About what we expected......
I thought I'd take a day to digest todays events and then put the season in perspective - but in reality, I think how this season unfolded was well predicted by many. The Steelers limped through the last 8 games of last year and we really saw no significant roster moves in the offseason. The draft was reasonable but nothing earth shattering. I think most of us had the steelers around 8-8, 9-7 at best.
The truth of the matter however is that those of us that predicted a mediocre season, were wrong. Yes, the steelers finished 8-8 - but those of us that thought that way didn't foresee our starting center and starting middle linebacker go down in quarter 1, week 1. We didn't see the plethora (and no, I don't have a plethora of pinatas) of O-line injuries and we didn't see just how unprepared the steelers were for those possibilities.
this mediocre season and failure to make the playoffs rests largely on the coaches and the front office.
yes, the players have to play - but seriously, our 0-4 start was due in large part to the juggling offensive line and the inability of the defense to get pressure, sacks and thus turnovers.
going into game 1 with beachem as your backup center where by all reports he had only a few days of reps in practice is insane. That cost us week 1.
bringing in an off the street replacement and continuing to juggle the o-line while they all try to learn this zone blocking scheme cost us the next 3.
sure, the team stayed together and the coaches did a nice job of patiently working to overcome the injuries - but going into the season with glaring holes behind the starting 22 is the ultimate culprit.
yes, we can point to oakland and miami and say we should have won those games.
but in the league of parity and where 9 wins maybe gets you in - our poor preparation essentially put the steelers in a 12 game season and no matter how good you are, it's extremely difficult to go 9-3. That's why when teams start 0-2 analysts are already saying how tough it will be to make the playoffs. you are going to lose games you should win, and win some you should lose - and it's critical to get wins early to take the pressure off in december.
so we finished the second half of the season 6-2. ok, that's nice. it's certainly better than how we finished last year.
the question is, is that the best this team can do? is this a team that's on the upswing or hanging on by it's fingernails?
certainly there will be no coaching changes. lebeau stays as long as he wants, and haley earned himself another year. Ben played the entire season, stayed healthy, set records and I think the offense is certainly in the top 15. The defense must be our focus. and of that defense it has to be the secondary that has the priority. the offense simply needs to get healthy and I strongly recommend every offensive lineman takes some snaps at center. the way we go through them, it's likely every one of them will have to sub in at some point in the middle. In fact, the steelers should invite about 10 more o-linemen to camp than they normally do. That we we can spend some time teaching them the offense so when they get that call in sept, oct, nov they'll at least know SOME of the playbook.
this is two seasons in a row of 8-8. I hope tomlin realizes there is a vast difference between missing the playoffs two years in a row and missing them THREE in a row.
I hope every coach and the front office has an ulcer over what could have been with this season if they had developed a reasonable and viable plan for injuries to pouncey and foote.
It was an interesting year and today was probably the most exciting football day we've had in quite awhile.
But we're done and I hate moral victories. I much prefer Lombardi's.
Kudo's to the players for making it interesting. Many of us hit october and thought it was over - yet they were in it until 7:45pm in week 17. That's the real crime of the season. As good as they played and as much as they turned it around - the season really WAS over on Oct 1. Teams don't start 0-4 and make the dance. We saw why today. The pre-season is where players learn the schemes and the playbook. pathetic that we had to use the first half of the season to develop and teach what should have already been taught. That's what frustrates me the most. I predicted 8-8 because I didn't think we had the talent to win more. The truth is that I was wrong. We DID have the talent. It's just that it got hurt and what we were missing was the DEPTH to overcome those injuries.
This is going to be a long off season.
You know what is really interesting about the game of NFL football... it is literally a game of inches.
If the refs make the legal and completely visible call on the Succop miss, we probably get a playoff berth.
If Antonio Brown squeezes his foot in on that run vs. MIA, we maybe control our own destiny, in that last game.
If Lawrence Timmons doesn't suck in as much as he did, Pryor never finds that crease, and never busts a 90-yard run that he's never had again and never will.
Of course, you could correctly point out that we were probably beneficiaries at some point, of inches too. But the point is, how razor-thin the margin really is in this league. It is amazing when you stop and think about it.
Originally Posted by Shoe
yep, that's what makes the game great!
and missing those inches has what made the season so frustrating. if we had made the dance, we were coming in hot. the bungles are thrilled we're sitting at home.
The way I see it, over the last two seasons, we had a 12-4 season with a 4-12 season jammed in the middle...
Catastrophic injuries derailed the last half of '12 and the first half of '13...much of an NFL season relies on good health and good fortune...for a year long stretch, we had a dearth of both...
I want the Steelers to cut ties with or renegotiate with certain vets (cutting Levi Brown and extending Polamalu and Miller for a few years probably gets us under the salary cap...before any additional cuts or extensions) and have another good draft...then, we just have to let the chips fall...
While it is indeed a game of inches...the early 2013 Steelers were a very bad football team. The late 2013 Steelers were a good football team...playoff worthy IMO. If the Steelers would have played like the late team all year...the inches wouldn't have mattered.
I don't think it'll be a long off season at all. The team finished with a 3 game win streak and 6-2 in the 2nd half. Last year at this time, they were playing horribly and it crept in to the preseason and the 1st half of this year. We're on the way up now.. Sure we will lose some vets along the way, but the offense is looking improved, and lets not forget that we lost Heath at the end lst year, and he's now healthy going in to the off season. I'm looking for a Super Bowl run in 2014...!
6- Time Super Bowl Champions......
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII
2012 MNF Executive Champion
Let me begin by saying I wanted the Steelers to make the playoffs. I hate it when the postseason comes around and my team is completely out of it.
However, the silver lining in missing the dance? Perhaps the team is more likely to make some needed changes.
After allowing the dust of the season to settle, here are my suggestions:
--Clark needs to be gone. Thanks for your contributions, but go on to your life's work.
--Ziggy Hood and Emmanuel Sanders, good luck elsewhere.
--Polamalu, Taylor, Keisel, and Miller all need to take major pay cuts or be gone. Someone will argue, "But Troy made the Pro Bowl." True. But if you go look at all the games, how many of them did he really play at a Pro Bowl level? These guys are all making way more than their current production warrants. Appreciate your past contributions, but take the pay cut or take a hike.
--Don't know if Bad, Bad Levi Brown is even worth keeping around, but he needs to sign for a small fraction of his current contract in order to hang on with the Steelers.
--Don't think Pouncey is worth the $$ he's going to think he should get. Maybe he'll go hang with his posse in Miami.
--I'd keep Velasco around if we can get him to sign a reasonable contract.
--I'd try to keep Worilds, but I wouldn't break the bank for him. If he thinks he's worth All-Pro money, let him go.
--As for Mr. LaMarr Dudley, y'all know my feelings about his ridiculous contract and his play before and after. He never was as great as many wanted to believe. Oh, he piled up some paper statistics when he had strong players around him, but he always whiffed aplenty, disappeared for long stretches, and was often manhandled by inferior linemen and much smaller backs. Add to that his known disregard for conditioning, and it's a no-brainer to get rid of this slacker. They can wait until after June 1 if it saves some $$ against the cap, but this poser ought to never see the field as a Steeler again. Someone might protest about the expensive cap hit for cutting him, but IMO, it will be worth every penny for the message it sends.
--I'm the one who started the "fire Tomlin" thread. The media heads have been fawning over him, going on and on about how he "kept the team together" after the 0-4 start. But I say, "Who is more responsible for the 0-4 start than Tomlin?" You can't be successful in the NFL when you don't have your team ready to play until October. And who is any worse than Tomlin when it comes to clock management, challenges, and critical in-game decisions? If he is going to be kept, it needs to be mandated that he have a special assistant to take charge of the aforementioned weak areas.
--I wouldn't shed any tears if either of the OCs or the ST coach went down the road. LeBeau, I appreciate your past contributions, but it's time for a fresh approach. In today's NFL, you cannot wait 3 years to get your young talent on the field and contributing. Haley improved as the year went on, but how much of that was because more of the offense was put under Ben's direction with the no-huddle? Not so sure there aren't 30 or 40 other guys out there who could do just as well or better.
Last edited by BradshawsHairdresser; 12-30-2013 at 11:00 AM.
If "ifs and buts" were beer and nuts, we could have a big Super Bowl party?
Originally Posted by Shoe
Cowherd was talking about that this morning in relation to Dallas... lost a total of 5 games by 1 pt!!!
Originally Posted by Shoe
You hope the close calls even out over the course of a season but it's impossible to measure. I prefer games where the refs are never mentioned.
Originally Posted by BradshawsHairdresser
i agree with everything you said, however getting rid of DL and haley will most certainly set us back another couple years. i wouldnt have a problem with this if we didnt have a franchise qb entering the last few years of his career.
many are excited how we finished and think the turnaround has occurred. if think theres a few more years of mediocre football. ben will leave and we will truly see tomlins team. a couple years of sub 500 football will finally set tomnlin legacy in stone.