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mesaSteeler
11-29-2011, 06:08 AM
Steelers' Big Ben not worried about offense

By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reporting to work Monday at the Steelers' practice facility may have doubled as punishment, to some degree.

The players had to sit and sift through film of their worst offensive showing since a seven-turnover disaster in Baltimore on Sept. 11.

The offense's body of, ahem, work in a 13-9 escape at Kansas City included five holding penalties, a single first down in the fourth quarter and just 290 yards of total offense.

And that's not even the worst of it.

The Steelers forced Kansas City into three first-half turnovers, and their average starting field position following the takeaways was the Chiefs' 23. The offense converted the turnovers and accompanying prime real estate into just 10 points, falling to deliver a knockout blow to the Chiefs.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, with reporters clustered around his locker after the game, dressed slowly and quietly. The scene did nothing to suggest the Steelers had improved to 8-3 and kept pace with the top teams in the AFC.

"I've been saying the past couple of weeks that we've steadily improved every week," Roethlisberger said after his streak of 200-yard passing games was snapped at 17. "I think we had our first setback, but I don't think it's anything to panic over."

"We know we didn't play well on offense," added wide receiver Mike Wallace, who caught just two passes for 17 yards. "We'll be better next week. Obviously, I don't think we can get any worse."

It could have been worse for the Steelers in Kansas City. They could have lost and all but taken themselves out of contention in the AFC North.

Ultimately, they got away with one, something that happened on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last season when Buffalo's Stevie Johnson dropped a sure touchdown pass in overtime.

If the Steelers are to again win the AFC North and that wouldn't have happened last year if Buffalo upset the Steelers they probably have to go at least 4-1 the rest of the way.

The offense used a get-out-of-jail-free card in Kansas City, but Wallace doesn't anticipate the Steelers needing any more of those.

"We can match anybody when we come to play," Wallace said.

3 players to watch

Andy Dalton, QB: The rookie drew rave reviews from the Steelers after the AFC North rivals' first meeting. But Dalton still threw a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, and his 61.8 passer rating is the third-lowest among the quarterbacks that the Steelers have faced this season.

Kelly Jennings, CB: The Bengals traded for the sixth-year veteran in late August, and Jennings has had to step in for Cincinnati's best cornerback following a season-ending Achilles injury sustained by Leon Hall. Jennings, a first-round pick by Seattle in 2006, could be targeted frequently on Sunday.

Doug Legursky, LG: "Bronco" didn't start in Cincinnati, as he still was recovering from a dislocated toe. The Bengals gave the Steelers problems with their interior pass rush, and Legursky will be among those counted on to keep the heat off quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Chatting with ... TE David Johnson

What was the most difficult transition going from Arkansas State to the NFL?

"Probably the tempo of the game and trying to be consistent every play. You are totally being challenged every play and you can't slack. Everything matters."

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?

"They probably wouldn't believe how athletic I am. I can do back flips and stuff, and I can jump pretty high. I just don't really display that on the field a lot."

Do they need to put a jump ball in the offense for you?

"Hey, I'll go get it."

What would you be doing if you weren't playing football for a living?

"I'd try and inspire people, probably (by) coaching or something like that. I've got a physical therapy degree, too, so probably somewhere around there."

Digits

4 Turnovers the Steelers forced in their first nine games this season

6 Turnovers the Steelers have forced in the past two games

7 Opponents the Steelers have held to under 100 rushing yards this season

7:46 Edge the Steelers had in time of possession in a 24-17 win over the Bengals on Nov. 13

10 Consecutive games in which the Steelers have held their opponents to 23 points or fewer

76.9 Ben Roethlisberger's regular-season winning percentage against AFC North teams

861 Rushing yards Rashard Mendenhall is on pace for after gaining 1,273 in 2010

Quotes

"Steelers vs. Steelers, beating yourself is going to put you in a position to have to make plays at the end, like we did. Red-zone execution is a big part of football. When you don't (execute), you're going to be in close games like we were." Coach Mike Tomlin on the Steelers holding off Kansas City

"We're deep, man. Every position you put a guy in there, and they're ready to play. That's been big for us this year, the depth of this team. When a guy goes out, whoever comes in steps up big for us." Nose tackle Casey Hampton on contributions of players such as safety Ryan Mundy, who had a game-high 10 tackles and an interception Sunday while playing for the injured Troy Polamalu

"Tamba (Hali) went down, he was laying on the ground hurt, so I tried to either get them to use a timeout or run a play and for some reason he kind of just jumped up. That's my fault for calling a timeout. I should have just taken a delay of game. Bad management on my part." Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on calling a timeout late in the third quarter after the Steelers had lined up to go for it on fourth-and-4 from the Chiefs' 46-yard line

"A lot of times when defenders lose contain, they just throw their hands up and it looks like a hold." Running back Rashard Mendenhall on a holding penalty on tight end Heath Miller that wiped out his 21-yard run late in the first quarter against the Chiefs

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

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Bayz101
11-29-2011, 07:00 AM
We'll be back in sync to some extent this Sunday. We we're playing well against Cincy just before the bye, and we'll pick up the pace against them again at Heinz. Go Steelers!

steelfury02
11-29-2011, 07:20 PM
That's poop. Poop Ron. Just poop.

tanda10506
11-29-2011, 09:26 PM
We'll be back in sync to some extent this Sunday. We we're playing well against Cincy just before the bye, and we'll pick up the pace against them again at Heinz. Go Steelers!

Agreed

soulkitchen
12-01-2011, 09:21 AM
Chatting with ... TE David Johnson

What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?

"They probably wouldn't believe how athletic I am. I can do back flips and stuff, and I can jump pretty high. I just don't really display that on the field a lot."



WTF. Maybe he should join the circus and we could get a real fullback.