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mesaSteeler
12-28-2009, 10:54 PM
http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the-press-box/2009/12/28/coachs-decision-may-cost-steelers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+triblive%2Fblog%2FViewFromThe PressBox+%28View+from+the+Press+Box+Blog%29
View From The Press Box


Coach's decision may cost Steelers
December 28th, 2009

When it comes to NFL coaches, only Bill Belichick may be more reviled among Steelers fans than Jim Caldwell these days.

Caldwell’s decision to yank his starters in the third quarter of a game that the Colts were leading Sunday may have also pulled the plug on the Steelers’ season.

Had the Colts beaten the Jets -- and it’s hard to envision that not happening had the incomparable Peyton Manning been allowed to finish what he started -- the Steelers would have had a much easier path to the playoffs.

All they would have had to do is beat the Dolphins and have the Patriots beat the Texans.

True, New England has already clinched the AFC East title but Belichick is the anti-Caldwell. He always plays to win.

Because the Jets rallied to beat the Colts, the Steelers now have to depend on several teams to win Sunday if they want the chance to defend their Super Bowl title.

And the NFL didn’t do the Steelers any favors by moving the Bengals-Jets game from 1 to 8:20 p.m. under flex scheduling.

One scenario that gets the Steelers into the playoffs is them beating the Dolphins and the Patriots and Bengals also winning.

The problem is if the Patriots beat the Texans in a 1 p.m. game, they will almost certainly lock up the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. That would make the Bengals’ game Sunday night at the Meadowlands meaningless.

Thus Carson Daly is more likely to play quarterback for the Bengals than Carson Palmer.

As for Caldwell’s decision, which has been widely criticized, I couldn’t disagree with it more on several levels.

If the first-year head coach were so concerned about injuries why play key starters, like Manning, at all against the Jets? Also by easing up on the gas pedal, Caldwell is risking the team that has been the best one in the NFL this season not being sharp for the games that matter most.

Remember the Colts have a bye week between the end of the regular season and their first playoff game. The last time they took an approach similar to the one that will ultimately make Caldwell a genius or give birth to the phrase “pulled a Caldwell” didn’t work out so well.

The Colts came out flat in a divisional playoff game and lost to a team they had beaten by 19 points during the regular season.

If the Steelers, who went on to win the Super Bowl after stunning the Colts, benefitted from Indianapolis’ caution in 2005, they are paying for it now.

However, as angry as Steelers fans may be with Cadwell, he doesn’t owe the Steelers a thing.

They should direct their ire at a team that only needed to beat the Chiefs, Raiders or Browns to avoid its current predicament.

Not the coach who blinked when he had the chance to chase immortality.

fansince'76
12-28-2009, 11:00 PM
When it comes to NFL coaches, only Bill Belichick may be more reviled among Steelers fans than Jim Caldwell these days.

Caldwell’s decision to yank his starters in the third quarter of a game that the Colts were leading Sunday may have also pulled the plug on the Steelers’ season.

Once again, the Steelers have nobody to blame but themselves for their predicament and Steelers fans should be pointing the finger of blame where it belongs.

Having said that, it was a truly gutless move and I hope it comes back to bite them hard.

eafratitpm3
12-28-2009, 11:12 PM
If we don't get in I hope one of these 5 or 6 seed teams beat one of the teams that let them skate in. I would love to see the Jets get in and some how win their first game and play the Colts and beat them, that would be justice well served!

LVSteelersfan
12-28-2009, 11:39 PM
The Steelers fans cannot even be thinking that Caldwell is the reason we are not getting into the playoffs. He has nothing to do with it. If we could have beat just one of FOUR scrub teams, we are in the driver's seat. Just ONE OF THEM. Losing to the Bears, Browns, Raiders and Chiefs is just absolutely unbelievable. The Steelers do not deserve to be in the playoffs plain and simple. If they somehow get a miracle and get in through the back door, then they still don't deserve to be there. I live, breathe, eat Steelers football, so don't get me wrong. And I still hope the miracle happens. BUT, they are not deserving of it. BTW, because Caldwell took Manning and Wayne out of the game, the guy in my fantasy league that is two games ahead of me lost by 4/10 of a point tonight. So if he loses next week and I win I have a shot at right around $700 since I am way ahead of him in season points. The decision made me happy in that respect.

Mags87
12-29-2009, 02:25 AM
as a football fan, i would have loved to see the colts pull the perfect season. it takes away from what the pats did. and its not like that O line is swiss cheese or Manning has had an injury prone career. one more drive is all it takes to put that game away and have that shot at greatness.
also, think of this from the Colts' fans perspective. always getting one upped by the pats when they have the best QB this game has ever seen. and when they have a chance to pull a perfect season, the rookie coach pulls em? to quote the MNF guys, C'mon man! this was a special season for them and fans cough up thousands of dollars for 2 seats and the trip to watch greatness, and they get benched in the 3rd? you have to remember who pays your bills Indy. a disgruntled fanbase is a terrible thing to deal with.

jjpro11
12-29-2009, 02:30 AM
it wasn't Caldwell that decided to pull the starters.. it was his boss and bitch of an owner Bill Polian. only a clueless owner would have his players play a half and then take everyone out.

Gnutella
12-29-2009, 02:42 AM
Once again, the Steelers have nobody to blame but themselves for their predicament and Steelers fans should be pointing the finger of blame where it belongs.

Having said that, it was a truly gutless move and I hope it comes back to bite them hard.

The Indianapolis Colts are a team full of gutless cowards, and I'm not saying that because of the stunt they pulled this past Sunday. I'm saying that because they don't have what it takes to win in the post-season, and then when they receive their annual post-season comeuppance, they get their piece-of-sh*t GM to coerce the "Competition" Committee weasels into manipulating the rule book to his benefit. Now that Tony Dungy is gone, I have no reason whatsoever to tolerate the Colts anymore -- and Bill Polian alone is reason enough to hate them. Maybe he can make some more horsesh*t rules in March after this next, imminent one-and-done playoff appearance of theirs.

solardave
12-29-2009, 03:11 AM
Once again, the Steelers have nobody to blame but themselves for their predicament and Steelers fans should be pointing the finger of blame where it belongs.

Having said that, it was a truly gutless move and I hope it comes back to bite them hard.

I agree we have no one to blame but ourselves. My opinion of what Caldwell did,for what it's worth. I think it was a very,very stupid move and watch as the relationship between him and Manning goes south. Did you see the look on Manning's face?
Priceless!!! He looked like a little kid expecting a Wii and got a used Atari.

Gnutella
12-29-2009, 03:18 AM
What's wrong with Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Asteroids and Kangaroo?

MasterOfPuppets
12-29-2009, 03:45 AM
how would you like to be a fan holding tickets to the indy / buff game ? you couldn't get me in that stadium with free tickets and free beer .... well maybe with free beer and a heated luxery box ... but really, who in thier right mind would go freeze thier ass off for that game ?

WindyCitySteelerFan
12-29-2009, 06:58 AM
From a BUNGLES forum

"I understand what you are saying but the Jets may have the #1 defense but it's still a defense with 7 losses. It's not like their offense is top in the league. I wouldn't want to play Pittsburgh, mainly because they are throwing the ball like crazy and we have lost some defensive players since the last time we played them."

SteelCityMom
12-29-2009, 09:35 AM
I agree that the Steelers only have themselves to blame.

BUT...I cannot wrap my head around what good it does to start resting your players this early, especially when you have a bye week. The Colts have constantly done this with Manning, and all but one time in his career, it has bit him in the ass. It's sissy football and I'd be incredibly irate if I was a fan of theirs.

Nadroj 20
12-29-2009, 09:43 AM
It sucks to think about if the Colts would have won the game all we would need is a win and a Texan loss, which is alot more realistic with new england trying to secure the #3 seed....but we do have only ourselves to blame for the situation that we are in.....now all we can hope for is for things to fall our way and get a little lucky.

markymarc
12-29-2009, 11:42 AM
No question that the only place the Steelers have to look is themselves for allowing a 5 game losing streak to happen late in the season. I really think the best payback for the Caldwell decision would be for the Colts to win this super bowl and then the media will really get after him and the Colts organization for allowing perfection to slip through their fingers.

BrandonCarr39
12-29-2009, 11:49 AM
In all fairness - the Eagles lost their center and the anchor of their OL, Jamaal Jackson, yesterday.

OK - the Eagles still have alot to play for(they need to win @Dallas this weekend to get that #2 seed), but nonetheless, pt being that being in Indy's shoes, the last thing they would want is injuries to key starters like Robert Mathis, Jeff Saturday, Joseph Addai, Kelvin Hayden, etc.

If I were a Steelers fan, I would be mad too, however, if we were in their shoes, we probably would be doing the same thing too.

Glace
12-29-2009, 12:14 PM
Ok...yeah. People...back off of the Colts.

We are the only ones that put us in this position....PERIOD

If we had 14 wins under our belt and Tomlin decided to pull or not even play Ben....NOBODY on this board would be complaining. Everybody would be saying it's a smart move because it's not worth the injury risk for absolutely MEANINGLESS GAMES.

The Colts have everything locked up. They have nothing left to play for during the regular season.

Everybody says teams get rusty by coasting into the playoffs, especially with the first round bye. Comeon, that's a load of crap.

Look back a few seasons ago when we snuck in as the 6th seed and beat them in the playoffs. They weren't "rusty".....The Steelers marched in and BEAT them up physically. It was a complete miracle that they were even in the game. Sayin they were "rusty" takes away from the Steelers that year.

BrandonCarr39
12-29-2009, 12:22 PM
Ok...yeah. People...back off of the Colts.

We are the only ones that put us in this position....PERIOD

If we had 14 wins under our belt and Tomlin decided to pull or not even play Ben....NOBODY on this board would be complaining. Everybody would be saying it's a smart move because it's not worth the injury risk for absolutely MEANINGLESS GAMES.

The Colts have everything locked up. They have nothing left to play for during the regular season.

Everybody says teams get rusty by coasting into the playoffs, especially with the first round bye. Comeon, that's a load of crap.

Look back a few seasons ago when we snuck in as the 6th seed and beat them in the playoffs. They weren't "rusty".....The Steelers marched in and BEAT them up physically. It was a complete miracle that they were even in the game. Sayin they were "rusty" takes away from the Steelers that year.

It's also the coaches responsibilities to prepare their teams during their respective bye weeks. Not taking away anything from the Steelers, but Tony Dungy and his coaching staff had no excuse to come out flat like that.

Having a bye before the playoffs is the best thing any team can have - it's a long season, players need to rest up from injuries, an extra week of conditioning will boost alot of energy in the players, etc.

fansince'76
12-29-2009, 12:26 PM
It's also the coaches responsibilities to prepare their teams during their respective bye weeks. Not taking away anything from the Steelers, but Tony Dungy and his coaching staff had no excuse to come out flat like that.

Having a bye before the playoffs is the best thing any team can have - it's a long season, players need to rest up from injuries, an extra week of conditioning will boost alot of energy in the players, etc.

A lot of it was our gameplan - we came out throwing, throwing and throwing and were up 21-3 before the Colts even knew what hit them.

DaronQB
12-29-2009, 12:27 PM
Even Colts fans are very angry with his decision as they would love to see the Colts finish their perfect season!

Hayeksheroes
12-29-2009, 12:42 PM
What about the fans? Doesn't the coach has a responsibility to win for the fans that paid good money to see their team win? If not, why play the game? Just forfeit and save the players for the playoffs.

pepsyman1
12-29-2009, 12:45 PM
I thought it was a lame decision as well...especially with how big a media deal it is anytime we've got a team going for that perfect season. Football fans in general got pretty shafted by that decision. Especially when you look at the blowout games the Colts get where the starters are still playing. My BIGGEST complaint about all this was part of me was hoping one of these "perfect" teams would go all the way through and win it all so I would no longer have to deal with hearing from Don Shula, Larry Csonka and all the other geriatric 72 Dolphins that the NFL marches out and props up in front of a video prompter to talk about "the commitment to perfection"...LOL That would be priceless. :chuckle:

Glace
12-29-2009, 07:17 PM
A lot of it was our gameplan - we came out throwing, throwing and throwing and were up 21-3 before the Colts even knew what hit them.

Bingo

Even when teams knew we were going to run the ball that year, we still lined up and smashed it down their throats. The Colts had no reason to think we would differ from that gameplan.

Then we came out through the air, put points on the board, and forced them to try to play catch-up with our top-ranked defense.

That was as beautiful of a gameplan as I've ever seen.

They weren't "flat" or "rusty"....they were out-hit and out-coached....And rather than celebrating...Manning was on his back and crying on the sideline and throwing tantrums about his linemen.


As for all this perfect season crap....Who cares??? Who gives a rat's left nut that the Dolphins are the only ones to do it. Their season was a couple games shorter than what it is now.

Look at what going for the Perfect Season did to the Patriots*.... :rofl:
And believe me....I have a seething hatred for the Patriots*....but if they couldn't do it that year....I don't know if we ever see it done in this new day and age in the NFL.

bobby jr
12-29-2009, 08:12 PM
I hope some team gets a perfect season because I'm sick of hearing about the 1972 Dolphins. Based upon strength of their opponents ,the 1972 Dolphins had one of the easiest schedules of all time in the NFL. The Dolphins almost lost to Cleveland in the playoffs that year, and they were not even in the top 10 for the greatest teams of all time.

ricardisimo
12-29-2009, 08:24 PM
One of the PFW editors has an interesting take (http://www.profootballweekly.com/2009/12/28/colts-sacrifice-can-propel-playoff-run) on this. He doesn't quite say Caldwell strategically threw the game... more like he might as well have, for the benefits he might reap.

Texasteel
12-29-2009, 08:32 PM
I agree that the Steelers only have themselves to blame.

BUT...I cannot wrap my head around what good it does to start resting your players this early, especially when you have a bye week. The Colts have constantly done this with Manning, and all but one time in his career, it has bit him in the ass. It's sissy football and I'd be incredibly irate if I was a fan of theirs.

It sure looked like they threw the game, but I don't think the Colts would do that on purpose. Cindy would, but not the Colts................... I think.

BrandonCarr39
12-29-2009, 09:23 PM
Bingo

Even when teams knew we were going to run the ball that year, we still lined up and smashed it down their throats. The Colts had no reason to think we would differ from that gameplan.

Then we came out through the air, put points on the board, and forced them to try to play catch-up with our top-ranked defense.

That was as beautiful of a gameplan as I've ever seen.

They weren't "flat" or "rusty"....they were out-hit and out-coached....And rather than celebrating...Manning was on his back and crying on the sideline and throwing tantrums about his linemen.


As for all this perfect season crap....Who cares??? Who gives a rat's left nut that the Dolphins are the only ones to do it. Their season was a couple games shorter than what it is now.

Look at what going for the Perfect Season did to the Patriots*.... :rofl:
And believe me....I have a seething hatred for the Patriots*....but if they couldn't do it that year....I don't know if we ever see it done in this new day and age in the NFL.

Bottom line - you executed as well. I remember Sean Payton tried to do the same thing against the Bears in the NFCCG in freezing Soldier Field...instead of running it down the Bears D throats like he did against the Eagles, he came out throwing. It was a GOOD game plan, as the Bears D constantly stacked 8-9 guys in the box, but the players just did NOT execute(i.e. Payton got criticized heavily afterwards for going pass happy in the worst of weather conditions).

Again - it wasn't a bad game plan at all, as they had the matchups they wanted, and they struck it big with a long bomb TD to Reggie Bush at one point, but they just did not execute properly.

Kudos to the Steelers that day for executing brilliantly. Sometimes you have to take chances and take the opposition off balance.