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zulater
12-30-2009, 11:08 AM
http://www.cbssports.com/columns/story/12723881/steelers-paying-for-august-rr-rest-and-rhames

PITTSBURGH -- It's difficult not to like Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. He's smart, affable and possessor of a crustaceous wit. It's possible he'll win a few more Super Bowls to boot. Tomlin's that good.

Yet some months ago Tomlin made a gross tactical error. If the Steelers falter and miss the postseason (which is likely though not foregone) it can be traced back to the flimsy frosted cupcake of a training camp run by Tomlin.

That camp set the tone for a lackadaisical, error-prone season that started with hopeful, pear-shaped expectations and ends now with the defending Super Bowl champions needing big-time help just to make the playoffs.


Mike Tomlin and the Steelers might have been too relaxed in camp. (Getty Images)
The common refrain heard from some in the media as well as Steelers fans is if the team had Troy Polamalu for the entire schedule Pittsburgh's season would've entered a more favorable orbit. Polamalu is just one player -- a superhuman one at times, but one guy nonetheless -- and his absence can't be the totality or even the majority of why the Steelers went from dominant to pedestrian in a short time while along the way losing to the microbes of the NFL like Cleveland, Kansas City and Oakland.

No, what happened to Pittsburgh goes back to one of the easiest NFL training camps I've witnessed in 20 years of covering the sport.

Part of the problem began with Tomlin giving veterans extended time off in those early days of camp. This is not an uncommon occurrence but Tomlin's approach was extreme, to say the least. Hines Ward, for example, practiced once in the first four days of camp. Ward called the rest CTO: coach's time off. Other key veterans had a similarly cushy early camp schedule.

Also in camp many Steelers players were allowed to violate a sort of longtime NFL tradition. They sat on their helmets during practice, something most coaches despise (the Seahawks and other teams used to fine players for sitting on theirs).

Is sitting on your helmet the worst thing that ever occurred in an NFL camp? Of course not. But it was one of many indicators that the Steelers looked, well, a little too satisfied.

Here was another. Actor Ving Rhames visited the Steelers during one camp practice and he carried on lengthy conversations with Steelers players and coaches. Not at the very beginning or very end of practice but smack in the middle of drills. At one point, Tomlin and Rhames spoke for 10 minutes as practice continued. Linebacker James Harrison sat out that day with an injury and (again during practice) took pictures with Rhames and then spoke to the actor for almost the entire second portion of practice.

Because Harrison wasn't participating didn't mean he couldn't still pay attention.

Some of these things were chronicled once before in August on CBSSports.com, but they are worth repeating.

Just couldn't imagine some of the coaches I've covered closely such as Bill Parcells (three Super Bowl appearances as a head coach), Joe Gibbs (three), Dan Reeves (four), Marv Levy (four) and Bill Belichick (four), among others, running a camp to that laid-back extreme.

The softness of the Steelers has arisen mostly on that formerly tough defense. Before the Baltimore game the Steelers defense allowed 121 fourth-quarter points this year, which was second worst. The 11 touchdown passes allowed in the fourth were a league high.

Tomlin gambled that a team thick with veteran self-starters would need rest more than it did discipline and it was a gamble that, unfortunately for Pittsburgh, failed. The extremely soft camp set the tone for the season and it also boxed Tomlin into a coaching corner.

After an overtime loss to Baltimore earlier in the season Tomlin talked about "unleashing hell" in the month of December. It wasn't a shock the Steelers lost to Oakland in the next game. Coaches can't have a relaxed atmosphere in one portion of the season and then talk tough in the next. It doesn't work.

Tomlin should've unleashed Hades in training camp, not in December against the Raiders. Anytime a coach is talking about unleashing anything against the lowly Raiders, that team is pretty much dead.

The New England Patriots are peaking now (very quietly) because coach Bill Belichick runs a tight operation from the first day of camp practice all through the year. There are bumps in the road, like when he had to send a group of players home for being late to a meeting, but the Patriots almost always get better at the end of the season because Belichick is consistently tough on them all the time. That consistency (along with Tom Brady) is why the Patriots are usually postseason factors and why Belichick will be in the Hall of Fame.

After the Steelers beat Baltimore last week to keep their slim playoff hopes alive it was vintage Tomlin who dared and challenged his team to finish strong. He's sometimes quite the inspirational talker and most of the time there is a great deal of substance behind his words.

Just not this summer.

This summer was camp cupcake goodness mixed in with Ving Rhames and it's coming back to haunt the Steelers now.

If only Rhames had run camp. Then at least someone would've gotten medieval on the Steelers.

zulater
12-30-2009, 11:11 AM
I agree with everything the writer says.

fansince'76
12-30-2009, 11:18 AM
This summer was camp cupcake goodness mixed in with Ving Rhames and it's coming back to haunt the Steelers now.

If only Rhames had run camp. Then at least someone would've gotten medieval on the Steelers.

Yeah, and then people would be bitching that training camp was too tough and the team was gassed down the stretch, y'know, like they did 2 years ago.

Dino 6 Rings
12-30-2009, 11:26 AM
Big Sigh...cause the training camp is what caused Troy to go for that fumble on the blocked Field Goal and the soft Training camp is what caused Smith to get hurt again...and the soft training camp is what caused Wallace to not Excel and for Sweed to become awesome...oh wait...

And the "soft" training camp is what caused our Offense to struggle at times and caused our Defense to wear down in the 4th Quarter of key games, and caused Ben to get a concussion in the KC Game, leading to Batch not getting it done in OT and then caused Batch to break himself again, and lead to Dixon throwing the INT in OT against the Ravens...

Yep, its all about the "soft" training camp.

tyler289
12-30-2009, 11:27 AM
So a lax training camp is the reason our defense can't make plays? Training camp is the reason our team has missed assignments, missed tackles, made poor decisions?

Makes so much sense now.

zulater
12-30-2009, 11:35 AM
Yeah, and then people would be bitching that training camp was too tough and the team was gassed down the stretch, y'know, like they did 2 years ago.

This writer wasn't the first to refer to Latrobe this year as "camp cupcake" .Every writer who covered the Steelers, be it local or national, commented on how easy Tomlin was on the team this past summer. This before the first game had been lost, so it wasn't an after the fact type. So the question that comes to mind for me is why he didn't run camp like he did in 2008? He set a tone early in 08 by calling out Casey Hampton for his lack of conditioning. Contrast that with this year when it was common knowledge that Ben came into camp doughy yet nothing came of it.

Lack of disipline, focus and attention to details was costly throughout the season to the Steelers. I think at least some of that stems back to camp.

I think Tomlin's a smart enough man to learn from his errors and I'll wager anything with anyone that they wont be calling next summer's training camp soft.

BlastFurnace
12-30-2009, 11:37 AM
So a lax atmosphere in TC allowed us to beat the Vikings, Chargers, Packers, Ravens, Titans, and Broncos

but prevented us from beating the Bears, Chiefs, Browns, and Raiders ???

The team has gotten older, injuries piled up in key positions, and the team lost it's focus for about 4 weeks after the 2nd Cincinnati game. That is what cost us the playoffs...not a lax training camp.

zulater
12-30-2009, 11:39 AM
So a lax training camp is the reason our defense can't make plays? Training camp is the reason our team has missed assignments, missed tackles, made poor decisions?

Makes so much sense now.

Focus, self disipline, accountability, fear of failure. All these things have been employed by the great coaches throughout the history of the league to keep players motivated to their highest level. Lombardi, Shula, Noll, Bellichick, Parcells none have ever had a training camp labeled "camp cupcake". Even good players need to hear the footsteps behind them occasionally.

zulater
12-30-2009, 11:43 AM
So a lax atmosphere in TC allowed us to beat the Vikings, Chargers, Packers, Ravens, Titans, and Broncos

but prevented us from beating the Bears, Chiefs, Browns, and Raiders ???

The team has gotten older, injuries piled up in key positions, and the team lost it's focus for about 4 weeks after the 2nd Cincinnati game. That is what cost us the playoffs...not a lax training camp.

We'll see what you say next year when they're all a year older but the record is 3 or 4 games better. :hatsoff:

zulater
12-30-2009, 11:52 AM
Big Sigh...cause the training camp is what caused Troy to go for that fumble on the blocked Field Goal and the soft Training camp is what caused Smith to get hurt again...and the soft training camp is what caused Wallace to not Excel and for Sweed to become awesome...oh wait...

And the "soft" training camp is what caused our Offense to struggle at times and caused our Defense to wear down in the 4th Quarter of key games, and caused Ben to get a concussion in the KC Game, leading to Batch not getting it done in OT and then caused Batch to break himself again, and lead to Dixon throwing the INT in OT against the Ravens...

Yep, its all about the "soft" training camp.

Maybe they should just do away with camp then? Hell just more chance to get players injured. :coffee:

Santonio Holmes missing his hot route and costing the Steelers a pick 6 in the first Bengals game. Santonio droping 4 balls including a should have been td against the Bears and blaming the weather,Santonio dropping a touchdown pass at the end of the half in the 2nd Bengals game. Pre and post snap penalties. Going through the motions in the second Browns game. There's a lot of things about this team that point to a lack of disipline and accountability that imo and others traces back to this summer at St. Vincent's.

zulater
12-30-2009, 11:58 AM
So this guy is saying the colts would still be good if peyton manning was out for majority of the season, since he is only 1 player, assuming that the colts had a tough training camp. :rofl: The colts would struggle to go 6-10 if manning missed the number of weeks troy did. Troy is just that important, he is more than just 1 guy, he's 1 guy that effects everything on the defense

So the loss of Troy is why the offense with a 4000 yard passer, a 1000 yard rusher, two 1,000 yard receivers, and arguably the best tight end in the game is middle of the pack in points per game?

This team had more talent than the Browns, the Raiders, and the Chiefs with or without Troy. I just hope the Steelers coaching staff isn't as easy as you to dismiss the shortcomings of the remaining players and try to improve upon the same.

BlastFurnace
12-30-2009, 12:00 PM
We'll see what you say next year when they're all a year older but the record is 3 or 4 games better. :hatsoff:

What point are you trying to prove? That wasn't even my argument.

Some older veterans have lost a step and it is showing this year. There is no arguing that. Next year's roster will be different and probably younger which will help the team in the long run.

What I will be "saying" next year if we are 3-4 games better is "Good"...just like you will. :hatsoff:

fansince'76
12-30-2009, 12:02 PM
I think Tomlin's a smart enough man to learn from his errors and I'll wager anything with anyone that they wont be calling next summer's training camp soft.

I agree - the fact is, Tomlin really did work them a bit too hard in his first TC, took the gas off a little bit in his second TC and took it off even more in his third. I would expect he'll ratchet the intensity back up in this summer's TC to match 2008.

zulater
12-30-2009, 12:03 PM
What point are you trying to prove? That wasn't even my argument.

Some older veterans have lost a step and it is showing this year. There is no arguing that.

Ever consider they might not have been pushed hard enough? Maybe got a little too content with themselves? I didn't see Ray Ray losing a step this year and he's about 58 now isn't he?

zulater
12-30-2009, 12:08 PM
I agree - the fact is, Tomlin really did work them a bit too hard in his first TC, took the gas off a little bit in his second TC and took it off even more in his third. I would expect he'll ratchet the intensity back up in this summer's TC to match 2008.


That's the ticket. :tt02:

Honestly what Tomlin did was understandable, I'm in no way condeming him. I love the guy and think he's going to be here for the next 15 years. But I think he might have got a little too chummy with some of the established veterans. He's got to seperate himself from the pack. When these guys get too old or ineffective it's his job to tell them to get better or get out.

BlastFurnace
12-30-2009, 12:11 PM
Ever consider they might not have been pushed hard enough? Maybe got a little too content with themselves? I didn't see Ray Ray losing a step this year and he's about 58 now isn't he?

No

The team beat a solid Tennessee team right out of the gate, lost to a Chicago team because of 2 missed FG's, lost to a Cincinnati team because of a dropped TD from a 2nd year receiver and then went on a 5 game winning streak.

If "Camp Cupcake" happened, then it would have shown much earlier.

The defense has suffered because it is missing two of it's key components on defense in Smith and Troy. Put Troy in our lineup for the 10 games he has missed and I guarantee you that we have atleast 2 more wins.

The team lost it's focus after the 2nd Cincinnati loss. That is what happened. You don't lose to KC, Oakland, and Cleveland if you are a focused team with the amount of talent this team has.

The team will also be younger next season due to some veterans leaving. That will benefit us in the long run.

Tomlin gave veterans days off last year and that was well documented. No-one complained about it then. The difference was that we were a healthier team on defense last year and that defense kept us in games that we very easily could have lost. Don't believe me, look at the games last year that could have gone either way when our offense wasn't clicking.

steelerchad
12-30-2009, 12:19 PM
Ever consider they might not have been pushed hard enough? Maybe got a little too content with themselves? I didn't see Ray Ray losing a step this year and he's about 58 now isn't he?

I did. Ray Ray's been losing a step every year for the last 4 years. He makes the pro bowl on reputation and past history only at this point.

BlastFurnace
12-30-2009, 12:21 PM
I did. Ray Ray's been losing a step every year for the last 4 years. He makes the pro bowl on reputation and past history only at this point.

Agree 100%. If Ray hadn't lost a step at this point in his career, he would have been one of the most highly saught after FA's when he was free last year.

Ray is still good, but he's not the dominant force he used to be.

zulater
12-30-2009, 12:24 PM
No

The team beat a solid Tennessee team right out of the gate,


"A solid" Titans team that lost their next 5!

lost to a Chicago team because of 2 missed FG's,

Most teams managed to beat the Bears without need of a late fg.

lost to a Cincinnati team because of a dropped TD from a 2nd year receiver and then went on a 5 game winning streak.

Lost because of a missed hot route by a receiver who may have got too high on himself ( insinuated by several Steelers beat writers) and a failure of their special teams to stop a fake punt when it should have been fairly predicatble that it was a distinct possibility given the game situation of the time.

If "Camp Cupcake" happened, then it would have shown much earlier.

It showed the 2nd and 3rd week of the season when they failed to put away an inferior opponent. Hell even go week one when they struggled to beat a mediocre Titans squad.

The defense has suffered because it is missing two of it's key components on defense in Smith and Troy. Put Troy in our lineup for the 10 games he has missed and I guarantee you that we have atleast 2 more wins.

Put Troy and Aaron in and I'll go further and say at least 3 or 4. But before you go jumping on that and saying ah ha! It's only because of the ridiculously easy schedule they had this season.

Give the 09 Steelers the 08 schedule and they don't win 6 games.

The team lost it's focus after the 2nd Cincinnati loss. That is what happened. You don't lose to KC, Oakland, and Cleveland if you are a focused team with the amount of talent this team has.

I think the focus wasn't what it needed to be right from the get go. The way the Lions and Browns extended this team to the final gun even when they were playing their best should tell you that.

The team will also be younger next season due to some veterans leaving. That will benefit us in the long run.

We all hope.


Tomlin gave veterans days off last year and that was well documented. No-one complained about it then. The difference was that we were a healthier team on defense last year and that defense kept us in games that we very easily could have lost.

No one's saying you don't ever give veterans a day off. But when they do practice make sure it's full out no matter who or when.

markymarc
12-30-2009, 02:20 PM
While I do have a hard time believing a "soft" training camp had anything to do with our bad play this season, I definitely feel Mike Tomlin will be pushing the team much harder in 2010's training camp. I guess we will see how much of a difference in makes during the 2010 regular season.

BlastFurnace
12-30-2009, 02:27 PM
No one's saying you don't ever give veterans a day off. But when they do practice make sure it's full out no matter who or when.

When the Steelers beat the Titans, they were considered a solid team and one of the favorites for the AFC Crown. Sometimes, a loss can send a team into a tailspin for some odd reason. We should know, it happened to the Steelers after the 2nd Bengals game. The Titans showed what kind of team that they are by bouncing back from an 0-6 start.

There is not a single team in the league that practices "full out" every single time. If they did, they would be worn out by the end of the season.

zulater
12-30-2009, 02:32 PM
While I do have a hard time believing a "soft" training camp had anything to do with our bad play this season, I definitely feel Mike Tomlin will be pushing the team much harder in 2010's training camp. I guess we will see how much of a difference in makes during the 2010 regular season.

I don't know how much it matters, but i do think it matters. If for no other reason than you have to impress upon the veterans you're their coach not their friend. I just don't think there's enough seperation between Tomlin and his stars this season.

zulater
12-30-2009, 02:33 PM
When the Steelers beat the Titans, they were considered a solid team and one of the favorites for the AFC Crown. Sometimes, a loss can send a team into a tailspin for some odd reason. We should know, it happened to the Steelers after the 2nd Bengals game. The Titans showed what kind of team that they are by bouncing back from an 0-6 start.

There is not a single team in the league that practices "full out" every single time. If they did, they would be worn out by the end of the season.

Obviously you have to strike the right balance.

markymarc
12-30-2009, 02:41 PM
I don't know how much it matters, but i do think it matters. If for no other reason than you have to impress upon the veterans you're their coach not their friend. I just don't think there's enough separation between Tomlin and his stars this season.

You may have a very good point. Actually that is one of the tougher things to do when leading any kind of team and making sure you coach and avoid getting into the "friend" spot.

austinfrench76
12-30-2009, 02:54 PM
I have never played pro ball but I do run a sales organization and I agree with 1 point here: The Atmosphere that camp created was off. That seeped into everything that has happened this year. NO, a soft camp doesn't make you beat the good teams and lose to the bad but it also doesn't set a standard of excellence that we expect from our team. When a player under performs, as can happen in sales, they look for either the hook or the life preserver and Tomlin never quite gave anyone the hook this year. No matter how poorly they played!

I love to watch the Steelers and make it or break it I'll wacth the game this Sunday and have fun doing it BUT there was something off about this team when they were 6-2 and we couldn't put our fingers on it. Atmosphere plays a part in everything that happens on any team. Sports or corporate, it does and that could have played a part here. I'm just sayin....

Gnutella
12-30-2009, 06:47 PM
So the loss of Troy is why the offense with a 4000 yard passer, a 1000 yard rusher, two 1,000 yard receivers, and arguably the best tight end in the game is middle of the pack in points per game?

Actually, there are five reasons for that:

1. Nonsensical play-calling in the red zone.
2. Poor starting field position after punts.
3. A lack of takeaways by the defense.
4. Untimely penalties by the offensive line and WRs.
5. Unnecessary sacks taken by Ben Roethlisberger.

Just saying...

Glace
12-30-2009, 07:06 PM
These columnists are starting to do a lot of reaching if they're blaming training camp for our record this season.

I'll bet back when we were 6-2 and had beaten Denver and Minnesota, they were pondering articles about how our "easy" training camp helped motivate the team for a strong regular season....

MasterOfPuppets
12-30-2009, 07:26 PM
i'd say tackling was definitly not part of the training camp drills....i've never seen a steeler team wiff so many tackles before.

zulater
12-30-2009, 07:53 PM
Actually, there are five reasons for that:

1. Nonsensical play-calling in the red zone.
2. Poor starting field position after punts.
3. A lack of takeaways by the defense.
4. Untimely penalties by the offensive line and WRs.
5. Unnecessary sacks taken by Ben Roethlisberger.

Just saying...

And I'm just saying I think training camp sets a tone that resonates throughout a season. Be lax, undisiplined, and sloppy in your approach to things in August and chances are that will carry on throughout a season. Last year this team didn't do things to beat itself. This year even in the games they've won they've seemingly gone out of their way to make things hard on themsleves.

Maybe one has nothing to do with the other? All I know is that while I'm no fan of Bill Parcells and Bill Bellichick, they would never be part of a training camp that was labeled "camp cupcake" by anyone. I think there's a reason for that.

zulater
12-30-2009, 07:56 PM
http://www.cbssports.com/columns/story/12723881/steelers-paying-for-august-rr-rest-and-rhames

PITTSBURGH -- It's difficult not to like Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. He's smart, affable and possessor of a crustaceous wit. It's possible he'll win a few more Super Bowls to boot. Tomlin's that good.

Yet some months ago Tomlin made a gross tactical error. If the Steelers falter and miss the postseason (which is likely though not foregone) it can be traced back to the flimsy frosted cupcake of a training camp run by Tomlin.

That camp set the tone for a lackadaisical, error-prone season that started with hopeful, pear-shaped expectations and ends now with the defending Super Bowl champions needing big-time help just to make the playoffs.


Mike Tomlin and the Steelers might have been too relaxed in camp. (Getty Images)
The common refrain heard from some in the media as well as Steelers fans is if the team had Troy Polamalu for the entire schedule Pittsburgh's season would've entered a more favorable orbit. Polamalu is just one player -- a superhuman one at times, but one guy nonetheless -- and his absence can't be the totality or even the majority of why the Steelers went from dominant to pedestrian in a short time while along the way losing to the microbes of the NFL like Cleveland, Kansas City and Oakland.

No, what happened to Pittsburgh goes back to one of the easiest NFL training camps I've witnessed in 20 years of covering the sport.

Part of the problem began with Tomlin giving veterans extended time off in those early days of camp. This is not an uncommon occurrence but Tomlin's approach was extreme, to say the least. Hines Ward, for example, practiced once in the first four days of camp. Ward called the rest CTO: coach's time off. Other key veterans had a similarly cushy early camp schedule.

Also in camp many Steelers players were allowed to violate a sort of longtime NFL tradition. They sat on their helmets during practice, something most coaches despise (the Seahawks and other teams used to fine players for sitting on theirs).

Is sitting on your helmet the worst thing that ever occurred in an NFL camp? Of course not. But it was one of many indicators that the Steelers looked, well, a little too satisfied.

Here was another. Actor Ving Rhames visited the Steelers during one camp practice and he carried on lengthy conversations with Steelers players and coaches. Not at the very beginning or very end of practice but smack in the middle of drills. At one point, Tomlin and Rhames spoke for 10 minutes as practice continued. Linebacker James Harrison sat out that day with an injury and (again during practice) took pictures with Rhames and then spoke to the actor for almost the entire second portion of practice.

Because Harrison wasn't participating didn't mean he couldn't still pay attention.

Some of these things were chronicled once before in August on CBSSports.com, but they are worth repeating.

Just couldn't imagine some of the coaches I've covered closely such as Bill Parcells (three Super Bowl appearances as a head coach), Joe Gibbs (three), Dan Reeves (four), Marv Levy (four) and Bill Belichick (four), among others, running a camp to that laid-back extreme.

The softness of the Steelers has arisen mostly on that formerly tough defense. Before the Baltimore game the Steelers defense allowed 121 fourth-quarter points this year, which was second worst. The 11 touchdown passes allowed in the fourth were a league high.

Tomlin gambled that a team thick with veteran self-starters would need rest more than it did discipline and it was a gamble that, unfortunately for Pittsburgh, failed. The extremely soft camp set the tone for the season and it also boxed Tomlin into a coaching corner.

After an overtime loss to Baltimore earlier in the season Tomlin talked about "unleashing hell" in the month of December. It wasn't a shock the Steelers lost to Oakland in the next game. Coaches can't have a relaxed atmosphere in one portion of the season and then talk tough in the next. It doesn't work.

Tomlin should've unleashed Hades in training camp, not in December against the Raiders. Anytime a coach is talking about unleashing anything against the lowly Raiders, that team is pretty much dead.

The New England Patriots are peaking now (very quietly) because coach Bill Belichick runs a tight operation from the first day of camp practice all through the year. There are bumps in the road, like when he had to send a group of players home for being late to a meeting, but the Patriots almost always get better at the end of the season because Belichick is consistently tough on them all the time. That consistency (along with Tom Brady) is why the Patriots are usually postseason factors and why Belichick will be in the Hall of Fame.

After the Steelers beat Baltimore last week to keep their slim playoff hopes alive it was vintage Tomlin who dared and challenged his team to finish strong. He's sometimes quite the inspirational talker and most of the time there is a great deal of substance behind his words.

Just not this summer.

This summer was camp cupcake goodness mixed in with Ving Rhames and it's coming back to haunt the Steelers now.

If only Rhames had run camp. Then at least someone would've gotten medieval on the Steelers.

bump of the original post to save newcomers the trouble.

ricardisimo
12-31-2009, 02:24 AM
I don't buy it. Camp gets easier and easier for some of the vets - like Hines - and they just get better and better. I think Tomlin probably has a significant hand in some of these losses, to be sure, but it has nothing to do with camp being - what? - 13.7% "softer".

No, the Steelers are losing for other reasons, including some truly bizarre game management from Tomlin himself, weird and often just plain bad play-calling from Arians, and the losses of Troy and Aaron on D. This shouldn't be a mystery to anyone.

HometownGal
12-31-2009, 07:38 AM
I'm not one who believes the "vets" should be cut any slack whatsoever in TC. They should be expected to participate daily and work just as hard as everyone else. The vets on the team should be leading by example starting with TC.

The Steelers have no one to blame for the position they are in but themselves, and particularly, the Steelers D. The O and ST's played a small part in where the Steelers are sitting in this last week of regular play, but with the D giving away 5 games to our opponenets on a silver platter (and almost another 3 had the O not saved their rumps), they should consider themselves lucky that they even have a miniscule shot at getting into the playoffs this year.

GBMelBlount
12-31-2009, 08:05 AM
but with the D giving away 5 games to our opponents on a silver platter

This is the most telling fact to me Marianne. Last year we won four games with 4th quarter comebacks, this year we lost 5 games we were winning.....

What more is there to say? They didn't want it bad enough.......

THAT is what saddens me more than anything.

Bobby_Walden
12-31-2009, 09:02 AM
Great article. Well said.

I feel this "camp cupcake" did play a roll. You play how you practice. You cannot throw a switch and all of a sudden have a killer intensity. The difference between a 11-5 team and a 7-9 team in the NFL is always a hand full of plays in each game. What's new, we've been winning those kinds of games for years...this year we lost many of them.

Everyone in the NFL is big, strong and fast. It's hard to win on talent alone...It's all desire. That can only be achieved by keeping an aggressive tone to your work pattern. Your going to play how you practice.

I'm 43 years old. I started lifting weights 3 yrs ago. I struggle some days. If I don't eat right and get enough sleep, I can't push as hard. When all phases are present, I gain strength and muscle. If I eat junk food and stay out late - I get poor results. My point is that I need to keep on top of my routine 24/7/365. I can't take off a few days in any aspect and just throw a switch. Dedication has to be there. Always keeping a mental focus, staying sharp. It's all mental. Results follow attitude.

When players get convinced they just need to show up to win, you've already lost. I feel that is why as the season went on, focus was lost. 4th quarter results really did this team in. Why could the D keep a lead for 3 quarters...then implode ?

Why has this team looked so soft ? Because they practiced soft. Way too much talent, not enough effort at crunch time.

To be fair this team looks slow on D now. Troy's injury no doubt has really hurt us huge. We've been in too many close games against teams we should crush. I base it all on attitude - soft camp, too much time off.

Fire Haley
12-31-2009, 11:54 AM
What a steaming pantload.

This hack writer didn't have anything to say when we were 6-2.

I blame Troy's knee and our back-ups suck.

The old back-up guys held up for awhile, but eventually teams zeroed in on all our weaknesses and exploited them.

Running them into the ground in camp is no answer - we need fresh young legs all over the roster.

GBMelBlount
12-31-2009, 12:08 PM
Running them into the ground in camp is no answer - we need fresh young legs all over the roster.

Do you really think our team age is a primary factor? I don't. Yes, we are aging, but that can't be the primary factor in our complete reversal of fortune in the 4th quarter between last year and this year.....

or if Troy & shitty backups is the primary factor, why are we almost always leading going into the 4th quarter?

I find myself having much of the same sentiments as WaterBoy Walden.

Fire Haley
12-31-2009, 12:43 PM
Do you really think our team age is a primary factor?

On defense - yes


if Troy & shitty backups is the primary factor, why are we almost always leading going into the 4th quarter?

Because the defense runs out of gas in the 4th qtr - They can hang for awhile, but they poop out in the end.
See: Tyrone

ricardisimo
12-31-2009, 01:02 PM
So then we need to review the work being done by the strength and conditioning coach. I'd love to think that all of the time I spent in the gym last Spring is going to keep all of the Christmas cupcakes off of my belly, but that's not going to happen. The effects from six weeks in Spring are long gone by now, and certainly were gone by the time we were 6-2.

zulater
12-31-2009, 01:17 PM
So then we need to review the work being done by the strength and conditioning coach. I'd love to think that all of the time I spent in the gym last Spring is going to keep all of the Christmas cupcakes off of my belly, but that's not going to happen. The effects from six weeks in Spring are long gone by now, and certainly were gone by the time we were 6-2.

No but if the discipline you acquired last summer is sustained there wont be a problem later. Now see if you can apply that to the topic at hand. :tap:

MACH1
12-31-2009, 01:28 PM
So then we need to review the work being done by the strength and conditioning coach. I'd love to think that all of the time I spent in the gym last Spring is going to keep all of the Christmas cupcakes off of my belly, but that's not going to happen. The effects from six weeks in Spring are long gone by now, and certainly were gone by the time we were 6-2.

Physically yes, Mentally no. Training camp is where you install the mental toughness of the team. The mental ability to survive adverse situations and come out ahead. The mentality to do all the little things it takes to win. Not to let people slide by on the easy.

IMO 'Camp Cupcake' may have had some (not all) to do with the decline this year.

But what do I know, I'm just another whiner from the brain trust. :noidea:

GBMelBlount
12-31-2009, 01:42 PM
Because the defense runs out of gas in the 4th qtr - They can hang for awhile, but they poop out in the end.
See: Tyrone

These 60 minute games are bullcrap.....

It's completely unfair to teams and players that are poorly conditioned.

I say 50 minutes max.

markymarc
01-01-2010, 02:15 PM
Physically yes, Mentally no. Training camp is where you install the mental toughness of the team. The mental ability to survive adverse situations and come out ahead. The mentality to do all the little things it takes to win. Not to let people slide by on the easy.

See I do agree with this theory. This would be my only complaint from the "soft" training camp Mike Tomlin ran prior to the 2009 season. Training camp would be the very beginning of what kind of mental ability you are going to instill in your team. And I would be very surprised if Mike Tomlin does run another "soft" training camp regime in 2010.