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Old 11-29-2012, 11:06 AM   #32
AndyWitmyer
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Default Re: Players and coaches gone next year

We are finally starting to get some picks - but as others have noted, we should have had a hell of a lot more. Some of our guys on Defense must be infatuated with Mike Wallace - dropping very catchable balls is not going to cut it. I like what I've seen so far - we've gotten some turnovers, certainly more than at this time last year - and the recent pick 6 was nice - but it came at the start of the game.

A pick-6 is always a good thing, but the timing of one is even better. I don't think anyone would argue that our team has been literally torn to shreds - this has been the case on both sides of the ball. We've been playing without key players now for some time now. And while injuries are nothing new in NFL, since at least the middle of the previous season, I've been finding myself increasingly unsurprised by the sheer number of players who are falling to injury - as in, like, all the time. This has actually been a HUGE issue that's been consistently plaguing this team since as far back as the middle of last season. That's gotta change. Again, the D has been doing well enough - but, if we're going to have to rely on them to win games (which, at this point, we will) then they've gotta step up and make those major game changing plays not just at the start of the game...but also WHEN IT COUNTS. Even when Ben was starting (and playing magnificently), the Steelers D were not always able to seal the deal. Thus, our lousy record.

So, when Ben returns, to me...if this pattern of very close games should continue, it should no longer matter whether we happen to be in lead or trailing - if they want to win the rest of their games, this #1 defense of ours must step it up a notch or three, and prove that they, too, can win a game by either doing everything they can to guard our lead...or save the day with a pivotal play, if they must. They've gotta rise to occasion and in the process, regain some of their fire and steely determination.

Of course, having a competent special teams would also do wonders. Not spotting your opponent 7 points on a return, or losing the ground game on penalties would be a good place to start.
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