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mesaSteeler
03-11-2010, 11:33 PM
State of the Steelers: What the 2009 Film Revealed
By ANDY BENOIT
Pittsburg Steelers (you know you'd think the NY Times would learn how to spell PITTSBURGH - mesa)

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/09/state-of-the-steelers-what-the-2009-film-revealed/

Offense

No quarterback has better physical tools than Ben Roethlisberger (assuming he will be allowed to play next season). Heís known for his sandlot skills, but last season Roethlisberger also proved sharp in the presnap game. What really stood out was his chemistry with the smooth tight end Heath Miller and the wide receiving corps. Hines Ward was his usual self. Santonio Holmes was arguably the best route runner in football (noteworthy considering how flawed he was in this department as a rookie and sophomore). Mike Wallace showed star potential. So did running back Rashard Mendenhall, with his fluid yet powerful downhill burst. The offensive line was spectacular at times and seemingly absent-minded at others. RT Willie Colon was the most reliable all-around blocker. Power from mobility made LG Chris Kemoeatu the teamís most valuable lineman.

Defense

The loss of Troy Polamalu meant everything. Without him, the secondary was no longer adept at disguising coverages or cloaking unfavorable matchups. Also, the run defense became overly reliant on the inside linebackers, which isnít the worst thing but, as Pittsburgh discovered, isnít ideal. Casey Hampton was a monster. Few nose tackles have his lateral quickness and leverage. LaMarr Woodley was a first-class star, even though he didnít draw the attention that James Harrison did. Both players were dominant against the run. Still, it wasnít enough to compensate for the secondaryís crippling inconsistencies.

Top 5 Needs

1. Cornerback

Ike Taylor is fantastic, but heís it. William Gay is a liability as a starter, and nickel back Deshea Townsend should only be re-signed as a last resort.


2. Outside Linebacker

Woodley and Harrison are top five OLBs, but their backups, Andre Frazier and Patrick Bailey, are undrafted young veterans with minimal experience.

3. Safety

The speedy Ryan Clark was granted his wish to return, but the versatile Tyrone Carter will probably leave. That leaves the third-year pro Ryan Mundy as the primary backup. Anyone who saw the Raider game last season knows Mundy isnít ready. He lacks elite athleticism anyway. The newcomer Will Allen was signed primarily for special teams.

4. Offensive Lineman

The starting five is set, but with last yearís third-round rookie Kraig Urbik being a disappointment, depth is a question.

5. Defensive End

The free agent Travis Kirschke is probably gone. Last yearís first-round pick Ziggy Hood is raw but can replace him. Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel are in their 30s, but neither is slowing down (assuming Smith is healthy). That said, depth could be an issue, and the future must be planned at some point.

Andy Benoit is the founder of NFLTouchdown.com

tony hipchest
03-13-2010, 03:09 PM
Santonio Holmes was arguably the best route runner in football (noteworthy considering how flawed he was in this department as a rookie and sophomore). this is quite a compliment i dont think ive heard anyone pay holmes, especially considering arians schemes arent exactly vanilla.

flattering article. i would almost think andy benoit was a steeler homer.

devilsdancefloor
03-13-2010, 03:55 PM
cant be a homer! hell he cant spell pittsburgh!:wink02: but nice compliments to the team i am shocked.

Godfather
03-13-2010, 05:23 PM
undrafted young veterans with minimal experience


When did Yogi Berra start covering football?

Psyychoward86
03-13-2010, 06:53 PM
Santonio's route running was absolutely awful his 1st three years. Ben's had quite a few picks because of him during those times because of miscommunication and awful routes, especially square ins/outs and curl routes.

Set-Man
03-13-2010, 09:43 PM
Nice article but a few of the points are a bit overhyped, in my opinion.

"Offensive line spectacular at times". Come on, man - spectacular? They did okay but were never spectacular in any of the games I watched.

"Ike Taylor fantastic" Revis is fantastic. Ike has lead hands and was definitely not up to par. The secondary was plain awful.


No mention of special teams coverage units sucking.

Steeldude
03-14-2010, 01:15 AM
Ike Taylor is fantastic

yet statistically he was the most burned CB in the NFL last year.

that being said, he is still the steelers nest CB. that's kind of scary.