View Full Version : Aaron Smith Reportedly Done For Year, Diminishing Steelers Super Bowl Hopes?

10-25-2010, 09:16 PM
Aaron Smith Reportedly Done For Year, Diminishing Steelers Super Bowl Hopes?
Posted on October 24, 2010 by ted

The Steelers won a tough battle in a hard-fought and fortunate, 23-22, win at Miami on Sunday. But they may well have lost the war of the 2010 season.

Aaron Smith, the Steelersí best defensive lineman and arguably the NFLís top 3-4 defensive end over the past decade, left the game early in the second half with what is believed to be a torn triceps. The injury will likely end his season, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

This will mark the third time in the last four years that the now-34-year-old Smith suffered a career-ending injury during the season. In the other two seasons (2007, 2009), the normally stout Pittsburgh defense was nowhere near as formidable without Smith and essentially collapsed down the stretch of both seasons.

In between, Smith stayed healthy for the 2008 season, earning a Pro Bowl selection and winning a second Super Bowl title with the Steelers. His play thus far this fall was similar to much of his career when healthy.

The Steelers will now likely move reserve Ziggy Hood into a starting role at LDE. Hood, however, has been bothered by a sprained ankle this fall and has yet to really flash the ability in games that made him the Steelersí first-round pick in 2009. Pittsburgh desperately needs a quick return to health by veteran starting RDE Brett Keisel, who missed todayís Miami game with a pulled hamstring.

The Pittsburgh defensive line provided almost no pass rush and was not as strong against the run with Hood and journeyman reserve Nick Eason at end today throughout much of the second half. Players behind them engender even less confidence.

Second-year player Steve McLendon has been going back and forth between the active roster and practice squad this fall. Expect him to now be signed to the active roster for the rest of the season as soon as Smith is placed on injured reserve.

If Keisel is not back for the Sunday night showdown at New Orleans next week, Pittsburgh may also need to sign former LSU star Al Woods off its practice squad just to have a two-deep roster on the defensive line, because the team only kept six on its original 53-man roster, with five of those players over 30.

Pittsburgh then would have to temporarily release a player from another position (likely QB Charlie Batch or QB Byron Leftwich) to make room on the roster for Woods for a game or two before resigning the released quarterback.

Regardless of any roster moves, expect reserve nose tackle Chris Hoke to also start receiving more game reps at defensive end as well. In some seasons, Hoke has not played any defensive end. However, he has already seen a few reps on the outside this season and will now likely have to cross-train at NT and DE, where the Steelersí depth will lack experience and talent.

Smith is signed through 2011 and the Steelers would likely welcome him back next season, but it may have to be as a part-time player and at a lower salary. However, he may just decide to retire, thus ending a fine career. Even if Smith returns next fall, the Steelers can no longer depend on him playing 16 games.

10-25-2010, 10:49 PM
This is a HUGE loss, but not a "give up, the season is over loss." Man these people get on my nerves!

tony hipchest
10-25-2010, 10:59 PM
while we lost 5 games last year w/o troy and smith, everyone seems to forget the 3 in a row we won to close the season (against SB favorites GB, BAL, and MIA).

we still got troy. hood will hold his own.

we may not be a record setting SB defense, but nobody really has been close with exception of the 08 steelers or 00 ravens.

10-25-2010, 11:13 PM
This is a HUGE loss, but not a "give up, the season is over loss." Man these people get on my nerves!

So much so that you mentioned here and started a thread about it? I think you're making more about it right now than the "doom and gloomers"...

I think this calls for the Sky is Falling pic.......

10-25-2010, 11:24 PM
Steelers still didn't allow any 100 yard rushers last year without him, though he is double teamed a lot which allows Woodley to get a better pass rush, but I think the team wont suffer without him. Everyone has to realize he's gonna retire soon anyways, what would the team do then? If they can't win now, then why have hope.

Tone's Toes
10-26-2010, 12:37 AM
Strange thing was that Woodley got most of his sacks down the stretch last season when Smith was out.

The stat about beating Baltimore, Green Bay and Miami while losing right before that to Cleveland Oakland and Kansas City is still mind boggling.

tony hipchest
10-26-2010, 01:19 AM
make no mistake...

the loss of aaron smith is huge and cannot be overstated. but life will go on.

the patriots lost richard seymore and randy moss (infact they were given away and maybe better off with a 5-1 record).

the jets have lost kris jenkins (along with faneca and t. jones), which was supposed to be a devestating blow.

the ravens have been w/o ed reed, all their cb's, and still dealing with the loss of b leonhard and b. scott.

is anyone still lamenting the loss of s. holmes?

i certainly hope steelerfans are able to buck up and see their 5-1 record for what it is w/o outbitching and whining the fans of the other NFL power ranking demons.

jets, ravens, and patriot fans think they are the cream of the crop and some steelerfans will start throwing in the towel :headshake:

10-26-2010, 01:49 AM
3 season ending injuries in 4 seasons = 3 strikes IMO

I love him and he's been an integral part of the defense, but even if he is one of the best players when he is playing, if we can't count on him being there because he's constantly getting injured then we have to move on regardless.

10-26-2010, 03:05 AM
Steelers still didn't allow any 100 yard rushers last year without him,.
ray rice says you're wrong ..:popcorn:

10-26-2010, 04:44 AM
Now we get to see what Ziggy can do, let's hope he was worth the 1st round pic.

Atlanta Dan
10-26-2010, 09:24 AM
It is a devastating loss overall and particularly with respect to the run defense, but the pass defense has been a bigger issue during the last 2 games as well as in the 4th quarter of the Ravens game

Hood needs to step up - the grim reality is that the Steelers neglected the D-line for years in the draft and now they have a lot of +30 linemen who are going to be breaking down

Could have been worse - it might be another Roethlisberger injury fable (see, e.g., alleged broken toes in the 2004 AFC championship, alleged broken rib before the last drive in SB XLIII), but this is Roethkisberger describing the goal line hit on his last fumble

"I thought he broke my arm. He hit me so hard," Ben Roethlisberger said.