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View Full Version : Three Areas of Concern, and the X-Factor!


dcsteel5804
12-09-2012, 09:41 PM
After the Steelers performance today, its hard to image that they are a championship calibure team, let alone a play-off team. As far as I can tell, from a fan's standpoint, they are seriously lacking in 3 areas. The offensive line, running backs, and pass rush.The reason that I say pass rush and not defensive line is because they are pretty darn good at stopping the run.

The offensive line play is slightly better than in previous years, but that's not really saying much. From the eye test, it seems like they are able to protect the passer better than in the past, but the run blocking is still lacking. When I watch other teams run the ball, it seems like the runners have to room past the line of scrimmage to make moves and cuts. This is definitely not the case with the Steelers. Its usually 0 yards and a cloud of dust. Admittedly, Johnathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman are not the most talented backs, but I'm not sure Adrian Peterson could run behind this line. There are simply no holes to run through. Many times its the sheer will of Dwyer or Redman and not giving up on the plays that they are able to break through, but this line gets no initial push. We don't have an elite back that can make things happen despite poor blocking. Unfortunately, I see no immediate solution, other than the linemen manning up and playing better on an individual level.

However, the running backs aren't completely absolved of the blame. I've seen more than a few times that there actually were some holes and the backs would rather plunge into a crowd of humanity and hope for the best. In my opinion, Mendenhall has to go if he won't come back for a minimal salary. If he thinks he's worth more, let him go. Regarding the other backs, keep wich ever ones are cheapest, there's really not a difference in terms of production. I would say that we should draft a player in a similar mold of Ray Rice, who I think is a top 2 or 3 back in the league. We need a guy with good small area quickness and elusiveness, who can make the first guy (or two) miss and break out the pile. This hypothetical back doesn't need elite top end speed or to be a huge bruiser. Anybody know a back like this coming up in the draft?

Finally, I have to talk about this pass rush. It's pathetic. The line we went up against today was simply decimated by injuries, and Philip Rivers could have sat back there and have some tea, made some silly faces, made some little kids laugh, and then throw the ball. It was just absolutely ridiculous. And thats really been the story this year. I mean, Jason Worilds is leading the team in sacks (I think). Harrison just seems to be rounding into shape, and Woodley can't keep his fat butt on the field. Ziggy Hood and Hampton are about worthless at generating any push, and Kiesel is just so-so. And when we blitz, IT GETS PICKED UP!! WFT!! The pressure hardly ever gets home, which leaves our secondary exposed. They didn't play particularly well today, but you can't cover every receiver for 10 seconds on every passing down.

Given all of this, many of us Steeler fans think we don't deserve the play-offs, and we should just implode and get a better draft pick, but I think we may be forgetting about the X-factor, and that is..... Big Ben Roethlisberger!! I mean, I just can't count this team out as long as he's our QB. If he's walking, and throwing, we have a shot, period. If we get into the playoffs and he's healthy, we have just as good a shot as anyone else. I would love to just throw in the terrible towel and give up hope on the season. With this team, it would just be easier on my heart. But then I would be that guy who jumped off the wagon before the wheels actually feel off. I won't be that guy. I won't be that fan. I'm thinking play-off's and Superbowl until we're eliminated and its because we have Big Ben. So until next week, lets just relax, and try to keep thins in perspective. We lost no ground on the 6th seed, and if we get into the play-offs, anything is possible.

Fire Arians
12-09-2012, 09:53 PM
i thought the pass rush was fine, rivers was being smart and not making the mistakes he usually does. norv game planned perfectly for what they had. gotta give credit where it's due.

mike adams out really affects our running game, beachum doesn't do as well with the run blocking. colon probably wasn't 100%. o-line didn't open any running lanes, and ben had no time to throw. when that happens, well, offense doesn't look so great.

Brett Cottrell
12-09-2012, 09:56 PM
Three areas of concern, the short version: Offense. Defense. Special teams.

dcsteel5804
12-09-2012, 09:57 PM
All good points regarding the line. I wonder if Colon knew his knee wasn't good to go. I mean, its not like he was in jeopardy of losing his job. He could have sat out for a couple more weeks if needed. Now he's done for the year.

harrison'samonster
12-09-2012, 09:58 PM
I think the special teams is as big a problem as anything else, especially with penalties.

I thought our pass rush wasn't too bad, just not very successful. Rivers was making quick throws today.

dcsteel5804
12-09-2012, 09:59 PM
Three areas of concern, the short version: Offense. Defense. Special teams.

Your right, I forgot about the special teams... or not-so-special-teams. I mean, is it me, or does our punt unit continually allow pressure up the middle. Not to mention the constant penalties and bad kick / punt coverage.

Steel_Bus_24
12-09-2012, 10:02 PM
Ben is going to get injured again if that OL can't protect better

Cincinnati especially will eat them up

This game felt like one of those old Patriot Beatings from when they were cheating

By the time the ball got in Ben's/RB hands their D were far too much in our backfield

The use of the snap count was horrible...

And on the flipside as you say, Our Pass Rush Sucked something awful. They picked up virtually every blitz we threw at them

This has to improve if we want to do any damage in the Playoffs where we will face Elite QBs.....Not only our blitzes getting home but we have to generate more pressure with just 4

Ricco Suavez
12-09-2012, 10:14 PM
I thought the OP did a fine job of pointing out what he feels are some points that need to be addressed. I also feel the OL is not what it needs to be but better than the last three years,( only because we added a prospect like Pouncey). Injuries have hurt the chemistry of the line not to mention we lost #1 pick DeCastro. I think we have some good "change of pace" RB, but if Mendy is not going to be the man then we need to look at adding a quality back next year. DL is something I questioned last year, but as you point out it is not just DL but pass rush all together. The pass rush was not horrible today, but I felt considering the Chargers had mostly replacements on the line we should of done a much better job of harassing Rivers. On another note I did not see separation of our WR and defensive secondary, most times Ben had to either hold the ball or try to thread very tight openings. A pretty dismal showing today.

btaylor179
12-09-2012, 10:40 PM
GLAD TO SEE PLAX CATCH ONE!!!!

austinfrench76
12-09-2012, 11:28 PM
I agree that their are 3 issues but I think mone are a little different. Mine are, in no particular order: Herat, discipline and focus. Most of the team. And all of those things seem to be lacking at different times. In weeks where they show heart, ie the Baltimore game, they win. In other games they just don't come to play. ANYTIME this season against a sub 500 ball club, they don't look focused or disciplined. Not sure how you fix that except leadership and al of teh "vocal" leaders are gone. Hines/Farrior. Troy and James are GREAT players but not vocal and when neither are playing like Super stars, teh whole team follows suit. Just my opinion but something major is lacking and it's not just talent unfortunately. So damned dissappointed today!

TRH
12-10-2012, 09:53 AM
]]Ben is going to get injured again [/B][/B]if that OL can't protect better

Cincinnati especially will eat them up

This game felt like one of those old Patriot Beatings from when they were cheating

By the time the ball got in Ben's/RB hands their D were far too much in our backfield

The use of the snap count was horrible...

And on the flipside as you say, Our Pass Rush Sucked something awful. They picked up virtually every blitz we threw at them

This has to improve if we want to do any damage in the Playoffs where we will face Elite QBs.....Not only our blitzes getting home but we have to generate more pressure with just 4


He's also going to get injured again if he doesn't stop sliding "headfirst". On 3 of his rushes yesterday, he slid feet first only once.
When he's not sliding feet first, that makes him a legitimate target and he's going to take a VIOLENT hit out there that could end it all.

JeromeBetties63
12-10-2012, 11:03 AM
The Chargers had their best game of the year yesterday. That wasn't all due to us. Then a bunch of fluke stuff happened. Norv Turner knew more than all of you...he knew that if he punted that ball late in the 3rd quarter the Steelers were going to win that game. That fake and the subsequent drive was the six minutes that won the game for the Chargers. Norv was operating under no illusion that they were the better team. It's the NFL, really dumb, frustrating junk happens. If you gage the Steelers and their season by that game, then you don't know the Steelers (I know, I know here comes the "Raiders, Titans, Browns" mantras....save your time and energy.)

For all of you people who love the, "You are what your record says you are." Then guess what, "You are what your post season position says you are." Then as of right now, we are a playoff team. Period. End of story. If you tell me that the season is not over. Fine. But the teams trying to catch this "mediocre team" are BEHIND US! HELLO! In other words the Jets, Bungles and everyone else not seeded sixth are less than us...what makes you so sure they will become world beaters and catch us?

If you want to point out places where we need improvement...cool. But those of you who are bailing on this team before the final whistle in an elimination game...why are you even an NFL/Steelers fan?

steelfury02
12-10-2012, 11:13 AM
The Chargers had their best game of the year yesterday. That wasn't all due to us. Then a bunch of fluke stuff happened. Norv Turner knew more than all of you...he knew that if he punted that ball late in the 3rd quarter the Steelers were going to win that game. That fake and the subsequent drive was the six minutes that won the game for the Chargers. Norv was operating under no illusion that they were the better team. It's the NFL, really dumb, frustrating junk happens. If you gage the Steelers and their season by that game, then you don't know the Steelers (I know, I know here comes the "Raiders, Titans, Browns" mantras....save your time and energy.)

For all of you people who love the, "You are what your record says you are." Then guess what, "You are what your post season position says you are." Then as of right now, we are a playoff team. Period. End of story. If you tell me that the season is not over. Fine. But the teams trying to catch this "mediocre team" are BEHIND US! HELLO! In other words the Jets, Bungles and everyone else not seeded sixth are less than us...what makes you so sure they will become world beaters and catch us?

If you want to point out places where we need improvement...cool. But those of you who are bailing on this team before the final whistle in an elimination game...why are you even an NFL/Steelers fan?

I totally get what you are saying. We are a 6th seed, and still have a good chance of making the playoffs. I think the real source of the arguments of "so what, we're a 6th seed, whoop-de-doo, this team isn't capable of doing anything with it" is that there are a lot of issues staring this team in the face, and it isn't just Xs and Os - the lack of desire and the Brett Keisel quotes cannot be understated IMO. The season comes down to the next 3 games, and basically, I just think it is frustrating as hell to have to wish and hope based off of what the XL squad did, as well as what others (Packers, Giants), and I emphasize this, have done in the past. What has happened, has no bearing on what could happen. It is really hard envisioning this version being capable of changing their hearts/mindset, thus - we have to HOPE they pull something out - and that at this rate, it really would be against all odds. There is a tall, tall mountain to climb, and for the realists (including myself) that doesn't bring us any comfort.

JeromeBetties63
12-11-2012, 10:33 PM
I totally get what you are saying. We are a 6th seed, and still have a good chance of making the playoffs. I think the real source of the arguments of "so what, we're a 6th seed, whoop-de-doo, this team isn't capable of doing anything with it" is that there are a lot of issues staring this team in the face, and it isn't just Xs and Os - the lack of desire and the Brett Keisel quotes cannot be understated IMO. The season comes down to the next 3 games, and basically, I just think it is frustrating as hell to have to wish and hope based off of what the XL squad did, as well as what others (Packers, Giants), and I emphasize this, have done in the past. What has happened, has no bearing on what could happen. It is really hard envisioning this version being capable of changing their hearts/mindset, thus - we have to HOPE they pull something out - and that at this rate, it really would be against all odds. There is a tall, tall mountain to climb, and for the realists (including myself) that doesn't bring us any comfort.

I hear you. My hope lies in the fact that there have been some flashes of what the offense could be. Lebeau can come up with a game plan for any team in an elimination game that will keep us in it. I still think we have a shot to gel and make a run. Until they tell me were out....I choose to be a Steeler Fanatic and believe! :tt04::tt::tt02::tt03: