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SteelCityMom
09-01-2011, 11:00 AM
About those Steeler 'weaknesses' (http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/29965-about-those-steeler-weaknesses)
Thursday, 01 September 2011 01:15
Written by Bob Smizik
http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/29965-about-those-steeler-weaknesses

It is widely believed that the Steelers have an average-to-poor offensive line, a porous pass defense and a borderline idiot as offensive coordinator.

Somehow they keep going back to the Super Bowl, more often than any team.

Letís talk about those weaknesses or what I prefer to consider ``so-called weaknesses.''

The offensive line: The group that started in the Super Bowl last year against Green Bay helped the Steelers to more yards, more first downs and more offensive points than the Packers, which is pretty good playing against the best team in the NFL. They were able to do this despite the fact their best member, center Maurkice Pouncey, did not play.

Pouncey is back and again will start at center.

Willie Colon, who missed all of last season with injury, is back at right tackle, where he started 16 for the previous three seasons including the 2008 Super Bowl champions. Some might not consider this an upgrade over Flozell Adams, but they should note that the Steelers cut Adams and no one has picked him up.

Chris Kemoeatu is back at left guard, a position he held last season and on the 2008 Super Bowl champions.

Ramon Foster, who started at right guard last season is back but will not start and is not even in contention to start. The job will fall to either Doug Legursky, who is expected to start tonight against the Carolina Panthers, or Tony Hills, a seldom-used tackle who was switched to guard this season.

Jonathan Scott, who took over left tackle last season when Max Starks was lost to injury, returns, but has been hurt. He should play tonight and could open the season. If he is not ready, Marcus Gilbert, the 2011 second-round draft choice, will start.

So what you have are two returnees from a Super Bowl champion (Kemoeatu and Colon) a player (Legursky or Hill) who will have beaten out a returnee from a Super Bowl line that outplayed Green Bay, and the best rookie center in Steelers history.

Some people call that a below-average line. I donít.

The secondary features four players who started in the 2008 Super Bowl won by the Steelers and the 2010 Super Bowl that they lost.

A lot of teams would like to have that kind of personnel.

Thatís not to suggest this is a superior group. Itís not. But it has been good enough. Ike Taylor might be the most underrated cornerback in NFL history. Heís been the No. 1 corner on two Super Bowl champions and never made the Pro Bowl.

Also in the secondary is strong safety Troy Polamalu, whoís headed to the Hall of Fame, and merely the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.í

Cornerback Bryant McFadden and free safety Ryan Clark have started in two Super Bowls.

As for offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, thereís no arguing with people about him. Iíve been trying for three years to convince fans heís not an idiot. I wonít waste any more of your time or mine because they still believe they can call plays better than he can.

Those are the Steelers weaknesses. If they are, that makes them a pretty strong team. Strong enough to get to the Super Bowl?

It certainly could happen. Two things could halt that dream. Injuries and a better team.

Thatís why they play the 16 games. Should be another great Steelers season.

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 11:27 AM
meh...this guy can try to paint the team's weaknesses any way he wants, but the fact remains that o-line & the secondary have been and continue to be weak.

Are they so weak that our obvious strengths can't overcome them? Obviously not. But, they are still weaknesses on an otherwise championship caliber team.

DanRooney
09-01-2011, 11:43 AM
I was really intrigued by the Hills experiment. It's unfortunate that he couldn't win the job. I do think Legursky is a pretty solid lineman (and a beast fullback). We don't have to have an all-pro line, but an average one will be fine with a QB like Ben.

Outside of Mendenhall, our 2008 draft is a miss. Limas Sweed, Bruce Davis, Mike Humpal, Dennis Dixon (hate him), and Ryan Mundy (meh), That entire draft class was pretty bad though. For every DeSean Jackson there was a Sweed, Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas.

BKAnthem
09-01-2011, 11:47 AM
it's beyond stupid to discard weakness...period

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 11:55 AM
I was really intrigued by the Hills experiment. It's unfortunate that he couldn't win the job. I do think Legursky is a pretty solid lineman (and a beast fullback). We don't have to have an all-pro line, but an average one will be fine with a QB like Ben.

Outside of Mendenhall, our 2008 draft is a miss. Limas Sweed, Bruce Davis, Mike Humpal, Dennis Dixon (hate him), and Ryan Mundy (meh), That entire draft class was pretty bad though. For every DeSean Jackson there was a Sweed, Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas.

I agree with your Hills comment. I don't know that the experiment is over - I don't remember seeing him struggle against Atlanta, but then again, I wasn't watching him the whole time.

DanRooney
09-01-2011, 12:04 PM
Yeah I actually only caught highlights of the Atlanta game because my power went out for 4 days because of Irene :mad:

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 12:07 PM
Yeah I actually only caught highlights of the Atlanta game because my power went out for 4 days because of Irene :mad:

I missed the second half due to the rain - satellite signal lost. :pissed:

BKAnthem
09-01-2011, 12:12 PM
the funniest thing about this article, is one of the main reasons they lost the Superbowl was because of their weaknesses..... the secondary got TORCHED...
http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d81e2b037/Nelson-29-yd-TD-catch

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 12:23 PM
the funniest thing about this article, is one of the main reasons they lost the Superbowl was because of their weaknesses..... the secondary got TORCHED...
http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d81e2b037/Nelson-29-yd-TD-catch

Right! Don't forget all the dropped passes by the Packers too.

Every team has weaknesses, I just hate it when homers try to paint everything as rosy just because the Steelers were in the Bowl. Maybe they were a legit DB & a Pouncey injury away from winning #7? :noidea:

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 12:26 PM
the funniest thing about this article, is one of the main reasons they lost the Superbowl was because of their weaknesses..... the secondary got TORCHED...
http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d81e2b037/Nelson-29-yd-TD-catch

Gay looked like he was just walking his dog through the park...WTF?!

Danny136200
09-01-2011, 02:22 PM
meh...this guy can try to paint the team's weaknesses any way he wants, but the fact remains that o-line & the secondary have been and continue to be weak.

Are they so weak that our obvious strengths can't overcome them? Obviously not. But, they are still weaknesses on an otherwise championship caliber team.

Yes they are weaknesses in the team, but you will be hard pressed to find a team without any glaring weaknesses.

solardave
09-01-2011, 02:25 PM
Gay is just an Innocent bystander. If you subscribe to the theory that you can't do anything wrong if YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING!!!!

I honestly think one of the young guys, either Butler or Lewis can beat him out.

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 02:32 PM
Yes they are weaknesses in the team, but you will be hard pressed to find a team without any glaring weaknesses.

Right. That's not the point. The author of the article suggests that they aren't weaknesses with a lame argument that, because these guys played in a Superbowl, they aren't weaknesses.

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 02:34 PM
Gay is just an Innocent bystander. If you subscribe to the theory that you can't do anything wrong if YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING!!!!

I honestly think one of the young guys, either Butler or Lewis can beat him out.

He's a bystander alright!

I agree that Butler or Lewis can beat him out...especially Lewis if he's healthy. Lewis has had more time to learn LeBeau's schemes & shows some ability to play close to the receiver.

Rick5895
09-01-2011, 02:43 PM
We have a very good team with some weakness, sure, the secondary could be better, but at what cost? (weaker LB's) I suspect the new additions we have in Buler, lewis, brown and hopefully Cortez Allen will make us better by the second half of this year. lake will do a god job as a coach.
I am not one of those that is overly concerned with our OL. I have said before in other threads, stability is almost as important as pure talent, if the OL can stay healthy we will be fine.
Oh and to those that call those of us who would rather be positive, HOMERS. Well......Your damn right i am, doesn't mean I ignore the odd problems, I just choose not to complain about it with every waking breath.

I am looking forward to another great season and Super bowl championship # 7.

:tt04:

Steeldude
09-01-2011, 02:46 PM
I was really intrigued by the Hills experiment. It's unfortunate that he couldn't win the job.

no one has won the job yet. legursky was only named starter for the upcoming pre-season season game. i recall reading it on some steelers' oriented site where they quoted one of the coaches. i will see if i can find it.

theplatypus
09-01-2011, 03:56 PM
the funniest thing about this article, is one of the main reasons they lost the Superbowl was because of their weaknesses..... the secondary got TORCHED...
http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d81e2b037/Nelson-29-yd-TD-catch

OUr supposed weakness gave up fewer points then the PAckers, 99 times out of 100 that's a win. The one time it's a loss is when your offense gives them points like they did in the SB. OUR OFFENSE GAVE THEM 7 POINTS DIRECTLY AND 14 MORE WITH A SHORT FREAKING FIELD.

DanRooney
09-01-2011, 04:00 PM
William Gay is beyond horrible in coverage. I can't imagine how bad he'd look if we didn't have the best pass rush in the league. It mind baffling to me that he still has the starting NB role. I fully expect for him to lose his job to Brown or Crezdon.

Steelersfan87
09-01-2011, 05:15 PM
Right. That's not the point. The author of the article suggests that they aren't weaknesses with a lame argument that, because these guys played in a Superbowl, they aren't weaknesses.

No, the author suggests that if those are the team's weaknesses, then the team is in pretty damn good shape with respect to the rest of the league.

Danny136200
09-01-2011, 05:29 PM
Right. That's not the point. The author of the article suggests that they aren't weaknesses with a lame argument that, because these guys played in a Superbowl, they aren't weaknesses.
I think what he is trying to say is that the Steelers are a super duper ultra team even with those weaknesses. Everybody can agree the oline and secondary were pretty weak last year, and it seems like it is going down the same path. I do believe that the secondary will improve from the end of last year, but i do not really know about the oline.

BKAnthem
09-01-2011, 05:55 PM
Right. That's not the point. The author of the article suggests that they aren't weaknesses with a lame argument that, because these guys played in a Superbowl, they aren't weaknesses.

Exactly

sharkweek
09-01-2011, 06:02 PM
I love the positive take on the situation, but weakness is relative

our OL and secondary might not be bad by league standards, but relative to the production put out by the rest of the team they are clearly our weaknesses

if not for our secondary we would have blown out the Cardinals in XLIII, instead its arguably the most exciting superbowl ever in a close game with so many dramatic and huge plays with an outcome that ultimately could have gone either way

In XLV the O-line lets the Packers pass rush get to Ben and ultimately forces a bad throw that gets intercepted and goes the other way for a GB TD, which is ultimately the margin that the Packers win by...

While I understand what you're doing (too many people harp on our weaknesses to the point where its hard to tell whether or not they're ultimately thankful and grateful how truly awesome our team is and that we really have little right to complain about anything compared to say Bengals fans), but ultimately its all about relativity, if we had an O line and defensive secondary that provided league leading performances like the rest of our team can do, we'd be pretty much unstoppable.

when we lose its rarely because of poor play from our defensive front 7 or our QB/RBs/WRs

Buddha Bus
09-01-2011, 06:09 PM
The author just seems to be pointing out that:

1) Willie Colon will be returning to shore up the RT position that he was beginning to play well at vefore his Achilles injury.

2) Legursky and/or Hills is poised to take over the RG spot implying that one or the other is showing themselves more capable than the incumbent Foster.

3) Jonathan Scott, who played better at the LT position as the year progressed last season, will resume his role in a better prepared season or Marcus Gilbert will wow enough to unseat him.

All of these things will hopefully solidify or stabilize the o-line with more game time together. You know Pouncey will be ready.

The secondary could also be improved if some of the younger guys continue to improve as the season progresses. We have yet to see BMac (which is probably a good thing) and it seems like the coaches are at least taking a long hard look at some of the young guys over Gay, who is better suited in a nickel back role.

Overall, with the injection of youth in the secondary and some added experience for Lewis, I feel the CB position is in a better place this year than last.

As pointed out already, every team has weaknesses. The true champions can overcome them and I'm confident our team is one of those teams.

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 06:18 PM
No, the author suggests that if those are the team's weaknesses, then the team is in pretty damn good shape with respect to the rest of the league.

That's not how I read it. I actually agree that despite those weaknesses they are an excellent team. But, his logic is flawed. Take this statement for example:

So what you have are two returnees from a Super Bowl champion (Kemoeatu and Colon) a player (Legursky or Hill) who will have beaten out a returnee from a Super Bowl line that outplayed Green Bay, and the best rookie center in Steelers history.

You really think this makes sense? It's ridiculous to suggest that this o-line is not "below average" based on this explanation! Seriously? Colon - who didn't play a snap last year. Kemo - who had numerous penalties, bone-headed mistakes, whiffed blocks, and who has missed most of the pre-season. Legursky or Hill? Really? Oh, and a rookie at LT? Maybe.

Listen...this is a Superbowl-quality team. I'm hoping and praying the o-line gels, and that a youngster knocks Gay out of town. But, I'm not blind enough to think that our weaknesses might not bite us in the ass when it really counts.

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 06:25 PM
I love the positive take on the situation, but weakness is relative

our OL and secondary might not be bad by league standards, but relative to the production put out by the rest of the team they are clearly our weaknesses

if not for our secondary we would have blown out the Cardinals in XLIII, instead its arguably the most exciting superbowl ever in a close game with so many dramatic and huge plays with an outcome that ultimately could have gone either way

In XLV the O-line lets the Packers pass rush get to Ben and ultimately forces a bad throw that gets intercepted and goes the other way for a GB TD, which is ultimately the margin that the Packers win by...

While I understand what you're doing (too many people harp on our weaknesses to the point where its hard to tell whether or not they're ultimately thankful and grateful how truly awesome our team is and that we really have little right to complain about anything compared to say Bengals fans), but ultimately its all about relativity, if we had an O line and defensive secondary that provided league leading performances like the rest of our team can do, we'd be pretty much unstoppable.

when we lose its rarely because of poor play from our defensive front 7 or our QB/RBs/WRs

This is exactly the point. The Steelers very well could have won #7 last year if not for our glaring weaknesses. Don't tell me you weren't praying HARD for the Bears to win the NFC Championship. We all knew that we were in for a long day against Rodgers and all those WRs...not to mention the Packers pass rush.

MACH1
09-01-2011, 06:49 PM
As for offensive coordinator Bruce Arians,

http://thatschurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/steelersravens6.jpg

:chuckle:

steeltheone
09-01-2011, 07:20 PM
This is exactly the point. The Steelers very well could have won #7 last year if not for our glaring weaknesses. Don't tell me you weren't praying HARD for the Bears to win the NFC Championship. We all knew that we were in for a long day against Rodgers and all those WRs...not to mention the Packers pass rush.

And praying the Jets beat the Patriots so we could even get to the big game.

SteeleReign
09-01-2011, 08:38 PM
And praying the Jets beat the Patriots so we could even get to the big game.

Yeah, that too!!

mikegrimey
09-02-2011, 09:37 AM
I agree withs one of the sentiments of the author. I find that a lot of STeleers fans love to exaggerate teh o-line's weaknesses because it gives them an excuse to rate Roethlisberger as high as they want by saying "well if sounds had this o-line they wouldn't be worth shit" or some generic unprovable statement of that nature.

The o-line isn't great by any means, but isn't akin to the JV in high school like some would have u believe and Ben's high sack numbers are more indicative of how he likes to play than how sorry the oline is.

I think the secondary is a legitimate weakness though, particularly in the last two seasons. Although we haven't had a lot of flat out atrocious games, in the vein of the 09 Raiders loss and 10 Patriots dismantling, our secondary gives up an unsettling amount of big plays on 3rd and long. Nobody would argue that we could use some better cover corners, I disagree with the author that our success justifies them as "quality".

Steelersfan87
09-02-2011, 11:13 AM
That's not how I read it. I actually agree that despite those weaknesses they are an excellent team. But, his logic is flawed. Take this statement for example:

So what you have are two returnees from a Super Bowl champion (Kemoeatu and Colon) a player (Legursky or Hill) who will have beaten out a returnee from a Super Bowl line that outplayed Green Bay, and the best rookie center in Steelers history.

You really think this makes sense? It's ridiculous to suggest that this o-line is not "below average" based on this explanation! Seriously? Colon - who didn't play a snap last year. Kemo - who had numerous penalties, bone-headed mistakes, whiffed blocks, and who has missed most of the pre-season. Legursky or Hill? Really? Oh, and a rookie at LT? Maybe.

Listen...this is a Superbowl-quality team. I'm hoping and praying the o-line gels, and that a youngster knocks Gay out of town. But, I'm not blind enough to think that our weaknesses might not bite us in the ass when it really counts.

I agree that citing that a player started in a super bowl is a bad argument and that he should not have used that line of reasoning. However, just because he used a bad argument does not mean that his overall point (that the weaknesses that the Steelers possess are, quite frankly, enviable) is not solid.

rocckbottomxmen
09-02-2011, 05:59 PM
You know, All teams have a weakness. You literally cannot have 1st round picks at every position. I think the only defensive team the steelers had with no glaring weakness was the 95 team.

With that said the idea when building any team is to try to have your strengths be so strong that your weaknesses do not become a hindrance. For instance our defense was our strength when we were a running team.

However, when we changed our philosophy (whether people want to believe it or not. The steelers are a pass first team now ) and added the speedy receivers we became what Tomlin has always wanted. (many forget when he took over the team he said he was going to run the ball but his idea of offense is a brady or manning type offense)

And that means our defense was going to be on the field longer for two reasons. Either the offense would go three and out or score quickly. And our defense was built for a ball control offense.

With all that said. I do believe that they will find or have found a good way to control the ball when they get their lead.

SteeleReign
09-02-2011, 08:09 PM
I agree that citing that a player started in a super bowl is a bad argument and that he should not have used that line of reasoning. However, just because he used a bad argument does not mean that his overall point (that the weaknesses that the Steelers possess are, quite frankly, enviable) is not solid.

Enviable from the standpoint of the Bengals or Browns, but not from a team that wants to win a Superbowl this year.

SteeleReign
09-02-2011, 08:19 PM
You know, All teams have a weakness. You literally cannot have 1st round picks at every position. I think the only defensive team the steelers had with no glaring weakness was the 95 team.

With that said the idea when building any team is to try to have your strengths be so strong that your weaknesses do not become a hindrance. For instance our defense was our strength when we were a running team.

However, when we changed our philosophy (whether people want to believe it or not. The steelers are a pass first team now ) and added the speedy receivers we became what Tomlin has always wanted. (many forget when he took over the team he said he was going to run the ball but his idea of offense is a brady or manning type offense)

And that means our defense was going to be on the field longer for two reasons. Either the offense would go three and out or score quickly. And our defense was built for a ball control offense.

With all that said. I do believe that they will find or have found a good way to control the ball when they get their lead.

I understand your point. Our offense is potent, or seems to be heading that direction. If we can get on top by 10 points or more I will feel confindent in our chances. However, that is dependent on a couple things...first of all, Ben has to be able to survive our o-line's deficiencies. As slippery as Ben is, he can't do this Houdini act forever. If the line doesn't gel sometime this year Ben could suffer a major injury very soon.

Secondly, we've got to do a better job on 3rd down defense. We can't continue to allow 3rd and long conversions or stupid penalties to extend drives. I truly believe that one of our young DBs will come through this year....Lewis or Brown would be my guess.

OX1947
09-02-2011, 09:25 PM
the funniest thing about this article, is one of the main reasons they lost the Superbowl was because of their weaknesses..... the secondary got TORCHED...
http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d81e2b037/Nelson-29-yd-TD-catch

3 turnovers for 21 points lost the Super Bowl.

Steelersfan87
09-02-2011, 09:26 PM
Enviable from the standpoint of the Bengals or Browns, but not from a team that wants to win a Superbowl this year.

You mean like the Ravens or the Jets with a weakness at QB? I'd much rather have an average RG or a mediocre 2nd and 3rd CB as my team's biggest concerns, especially relative to the schemes that the Steelers operate.

Steeldude
09-03-2011, 01:25 AM
arians choosing his next play to run....

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Zzs_-gctsmA/TawVzXa7wNI/AAAAAAAAAb8/R6NmuFz_7ow/s1600/pickingnames.jpg

rocckbottomxmen
09-03-2011, 07:22 AM
3 turnovers for 21 points lost the Super Bowl.


It seems people don't want to remember that. They only seem to remember the secondary not stopping the pack. But giving them a short field of our turnovers was the reason we could not stop them

rocckbottomxmen
09-03-2011, 07:24 AM
You mean like the Ravens or the Jets with a weakness at QB? I'd much rather have an average RG or a mediocre 2nd and 3rd CB as my team's biggest concerns, especially relative to the schemes that the Steelers operate.


lol....yeah when been there done that...right......Have some of you forgotten what life was like before Ben