Re: The Steelers play scared
I agree with the poster that said this is nothing more than playing conservatively - not scared. That's old-time Steelers football. I think it's related to the Rooney's mandate that the team get back to "Steelers football." Most Steelers fans over 40 grew up during the Steel Curtain era of bloody knuckles, missing teeth, and bone-rattling defense. And the Cowher days were equally defense & run-the-ball related.
Rooney made it clear that the team would not become an offensive highlight reel as BB would have it, and would return to the mentality of the glory days.
I think that statement has caused a conundrum for game-planning. How do the coaches stay true to the Steelers glory days, while also keeping pace with the new NFL? How does Lebeau coach down his players to keep them from getting game-turning 15-yard personal fouls? How does Arians/Haley coach up his offense to score enough points to outscore their high-octane, Goodell-protected opponents?
Injuries, age, poor coaching, and poor play are all contributors to this 8-8 season, but I contend that it's also related to this idea that the Steelers need to go back to the days of yore. As much as I hate to say it, maybe it's time to open up the offense. Maybe it's time to look at the 4-3, or draft some bump & run corners? Something clearly needs to change in Pittsburgh, not just names on the jerseys, something fundamental.