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mesaSteeler
09-29-2009, 08:41 PM
Offensive line stands out in Steelers' loss
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_645464.html#
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A maligned offensive line is coming off arguably its best game of the season.

Willie Parker rushed for a 93 yards in a 23-20 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, although he averaged less than 2 yards a carry in the second half. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, meanwhile, was sacked just one time.

"The offensive line did a great job," said Roethlisberger, who threw for 276 yards and accounted for two touchdowns against the Bengals. "We gave up only one sack, and that was a coverage sack."

The improvement the offensive line appeared to make was of little consolation to right tackle Willie Colon following the Steelers' second straight loss.

"We had a good week of practice, and to come out here and not finish, it's tough," Colon said.

The Steelers are off today after spending Monday getting treatment and reviewing film of their first loss in Cincinnati since 2001. They return to practice Wednesday, and coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers will "get back in the lab, turn over every stone possible to find a winning formula to make us victorious." Translation: the Steelers will emphasize fundamentals as they prepare for a game against the visiting San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

"That's his job, to manage us," Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend said of Tomlin. "I'm sure he'll have a plan of action for us to follow."

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes has cooled off following a hot start. Holmes, who caught nine passes for 131 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers' season opener, dropped several balls in a 17-14 loss to the Bears on Sept. 20. He had just one catch for 18 yards against the Bengals and figured prominently in one of the game's turning points. That came at the beginning of the third quarter, when a miscommunication between Holmes and Roethlisberger resulted in an easy interception for Johnathan Joseph, who returned the gift pick 22 yards for a touchdown. When asked what happened on the play, Roethlisberger said, "We won't point fingers or point blame."

The Steelers find themselves in third place in the AFC North, two games behind the undefeated Ravens and one back of the Bengals. Free safety Ryan Clark said it's too early for the Steelers to become preoccupied with the division's standings.

"We can't focus on Baltimore," Clark said. "Obviously, they're undefeated, so we can't catch them next week anyway. So, we just win that one game and keep building on that and try to build win after win."

After making a tackle following a catch by a Bengals wide receiver near the line of scrimmage, Steelers cornerback William Gay pretended to cradle a baby. Chad Ochocinco, who knows a thing or two about celebrations, was none too impressed with Gay's rendition of rocking the baby.

"Pointless," the Bengals wide receiver said.

DIGITS

2 Combined wins by last season's Super Bowl participants through the first three weeks of the season.

3 Points the Steelers have scored in the fourth quarter this season.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

stillers4me
09-29-2009, 08:44 PM
• After making a tackle following a catch by a Bengals wide receiver near the line of scrimmage, Steelers cornerback William Gay pretended to cradle a baby. Chad Ochocinco, who knows a thing or two about celebrations, was none too impressed with Gay's rendition of rocking the baby.

"Pointless," the Bengals wide receiver said.

Did the assclown expect him to "kiss the baby"?

Child, please.

arge5809
09-29-2009, 10:49 PM
The O line did do a very good job on Sunday, there were times that I counted to 5 or 6 while Ben was standing in the pocket.

HometownGal
09-29-2009, 11:03 PM
The OL played very well this past week and I'm hoping this trend continues! :hope: :tt03::hatsoff:

After making a tackle following a catch by a Bengals wide receiver near the line of scrimmage, Steelers cornerback William Gay pretended to cradle a baby. Chad Ochocinco, who knows a thing or two about celebrations, was none too impressed with Gay's rendition of rocking the baby.

"Pointless," the Bengals wide receiver said.


http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/files/2009/08/chad-ochocinco-hof-jacket-300x224.jpg

I can't stand a hypocrite, but this doucheclown takes the cake on hypocrisy. :jerkit:

MasterOfPuppets
09-30-2009, 12:38 AM
these guys need to stop sugar coating the oline play so much. the 2 first games they pointed out in every article tenn's and chicago's rush D ranking, as to help justify the aweful blocking. yet they fail to mention the bengals were 21st in rush D , and 15th in sacks. ... yes they opened up a few holes for some nice gains but were they consistent ? did they think the game was over after the first half ? maybe the eternal optimist can buy into these articles, but its gonna take a few games showing consistency for 60 minutes to change my mind that they're 5 backups that are starting, because the steelers spend to much time thinking BPA , instead of having a plan on draft day for the last 5 years.

tony hipchest
09-30-2009, 12:57 AM
maybe the eternal optimist can buy into these articles, but its gonna take a few games showing consistency for 60 minutes to change my mind that they're 5 backups that are starting, because the steelers spend to much time thinking BPA , instead of having a plan on draft day for the last 5 years.well, on the flipside is the patriots, who have spent the past 5 years drafting for need instead of taking the BPA.

:hunch:

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-30-2009, 01:25 AM
I agree with Master of Puppets. These writers sugar coat a lot when they only see a sack or 2.

The O line battled well, opened some cracks at times in the run game and played better than against the Bears, but still a lot of room for improvement.

Starks got beat again several times because of his slow feet, the opening FG should have been a TD if there wasnt penetration on the side of Hartwig, Kemo, Starks and Essex still seems to be too upright, instead of getting under defenders shoulder pads and turning guys.

Short of it is, I dont think the line is gonna run block well at all. Best we can hope for is them to keep Ben clean and have the #20th ranked run game with the way they are coached to block.

MasterOfPuppets
09-30-2009, 02:32 AM
well, on the flipside is the patriots, who have spent the past 5 years drafting for need instead of taking the BPA.

:hunch:
well when your probowl center is already hinting at retirement and you got mangold (probowl) on the board, and a chucky okolbi as your backup, i just don't see the logic in taking a receiver. yes i know...SB MVP....yada yada yada ...i think they coulda found a cheap vet to provide 55 catches a year which mostly occur in 4 or 5 games a year. then when you know your probowl best linemen on the team is departing, and you've got the oppurtunity to trade down and have a crack at grubbs or blaylock and an extra pick ....:doh:

steelreserve
09-30-2009, 03:41 AM
well when your probowl center is already hinting at retirement and you got mangold (probowl) on the board, and a chucky okolbi as your backup, i just don't see the logic in taking a receiver. yes i know...SB MVP....yada yada yada ...i think they coulda found a cheap vet to provide 55 catches a year which mostly occur in 4 or 5 games a year. then when you know your probowl best linemen on the team is departing, and you've got the oppurtunity to trade down and have a crack at grubbs or blaylock and an extra pick ....:doh:

Oh, come on. Holmes was drafted more to replace Burress, Randle El and eventually Ward than anything else. We needed to replenish that position just as badly as anything; it wasn't just some random pickup because we had shit for brains. Can you imagine how the passing game would have gone with, say, Ward, Washington and Baker as our top 3 guys? Come on. Who the hell have we ever picked up as a cheap veteran WR that's ever done jack for us? Cedric Wilson? Right.

At any rate, I'm not worried about the O-Line this year, at least not as much as I used to be. We have another year to fix it, because we basically play shitty defenses all year until the playoffs, and among the AFC contenders, I don't even see any pass rushes that scare me either. They've gotten marginally better so far. Maybe it'll keep up. I don't know. I hope so. If not, back to the draft.

The_WARDen
09-30-2009, 08:17 AM
as a long time critic of the Oline, I have to give them their due. They've played pretty well recently.

Good job guys and keep it up!

:thumbsup:

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-30-2009, 09:41 AM
well when your probowl center is already hinting at retirement and you got mangold (probowl) on the board, and a chucky okolbi as your backup, i just don't see the logic in taking a receiver. yes i know...SB MVP....yada yada yada ...i think they coulda found a cheap vet to provide 55 catches a year which mostly occur in 4 or 5 games a year. then when you know your probowl best linemen on the team is departing, and you've got the oppurtunity to trade down and have a crack at grubbs or blaylock and an extra pick ....:doh:

I could not complain about Holmes over Mangold that year despite him being a talent that we needed too. I do think there were better options than taking another WR in Willie Reid the same draft.

I did question the need for 2 LB's in 2007 when Grubbs or Blaylock were there. Even more so in 2008 when we had shots at Jeremy Zuttah, Anthony Collins or Carl Nicks in rounds 2,3,4. Anyways, they gotta play with who they dealt, but I agree with Bettis that the restocking of the line has largely been ignored.

Also, as much as I am a fan of good O line play, the performance last week was not that great. They really lack a physical aggression that I would want to see in an O line. B- in the pass game, D in the run game is the grade I would give.

revefsreleets
09-30-2009, 11:48 AM
There will never be a way to please the critics of this line....it's just not happening.

Interestingly, though, Starks was supposed to get smoked for 11 sacks by Odom, and when that never materialized, did he get any kind of credit?

No, his footwork was criticized.

I give up...

The_WARDen
09-30-2009, 11:50 AM
There will never be a way to please the critics of this line....it's just not happening.

Interestingly, though, Starks was supposed to get smoked for 11 sacks by Odom, and when that never materialized, did he get any kind of credit?

No, his footwork was criticized.

I give up...

don't lump us all into 1 group...I gave the Oline credit in this very thread and have 2 weeks now.
:drink:

revefsreleets
09-30-2009, 11:56 AM
They need to be above average. I said last year that if they could be AVERAGE we'd win the Super Bowl. They did, and we did.

They need to be above average this year, and they've been even better than that. That's all I ask of them, and it's unreasonable to expect a just above average group to be stellar.

fansince'76
09-30-2009, 12:00 PM
They need to be above average this year, and they've been even better than that. That's all I ask of them, and it's unreasonable to expect a just above average group to be stellar.

....especially with an idiot like Arians calling the plays. :stirthepot: :chuckle:

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-30-2009, 12:34 PM
There will never be a way to please the critics of this line....it's just not happening.

Interestingly, though, Starks was supposed to get smoked for 11 sacks by Odom, and when that never materialized, did he get any kind of credit?

No, his footwork was criticized.

I give up...

You should actually look at things you talk about. You criticized MMalone for the same thing, yet you do it here.

Do you even know where Odom lined up in passing situations?? Do you even know IF Starks was blocking him?? or are you just making general statements??

I can actually point out a lineman that had a great day in pass protection, but......ah...I give up.

Steeldude
09-30-2009, 02:12 PM
There will never be a way to please the critics of this line....it's just not happening.

Interestingly, though, Starks was supposed to get smoked for 11 sacks by Odom, and when that never materialized, did he get any kind of credit?

No, his footwork was criticized.

I give up...

keeping an overrated DE off of BR deserves a pat on the back? starks salary says he should own odom all day every day.

congrats, starks. you did the job you were paid to do :thumbsup: now keep it up ALL year and against good competition also. :tt:

There will never be a way to please the critics of this line....it's just not happening

positive consistency. is that too much to ask? or should settling for an average game against a lesser opponent be enough?

Steeldude
09-30-2009, 02:29 PM
well when your probowl center is already hinting at retirement and you got mangold (probowl) on the board, and a chucky okolbi as your backup, i just don't see the logic in taking a receiver. yes i know...SB MVP....yada yada yada ...i think they coulda found a cheap vet to provide 55 catches a year which mostly occur in 4 or 5 games a year. then when you know your probowl best linemen on the team is departing, and you've got the oppurtunity to trade down and have a crack at grubbs or blaylock and an extra pick ....:doh:

excellent post :drink:

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-30-2009, 02:56 PM
keeping an overrated DE off of BR deserves a pat on the back? starks salary says he should own odom all day every day.


Actually Kemo kept Odom off of BR most of the day. On passing downs the Bengals moved Odom inside vs Kemo and brought Ga.Tech Rookie Michael Johnson (#93) and Jonathan Fanane(#68) in to rush vs Starks.

On the opening drive Starks stopped Odom cold on a 2nd and 6. On the 3rd and 6 Odom ripped inside of Starks and forced Ben to slide left, but he connected with Miller to the 2 yard line. Starks also pass blocked well on the long pass to Wallace.

Odom tried to bull rush most of the time. The first time he tried to take Starks outside is when Starks got the holding penalty. Most of the time Odom slid inside on passing downs and tried to bull rush Kemo, which wasnt happening.

Starks battled well all day, but if you are gonna credit anybody with shutting down Antwan Odom, it was Kemo. Starks mostly has Johnson and Fanane in 3rd and long situations.

revefsreleets
09-30-2009, 03:07 PM
I'm just tossing back the same garbage I have to read from the same negative people week after week after week. I wasn't the one who said Odom was going to "own" Starks, in fact, I said he'd be just fine (Trying to attribute the idiocy of what others said before the game to me doesn't really wash)...and he was...regardless of who he faced. The dude has like 1/2 sack against him in 2 games. The holding call was bullshit.

Yes, Starks did his job. As did the rest of the OL. They looked worlds better than they did in week 3 last year, and I suspect they will continue to look decent the rest of the year. But the nattering nabobs of negativism will clamor and cry all year about them, regardless of what their performance is...it gets boring after awhile.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-30-2009, 03:22 PM
Revs, to merely say the O line did their job because of the limited number of sacks is similar to saying that Casey Hampton was the Steelers best pass rusher because he got a sack last week.

I am pleased that Ben wasnt sacked much, but I honestly credit 70% of that to the game plan that BA had of throwing a lot of quick passes to negate the rush. Starks played better in the pass game, so to did Kemo and Colon stand out.

But there honestly isnt a fluidity to the actions of the O line in blocking. Essex looks lost at times and hesitant in his assignments. The gap between Kemo and Hartwig still gets shot thru and Starks doesnt handle speed well with his technique. All things that can be improved and should be by this point.

revefsreleets
10-01-2009, 09:19 AM
Again, let's examine the facts.

The OL is performing at a higher level right now than at any time this particular unit has been together. They are showing signs of progress each week. The run blocking is steadily improving. The pass blocking is leaps and bounds better than last year. So there are two ways to look at the situation:

A) Give them credit for looking better, and acknowledge that, yes there is still room for improvement, or
B) Take the negative view, and only point out all the areas that are still lacking, nitpicking every little particle of negative minutiae.

I find the second option extremely ironic, as it's akin to saying "Woah! Philip Rivers passed for 400 yards last week? So what, his delivery is weird and he throws almost side-armed, and THAT'S what matters most!"

Personally, I could care less what Starks technique is. I'm results driven, and I don't award style points. I want him to create holes for RB's when his number is called, and i want him to keep RDE and ROLB off Ben. That is all. He's getting better at both every week.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-01-2009, 12:08 PM
Again, let's examine the facts.

The OL is performing at a higher level right now than at any time this particular unit has been together. They are showing signs of progress each week. The run blocking is steadily improving. The pass blocking is leaps and bounds better than last year. So there are two ways to look at the situation:

A) Give them credit for looking better, and acknowledge that, yes there is still room for improvement, or
B) Take the negative view, and only point out all the areas that are still lacking, nitpicking every little particle of negative minutiae.

I find the second option extremely ironic, as it's akin to saying "Woah! Philip Rivers passed for 400 yards last week? So what, his delivery is weird and he throws almost side-armed, and THAT'S what matters most!"

Personally, I could care less what Starks technique is. I'm results driven, and I don't award style points. I want him to create holes for RB's when his number is called, and i want him to keep RDE and ROLB off Ben. That is all. He's getting better at both every week.

Revs, I think we are kind of on the same page here. Of your 2 options, I choose A. The interesting thing is that O line is a very technical position and it just pains me to see veteran O linemen like Starks who are so sloppy and should be better.

Last night on NFL Total Access, Trent Green broke down JaMarcus Russell as a QB and said "as a fan and player, its tough to watch Russell because his fundamentals are so poor". He showed Russell overthrowing open guys because his feet werent square to the WR. He showed Russell underthrowing WR because he again wasnt set and running towards the WR when he should not.

Trent Green and Rod Woodson then showed Drew Brees and he always squared up to his WR's to make accurate throws. Even when he was chased to the sidelines, Brees quickly got his feet around and set to make an accurate TD toss before being hit.

The same way that Russell is being critizized for not working hard enough to have his fundamental footwork down and be in position to make better plays........is the same way that I see Starks not working hard enough to get his fundamentals down. The difference is that Starks is a vet, while Jamarcus Russell is a rookie.

revefsreleets
10-02-2009, 10:18 AM
I addressed this in another thread, but it's even more germane here...

Want perfect technique? Check out Todd Marinovich. Flawless, but how'd that work out for him? Want a rocket arm? See: Ryan Leaf.

Chad Pennington has 102 Td's to 64 INT's, almost 18,000 passing yards and a career 90.1 QBR, and he has the weakest NFL arm I've ever seen. Conversely, Brett Favre has TERRIBLE technique, and throws half his passes off his back foot, yet...

There are exceptions to every rule. Starks has been in the league for years. He's been coached by one of the best OL coaches perhaps ever. His technique is NOT an accident and a HS coach isn't going to have a cure that pro coaches haven't already tried.

His technique won't change, and probably isn't what ails him in the first place.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-02-2009, 12:16 PM
I addressed this in another thread, but it's even more germane here...

Want perfect technique? Check out Todd Marinovich. Flawless, but how'd that work out for him? Want a rocket arm? See: Ryan Leaf.

Chad Pennington has 102 Td's to 64 INT's, almost 18,000 passing yards and a career 90.1 QBR, and he has the weakest NFL arm I've ever seen. Conversely, Brett Favre has TERRIBLE technique, and throws half his passes off his back foot, yet...

There are exceptions to every rule. Starks has been in the league for years. He's been coached by one of the best OL coaches perhaps ever. His technique is NOT an accident and a HS coach isn't going to have a cure that pro coaches haven't already tried.

His technique won't change, and probably isn't what ails him in the first place.

Yes, but good technique can elevate mediocre talent to better results. Its why Atlanta Falcons LT Sam Baker was thought of by many as unable to be a NFL LT, but his outstanding technique makes up for his physical deficiency. Baker just happened to be coached by one of the best college O line coaches(Pat Ruel)

Here is an example you may like. Chris Carter was a good WR that took his talent for granted and spent more time drinking than working with the Eagles. After he got cut he dedicated himself to his craft and outworked everybody to be one of the best. Those guys are true professionals.

Max Starks takes his 6'8" 335lb size for granted and has never dedicated himself to his craft, or his technique would not be so bad. If Starks ever worked on his game like Marcus McNeil, Jordan Gross, Jake Long.......he could be a pro bowler instead of a mediocre LT.

revefsreleets
10-02-2009, 12:24 PM
I find it INCREDIBLY presumptuous when people think they know more, or are in a better position to make these calls then a professional football staff.

If Starks was a slacker, they'd dump him. If the coaches hated Starks technique, they'd address, it....IF his technique is even bad to begin with.

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-02-2009, 12:38 PM
I find it INCREDIBLY presumptuous when people think they know more, or are in a better position to make these calls then a professional football staff.

If Starks was a slacker, they'd dump him. If the coaches hated Starks technique, they'd address, it....IF his technique is even bad to begin with.

Almost as presumptuous as somebody citing Marinovic for having good technique and Favre for having bad technique ......when they really know nothing of what good QB technique is.

Starks is probably getting by on his sheer size and average devotion to the position. In essence he is coasting as a guy making $5mil a year, when if he worked at his craft he could be making $9mil. Its also probably why there were reports that the coaches and FO had differing opinions on him.

I never anywhere said I am in a better position to make these calls than pro football staff. I just happen to have attended clinics where pro football coaches have explained proper technique to us and therefore can recognize it.

revefsreleets
10-02-2009, 01:07 PM
Almost as presumptuous as somebody citing Marinovic for having good technique and Favre for having bad technique ......when they really know nothing of what good QB technique is.

Starks is probably getting by on his sheer size and average devotion to the position. In essence he is coasting as a guy making $5mil a year, when if he worked at his craft he could be making $9mil. Its also probably why there were reports that the coaches and FO had differing opinions on him.

I never anywhere said I am in a better position to make these calls than pro football staff. I just happen to have attended clinics where pro football coaches have explained proper technique to us and therefore can recognize it.

Except that I played the position for 10 years. And Favre DOES have bad footwork...and Marinovich had great footwork since he was trained from birth to....

You REALLY need to get over yourself!

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-02-2009, 01:23 PM
Except that I played the position for 10 years.

You REALLY need to get over yourself!

Then as a 10 year veteran of the QB position, you should recognize the value of footwork, technique and working on them to improve the chances of success at the position.

Instead you look for cases where Brett Favre throws off his back foot, Todd Marinovich was mentally destroyed by his father and Ryan Leaf failed, to discredit my belief in fundamentals and technique???

I'm as grounded of an individual as anybody on this board. I know what I see and can back up my opinions of what I see. I can even admit I was wrong about things like drafts of Bryant McFadden, Javon Kearse and Steven Jackson (all of who I thought would bust)

revefsreleets
10-02-2009, 01:31 PM
My point is this has to have been gone over by the Steelers FO and staff...they know more than you do, contrary to your extraordinary sense of self-worth and expertise based on.....coaching high school football.

Tired of always arguing with you...good day, sir...

El-Gonzo Jackson
10-02-2009, 02:05 PM
My point is this has to have been gone over by the Steelers FO and staff...they know more than you do, contrary to your extraordinary sense of self-worth and expertise based on.....coaching high school football.

Tired of always arguing with you...good day, sir...

And I was just commenting on what I see and my opinion. You were the one that had to come in with some snide comment that referenced my critique of Starks footwork.

I never have said that I believe I know more than the coaching staff. You manufacture it and try to insult me as being nothing but a Highschool coach. Truth is that I am nothing but a guy with a full time job that donates his time to coach youth and highschool football who happens to be a Steelers fan........and enjoy it.

Please feel free to portray me as nothing but a part time highschool football coach. I'm OK with that.

markymarc
10-03-2009, 01:20 PM
It is funny how the OL has actually looked very good since the first half against the Titans.

revefsreleets
10-03-2009, 09:29 PM
And I was just commenting on what I see and my opinion. You were the one that had to come in with some snide comment that referenced my critique of Starks footwork.

I never have said that I believe I know more than the coaching staff. You manufacture it and try to insult me as being nothing but a Highschool coach. Truth is that I am nothing but a guy with a full time job that donates his time to coach youth and highschool football who happens to be a Steelers fan........and enjoy it.

Please feel free to portray me as nothing but a part time highschool football coach. I'm OK with that.

Sure...why not? You, not knowing ANYTHING about me just told me I know NOTHING about QB footwork. At least I've seen you thump your chest and taut your experience 1 or 157 times.

The bottom line is still that YOU are not going to do a better job diagnosing Starks problems, real or perceived, better than the Steelers, but you are certainly willing to dip into wild speculation...but let's just make sure that it is just that, and nothing more...