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Edman
05-28-2007, 06:01 PM
Is it enough to compete in the getting-ever-tougher AFC North? Can they compete with the Ravens? Or better yet, elite conference teams like the Chargers, Colts, and Pats? Was 2006 just a sign of things to come or was it just underachieving by the whole team?

So many questions surrounding the 2007 Steelers. So scary yet exciting at the same time.

LambertIsGod58
05-28-2007, 06:13 PM
I think that the defense will improve....my concerns lie on the offensive side of the ball.

Livinginthe past
05-28-2007, 06:40 PM
Talented, yet unpredictable.

Even 2005 was plagued with inconsistent play before the last few regular season games and the postseason.

The biggest wildcard remains the HC - he could be great,medicore or poor and that will probably have the biggest effect on how 2007 pans out.

Atlanta Dan
05-28-2007, 06:47 PM
Playoff competitive but I certainly do not see them in the Pats/Chargers class talent wise (I omit the Colts because Manning is the great equalizer for a team that otherwise does not overwhelm with talent).

A lot of talent on both sides of the ball (Bettis/Porter/Ward/Faneca/Farrior) has left/is leaving/or is on the downslope. IMHO this will be the biggest rebuild of the talent base since the late 90s and we recall how those years went. Hopefully the difference this time is we have a franchise QB who can cover up for a lot; if not, look out.

It's all about Ben for the next few years.

TackleMeBen
05-28-2007, 07:06 PM
I think they were talented last year, but didnt have the right coaching in place. This year I think we have the right coach to get all the players to play up to their ability. We just need to make sure that we have no off season injuries again and we should be fine. I think if Ben and Holmes get on the same page they could be a very dangerous combination.

HometownGal
05-28-2007, 07:15 PM
I believe the Steelers possess a great deal of sheer talent and could be very dangerous IF they keep everything in perspective, play as a team and don't allow their heads to become swollen as I feel they did last season. I still totally disagree that coaching played a huge role in this team's downfalls last season, though I think it played into the equation a little. These guys are grown men and professionals - they shouldn't need any coach to take them by the little handie or kick them in the hiney to get them going. It is very easy to blame the HC when a team plummets from glory, but if you stop and think about it - minus The Bus, this team was basically the same team with the same coaching staff that won the Super Bowl the season before.

TX Steel
05-28-2007, 07:21 PM
With so many young playmakers (Holmes, Miller, Spaeth, Parker, Reid, etc.) on offense it's really tough to tell. And like Livinginthe past said, the new coaching staff will go a long way in deciding how good these guys will be.

I agree with LambertIsGod58; the D is just fine. In fact, they may be better than they have been in a while. Special teams will be better than last year. Those two things should keep us in playoff contention. Our offense will determine how far in the playoffs we go.

SteelCzar76
05-28-2007, 07:34 PM
Playoff competitive but I certainly do not see them in the Pats/Chargers class talent wise (I omit the Colts because Manning is the great equalizer for a team that otherwise does not overwhelm with talent).

A lot of talent on both sides of the ball (Bettis/Porter/Ward/Faneca/Farrior) has left/is leaving/or is on the downslope. IMHO this will be the biggest rebuild of the talent base since the late 90s and we recall how those years went. Hopefully the difference this time is we have a franchise QB who can cover up for a lot; if not, look out.

It's all about Ben for the next few years.



I have to agree here. This may very well may be the begining of something of a Transitional period for us so to speak. As IMO this team cannot possibly have the same identity that we had during Cowher's tenure.
Different Coaches,...different philosphies, which means different personel and very well entirely different degrees of success and or failure.
The former regime even in spite of the title game losses,...aquitted themselves well for the most part from nearly day one. In regards to keeping us consistently competitive and worthy of respect at the very least. To say nothing of divisional championships, playoff births and a World title. The majority of which were all earned with 'bargain basement' personel at some of the most key positions on the field.

Will this remain the case ?,..only time will tell. But i look forward to coming to know as much.:helmet:

I also agree that Ben is the 'X-factor'. But then again, for no matter how important the quality of the QB will always be,...ONE man is not an island. Meaning,..even IF Ben becomes the player that he's capable of being,...he can't do it alone. (Ie: Danny Marino)

83-Steelers-43
05-28-2007, 07:37 PM
As of right now......

IMO, they have the talent to be a good team in the future, but they have some questionable big holes. DB (can Ike bounce back? How will McFadden look? Deshea is not getting any younger) and QB (can Roethlisberger bounce back?). That's simply naming two positions IMO.

As for last season....

Last year our "franshise" QB decided to be mature and drive a street bike (minus a helmet and license) in the city of Pittsburgh. Much like with Bradshaw and his corvet, he was asked to part it and unlike Bradshaw "Big" Ben" did not bother taking the advice. Complete idiocy in that situation led to our nicely paid "franchise" QB playing at a very, very low level. That was obviously huge in our pathetic season. It's your starting QB.

I'm not going to pretend that I know how he will respond to coming off a pathetic season. That's why I consider it a very big question mark. Personally, I won't know until the season starts and see it for myself because I can't read the future.

If I had to guess, I think we will struggle this upcoming season. Between the coaching changes and the amount of question marks, I'm not exactly comfortable with this years team. Who knows though? I will continue to keep a positive attitude until they prove to me that my concerns are legit. Eitherway, I'm sure we will hear "Now are you glad we took Tomlin?" and "Now what do you think about that draft?" by the very small and very smart Steeler "fans" who are involved with this organizaton if we have a bad season.

tony hipchest
05-28-2007, 08:05 PM
if we dont prove to be one of the most talented teams, then position by position we have one of the most overpaid teams.

i havent crunched the numbers but im willing to say last year our linebackers and offensive linemen were the most expensive units in the nfl in regards to the position they play. our wr corps and defensive line get paid way too much to turn in an 8-8 season.

fansince'76
05-28-2007, 08:54 PM
Eitherway, I'm sure we will hear "Now are you glad we took Tomlin?" and "Now what do you think about that draft?" by the very small and very smart Steeler "fans" who are involved with this organizaton if we have a bad season.

No, we won't have to wait a whole season for that 83 - we'll be seeing "Fire Tomlin!" threads and posts after our first loss.

Preacher
05-28-2007, 08:55 PM
The more I think about last years season, the more I realize we were a dropped ball here, broken play there from having a 10-6 or 11-5 season.

With all of that, we were STILL only 1 game out of the playoffs. If we beat the Raiders, we would have made it. Had we not let the Atlanta game get out of hand, we would have made it.

Those type of mistakes come from not being focused. I think that problem is pretty much taken care of. Cowher was always focused on winning the SB. When he won it, I am not sure he knew how to react. The drive that kept this team going since that awful 2003 season disappeared because they DID redeem themselves from that season with a SB win.

Now, we have a coach with that drive again. We only lost Joey (players of importance) from last years team.

Hence, I believe that we are a playoff bound team, deep in the playoffs. SB? Honestly, doubtful. But I also doubt we are a one and done team talent-wise this year.

lexsteel
05-28-2007, 09:02 PM
Speaking of the future, great interview on Santonio Holmes on AthletixNation.com, seems like a pretty cool website.

FastWillieParker39
05-28-2007, 09:13 PM
The more I think about last years season, the more I realize we were a dropped ball here, broken play there from having a 10-6 or 11-5 season.

With all of that, we were STILL only 1 game out of the playoffs. If we beat the Raiders, we would have made it. Had we not let the Atlanta game get out of hand, we would have made it.

Those type of mistakes come from not being focused. I think that problem is pretty much taken care of. Cowher was always focused on winning the SB. When he won it, I am not sure he knew how to react. The drive that kept this team going since that awful 2003 season disappeared because they DID redeem themselves from that season with a SB win.

Now, we have a coach with that drive again. We only lost Joey (players of importance) from last years team.

Hence, I believe that we are a playoff bound team, deep in the playoffs. SB? Honestly, doubtful. But I also doubt we are a one and done team talent-wise this year.

A-freakin-men

Edman
05-28-2007, 09:34 PM
No, we won't have to wait a whole season for that 83 - we'll be seeing "Fire Tomlin!" threads and posts after our first loss.


Don't forget the "I told you so's" and "Should've hired Grimm" and "The Rooneys are PC cheapskates" posts. Expect a couple of racial slurs in the mix by idiots as well. Yes, there are people that are THAT stupid.

FastWillieParker39
05-28-2007, 09:37 PM
Like Preach said we were only ONE WIN from making the playoffs with a QB that had health problems all year and a head coach that really didn't care as much as he had before. This team has talent and even though they have question marks, every team does. If Ben can stay healthy, the offense will be better as that was evident in the last 8 games. Tomlin is a coach who is determined to make the playoffs this year. He and Ben won't let this team fail.

Jeez we don't make the playoffs for one freakin year and no one believes anymore. Its May, we should be believing. Even the Browns are believing!

GBMelBlount
05-28-2007, 10:14 PM
Don't forget the "I told you so's" and "Should've hired Grimm" and "The Rooneys are PC cheapskates" posts. Expect a couple of racial slurs in the mix by idiots as well. Yes, there are people that are THAT stupid.

Unfortunately E-man, you are right. Also, agreeing much with TX & Czar, I think the three biggest things are:

1. Ben
2. OL!
3. Tomlin

I hope Tomlin brings it together this year. He sounds like a very smart man & a masterful motivator.

:tt02:

Preacher
05-28-2007, 10:16 PM
Like Preach said we were only ONE WIN from making the playoffs with a QB that had health problems all year and a head coach that really didn't care as much as he had before. This team has talent and even though they have question marks, every team does. If Ben can stay healthy, the offense will be better as that was evident in the last 8 games. Tomlin is a coach who is determined to make the playoffs this year. He and Ben won't let this team fail.

Jeez we don't make the playoffs for one freakin year and no one believes anymore. Its May, we should be believing. Even the Browns are believing!

I don't think that is what is actually being argued. From my vantage point, there are 4 points which make people worried.

1. New coach and staff. This constitutes a major change in an organization. Sometimes, the team that see these changes comes out tremendously better. However, the Steelers are a team that built with a specific scheme in mind. The question is, can that team handle a different head coach and offensive scheme? it is not as much about talent as it is about how the talent works together within a specific scheme.

2. Joey Porter. There are those who think Porter was the heart and soul... and the engine of the defense. To those, the loss of Porter signifies the loss of the drive that made our defense what it was over the last 14 years. Yeah, I know, Porter didn't play for the last 14 years. However, One can traces a lineage from Kevin Greene/Lloyd through Gildon to Porter. That is a lineage of Steeler linebacker football. Now, who will carry that lineage on? Foote? The worry is that we have lost that lineage, and what it holds.

3. OL (and Faneca). Last year the OL was a worry. Now with the Faneca situation, it is even more of a worry. Will they be able to gel? Can Kemo and Willie Colon hold down the fort? Will we have to rely on the turnstyle system of blocking (where the DL uses our OL as turnstyles)? These worries make some wonder if the addition of the Faneca situation will cause even more problems.

4. The rest of the league. It seems that the Ravens and the Bengals are still building. They are both able to put together playoff run seasons. The Browns have also put together a good draft, and may become increasingly tough to play.

These four reasons make some worry if we are able to really compete this year. I say yes. BUt some, and for understandable reasons, say no.

However, i STILL THINK that we are headed deep into the playoffs.

Crushzilla
05-28-2007, 10:23 PM
Hopefully the OL doesn't look like the L(OL)... LOL... laugh out... forget it

tony hipchest
05-28-2007, 10:37 PM
all the "cowher didnt care" talk is pretty stale, old, and way off base. he certainly cared when his team went on a 4 game winning streak to make the playoffs (as a #6 seed) in 05, and he cared as they went 6-2 to finish the 06 season. had the steelers actually made the playoffs last year and made some noise (which they were capable of), im sure he woulda been heralded as a "genius" rather than the "dead beat coach" he is currently perceived as...

maybe he did turn in 1 of his poorest coaching years ever. but it wasnt because he didnt care or gave up on the team. give the man more credit than that.

ben2hines=6
05-28-2007, 10:42 PM
this whole season depends on the arm of ben.....they say were gonna spread it out more, hopefully that doesnt mean more interceptions.....if ben plays half decent against the raiders, bengals game 1, or denver were in the playoffs, i think its a big misconception that we are a rebuilding team because when i think of rebuilding i think of a team that couldnt win and now change has to happen....this team can win and prooved it going 6-2 in the second half of the season.....now its time to put together a whole season and kick some ass :tt02:

Preacher
05-28-2007, 10:43 PM
all the "cowher didnt care" talk is pretty stale, old, and way off base. he certainly cared when his team went on a 4 game winning streak to make the playoffs (as a #6 seed) in 05, and he cared as they went 6-2 to finish the 06 season. had the steelers actually made the playoffs last year and made some noise (which they were capable of), im sure he woulda been heralded as a "genius" rather than the "dead beat coach" he is currently perceived as...

maybe he did turn in 1 of his poorest coaching years ever. but it wasnt because he didnt care or gave up on the team. give the man more credit than that.

I'm not sure if that post was partly in my direction... but let me requote...
Cowher was always focused on winning the SB. When he won it, I am not sure he knew how to react. The drive that kept this team going since that awful 2003 season disappeared because they DID redeem themselves from that season with a SB win.


For me, it wasn't that Cowher didn't care, I think he didn't know how to handle the success. What I mean is, he drove the team by reminding them that they failed to make the big one, so they have to work harder next year. Once you win, how do you drive that again?

Galax Steeler
05-29-2007, 04:02 AM
We have plenty of talent I believe it will show this year.

Aussie_steeler
05-29-2007, 06:01 AM
Lets hope the talent of the special team will improve this year. The draft looks like it has tried to address this issue.

Colclough catching and returning punts = no talent

Any other returner = more talent

Willie Reid = greater talent (I'm hoping)

Daniel Sepulveda = scary talent ( to kick like an aussie takes real talent!!!)

DACEB
05-29-2007, 06:31 AM
all the "cowher didnt care" talk is pretty stale, maybe he did turn in 1 of his poorest coaching years ever. but it wasnt because he didnt care or gave up on the team. give the man more credit than that.

NO! :flap:

DACEB
05-29-2007, 06:34 AM
this whole season depends on the arm of ben.....

Your absolutely right, but I think it will have more to do with his head, making the right reads and now calling the right protections.

DACEB
05-29-2007, 06:39 AM
IMO it is all about the offense. If Ben and the O-line play better the offense as a whole will be much improved. If the offense plays better there is no doubt in my mind the defense will play better.

If the O-line plays better this year last years coaching will definetely be called into question.

TackleMeBen
05-29-2007, 07:56 AM
all the "cowher didnt care" talk is pretty stale, old, and way off base. he certainly cared when his team went on a 4 game winning streak to make the playoffs (as a #6 seed) in 05, and he cared as they went 6-2 to finish the 06 season. had the steelers actually made the playoffs last year and made some noise (which they were capable of), im sure he woulda been heralded as a "genius" rather than the "dead beat coach" he is currently perceived as...

maybe he did turn in 1 of his poorest coaching years ever. but it wasnt because he didnt care or gave up on the team. give the man more credit than that.


maybe the team gave up on him? they won the superbowl and then got all these extra activities after winning, they werent that focus on repeating. i dont think it was all the coach's fault, although i did question him on why he would play his star qb after getting a concussion. i think they (coaches and players) were to blame for last year's downfall.

now this season i think we are a good team, maybe not as good as the ravens. however we should be able to compete with them for the division title. the only thing that worries me this season is the cornerbacks. I hope that they can play better than last year and please stop getting beat on the routes.

Elvis
05-29-2007, 08:13 AM
Playoff competitive but I certainly do not see them in the Pats/Chargers class talent wise (I omit the Colts because Manning is the great equalizer for a team that otherwise does not overwhelm with talent).

A lot of talent on both sides of the ball (Bettis/Porter/Ward/Faneca/Farrior) has left/is leaving/or is on the downslope. IMHO this will be the biggest rebuild of the talent base since the late 90s and we recall how those years went. Hopefully the difference this time is we have a franchise QB who can cover up for a lot; if not, look out.

It's all about Ben for the next few years.
Where do you start thinking that Hines Ward is slowing down? Not in my opinion brother. Farrior is gonna have to be replaced sooner than later even though I love what the guy keeps doing game in game out. He is such a class guy that just plays the game. Larry Foote talks too much trash for someone of his status. Haggans is or seems to be a class act as well. And we will just have to wait n see at the other LB spot what happens there.
Now, I think our team is just as talented as it was about 3 years ago myself. Ben has to come back and prove that the first 2 years were not flukes, that he can really lead a team to a tittle. I honestly think that he got us to the Super Bowl a couple years ago and then our defense won the tittle for us, not him. I think that we are set at WR for him not to have any excuses. Our O line must improve over last year or this is gonna be a long year. Our defense goes as far as our secondary can take us... If we cant stop the pass then we can Forget about going very far.
:tt02::wave:

stlrtruck
05-29-2007, 08:25 AM
I believe that the Steelers are one of the most talented teams in the NFL. Although there are several individuals that outshine in their selective role, when it comes to a team (Defense, Offense, Special Teams) playing as a talented unit, I know the Steelers are tops in the league. So I have no worries about that.

What I worry about is the new coach getting them ready to play. What about the cohesiveness that was made during the Super Bowl run and the fall out we've seen in the last two years (laziness and disgruntled players)? All of that is important when it comes to taking over a division that hasn't had a consistent leader since the Steelers won back to back division titles in 2001 & 2002 seasons.

Although I feel that we can dethrone the ratbirds and any other division foe, my true worries are external. What about the patsies trying to buy another Super Bowl trophy? Can we match their individually paid for talent with team (the same patsies did it 3 out of 4 years so why can't we)?

How talented are the Steelers? Talented enough to go back to the Super Bowl in Tomlin's first year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

moedap
05-29-2007, 09:00 AM
I am very optimistic about this season due to the talent and the head coach choice. Think about it. We have Dick Lebeau who has a linebacker mentality as a coach. He developed a 3-4 scheme that is still proven to be successful but has always had an achilles heel due to the secondary. Big Ben who was known as a passer in college is getting a playbook that he no doubt had a lot influence with its creation. To top it all off we get a head coach who is a proven "teacher" of CB's. His knowledge of how the secondary plays will no doubt help his QB when it comes to reading the secondary and help his WR's counteract some CB tatics(e.g. how to beat a jam, how to read coverage to pick a route, etc...)

To me the talent is there and the stars are aligned.

Atlanta Dan
05-29-2007, 09:26 AM
Where do you start thinking that Hines Ward is slowing down? Not in my opinion brother.

His receptions are on a downward trend, he missed a game in 2005 and most of the 200preseason due to a hamstring injury, and he is 32 years old - time waits for no one.

Year G GS Rec Yds Avg Lg TD 20+ 40+ 1st
1998 16 0 15 246 16.4 45 0 3 1 12
1999 16 14 61 638 10.5 42 7 6 1 31
2000 16 15 48 672 14.0 77 4 8 2 31
2001 16 16 94 1003 10.7 34 4 13 0 52
2002 16 16 112 1329 11.9 72 12 19 2 66
2003 16 16 95 1163 12.2 50 10 18 2 60
2004 16 16 80 1004 12.6 58 4 15 2 52
2005 15 15 69 975 14.1 85 11 10 3 53
2006 14 14 74 975 13.2 70 6 13 2 5

DACEB
05-29-2007, 09:41 AM
Dan, I have to say that the numbers don't really show much of a decline. I do agree with you though, time waits for noone.

While on the subject of Ward, I would like to pose a question. Given the fact that Ward is aging, would he play a role similar to Troy Brown in N.E. ? Meaning would he be willing to be a 2nd or 3rd WR for the Steelers? Would he be willing to be a role player, minus the defensive duties of course that Brown has had on occasion.

pittsburghp8baller
05-29-2007, 09:45 AM
i think people put to much importance on the head coach. when it all comes down to it will be all up to the players executing properly. all the coaches can do is prepare them for their opponent that week and give them a little motivation when things a going bad.

i think we have questions on both sides of the ball. the obvsious one on offense is Ben. will he be able to adjust to calling his own protection schemes and running more of a spread on first on second down. since he ran that kind of offense in college im pretty sure he'll be fine.

defense is always the same question for me every year for the last couple of years- will our corners, especially Ike Taylor, step their play up. and now we have the question of will the james harrison/lawrence timmons combo make up for the loss of joey porter. harrison has certainly looked capable of being more than a back-up

memphissteelergirl
05-29-2007, 10:22 AM
I believe the Steelers possess a great deal of sheer talent and could be very dangerous IF they keep everything in perspective, play as a team and don't allow their heads to become swollen as I feel they did last season. I still totally disagree that coaching played a huge role in this team's downfalls last season, though I think it played into the equation a little. These guys are grown men and professionals - they shouldn't need any coach to take them by the little handie or kick them in the hiney to get them going. It is very easy to blame the HC when a team plummets from glory, but if you stop and think about it - minus The Bus, this team was basically the same team with the same coaching staff that won the Super Bowl the season before.



^:iagree:

Atlanta Dan
05-29-2007, 11:43 AM
Dan, I have to say that the numbers don't really show much of a decline. I do agree with you though, time waits for noone.

While on the subject of Ward, I would like to pose a question. Given the fact that Ward is aging, would he play a role similar to Troy Brown in N.E. ? Meaning would he be willing to be a 2nd or 3rd WR for the Steelers? Would he be willing to be a role player, minus the defensive duties of course that Brown has had on occasion.

I think Hines will play whatever role he is asked to play if he gets paid for it - however I do not believe he will take a cut to "role player" $$ like Bettis did for the last several years of his career.

Smashmouth225
05-29-2007, 11:47 PM
The more I think about last years season, the more I realize we were a dropped ball here, broken play there from having a 10-6 or 11-5 season.

With all of that, we were STILL only 1 game out of the playoffs. If we beat the Raiders, we would have made it. Had we not let the Atlanta game get out of hand, we would have made it.

Those type of mistakes come from not being focused. I think that problem is pretty much taken care of. Cowher was always focused on winning the SB. When he won it, I am not sure he knew how to react. The drive that kept this team going since that awful 2003 season disappeared because they DID redeem themselves from that season with a SB win.

Now, we have a coach with that drive again. We only lost Joey (players of importance) from last years team.

Hence, I believe that we are a playoff bound team, deep in the playoffs. SB? Honestly, doubtful. But I also doubt we are a one and done team talent-wise this year.Real talk

Smashmouth225
05-30-2007, 12:12 AM
This team won the Super Bowl 2 years ago. I know we lost some real nice players ( Joey, The Bus, Hope, Randle El, Kemo, Hartings) but we still have our Franchise QB, a couple MVP type defensive players in Farrior and Polamula. Still got Ward and Big Snack (Hampton) two perennial pro bowlers. Faneca who is killing me with his mouth but still is one if not the best at his LG position. I could go on but i will say we are talented enough for 11 or maybe 12 wins and a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs. Think about it the last couple of years we drafted the best players @ positions of need. From Timmons the best pure OLB in the draft. S. Holmes best WR in his class to Miller the best TE in his class. The FO know what it is doing, look @ its track record compared to some other Franchises the last 10 years and it should make you proud to be a Steelers Fan. We want miss a beat w/out Cowher.

Crushzilla
05-30-2007, 02:23 AM
The Steelers have a lot of talent, which is better than having extreme talent at a few positions. Teams like the Steelers stay competitive because of their chemistry mentality. Its not about obtaining a few big name guys. Its all about bringing together guys that work as a unit. Losing guys who make that bond stronger is always a bummer, but having depth and good character keep that unit together.

As long as they make efforts to keep the strong bonds around, they will continue to stay in the playoff chase. They dished out money to Aaron Smith and Troy will get his payday, Casey is another guy who they need to put on the top of the priority list. Hines Ward is one of those guys. Even if production slumps, he is still a CRUCIAL member of this team. Hines Ward is so good because he is valuable in the run game. 2005 showed a slump in production and 2006 can EASILY be racked up to the fact that the entire offense broke down. Despite the lower numbers in 2005, it was enough to win the big one. He was huge when it mattered (the Super Bowl) and provided a strong backbone in the run game during the season.

Can Hines play in the 2nd or 3rd role and be satisfied? Depends. As much as I don't want to believe it I think he would only be alright with that as long as we are winning. Ultimately, Hines Ward fits this team. He always has. He was a special teamer early on and worked to earn his position as number one. I don't think he would be as valuable to other teams as he thinks he would be. He has great hands, true, but he depends on fundamentals and handling EVERY duty at WR. That's what this team needs. Not someone like Randy Moss. I hope he stays, but it will be interesting once the coaches start shuffling him around.