I expected this level of drop off in the o-line (which I think they vastly improved last year) because of a combination of injuries, inexperience, and letting go one too many experienced O-lineman (Flozell or Starks should still be on this team)
I did not expect Ben's crappy-as* interceptions in these first 3 games. I also was hoping that while he is getting the ball out a little faster (it seems) he would know in his 8th season that in some situations you GOT, GOT, GOT to get rid of the ball. Blame the protection issues to an extent - but Ben gets at least 40% of the blame for turnovers IMHO.
I'm on the fence with the defense. Any chance we get A.Smith to play O-line? Lol. I'm sure he would be an upgrade at tackle lol. Hood absolutely needs to be in there at least 75% of the time after I watched last night's performance. I was willing to give Smith the benefit of the doubt and say they should split series or some kind of sharing but no way. Smith got O_W_N_E_D. There is no question - the combination of injuries over the past few seasons plus 3 straight games of getting pushed around is just getting too much. We have to have someone on the D-line who going to have a lot more fire than that. Ike made his first mistake of the season (and yes, could have been one big costly mistake) but he has been shutdown for the most part. Where the F is Timmons and Woodley? Honestly - please tell me - is it just the way Lebeau is calling it that they are dropping back more? I can't believe the lack of pressure, the way we were run on in the end, etc, etc. I believe Harrison is a lot closer to 100% after seeing him last night. I'd put him at about 90%. We need MORE PRESSURE.
After 3 games I'll give
O-line play (injuries, experience((gel time)), and skill taken into account), Coughing up the ball bring them down to D-. They don't get an F and are brought up to C- because of 2 things that equals two wins out of 3 - A. Players like Wallace, Brown, Miller and Ward who have made some clutch plays and B. Third down conversion has been good.
D-line play is an area of concern. It might be time to see more Hood and a little of Heyward. A.Smith's time is just about over. When you allow the Colts to run on you the way they did on the end, that isn't Steeler Defense. Waiting for players not named Harrison and Polamalu to turn up the heat on opposing QBs. Defensive backs have rebounded well after Bmore debacle IMHO
Special Teams: B
Watching Brown is like watching a juiced up version of Randle El. We have had some nice field positioning and haven't given up anything huge yet. Let's get the penalties down. Sepulvada and Suisham are doing a nice job. Give them credit for the field goals they got - we needed them after the brain fart that was the offense.
Wk 1 - They deserved an F. Wk 2 - They deserved a D. Wk 3 - They now deserve a C. As Tomlin has stated - the stench is still on them. They should have never come out so flat to begin with but I feel they are sending an important message and the players are listening. They are still the team that lost ugly to Bmore - but they won't apologize for a win. Win at all costs, win in any way. That is a great attitude to have. Heart can take this team a long way - but the coaches, both offensively and defensively need to help them find an identity. They have been somewhat of a turnover machine to start this season and the defense has not been stopping the run or causing the turnovers like they want to. They are 2-1, like most of the AFC - but you gotta believe they are heading to another dogfight at Houston next week.
Here's to hoping they find there way, take it 1 game at a time, and continue building . . .