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Hawaii 5-0
12-31-2012, 08:41 PM
Tomlin: Stilted offense was Steelers’ ‘Achilles’ heel’

By Alan Robinson
Published: Monday, December 31, 2012

On a day coach Mike Tomlin spent considerable time discussing the myriad injuries that helped wreck the Steelers‘ once-promising season, he disclosed a previously unrevealed malady.

Tomlin didn‘t blame the offense‘s second-half stagnation for short-circuiting the season, but he said Monday that the lack of progress was significant as the Steelers (8-8) lost five of their last seven. Not coincidentally, those were three games Ben Roethlisberger missed with a major injury, and the four in which he struggled to return to playing the way he did pre-injury.

“I thought we started out on the right foot in terms of dominating time of possession and converting third downs,” Tomlin said. “We did what was required to possess the ball and win football games. Obviously we didn‘t ascend in the second half of the season in those areas. It was an Achilles‘ heel for us.”

Or, perhaps more specifically, it was a shoulder and a rib that effectively doomed a season in which the Steelers (8-8) appeared to be peaking, with four straight wins, before the quarterback was hurt Nov. 12 against Kansas City.

At the time. Roethlisberger was on pace for his best season statistically; afterward, his numbers dipped.

“I felt like early on in the year, in the Oakland game (Sept. 23), we were coming on the sidelines and looking at the (scouting) pictures and it was like, ‘We‘ve got everything we want,‘ ” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said Monday. “We were moving the ball so well, and I felt like we were growing. All of a sudden, Ben gets hurt and that slows the progression. … Once Ben got back in, we were just trying to recapture what we had early on in the year, but it just didn‘t take place.”

Because the offense was so effective early on, Cotchery doesn‘t doubt Haley and Roethlisberger can work well together.

“I think this year guys did a good job of welcoming change and just trying to get better in the offense, and I think it will be better going forward,” Cotchery said.

Cotchery said the potential was there for much more.

“You look at the Oakland game, you look at the Tennessee game, games pretty much that you had in control, and for some reason they slipped away; the Browns game,” Cotchery said. “You (beat yourself) up the entire night, the entire offseason looking back at those games.”

And now they‘ll have nine months to do it.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/3207672-74/season-offense-cotchery#ixzz2GgTCr541

lloydwoodson
12-31-2012, 09:21 PM
Good post. Official sources reiterating what we already knew: Haley's offense was showing promise before Ben was hurt, the players are working to learn the offense, and that if the team buys into the system and plays a responsible style of football good things will happen.

OX1947
12-31-2012, 09:25 PM
Achilles Heel: "Preparing your team against shitty teams like they are playing waffle ball."

Edman
12-31-2012, 09:33 PM
Good post. Official sources reiterating what we already knew: Haley's offense was showing promise before Ben was hurt, the players are working to learn the offense, and that if the team buys into the system and plays a responsible style of football good things will happen.

The team can buy into the offense as much as they want, but it doesn't matter if #7 carries on his attitude.

GoFor7
12-31-2012, 09:51 PM
“I thought we started out on the right foot in terms of dominating time of possession and converting third downs,” Tomlin said. “We did what was required to possess the ball and win football games. Obviously we didn‘t ascend in the second half of the season in those areas. It was an Achilles‘ heel for us.”

Maybe next year the focus should be on scoring points instead of taking away opportunities for your offense to protect the defense, coach.

OX1947
12-31-2012, 10:21 PM
Maybe next year the focus should be on scoring points instead of taking away opportunities for your offense to protect the defense, coach.

Maybe if he put an actual game plan that could work 16 weeks in the regular season instead of reading his thesaurus all week for words to say, we would be playing next week.

BowCatShot
12-31-2012, 10:51 PM
"Obviously we didn‘t ascend in the second half of the season in those areas. It was an Achilles‘ heel for us.”

It just happened. I had nothing to do with it. Don't blame me or hold me accountable. Nothing could have been done about it by me.

Tomlin = dud.

SteelersCanada
12-31-2012, 11:33 PM
"Obviously we didn‘t ascend in the second half of the season in those areas. It was an Achilles‘ heel for us.”

It just happened. I had nothing to do with it. Don't blame me or hold me accountable. Nothing could have been done about it by me.

Tomlin = dud.

This makes me sad. Not only is Tomlin one of the very few coaches that will take all the blame regardless of whether or not it's warranted, he doesn't make excuses. He didn't say injuries were the reason the season derailed. He didn't say that losing the franchise Quarterback for 3 games in the middle of the season while they were in the midst of a playoff hunt was the reason they lost. No, he just took accountability and expects better results for 2013.

Your post implies he deflects blame which is ridiculous. He takes accountability and takes the blame for losses even when it had little-or-nothing to do with coaching. But, I don't think I'm going to change your mind with logic because you're hard pressed on blaming Mike after one bad season that was marred by injuries.

lloydwoodson
01-01-2013, 12:08 AM
Tomlin never makes excuses.

Tomlin is the hardest worker on the team. He looks like a ghost at the end of a season. I would be curious to know how many hours a day he spends working. Definitely more than 12.

Tomlin is a young coach who will make mistakes. Belichek has been an NFL coach since Mike Tomlin was 2 years old. Tom Coughlin has been coaching since before Tomlin was born.

Blacksburg Zach
01-01-2013, 12:20 AM
This makes me sad. Not only is Tomlin one of the very few coaches that will take all the blame regardless of whether or not it's warranted, he doesn't make excuses. He didn't say injuries were the reason the season derailed. He didn't say that losing the franchise Quarterback for 3 games in the middle of the season while they were in the midst of a playoff hunt was the reason they lost. No, he just took accountability and expects better results for 2013.

Your post implies he deflects blame which is ridiculous. He takes accountability and takes the blame for losses even when it had little-or-nothing to do with coaching. But, I don't think I'm going to change your mind with logic because you're hard pressed on blaming Mike after one bad season that was marred by injuries.

But Tomlin sucks! He didn't take his team to the playoffs every single year. He somehow made Ben throw game losing interceptions in three different games! He somehow made all his running backs and wide receivers fumble! He somehow made the offensive line not block! He somehow got Ben and many other players hurt! All of this is somehow Tomlin's fault! Tomlin is the worst coach in the league and he should be replaced by Whiz, even though Whiz has never won anything and never sniffed the postseason after Kurt Warner left.

Blackout
01-01-2013, 02:22 AM
And this is exactly why I want will.i.am as our HC for awhile.

pczach
01-01-2013, 08:35 AM
How does this turn into an "I think Mike Tomlin sucks" post?

People need to chill. I think Tomlin makes mistakes too. But I think he's been an excellent coach. If the current trend continues next year, he will be questioned. But let's not throw the guy under the bus just yet!:doh:

VaDave
01-01-2013, 10:26 AM
Steeler Nation Hysteria run amok.....

There is nothing inherently wrong with Tomlin. He's a dang fine coach. There is nothing wrong with our FO, we have a solid club that obviously is in tranission, and you sure as heck can't get down on a franchise that has provided the highest level of football for in the league over 4 decades.

Folks, for heavens sake, chill out!! Enjoy the offseason, and let's get 'em next year.

austinfrench76
01-01-2013, 06:09 PM
I agree with Tomlin. Ben was an MVP candidate, gets hurt, comes back different. - end of story, end of season!

Hawaii 5-0
01-02-2013, 08:51 PM
Harris: Steelers offense must excel in 2013

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=rnFkg lN$x8uDyzpNBWktG8$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYvuW1KTl92g_Kx UMq0UW1eXWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) and the Steelers’ offense finished No. 14 in passing, No. 20 in total offense and No. 22 in scoring.

By John Harris
Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let‘s assume, for argument‘s sake, that the Steelers‘ defense created seven to 10 more turnovers for their offense this year.

Why do we automatically assume things would be any different?

That players and coaches would be preparing for a playoff game instead of saying their goodbyes and preparing for the offseason?

After all, we‘re talking about a Steelers attack that finished No. 14 in passing offense, No. 20 in total offense and No. 22 in scoring offense under franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Isn‘t it enough that the Steelers‘ defense led the NFL in pass defense and total defense for the second consecutive season? Or that the defense also finished No. 2 in run defense and No. 7 in scoring defense in 2012?

I find it ironic that both of the Steelers voted to the Pro Bowl this year play offense and that none of their defensive teammates was invited to Hawaii. How is that possible?

How about the offensive players doing their jobs better and scoring more points instead of the defense always being expected to bail out the offense?

To get to the bottom of why the Steelers didn‘t qualify for the playoffs for the second time since 2009, it‘s important to dig deeper in search of the truth.

Did you know that the Steelers have never led the league in passing offense or total offense — or even finished among the top five — in any of Roethlisberger‘s nine seasons? Or that the Steelers defense didn‘t rank lower than No. 4 in total defense in any of their three most recent Super Bowl seasons (2005, 2008 and 2010)?

Even if you toss out this year‘s inconsistent offensive performance due to Roethlisberger‘s rib and shoulder injuries, Big Ben‘s body of work reveals similar inconsistencies.

In the three seasons that Roethlisberger led his team to the Super Bowl, the Steelers never finished higher than No. 14 in passing offense or total offense. In a league consisting of 32 teams, that‘s barely above average.

With all the talk about Roethlisberger‘s alleged rift with first-year offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the offense‘s numbers in his one season under Haley aren‘t that different from its average rankings in five seasons with Bruce Arians (14.4 passing defense, 14.4 total defense) and three seasons with Ken Whisenhunt (20.3 passing defense, 12.7 total defense).

Since 2004, the Steelers enjoyed their two highest rankings in net passing yards under Arians and Whisenhunt (2006 and ‘09). They didn‘t qualify for the playoffs in either season.

A year ago, the Steelers earned a playoff berth when the offense finished No. 10 in passing offense and No. 12 in total offense.

Forget the defense not generating enough turnovers for the offense in 2012. The unit deserves much better than that.

Roethlisberger has played on five teams that led the league in total defense. Imagine how many Super Bowls Tom Brady could win if he played with a dominant defense.

It‘s probably asking too much to expect the Steelers to lead the league in total defense in 2013 for a third consecutive season.

However, it isn‘t asking too much to expect the offense to play better.

http://triblive.com/sports/johnharris/3219498-74/offense-defense-steelers#ixzz2GsCQkChV

The_Joker
01-03-2013, 04:28 AM
Mike Tomlin is a top 5 coach. Come at me bros.

Hawaii 5-0
01-05-2013, 12:29 PM
Steelers offense, defense went opposite directions

January 1, 2013:
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

To put the 2012 season in capsule form, the Steelers offense went one way, the defense went another and the results came in as an 8-8 standstill.

That's how Mike Tomlin explained it Monday in its simplest terms. He also noted for the second time in a week that a 3-5 record in their eight three-point games contributed.

"The good teams, the dominant teams, aren't necessarily dominant inside stadiums," Tomlin said. "But they are dominant largely in moments, and they do what is required to get out of stadiums with victories. We didn't do that consistently enough."

The new offense under Todd Haley "started off on the right foot in terms of dominating time of possession and converting third downs."

"We did what was required in those areas to possess the ball and win football games."

That occurred as the Steelers jumped to a 6-3 record and the offense was on pace to set team records, especially passing, and led the league in third-down conversions. Although Tomlin did not connect the dots, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger then was injured and missed 31/2 games. Little came together on offense after that.

"Obviously we didn't ascend in the second half of the season in those areas," Tomlin said. "It was an Achilles' heel for us."

The opposite happened on defense, which started slow and finished fast.

"Defensively, I thought we didn't start out very well, particularly in situational football and getting off on third downs, and the end of the half and end of the game type of things," Tomlin said.

"I thought we grew into those roles and improved over the course of the season. It was a really good defense in the latter portions of the season, particularly in those settings. I think the statistics show that. But again, not enough significant plays in those moments at the early portion of the season that produced wins, such as Tennessee and others."

RB situation hurt

Tomlin acknowledged that not having a No. 1, go-to running back did not help the offense.

"I'm sure that would be a fair assessment," he said. "But there are also several reasons why that didn't occur, and just general ineffectiveness being one of them."

Four of their five halfbacks were injured at different points in the season to where three of them started and three shared the duties. Their former lead back, Rashard Mendenhall, battled through ACL and achilles injuries and was suspended for one game by Tomlin. He had only 51 carries for 182 yards and no touchdowns.

Jonathan Dwyer led the team with 623 yards, the lowest rushing total to lead them since Merrill Hoge had 610 in 1991.

LeBeau to return

While Tomlin did not state it, Dick LeBeau will return as defensive coordinator. Haley likely will be back as offensive coordinator, although Tomlin offered him a much cooler assessment.

"I think everybody is aware that I'm happy with the work of Dick LeBeau," Tomlin said. "He's a special guy, a special man and a special coach."

And Haley's performance?

"It was about 8-8, like all of us. I'm a black-and-white kind of a guy. He was an 8-8 coordinator. I was an 8-8 head coach. I don't think that's what either of us desire to be."

But he did add that "We're going to proceed with that understanding and with a mentality toward being better and maximizing our talents here to the best of our capabilities."

Tomlin also acknowledged that there were the expected growing pains in teaching and learning a new offense.

"Certainly, but not that it is unexpected and not that it is an excuse, much like the injuries. I acknowledge that growing pains are a part of transition but I didn't believe that it would be significant enough to prevent us from winning and I still don't. It's not an excuse, much like the injuries."

Series of injuries

The Steelers season was a series of one injury after another. Starters lost 78 games to injuries, and four more left the game Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

Tomlin at least had good news on two of them. Brett Keisel and Keenan Lewis each have damage to medial collateral ligaments, but neither will need surgery.

He confirmed that Kelvin Beachum sustained a concussion in the game. David DeCastro had a severe stinger. Cameron Heyward "probably" has a rib fracture.

Ryan Clark spent Sunday night in the hospital as a precautionary measure with a severe left thigh contusion. He was released Monday morning and is fine.

Quick hits

• Tomlin said he has no timetable in hiring a line coach to replace Sean Kugler, who became head coach at UTEP. He also said he will assess whether to hire another special teams coach to replace fired Al Everest or stick with one.

• The Steelers will draft 17th in the first round and swap places with Dallas every subsequent round. Both finished 8-8 but the Steelers get the first-round edge on the Cowboys based on their opponents' weaker won-lost percentage (.465).

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/steelers-offense-defense-went-opposite-directions-668599/#ixzz2H7hW1w9t

fer522
01-05-2013, 02:52 PM
Mike Tomlin is a top 5 coach. Come at me bros.

:rofl::chuckle::toofunny::rofl::chuckle::toofunny:

Steel Peon
01-05-2013, 06:07 PM
Anything to not talk about the elephant in the room, huh? As much as the offense sputtered and clunked all year, at least it ran well at times, which is something I can't say about our special teams, which looked DOA. Don't try to dodge around the subject Mike, we were total buffoons on STs, and I would be highly surprised if any other team's was worse. You're going to have a potent offense next year Mike, so you'd better make sure the STs doesn't shit the bed any worse or you're not going to hear the end of it.

steelersforever58
01-05-2013, 09:45 PM
"Roethlisberger has played on five teams that led the league in total defense. Imagine how many Super Bowls Tom Brady could win if he played with a dominant defense."

Maybe a better question would be how many Super Bowls would Brady have won playing in this same system with this offensive line? It's not as if the patriots defenses were second rate. I am pretty sure they were top 10 for the three super bowl victory years.

lloydwoodson
01-06-2013, 02:29 AM
"Roethlisberger has played on five teams that led the league in total defense. Imagine how many Super Bowls Tom Brady could win if he played with a dominant defense."

Maybe a better question would be how many Super Bowls would Brady have won playing in this same system with this offensive line? It's not as if the patriots defenses were second rate. I am pretty sure they were top 10 for the three super bowl victory years.

Tom Brady did have a good defense. It is extremely rare that a team wins a superbowl without a top 10 defense.

The Steelers have fielded offensive lines with higher draft picks than NE, IND, or NE since 2004. Brees and P Manning both won superbowls with multiple UDFA and only 1st round pick on their lines. It is not fair to fault the offensive line for a quarterback who holds the ball too long and demands a "big play" offense.

steelfury02
01-06-2013, 07:41 AM
the argument is probably total defense v. takeaways - if you're a lucky fan - your team is tops in both!

Funny enough though - and I could be wrong - Ints for the regular season weren't exactly an indicator as to who was looking "the best" and who was a real playoff team
http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&conference=null&role=OPP&offensiveStatisticCategory=null&defensiveStatisticCategory=INTERCEPTIONS&season=2012&seasonType=REG&tabSeq=2&qualified=false&Submit=Go

First playoff team visible was Colts at #6 with Ints.(tied with Browns). Then Bengals at #12. Falcons at #19 and so on.

Leaders in total sacks were a bit better of an indicator of a playoff team with 4 teams in top 10 in sacks. Forced fumbles was the best indicator I found so far with 7 playoff teams in top 10 in forcing fumbles.

I'd say getting to the QB and dislodging the ball are #1 priorities for the defense next season - the INTs have to be secondary to the pass-rush and disrupting immediately at line of scrimmage