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GeneralRobinson
11-13-2007, 01:34 PM
Tomlin planning to make changes to Steelers' special teams
By Scott Brown TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mike Tomlin said at his weekly news conference today that he doesn’t intend to make drastic changes on special teams even though the Steelers gave up 204 kickoff return yards and a touchdown to Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs Sunday in their 31-28 win.

Tomlin said he doesn’t want to make a “knee-jerk” reaction to the Steelers’ struggles on special teams against the Browns. He indicated that the Steelers won’t bring in any players to address their special-teams woes though he didn’t rule out using more starters on the kickoff coverage team.

The players on the kickoff coverage team get a chance to redeem themselves Sunday as the Steelers play the Jets, who have the top kickoff returner in the NFL.

Leon Washington has already returned three kickoffs for touchdowns and is averaging 33.5 yards a return.

"We better be prepared to be at our best to get after him," Tomlin said.
The Steelers could be without two reserves who play on special teams Sunday as linebackers LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) and Andre Frazier (groin) are questionable for the 4:05 p.m. game.

It looks like free safety Ryan Clark (spleen) and tight end Jerame Tuman (back) won’t play against the Jets.

“There’s been no real progress on each front,” Tomlin said.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may not practice tomorrow because of a sore hip and shoulder. Running back Willie Parker (knee) and cornerback Deshea Townsend (ankle) are also nursing minor injuries.

“For the most part we have no complaints in the injury department,” Tomlin said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_537752.html

BlastFurnace
11-13-2007, 02:38 PM
Tomlin planning to make changes to Steelers' special teams
By Scott Brown TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Leon Washington has already returned three kickoffs for touchdowns and is averaging 33.5 yards a return.

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So based upon the fact that Reed's kicks usually land around the 5 or 10 yard line and Washington averages 33.5 yards a return....and with our pourous special teams....if we just kick the ball out of bounds on kickoffs...we should be in better shape.

lapzter
11-13-2007, 03:35 PM
So based upon the fact that Reed's kicks usually land around the 5 or 10 yard line and Washington averages 33.5 yards a return....and with our pourous special teams....if we just kick the ball out of bounds on kickoffs...we should be in better shape.

I think your right professor!

Atlanta Dan
11-13-2007, 03:39 PM
Sounds like Tuman may be ready for the IR

As for Clark, I assume a spleen injury just needs time to heal - the Redskins team docs apparently misdiagnosed it when he had the same altitude problems previously in Denver - lucky he did not suffer anything more serious whe it recurred last month.

jjpro11
11-13-2007, 03:47 PM
we should just never kick to leon washington in this game. we are facing a weak offense and could probably do fine sacrificing good field position to prevent the chance of a big return.

klick81
11-13-2007, 03:55 PM
So based upon the fact that Reed's kicks usually land around the 5 or 10 yard line and Washington averages 33.5 yards a return....and with our pourous special teams....if we just kick the ball out of bounds on kickoffs...we should be in better shape.

Sad, but probably true.

Godfather
11-13-2007, 04:00 PM
We have an awesome ST player on our practice squad--Justin Vincent.

Activate him, especially if Tuman looks like he's done for the year.

steeler625
11-13-2007, 04:28 PM
We have an awesome ST player on our practice squad--Justin Vincent.

Activate him, especially if Tuman looks like he's done for the year.

Vincent was a beast at LSU, we should certainly get him in the game.

Dino 6 Rings
11-13-2007, 05:22 PM
If Reed would just kick it out of the endzone like he was doing in the Pre-Season...this wouldn't be an issue.

As for the Kick Off Coverage Unit...Put Troy P, Anthonly Smith, James Harrison and 7 other yahoos out there and they won't return it for crap. How about Cedric Wilson, he isn't doing anything on offense and can run pretty fast. At least he could be a wedge breaker or something. Funny!

Stillers43
11-13-2007, 06:01 PM
We need to sign a third kicker that can kick it in the endzone. Seems more important than St. Pierre sitting on the sideline. What about Sepulveda? He has a tremedous leg. Maybe he can kick off?????

steelwolf21
11-13-2007, 06:59 PM
We need to sign a third kicker that can kick it in the endzone. Seems more important than St. Pierre sitting on the sideline. What about Sepulveda? He has a tremedous leg. Maybe he can kick off?????

There's a thought, though if he could do it to any degree I'd imagine Tomlin would've already put him in.

Galax Steeler
11-14-2007, 05:20 AM
I hope tomlin can get our special teams turned around for this game we will need it.

revefsreleets
11-14-2007, 09:27 AM
I hate to say it, but I don't really mind kicking the ball way up into the air and it coming down around the 20. The coverage team has a chance to get in position to make the tackle and keep the returner behind the 30. Only problem is that we seem to lack coverage guys who actually know how to A) Stay in their lane and B) Actually make open field tackles.

It doesn't help that just when our ST's are at their nadir, we face the best two return guys in the NFL.

Dino 6 Rings
11-14-2007, 10:35 AM
Challenges and opportunities

The Challenge, the Jets kick return team (which we should see often this weekend as we dismantle their defense)

The Opportunity (improve our kick coverage against one of the best return teams in the business.)

Tomlin will have it squared away.

GeneralRobinson
11-16-2007, 06:44 AM
Keisel addresses Steelers special teams
By Mike Prisuta TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, November 16, 2007

It wasn't exactly the Gettysburg Address, but DE Brett Keisel nonetheless had something to get off his chest. Keisel, a former special teams demon who still attends the Steelers' daily special teams meetings, addressed the troops on Wednesday when special teams coach Bob Ligashesky asked if anyone had anything to say.

"I just told them that special teams are all about desire and that you have to have desire to go down and make plays," Keisel said. "I just felt like there wasn't the sense of urgency that needs to be there for us to be a great team."

Keisel also told Ligashesky he'd be happy to resume his former prominent role on special teams that was ceded at the outset of last season when Keisel became a starter.

• A tweak or two might be needed on the Steelers' 30th-ranked kickoff coverage unit (average opponents' drives following kickoffs begin at the 31-yard line) based on health. LB LaMarr Woodley, a member of the kickoff coverage team, missed his second consecutive day of practice on Thursday (hamstring). LB Andre Frazier, who also covers kickoffs, returned to full participation in practice after being limited on Wednesday (groin). For the Jets, WR Chris Davis (shoulder), DT Dewayne Robertson (knee) an RB Stacy Tutt (knee) had limited participation in practice

2 - Starting CBs for the Jets from Pitt (Darrelle Revis and Hank Poteat).

3 - Kickoff returns for a touchdown this season for the Jets' Leon Washington.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_538212.html

Atlanta Dan
11-16-2007, 08:06 AM
Rookie outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) did not practice for the second day in a row and is not expected to play Sunday against the New York Jets. If he does not, he will be replaced on the kick-coverage unit by James Harrison. Allen Rossum, who missed tackles on each of Cribbs' long kickoff returns for Cleveland, will be replaced on the coverage unit by cornerback Ike Taylor

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07320/834415-66.stm

Playing defensive starters on STs may show commitment to improving the STs but it can lead to injuries to crucial players. An injury to Harrisn would be bad but an injury to Taylor would be devastating.

Rossum had a horrible game last Sunday - his brain cramp on not fair catching the punt with 3 minutes to go placed the Steelers in terrible field position for the 3 and out drive which could have cost the game if not for the Browns holding penalty on the punt.

Tomlin must have zero confidence in Willie Reid.

Borski
11-16-2007, 08:54 AM
We need to sign a third kicker that can kick it in the endzone. Seems more important than St. Pierre sitting on the sideline. What about Sepulveda? He has a tremedous leg. Maybe he can kick off?????

contrary to popular belief, Reed's kicks weren't bad, it was ST that cant tackle.

It would be nice to see Sepulveda work on the coffin corner punt then we dont have to worry about punt returns.

Atlanta Dan
11-16-2007, 09:15 AM
contrary to popular belief, Reed's kicks weren't bad, it was ST that cant tackle.

It would be nice to see Sepulveda work on the coffin corner punt then we dont have to worry about punt returns.

Ed.B. from the P-G addressed kicking issues today.

Q: To state the obvious, we are struggling on kickoff and punt coverage. Do you think to combat our poor punt return and kickoff averages, we could simply instruct Dan Sepulveda and Jeff Reed to kick the ball through the end zone to force a touchback? Do they have the power, specifically Reed, to do so?


BOUCHETTE: In short, yes and no. Yes, they'd like to see the kickoffs go into the end zone. No, they don't want the punts to do so. Sepulveda's been excellent at putting his punts inside the 20 -- he's punted 38 times and half were downed or rolled out of bounds inside the 20. Only two of his kicks have gone into the endzone for a touchback -- with the ball being spotted on the 20. They'd love for Reed to boot every kickoff through the end zone. He was doing that early in the season but not so much lately.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07320/834297-367.stm

Unlike the questioner to Ed.B., I assume it is not as simple as "instructing" Reed to kick deeper:sofunny:

Either his kickofffs have shortened since the weather cooled or his leg is weakening, but kickoffs that were going to or past the goal line are now going to the 10 or 15 - same old same old as last year.

As for Sepulveda, my concern is not so much his punts inside that land inside the 20 but punts kicked from inside the Steelers 40 that have not been boomed to the extent I expected given his pre-camp rep.

lamberts-lost-tooth
11-16-2007, 09:23 AM
I hate to say it, but I don't really mind kicking the ball way up into the air and it coming down around the 20. The coverage team has a chance to get in position to make the tackle and keep the returner behind the 30. Only problem is that we seem to lack coverage guys who actually know how to A) Stay in their lane and B) Actually make open field tackles.

It doesn't help that just when our ST's are at their nadir, we face the best two return guys in the NFL.

You touched on a football reality that so many people miss...A kickoff coverage team will always rather meet a player at the 20 AS he is catching the ball then to meet a player at the 20 who caught the ball on the 5 and now has a 15 yard head of steam.

Rhee Rhee
11-16-2007, 12:25 PM
im seriosuly worried about leon... he's very dangerous and we must be able to get down field and wrap him up as soon as he touches the ball... if we do that we'll win 35-10

Atlanta Dan
11-16-2007, 12:36 PM
im seriosuly worried about leon... he's very dangerous and we must be able to get down field and wrap him up as soon as he touches the ball... if we do that we'll win 35-10

So I guess your prediction is Steelers 35 Jets 31? :smile:

SteelDogFan
11-16-2007, 12:39 PM
Thank Goodness!