PDA

View Full Version : Checking out the 2011 Steelers


mesaSteeler
02-10-2011, 10:54 AM
Checking out the 2011 Steelers
Wednesday, February 09, 2011 12:30 AM
Written by Bob Smizik
http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/27399-checking-out-the-2011-steelers

It’s never too early to look at the next Steelers season, even if we’re not sure when it will be.

There were mixed opinions on the blog yesterday about what kind of immediate future the Steelers have. Let’s take a position-by-position look -- at the offense today -- at how they figure to stack up the next time they play a game in anger.

Quarterback: Obviously, the Steelers are set here with one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. But is it time to add a new dimension to Ben Roethlisberger’s game? Conformity. After seven years in the league, maybe it’s time for Roethlisberger to adhere more to the game plan. He needs to stay more in the pocket, less utilize his ability to extend plays and adhere more to the play that was called. There’s a definite upside to Roethlisberger’s ability to extend a play, but there’s a downside, too. He’s sometimes too eager to free lance. He needs to stay in the pocket, get rid of the ball more quickly to avoid sacks and preserve his health. He’s not a kid anymore. Maybe it will take a new offensive coordinator to convince him of this new strategy. Grade: A

Running back: Rashard Mendenhall had his second straight 1,000-yard season, which really isn’t much in the 16-game schedule, but he established himself as the Steelers’ guy. He can run hard and fast and we’re seeing less of his stutter step and more of his power. He was seventh in the league in yards but fourth in attempts with 324 carries. That’s a lot of punishment. Isaac Redman has shown he deserves more of the load. If coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t believe that, he should look elsewhere for his backup to Mendenhall. GRADE: B-

Tight end: As an accomplished blocker and receiver, Heath Miller is one of the better all-around tight ends in the league and fills the Steelers need at the position well. He’ll be in his seventh season next year. It might be time to groom a replacement, and it’s not going to be backup Matt Spaeth. GRADE: B

Wide receiver: Mike Wallace averaged 21.0 yards per catch in the regular season and 8.8 in the playoffs. That could be an aberration or it could be that under closer scrutiny by defenses he’s less effective. Hines Ward’s production dropped from 95 receptions in 2009 to 59. Is this the beginning of the end? Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown had fine rookie seasons but remain unproven. GRADE: C+

Offensive line: The most underrated unit on the team. People were so used to complaining about the line they failed to notice it blocked well enough for Mendenhall to rank seventh in the league, give Roethlisberger adequate protection and get the team to the Super Bowl.

The team is set at center with Maurkice Pouncey and there should be spirited competition elsewhere, which is always good. Both Super Bowl starting tackles, Jonathan Scott and Flozell Adams, are under contract for next season but both could be pushed aside. Max Starks, who missed the final 11 games with injury, is almost certain to recapture his left tackle job from Scott. Willie Colon, who under the terms of the current CBA could be a free agent, and Adams could duel for the right tackle job, if both are around.

Chris Kemoeatu figures to be set at left guard and at right guard incumbent Ramon Foster will be challenged by Doug Legursky, whom he beat out during the regular season. Legursky’s play in place of Pouncey in the Super Bowl has enhanced his stock. GRADE: C

It was not and is not a great offense. But with a great quarterback in control, it has been more than good enough and will continue to be so

theplatypus
02-10-2011, 11:08 AM
It was not and is not a great offense. But with a great quarterback in control, it has been more than good enough and will continue to be so

Being that we lost the Super Bowl in large part because of our offense it certainly wasn't "more than good enough". That is unless 2nd place is good enough for you.

steelerohio
02-10-2011, 11:22 PM
Sounds like the type of thing I'd worry about after the draft... another Pouncey would help... but it's not guaranteed the Steelers gets him...

austinfrench76
02-10-2011, 11:29 PM
The Steeler offense out scored the Packers 25-24. Not sure why our Offense isn't getting any credit?? If not for a 3 turnovers we win that game fairly handily.

TRH
02-11-2011, 03:59 AM
Being that we lost the Super Bowl in large part because of our offense it certainly wasn't "more than good enough". That is unless 2nd place is good enough for you.


we lost the SB because our "stellar" defense decided to not show up. 3 turnovers? One was a "hit arm" and we had to deal with that one. The other 2? The defense let them march right down and score immediately.
The offense wasn't great, but the defense was worse.

Rick5895
02-11-2011, 10:18 AM
we lost the SB because our "stellar" defense decided to not show up. 3 turnovers? One was a "hit arm" and we had to deal with that one. The other 2? The defense let them march right down and score immediately.
The offense wasn't great, but the defense was worse.

The defense forced 4 straight pints in the 3rd. We only scored 7. While the D struggled so did the O. And we still had the ball with 2 min left down by 6. The offense looked very confused. THIS WAS A TOTAL TEAM LOSS not just the O, D, or ST's.

Atlanta Dan
02-11-2011, 10:36 AM
The defense forced 4 straight pints in the 3rd. We only scored 7. While the D struggled so did the O. And we still had the ball with 2 min left down by 6. The offense looked very confused. THIS WAS A TOTAL TEAM LOSS not just the O, D, or ST's.

Agreed - offfense did not go in for the kill after cutting the lead to 17-14, defense had a bad 4th quarter, and ST contributed 2 penalties on kickoff returns (Mundy & Fox) + a horrible shank on the FG

Stuff happens - Steelers got a huge break when New England lost but were not good enough to overcome a lot of mistakes - i assume Ravens fans feel the same way (or worse since it has been a decade since Ravens went to the SB) about their 2 losses to the Steelers this year

SlackerCSB
02-11-2011, 10:55 AM
I disagree with the grades.

We're set with Ben at QB. Mendenhall and Redman make a nice 1-2 punch. Miller is a beast and we probably have the best group of young receivers in the league + Ward.

We need better play calling and a corner opposite of Ike and probably a new kicker.

MasterOfPuppets
02-11-2011, 11:16 AM
he calls the oline "under rated" in the article, yet only gives them a C ....:noidea:

hopefully they can resign colon , cut scott , hills and essex , keep adams one more year , draft a tackle and guard.
i'd like to see some "heavy" packages with flozell lined up next to colon as a third tackle.

Atlanta Dan
02-11-2011, 11:24 AM
he calls the oline "under rated" in the article, yet only gives them a C ....:noidea:.

Maybe because the rep of that o-line has been D if not F?:chuckle::noidea:

Every time the Steelers O-line did well on pass or run blocking during the playoffs the commentary would be effusive, sort of like a teacher overpraising a slow learner for geting the right answer to a question

Set-Man
02-11-2011, 02:34 PM
Time to frickin' rebuild.
O-Line: get 2 new guards and a left tackle if Starks is out. Kemo has missed too many blocks. He wiffed on the Jet's safety and he missed his block on the guy that hit Ben on the INT.

Defense: new CB's, resign Ike.

The feared D gets picked apart by any team with a decent QB.

It was a team loss (turnovers on O, failure to hold on D. 3rd and 19, was it? they converted then scored again.