the Penguins and Steelers was really first rate. He had inside information AND insightful comments. Imagine that!? But, lately, he sounds like another fed up fan. He looks for contradictions in what the Steelers say to the media about the problems with the team. This seems silly. First, why, in this great world, would the players and coaches be totally forthcoming with the media. You don't hang individual teammates out to dry like that. You tow the company line (Clark) or take the accountability yourself (like Ben). Second, there are many scenarios in which the FO must play its cards close to its vest. Their true assessments of players is usually one of them. If he expects the coach to plainly point to the problems, he is likely dreaming. This article uses words from men who are obviously biting their tongues. Their comments do not necessarily represent what they know or think. Come on Dejan, you are better than this crap.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

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    I don't know blood. I think he spoke truth. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

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    I think he nails it. And I also think he is a bit of a fed up fan. Even if you've been covering this team for 40 years; you've never seen a start to a season like this one. And while there is certainly an issue with talent, the decision making by the coaches/FO has been curious at best, downright bizarre and mind-boggling most of the other times.

    The Steelers were so ill prepared for this game they let a 2nd string QB who' not played in a game this season carve them up with ease. The admitted they were fully committed to stopping the run and AP ran 140 (embarrassing). They had a starting let tackle on the field who flat out wasn't even trying - and they refused to get him help. They dress a player who by their own admission is so downright awful there's no way he will ever get on the field (while not dressing a guy such as Moye who could be a red zone weapon - one we've seen be successful - this year!!).

    When Kovacevik says, "this team doesn't have a clue right now"; he's right. It's an objective view and a point that could be made by any football reporter/analyst in the country that's watched this team flail.

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    I never asserted any conclusions were necessarily wrong. I only think that trying to take sound bites from post game interviews as honest assessments of the team is weak. And, finding contradictions in post game responses is easy (even for a winning team). It is weak writing and logic.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

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    I think the article was thoughtfully written and hit the pig right square on the nose.

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    I enjoy his writing. He sure can be definitive, and also creative. I thought this article was interesting and spoke some hard truth. I also enjoy Collier's writing over at the PG.



    Narcissistic injury is the term used for any threat to a narcissist's outsized ego or self-esteem.



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    Did it ever occur to anyone that Tomlin's statement about Whimper not capable of playing is actually an indirect shot at Colbert for signing such a dogmeat player? Something like "you can sign all the crap players you want, but I won't put them on the field". Sortof a moneyball situation. I sorely hope this isn't the case because that would mean the org has become truly dysfunctional at the highest levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    Did it ever occur to anyone that Tomlin's statement about Whimper not capable of playing is actually an indirect shot at Colbert for signing such a dogmeat player? Something like "you can sign all the crap players you want, but I won't put them on the field". Sortof a moneyball situation. I sorely hope this isn't the case because that would mean the org has become truly dysfunctional at the highest levels.
    Possibly, but then why didn't he (the coach) just cut him? After all, I'm sure none of Whimper's deal had guaranteed money. So his contract wouldn't prevent him from cutting bait.

    I DO agree though, that it is an indictment on the coaching staff, that he (Whimper) was deemed "below the line"... when Adams (and Gilbert, for that matter) has looked as terrible as he has all year.

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    I think its becoming apparent what a huge blow losing Pouncey was. But I would not say we have been rudderless since that event. We have been making moves to address our deficiencies on the OL and Im pretty happy with the 3 players we have been able to scrounge up. The bigger issue is why did we come into the season with only 6 viable NFL players up front? this ignores any potential contingency like season ending injury or someone not panning out. We had all off season to acquire and train a solid group of linemen that included some depth. Now with a little luck, Brown will work out, Adams just had a really bad game, and we could be up to 7 or 8 serviceable 'above the line' players.
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