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mesaSteeler
02-09-2012, 07:43 AM
Are Steelers 'trending downwards'
http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/31843-are-steelers-trending-downwards
Thursday, 09 February 2012 00:30
Written by Bob Smizik
In three seasons the Steelers have gone from Super Bowl champion to Super Bowl runnerup to first-round playoff loser.

Itís not an encouraging trend, and one Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com picked up on when he labeled the Steelers as a team that is ``trending downwards.íí

That sounds ominous and a bit unfair but thereís proof to back up his point.

This is no forecast of doom, just a realistic look at the teamís situation. The Steelers Super Bowl window remains open, but it is getting smaller rather than larger.

The Steelers were 12-4 last season, which was tied for the second-best record in the AFC. But hidden behind that record was a team that rarely displayed a championship-caliber of play. The Steelers had one win over an elite team, an impressive victory at home against New England. They beat two other teams with winning records, Cincinnati and Tennessee, both 9-7.

What is particularly troubling about this slow downturn is that the teamís defense, annually its strength, appears to be in decline and there has been only slight indication the offense is ready to do more than it has.

It could have been the realization that the offense must pick up more of the load that prompted owner Art Rooney to fire offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, a move that resulted in the hiring this week of Todd Haley, who will bring a different personality to the job.

The offense had been OK under Arians but with the talent on hand, particularly quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a new voice and a slightly different look might help produce more points.

Haley will not redesign the wheel when he takes over the offense. Anyone looking for major changes will be disappointed. Heíll put in some new wrinkles, as would any new coordinator, but the basic offense will not likely be dramatically altered.

He might utilize a fullback more often and he might not. Those who believe the fullback is the panacea for what ails the Steelers seem to think the position has magical qualities to open gaping holes for running backs. Too many teams with fullbacks give lie to that notion.

Whatís your preference for that 11th offensive player? A fullback or, say, an extra tight end like Aaron Hernandez and what his presence meant to the New England Patriots?

The team needs to score more points. It wasnít happening with Arians despite good yardage numbers and good third-down success.

If the offense does not improve, the defense might not be there to save the season. This isnít to suggest the defense is going to crumble next season. It will still be good. It was good last season -- first, statistically -- but despite that ranking no one was calling it the best defense in the league.

It will be a year older, and that applies specifically to Brett Keisel, who will be 34, Casey Hampton, who will be 35, James Harrison, who will be 34, Troy Polamalu, who will be 31, and Ryan Clark, who will be 33. James Farrior,37, is almost certain not to be back, but his likely replacement is Larry Foote, who will be 32.

The ingredients for a better offense appear to be there. Theyíll have to be if the Steelers want to continue their remarkable level of success.

steeltheone
02-09-2012, 08:16 AM
I've been saying this for the last 2 years that we are asking for trouble by not replacing older players. In the past we cut ties with players with 1 or 2 fair to average years left, now we ride them to the end.

Fortunately we have a franchise QB that Makes us competitive on a yearly basis even if the roster is not as strong as normal.

steelerchad
02-09-2012, 09:11 AM
Trending downward?
you can't win the SB every year. GB showed how hard it is to repeat this year. They appeared to be the best team all season only to get bumped in their first playoff game. Are they trending downward? They'll be right back in the mix just like the Steelers will. I'm not predicting a SB, but we'll be on the short list of teams with a legit shot to get there again.
Most of our issues had to do with late season injuries. If not for those key injuries, I wouldn't have been surprised if we had crushed Denver, then gone to NE and taken care of them, and then gone to Baltimore with a 50/50 shot of going to the SB again.
Sometimes you need a little luck and health to win it all. I'll take 12-4 every year.

Edman
02-09-2012, 09:21 AM
It's the same old story. The Steelers are left for dead and supposed to fall into irrelevance. People have been proclaiming their death for years now, and it's never happened.

What this article didn't touch upon was the emergence of several stars in 2011 like Antonio Brown as well as the improvement of Willie Gay, Keenan Lewis, and Cortez Allen. The Steelers Secondary turned into a strength overnight. Arians is gone and we've already cut some dead weight. The future is already here.

The Steelers aren't going to win the Super Bowl every year, but they'll always be there as long as they keep Ben healthy and upright.

Bayz101
02-09-2012, 09:22 AM
Can't win the big game every year. The band wagoner's will hop on to the Super Bowl winner's wagon and every year that team will be at the top. I'm sure the Giants will be the team with the most fan's by March, and then sixth place if they don't win next year.

StainlessStill
02-09-2012, 09:25 AM
Downward? Window of opportunity closing? Tell that to Mr. Roethlisberger, Pouncey, Gilbert, Wallace, Sanders, Brown, Lewis, Woodley, Timmons, Butler, Heyward, Hood, McClendon, Miller, Redman and Mendenhall. The young studs that have big-time playing experience.

Personally, I feel we're going to get better and our window is going to remain in tact for quite some time.

Steelerfreak58
02-09-2012, 10:19 AM
LOL what an ass...

GETTING TO THE SUPERBOWL IS HARD. Winning it is even harder. Just ask Green Bay who had a great season coming off winning the SB but didn't repeat. The Steelers went 12-4 this year and were one game away from being the #1 seed. They were smashed by injuries all year long especially a key area (the offensive line). They went into the playoffs without a lot of players and lost 2 key defensive linemen in the first quarter of the game.

You cannot win every year. There is PARITY in the NFL because of the salary cap (God Bless it). Teams have to fight and struggle every year to make it to the playoffs. The Steelers do a damn good job getting to the second season every year and that means they have a chance.

As a fan that is all you can ask for that your team consistently makes it to the playoffs and has a chance. We have that the Steelers are one of the finest organizations in professional sports today.

PERIOD.

stb_steeler
02-09-2012, 10:21 AM
I dont get the concept of the title to this article. Isnt it in every teams plan to have high expectations going into the next season. Trending downwards?...C'mon it almost seems as if someones expecting it to go that way.....I dont know how some feel about this, but i for one look forward to the beginning of every season with an outlook of changes, improvements and new faces.....
http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g426/andrewlee21/cmon_man_.png

Darkstorm05
02-09-2012, 10:28 AM
I dont get the concept of the title to this article. Isnt it in every teams plan to have high expectations going into the next season.

Never heard of the Browns?

GMU Steeler
02-09-2012, 10:31 AM
Honestly, I thought this year would be more disappointing given our past of struggling after Super Bowl appearances. I think injuries really killed this team this year. No excuse for the loss in Denver but a healthy Ben, Pouncey, Woodley, Clark able to play in Denver, etc wins that game. We were 12-4 not 9-7. The team needs work but it's not like 2009 when we were blowing late leads.

stb_steeler
02-09-2012, 10:33 AM
Never heard of the Browns?

Yeah but im almost sure they dont expect to....

Bayz101
02-09-2012, 10:33 AM
We we're blowing leads in '09, and having trouble getting leads this year. Hopefully next year things are better.

MACH1
02-09-2012, 10:36 AM
If the O can average upwards of 30 it should take a little pressure off the D.

jiminpa
02-09-2012, 10:47 AM
I would say that they were trending downward, (by what qualifies as a downward trend for the Steelers under Colbert), but are making steps to correct it. I think losing Hoke is the potentially devastating surprise, but I'm not remotely worried.

FrancoLambert
02-09-2012, 11:58 AM
So, you don't think it's a legitimate question/statement.

Sure, we were 12-4 which is a terrrific regular season.

However, to be pushed out of the playoffs by an 8-8 team.....that makes the question relevant. (the entire team and coaching staff shares the blame).

Did our defense stop anybody in big spot, when it really mattered?
(2nd Raven game still comes to mind)

There is increasing age on this team especially defensively.

Our offense was terribly inconsistent and definitely under-achieved.

Our offensive line is a mess (except for a healthy Pouncey).

The division is getting tougher and tougher.

Not a legitimate question, please, take off the Black and Yellow shades.

Fire Arians
02-09-2012, 12:03 PM
i see us going through a transition phase where a lot of veterans may not be coming back, but being replaced by younger players. how those players step up and fill the roles will depend whether we are trending up or down. it's too early to tell right now tbh.

Riddle_Of_Steel
02-09-2012, 07:05 PM
I hate to always be the devil's advocate-- but I have been saying this for a while now.

Under the newer ownership and new head coach, the Steelers have made some cap-moves of late that the organization normally does not make. We gave James Harrison a huge $67 million contract after 2008's DPOY title. We gave Ben the then second higest QB salary in the NFL (behind Marsha). We paid Polamalu a few years back the higest salary of any NFL safety.

Those moves carry a price later on down the road. They are part of the reason why we are still some $20 million over the cap. We mortgaged our future to some degree.

Prior to Andy Rooney II taking over, we never kept high priced veterans, which is why this team has been consistently so successful for so long.

As for whether or not this is going to be a full-blown rebuilding phase-- I doubt it. There is still too much talent on both sides of the ball. This team just needs to evolve and grow with the NFL's current trends.

We cannot focus all of our team's energies and draft choices on defense anymore-- Das Kommissar is removing defense from the game and rendering it a non-factor.

wera176
02-09-2012, 07:12 PM
12-4 while injury plagued and 1 season removed from the Super Bowl? Trending downward? The world is ending? Ben won't play for the new coach? :blah::blah::blah:

Jesus H C people....

Sometimes I wonder why I come here... :banging:

tanda10506
02-09-2012, 07:23 PM
Trending downwards: HELL NO! Getting sick of this age garbage, we have been replacing players and we will be this year, the average age doesn't need to be 24 to win a championship. We just got rid of the #1 hinderance we had, Arians, and we will likely address the O line in the draft, our #2 problem. We have a lot of good vets coming back that are playing at a high level (Keisel, Polamalu, Clark, etc.) and we have plenty of young guys filling in the other spots that seem to get better all the time. We are trending upward if anything, garbage play calling, injuries of biblical proportions, a year where the defense transforms from run stopping to pass stopping due to the way the league is changing, and we still go 12-4, that's not horrible. No we won't be perfect next year, there will be new starters at some spots and TOTALLY different play calling, but I wouldn't be surprised if we won the SB. If the offense plays to their full potential, which may happen, you will see a passing attack similar to the Pats with a defense 10x better, is there really that much to worry about?

Ricco Suavez
02-09-2012, 07:59 PM
If the O can average upwards of 30 it should take a little pressure off the D.

Not asking for much there are we?

Ricco Suavez
02-09-2012, 08:07 PM
Not asking for much there are we?

Especially considering our best scoring season since 1979 was 1995 at 407 points for a per game average of 25.43.

Bayz101
02-09-2012, 08:08 PM
If our offense can average 30 points a game it damn well better take some pressure off the D, lol.

60_MINUTES
02-09-2012, 08:44 PM
I've been saying this for the last 2 years that we are asking for trouble by not replacing older players. In the past we cut ties with players with 1 or 2 fair to average years left, now we ride them to the end.

Fortunately we have a franchise QB that Makes us competitive on a yearly basis even if the roster is not as strong as normal.


The article is off or wrong and I think your a bit off in what your saying... in the past when players have 1 to 2 years left we part ways with them because they are up for salary... aka Joey Porter... not worth money he wanted only had couple years left in him... Alen F same thing... these guys we have now are under contact and are just now falling off pace... meaning your about to see things tossed up in about 2 to 4 weeks...

dont take it personal but the part of your post I think is wrong is not replacing older players... we are replacing older players and we are doing it well... should cont that with this years draft... Brett K is replaced with Heywood... Smith was replaced with Hood... Timmons and woodely came at good times... We got center and Ot gilbert in the mix on O...Look for Cortez ALlen to be a solid number 2 corner this year... .and now watch the draft this year... Lets say we go NT for Hampton round one... if so then our D line will be the youngest in the NFL with Timmons in wood at LB being young... yes we need to then address the S spot andn OLB but we are well on our way towards the youth movement

60_MINUTES
02-09-2012, 08:54 PM
So, you don't think it's a legitimate question/statement.

Sure, we were 12-4 which is a terrrific regular season.

However, to be pushed out of the playoffs by an 8-8 team.....that makes the question relevant. (the entire team and coaching staff shares the blame).

Did our defense stop anybody in big spot, when it really mattered?
(2nd Raven game still comes to mind)

There is increasing age on this team especially defensively.

Our offense was terribly inconsistent and definitely under-achieved.

Our offensive line is a mess (except for a healthy Pouncey).

The division is getting tougher and tougher.

Not a legitimate question, please, take off the Black and Yellow shades.

I say the same thing to this post as I did above I think your wrong as well.. I think we are well on our way in the youth movement and as long as we hit our draft picks the next 2 years we will be rolling for years to come..


AGE of D??? If we draft NT this year round one then our D could very much look like this

Heywood early 20's NT early 20st Hood early 20s Woodley mid 20's Timmons mid 20's Cortez Allen early 20's that 6 of 11 that would be babys 25 or less... so the youth movement on D is well on its way and looking good.

Our O line is a Mess ??? Yes for now but maybe not for the first time in years what if we go O line in second round Guard and he turns out good...

Sign Starks back LT Rooke Guard Pouncey Colon gilbert

yes starks we dont know but lets assume he is solid and we resign him if so pouncey is a stud colon could be great at guard and gilbert is solid already


as far as the O goes ????

watch what happens with ole Todd under control... Im not sure people know just how bad BA was... its gonna be eye opening for many especailly BEN... he will want to kick himself after TODD makes him even better then he ever been

FrancoLambert
02-09-2012, 10:20 PM
I say the same thing to this post as I did above I think your wrong as well.. I think we are well on our way in the youth movement and as long as we hit our draft picks the next 2 years we will be rolling for years to come..


AGE of D??? If we draft NT this year round one then our D could very much look like this

Heywood early 20's NT early 20st Hood early 20s Woodley mid 20's Timmons mid 20's Cortez Allen early 20's that 6 of 11 that would be babys 25 or less... so the youth movement on D is well on its way and looking good.

Our O line is a Mess ??? Yes for now but maybe not for the first time in years what if we go O line in second round Guard and he turns out good...

Sign Starks back LT Rooke Guard Pouncey Colon gilbert

yes starks we dont know but lets assume he is solid and we resign him if so pouncey is a stud colon could be great at guard and gilbert is solid already


as far as the O goes ????

watch what happens with ole Todd under control... Im not sure people know just how bad BA was... its gonna be eye opening for many especailly BEN... he will want to kick himself after TODD makes him even better then he ever been


The infusion of youth in the secondary looks promising, but don't label it a success yet.
Same can be said for Heyward. Ziggy definitely contributes
Timmons and Woodley are fine. Harrison...how much longer, 2-3 years tops.
Farrior and Foote need to be replaced....period.
Troy's no spring chicken. Clark's fine. Mundy? We're thin here.

You assume a lot saying that the upcoming draft will solve our O-line problems.
Starks, Colon, Foster, Essex, Scott, Legursky, Kemo.......c'mon.

Going 12-4, then getting knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by an 8-8 team, after making it to the Super Bowl the previous year qualifies as a "downward trend."
:noidea:

6RingsAndCounting
02-09-2012, 10:23 PM
Once the older players find their way out the door, we'll be trending upward, we aren't the best run organization in the NFL for no reason.

mojonator73
02-09-2012, 11:47 PM
i think a lot of our cap casualties could prove to be addition by subtraction

Nothing against some of those vets
their efforts will never be forgotten

But some of them are finished...Like Aaron Smith, its tough seeing him like we have seen him....bur irs over for 91

mojonator73
02-09-2012, 11:47 PM
but its over for 91 I meant to say


My bad

Solak
02-09-2012, 11:49 PM
I don't give Schrager much credibility. Has anyone looked at his mock drafts? He has us taking TE Fleener at 24 and GB taking Tannehill in the 1st round.

madtowndrunkard
02-09-2012, 11:55 PM
Our offense has under achieved for several years now. Ben is acting like he's just now finally getting good WR's. We've had great WR's since Ben's been here.

Fact of the mater is we lost to Denver because of coaching gaffs. We were not beat because of old players... we were beat because we showed ZERO respect to Denver's ability to throw the ball past 10 yards.

The AFCC game should have been us against the Patriots. Alot of people think we lose that game because of the unbelievable amount of injuries. I don't agree with that for 1 reason... what we need to beat the pats we had ready if we win that game... That's Ben, our WR's, and our ability to put pressure on Brady. We had a legit shot at beating the Pats if we don't gag against Denver.

Defensively our old guys have good young guys right behind them. Offensively we are already young w/ a ton of talent. Hopefully Tomlin learned his lesson and we'll be just fine....especially if Haley can produce a more consistent offense that actually scores at a respectable rate.

Ad a couple more drafts and off season changes and this team could easily re load what ever it has lost. We've been doing it for a long time now.... Don't forget those great WR's were late round picks. We've got solid young corners and an off season to improve our O-line.

FrancoLambert
02-11-2012, 11:15 AM
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