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View Full Version : The true achilles' heel to this team is the Special Teams


BlastFurnace
11-15-2009, 05:02 PM
I still think we can win it all, but our ST is absolutely atrocious in nearly every single category.

This bunch can't tackle (and I am not talking about Jeff Reed). I have a hard time believing that losing Madison is the reason for this, but his loss certainly didn't help things.

The starting field position of nearly every single kickoff and the returns for touchdowns. Pathetic.

Logan is very....very average. It's at the point where I think we are wasting a roster spot on him. He is not the return man we were hoping for. That return of that fumbled kickoff in the EZ today was terrible.

This is the one area of the team that is going to cost us this season. Nearly every single season we are debating if this is the worst ST unit we have seen. This has got to stop.

cubanstogie
11-15-2009, 05:13 PM
I still think we can win it all, but our ST is absolutely atrocious in nearly every single category.

This bunch can't tackle (and I am not talking about Jeff Reed). I have a hard time believing that losing Madison is the reason for this, but his loss certainly didn't help things.

Logan is very....very average. It's at the point where I think we are wasting a roster spot on him. He is not the return man we were hoping for. That return of that fumbled kickoff in the EZ today was terrible.

This is the one area of the team that is going to cost us this season. Nearly every single season we are debating if this is the worst ST unit we have seen. This has got to stop.

I am very nervous every time we kick off. I am losing months off my life its so bad. I would trade Logans roster spot right now for a kicker only used to kick off if he could kick it out of the end zone. Thats right, 2 kickers just like some team did years ago. I was begging for Reed to actually kick it out of bounds just prior to halftime. Not a good feeling.

GBMelBlount
11-15-2009, 05:14 PM
Cubanstogie
I am very nervous every time we kick off. I am losing months off my life its so bad. I would trade Logans roster spot right now for a kicker only used to kick off if he could kick it out of the end zone. Thats right, 2 kickers just like some team did years ago. I was begging for Reed to actually kick it out of bounds just prior to halftime. Not a good feeling.

Two years ago we were terrible. Last year we looked good.

I don't understand why we seem so much worse again this year

Has it been less of a focus because we performed so well last year?

Edman
11-15-2009, 05:20 PM
The Special Teams were actually pretty good last year despite inferior punting by Berger. This year we have better punting, but the coverage teams go to the pits.

Out of the bad Special Teams squads the Steelers have fielded over the years, this has to be the worst bunch I've ever seen. Don't blame it on Logan. Blocking schemes have been subpar for years. You could put Rod Woodson or Desmond Howard in their primes back there and they wouldn't do much.

Bob Ligashevsky needs to be put on notice for a pink slip. There is no excuse for the amount of crappiness on kickoffs.

stb_steeler
11-15-2009, 05:58 PM
Kicking the ball back to the 5 or endzone once in awhile doesnt hurt either. Thus giving ST time to get there. These low flying kicks do nothing.

stillers4me
11-15-2009, 06:02 PM
Didn' t some of our starters, like James Harrsion do special teams duty last year?

X-Terminator
11-15-2009, 06:09 PM
Ligashesky has to go. He got a mulligan last season because the ST coverage was good, but when you give up 3 return TD in the same season...that is unacceptable. And the most ridiculous thing about them is that all 3 have occurred in Heinz and have either killed momentum after a score or, as was the case today, ended up being the difference in the game. And they still have Cribbs and that rookie in Baltimore who returned a kick against the Broncos 2 weeks ago twice down the stretch.

HughC
11-15-2009, 06:12 PM
I had thought that since Tomlin replaced Cowher, special teams nightmares was a thing of the past; apparently not so. At least this time it was in a regular season game in November rather than in an AFCCG. Now the question is whether or not it can be rectified before the end of the season.

iloveben7
11-15-2009, 06:12 PM
Sometimes I don't want us to score (i'm kidding) because I'm too afraid of what will happen on the kick-off. It seems every time after the offense scores us a big TD, we let one come right back.

It's not Jeff Reed's fault at all in the tackling. He's not paid to tackle and when you're blaming it on your kicker, you know something is wrong.

Nadroj 20
11-15-2009, 06:15 PM
Sometimes I don't want us to score (i'm kidding) because I'm too afraid of what will happen on the kick-off. It seems every time after the offense scores us a big TD, we let one come right back.

It's not Jeff Reed's fault at all in the tackling. He's not paid to tackle and when you're blaming it on your kicker, you know something is wrong.

I put the blame on ALL 11 guys and nobody gets special treatment just because he is our kicker.

iloveben7
11-15-2009, 06:19 PM
I put the blame on ALL 11 guys and nobody gets special treatment just because he is our kicker.

i shouldn't have said at all because if the guy runs past him, Reed should try and take him down, but we shouldn't be relying on him to tackle

Nadroj 20
11-15-2009, 06:23 PM
i shouldn't have said at all because if the guy runs past him, Reed should try and take him down, but we shouldn't be relying on him to tackle

Agreed :thumbsup:

psusteelers4life
11-15-2009, 06:24 PM
Is it me or does it seem that Fox makes all the tackles, when they happen , on kickoffs. He is like our own Steve Tasker the special teams all star from the old Bills teams.

Steelboy84
11-15-2009, 06:49 PM
Yes I agree. That's what lost us the game today. Our O wasn't too hot, but they did move the ball and set up scores and our D was on point.

pepsyman1
11-15-2009, 07:30 PM
The Special Teams were actually pretty good last year despite inferior punting by Berger. This year we have better punting, but the coverage teams go to the pits.

Out of the bad Special Teams squads the Steelers have fielded over the years, this has to be the worst bunch I've ever seen. Don't blame it on Logan. Blocking schemes have been subpar for years. You could put Rod Woodson or Desmond Howard in their primes back there and they wouldn't do much.

Bob Ligashevsky needs to be put on notice for a pink slip. There is no excuse for the amount of crappiness on kickoffs.

I totally agree with that assessment. I don't think Logan has gotten any substantial blocking on returns. What when WE kick off, nobody touches the return man till he has at least 20 yards behind him....everytime Logan is returning he's contending with tacklers 12-15 yards into his return.

SteelerFanInStl
11-15-2009, 07:37 PM
There was one kickoff today where I didn't even see a single Steeler player until the return guy was past the 30. That's terrible.

jjpro11
11-15-2009, 07:48 PM
it seems like last year was a mirage.. crappy special teams is the way of the Steelers.

AlleghanyAdams87
11-15-2009, 07:55 PM
We are really missing Berger's 20 yard punts that are soo short the recieving team gets hit in the HELMET with the football and we recover in good field position....lol

madtowndrunkard
11-15-2009, 10:36 PM
The special teams issues are just too glaring to ignore. I can deal with an occasional bad day....you cannot deal with failure consistently. Tomlin has to do something drastic. The ST's coach has been given enough chances....he's failed. The ST's play is so bad it's just a joke. Fire the damn ST's coach. There has to be someone looking for a job...hire him and be done with it. It can't possibly hurt. We're the worst in the league.

markymarc
11-16-2009, 04:18 PM
Outside of Jeff Reed kicking and Daniel Sepulveda punting our special teams is atrocious! Maybe we should just be squib kicking each time. Also, our blocking for whoever is back fielding the punt or kick off is just as bad.

It's time to try something different because it's not working right now.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-16-2009, 04:21 PM
Outside of Jeff Reed kicking and Daniel Sepulveda punting our special teams is atrocious! Maybe we should just be squib kicking each time. Also, our blocking for whoever is back fielding the punt or kick off is just as bad.

It's time to try something different because it's not working right now.

What is that something different that you suggest we try???

I always like how easy it is to point out a problem........but for some reason difficult to suggest a solution.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-16-2009, 04:40 PM
OK, for you creative thinkers out there, here is a link to Arizona punt return scheme that shows a "middle return". Without a 3-man wedge available, the option is to maybe put more players up on the front line and "man block" for the kick returners.
http://www.eteamz.com/lacsfootball/files/00SM_Bob_Wagner.pdf

Another alternative is to similarly use man blocking, but then pick a side and create a type of stalk block wall on that side and use a 2-man wedge or series of 2-man wedges to get to the wall. Just thought I would suggest a solution (no matter how lame they are) instead of just complaining.

markymarc
11-16-2009, 05:09 PM
What is that something different that you suggest we try???

I always like how easy it is to point out a problem........but for some reason difficult to suggest a solution.

Isn't that what Mike Tomlin and Bob Ligashesky get paid to do? On kickoffs I would definitely recommend either squib or pooch kicking it each time now. Maybe it's time to put some starters out there on special teams. Listen I get the whole what happens if they get injured being on special teams. The last I checked they can get hurt playing on offense or defense too.

Maybe we need to change the gunners we have right now when punting or receiving a punt because they have not been doing very well. While we aren't going to change coaches during the season, in the off season maybe it's time to begin looking for a new specials team coach. And lastly while losing 1 player should never be dramatic, IMO when we waived Anthony Madison I think that really hurt us on special teams. It also doesn't help that Patrick Bailey isn't really standing out on special teams coverage now either.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-16-2009, 05:46 PM
Isn't that what Mike Tomlin and Bob Ligashesky get paid to do? On kickoffs I would definitely recommend either squib or pooch kicking it each time now. Maybe it's time to put some starters out there on special teams. Listen I get the whole what happens if they get injured being on special teams. The last I checked they can get hurt playing on offense or defense too.

Maybe we need to change the gunners we have right now when punting or receiving a punt because they have not been doing very well. While we aren't going to change coaches during the season, in the off season maybe it's time to begin looking for a new specials team coach. And lastly while losing 1 player should never be dramatic, IMO when we waived Anthony Madison I think that really hurt us on special teams. It also doesn't help that Patrick Bailey isn't really standing out on special teams coverage now either.

Well done, at least suggesting an option is better than wildly complaining in my opinion. The "pay your dollar and you can holler" mantra is a bit lame if you ask me.

I personally think Ligashesky had his coverages down last year, but never had a return guy. Now he has return men, but he hasnt been able to adapt to the game without the use of a 3-man wedge in blocking.

Remember, Ligs was only an assistant ST coach back with JAX in 2004, so the guy is still relatively young. He might be getting schooled by coaches who have adapted to the rule change better than him.

HometownGal
11-16-2009, 07:16 PM
It's not Jeff Reed's fault at all in the tackling. He's not paid to tackle and when you're blaming it on your kicker, you know something is wrong.

The way I look at it is this. If Skippy is expected to do "mop up duty" :chuckle: for the other 10 guys who fubar and miss the return man, then those 10 guys should be expected to be able to kick FG's and punt if the situation warrants. I know that is a tad extreme, but after reading all of the Reed witch hunting that has been going on here and the "he is a part of the ST's so he should be expected to tackle just like the other 10" remarks, I feel turnabout is only fair play. :hunch: :chuckle:

HometownGal
11-16-2009, 07:18 PM
And lastly while losing 1 player should never be dramatic, IMO when we waived Anthony Madison I think that really hurt us on special teams. It also doesn't help that Patrick Bailey isn't really standing out on special teams coverage now either.

Y'know who I really miss on ST's (and I believe the Steelers do, as well)? Sean Morey. That guy was an absolute monster in coverage.

tony hipchest
11-16-2009, 07:28 PM
Y'know who I really miss on ST's (and I believe the Steelers do, as well)? Sean Morey. That guy was an absolute monster in coverage.i was actually thinking of him today when i read the cardinals box score.

haggans had 2 sacks and mcfadden had 5-6 tackles. (and most importantly they didnt give up any cheap returns).

i gotta give kudos to logan on the return coverage on that KO TD though. not only was he one of the 1st ones down the field on that kick, he was also the fastest and closest to closing on the returner in pursuit (before he got pushed down and out for a 2nd time). :thumbsup:

tony hipchest
11-16-2009, 07:33 PM
The way I look at it is this. If Skippy is expected to do "mop up duty" :chuckle: for the other 10 guys who fubar and miss the return man, then those 10 guys should be expected to be able to kick FG's and punt if the situation warrants. I know that is a tad extreme, but after reading all of the Reed witch hunting that has been going on here and the "he is a part of the ST's so he should be expected to tackle just like the other 10" remarks, I feel turnabout is only fair play. :hunch: :chuckle:i gave reed a pass on the p. harvin td but yesterdays effort was pretty lame.

next time he is in that situation he needs to take a split second to think to himself "what would daniel sepulveda do".

SteelGhost
11-16-2009, 07:42 PM
Kicking the ball back to the 5 or endzone once in awhile doesnt hurt either. Thus giving ST time to get there. These low flying kicks do nothing.

:iagree:

I like Jeff but aside of this he needs to kick higher and longer ... or make DSep practice kick-offs :noidea:

Ligashesky is in the hot seat IMO

Borski
11-16-2009, 11:31 PM
I love having Reed as our kicker, and he isnt paid to tackle, but I think he should at least make an attempt to tackle.

I don't want anyone else to kick our field goals other then Reed but for Kickoffs maybe we should let Daniel Sepulveda take a hack at it. He has a pretty strong leg, might get us better field position on kickoffs and he knows how to tackle if he has to.

_FhCgLeuO0I

Just to restate, I still only want Reed for Field Goals, he is clutch. but on kickoffs he has been a little lack luster recently and it wouldnt hurt to see what Sep has got

markymarc
11-17-2009, 09:53 AM
Well done, at least suggesting an option is better than wildly complaining in my opinion. The "pay your dollar and you can holler" mantra is a bit lame if you ask me.

I personally think Ligashesky had his coverages down last year, but never had a return guy. Now he has return men, but he hasnt been able to adapt to the game without the use of a 3-man wedge in blocking.

Remember, Ligs was only an assistant ST coach back with JAX in 2004, so the guy is still relatively young. He might be getting schooled by coaches who have adapted to the rule change better than him.

I totally get your it's okay to bitch but at least offer suggestions theory :chuckle: And actually I should know better! You do bring up a good point in that Ligashesky has not been able to adjust to losing the 3 man wedge blocking.

It's just frustrating considering how well we did last season without a legit return man and now this season we are looking bad again. I still believe that we really miss Anthony Madison on this team. He was great on kickoff returns and a very good gunner for us on punts.

markymarc
11-17-2009, 09:55 AM
Y'know who I really miss on ST's (and I believe the Steelers do, as well)? Sean Morey. That guy was an absolute monster in coverage.

I agree HG. While he was not a very good WR, like you mentioned Sean Morey was a special teams beast for the Steelers. And unfortunately he is tearing up special teams for the Cardinals now.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-17-2009, 11:09 AM
I totally get your it's okay to bitch but at least offer suggestions theory :chuckle: And actually I should know better! You do bring up a good point in that Ligashesky has not been able to adjust to losing the 3 man wedge blocking.

It's just frustrating considering how well we did last season without a legit return man and now this season we are looking bad again. I still believe that we really miss Anthony Madison on this team. He was great on kickoff returns and a very good gunner for us on punts.

Yeah, I think that some opposing coaches have figured out or are teaching better man blocking schemes and Ligashesky hasnt adapted his coverage schemes on kickoffs. As far as punt returns, the rules have not changed, so I think its talent based.

We could for sure use upgrades in tacklers. I really see Pat Bailey doing nothing and Donovan Woods instead of Arnold Harrison is a positive IMO.

Ponder this for a minute......if you cant use a 3-man wedge in kickoffs, what is preventing you from using a larger 2-man wedge?? I would love to see Legursky and Ziggy Hood forming a 2-man wedge for Logan in the kickoff game. :thumbsup:

markymarc
11-18-2009, 01:58 PM
Yeah, I think that some opposing coaches have figured out or are teaching better man blocking schemes and Ligashesky hasnt adapted his coverage schemes on kickoffs. As far as punt returns, the rules have not changed, so I think its talent based.

We could for sure use upgrades in tacklers. I really see Pat Bailey doing nothing and Donovan Woods instead of Arnold Harrison is a positive IMO.

Ponder this for a minute......if you cant use a 3-man wedge in kickoffs, what is preventing you from using a larger 2-man wedge?? I would love to see Legursky and Ziggy Hood forming a 2-man wedge for Logan in the kickoff game. :thumbsup:

I just can't believe Patrick Bailey is not really doing anything this year. He was great last season and it's like he is invisible on special teams coverage this season.

I will see your 2 man wedge of Legursky and Ziggy Hood and raise you Ramon Foster and RaShon Harris :chuckle:

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-18-2009, 06:25 PM
I will see your 2 man wedge of Legursky and Ziggy Hood and raise you Ramon Foster and RaShon Harris :chuckle:

I was thinking of guys that were athletic enough to be on KO returns, but also large enough to be effective blockers. Foster to me is a bit too heavy footed.

I'll concede Hood if you trade me Sunny Harris. That way we got Legursky and Harris as a 600lb 2-man kickoff wedge. :thumbsup:

WeegiesWarriors
11-20-2009, 10:07 AM
The best football analysis I've heard breaks an entire football game into 3 segments: offense, defense, special teams. There are 3 check marks available... come out with more check marks than your opponent and you win the game. I apply it all the time and it is infallible. This isn't anything new and I'm sure all of you already know that.. that's not my point. My point is that it can't be underestimated how important that Special Teams check mark is in order to win the game. If you can't at least get a draw on Special Teams you've made it exponentially harder to get a win in the NFL.

Look at the Vikes game. I don't want to debate each segment, but let's call the offenses as a draw. Defense was clearly dominated by the Steelers with the 2 scores, but because ST's were dominated by the Vikes look how close that was to being a loss. All it took was one KO return to throw that game in serious doubt.

People on here point to how bad Colbert drafts after the 2nd round. You don't see it so much on offense and defense, but you do see it on Special Teams.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-20-2009, 10:11 AM
The best football analysis I've heard breaks an entire football game into 3 segments: offense, defense, special teams. There are 3 check marks available... come out with more check marks than your opponent and you win the game. I apply it all the time and it is infallible. .

So............what happens if you outperform on 2 of those 3 and then lose the turnover battle???

markymarc
11-20-2009, 01:57 PM
I was thinking of guys that were athletic enough to be on KO returns, but also large enough to be effective blockers. Foster to me is a bit too heavy footed.

I'll concede Hood if you trade me Sunny Harris. That way we got Legursky and Harris as a 600lb 2-man kickoff wedge. :thumbsup:

I just want to see Ramon Foster break up the 2 man wedge :chuckle: So the winning hand is Legursky and Harris. Get on that Mike Tomlin :tt02: