Re: #1 Defense By Smoke & Mirrors
Here's the problem, for five years Lebeau was the only actual coach above the position coach level. His defense clearly carried the team to the Superbowl and won it once. Some of the fans on this board are more loyal to our now departed worst OC in the league and his friend BR, and so have had to find a way that every loss was the defense's fault, and they got good at it--so good that they managed to actually convince themselves of what was obviously untrue. So now they go back and hold the defense to the standard of the previous years, even though that wasn't actually good enough then either. Whatever goes wrong, the defense did it. Whatever goes right is credited to BR and Arians. The offense couldn't score 3 points more than they and the special teams gave up--blame the defense, after all they've been doing it at least since Cowher departed.
For the record, I won't complain about "splash plays," but I'd much rather see this team win consistently by design than by luck. The defense smoothers opponents by design, not by a lot of risky big plays. When healthy the offense has the luxury of moving the ball down the field methodically and taking a few lucky shots. I like that.
BTW, Haley's gameplan would have been to utilize the only thing Leftwich does well as a passer, which is throw the ball really hard, but he couldn't do that last Sunday. Batch has never been able to do that, and he isn't even as strong as he used to be. So it is no wonder the offense stalled after the first drive. That is on Tomlin or Colbert, whoever made the decision to stick with two backups too fragile to play a whole game combined. Seems like a Tomlin thing, but I could be wrong about that. Remember I posted last week that it wasn't Byron's delivery I was worried about, but his fragility. I hope the guy we just got is ready to play, because as much as I like Charlie Batch, I doubt he can go a full game either. This time last week, I seriously expected Batch and Leftwich to have both sustained season ending injuries against the purple-browns, (I love that name for them). I have to give Byron credit for being mentally tough, unfortunately, his body is not in line with his mentality.