Re: Three biggest things we need to do
1. Keep Wallace and Mendenhall. The FO needs to stop shipping off Ben's favourite receiver. Plaxico Burress provides big target for Ben in rookie season >>> gone. Santonio Holmes and Ben develop excellent chemistry>>> gone. Wallace has been Ben's favourite receiver for 2 years >>> gone?
Santonio's salary with Jets 5Yr/45M
Antonio's salary with Steelers 5Yr/42M
Almost the identical player for a very similar contract. It seems every time Ben gets a rapport with his receivers they are off the team.
I don't know if they can afford Wallace when they gave the #2 WR #1 money. Brown improved a lot this year though he is going to be even better next year in spite of his mistakes.
1b. Replace Harrison. Need a better pass rush. Harrison was one of the best ever and he is an absolute warrior to fight through his knee and back problems but his best days are behind him. I would hate to see him in a Panthers uniform like Greg Lloyd so I hope he can work something out to retire a Steeler.
Clark and Polamalu have another year in them at least. Troy won't make as many plays as we are used to but he will still be better than 80% of NFL safeties... just human. It would be nice if he was coaching up his protege next year.
2. Tomlin needs to be more aggressive. The comment about 50+ yard field goals is dead on. I know that Suisham is only reliable from 45 in so I don't know why Tomlin does not. Letting Suisham kick that 53 yarder is almost like putting the blame onto someone else or refusing to make a hard decision.
I do agree that Tomlin is holding back the offense. It is not a coincidence that a defensive coach replaced Cowher. The Steelers are a defensive team first but now that so much has been invested in the offense in terms of high picks it needs to produce. Tomlin needs to allow Haley to be more aggressive.
3. Ben has to realize that Haley is not the enemy. It was not Haley's decision to fire Arians. I don't know why Roethlisberger likes Arians so much anyways. Arians routinely called absurd plays like empty backfields on 2nd down - a pass rusher's wet dream - and the ridiculous QB draw from the shotgun on 3rd and 4 in SB XLIII. Or how about the QB sneak when Ben had just come back from a concussion.
Haley is a smart and aggressive coach. Ben doesn't like his dink and dunk offense? Well tough shit. That is what you do when the OL is struggling to run block. Until the 2nd and 3rd year linemen gel there is going to need to be a lot of swing passes to RBs and screens. Ben is going to be throwing 30+ a game just more of those plays will be designated for RBs. There are going to be a lot of big plays in the gameplan as well. It is not the end of the world and if anything Ben is going to have more responsibility in the new offense... provided Tomlin can restrain himself and keep his fingerprints off it with his "play to not lose" philosophy.
Lloydwoodson's Top 5 Receivers of All-Time:
1. Mike Wallace 2. Jerry Rice 3. Don Hutson 4. Steve Largent 5. Lance Alworth