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Old 01-10-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
maddog78
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Default The Steelers play scared

I alluded to this in another thread and want to expound on the point.

Anyway, the Steelers play scared football on both sides of the ball. This has been going on since Cowher and Tomlin has carried the torch.

On offense, get any kind of lead and they pull the plug on offense and go into kill the clock mode. Even when they don't, they play to run and control the clock.

On defense, it's contain, keep everything in front of you, tackle the catch. How many times did we see an opponent pinned inside the five only to turn field position around? Thad Freaking Lewis did it with the Browns in the finale.

The result is a defense that doesn't get sacks or turnovers, which kill drives and set up good field position, and an offense that seems to max out at around 24 points on their best days.

That means every Sunday, no matter the opponent, the game will be in reach in the 4th quarter. In close games, a play or two here or there turns them. Enough of them turn the wrong way, and you're 8-8 instead of 12-4.

This philosophy emanates from the head coach down to the players. With Cowher it was "there's a fine line between winning and losing". With Tomlin, you "have to make significant plays at significant times". He said after the season that the reason dominant teams are dominant is because they find a way to win close games, and the Steelers couldn't do that this year.

A little research found that claim to be bogus. The Steelers won a grand total of 3 games by more than one score, i.e. 9 or more points, none by more than 17. The top three playoff seeds in each conference won no less than 6, some won 9 or 10, often times by 20 or more. They don't pucker up hoping to run out the clock in the 2nd half, they continue to attack and bury teams.

Maybe next year the breaks will go our way and we'll win those close games, but if they don't, Tomlin may be on a very short leash in 2014.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

Flush it down

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Old 01-10-2013, 10:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

I agree with this thread to some degree, only because this past year's team really never got leads, they always had to come from behind. They definately had a lacksidasical (?spelling) attitude in all phases of the game. I put that on the players themselves, at some point you have to take ownership and pride in your work and I didn't think as a man the majority of these guys put that effort forward. I have to give it to two teams this year as much as I hate to admit it. The Patriots & Broncos, these teams know how to bury other teams. They keep their foot on the gas until your will is broken.
I wish the NFL would do like the PGA Tour does, your earnings are based on your play. You don't play well, you don't earn very much money. If that was the case, there would be many 2012 Steelers on the soup line. It really amazes me how much money these guys makes and how entitled most of them think they are. They think just because they are wearing a Steelers uniform they just have to show up. Until this attitude is changed this Team and Organization will continue to be mediocre at best! Steeler Nation deserves better!
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

I agree. Their soft defense does not force mistakes. The other teams seem to just make the occasional mistake as a result of statistics, not through forced error. While on the other side of the ball the opponent is trying to force mistakes.

To make big plays you need to take big chances. On both sides of the ball. You can't allow the other team to force mistakes while having a predictable low-risk offense. At the same time you can't sit back and wait for the other team to make mistakes. You won't win many games that way.

Take Chances=Big Plays.

Last edited by Twentyvalve; 01-10-2013 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

I swear to God maddog78 is not my second username!!!!!!!!!

I would add one more thing to the original post. It seemed like after one of the few times the Steelers defense did force a turnover, the offense never went for the kill shot.

In Denver, the defense recovered a fumble early in the first half in Denver territory. What did the offense do? Run, run, sack, punt. How about after the first Allen interception in the Bengals game? Run, run, sack, punt.

The Steelers never drove the dagger into the other team when they had a chance. Why? As was alluded to, they were playing scared. "Oh no! Ben could get hurt if he throws!" "Oh no! If we score quickly the defense won't be as rested!" "Oh no! The owner might not like that play!"

Do any of the teams in the playoffs right now play like that? Do those teams fret over that stuff? There's only one team in the playoffs that is in the top 5 of the NFL in time of possession - Houston. Maybe next season the Steelers should trade some possession time for some points. It may very well be the difference between playoffs or no playoffs.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by maddog78 View Post

Anyway, the Steelers play scared football on both sides of the ball. This has been going on since Cowher and Tomlin has carried the torch.
You do realize that Cowher's all-time record when leading by more than 10 points at anytime during the game was 102-1-1 don't you?

102-1-1
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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You do realize that Cowher's all-time record when leading by more than 10 points at anytime during the game was 102-1-1 don't you?

102-1-1
True. But wouldn't you say offenses weren't quite as wide-open during Cowher's tenure?

Also consider Cowher isn't here anymore and the Steelers defense has had some fourth quarter issues for the last three seasons. Playing close to the vest hasn't worked out too well in recent history.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by GoFor7 View Post
True. But wouldn't you say offenses weren't quite as wide-open during Cowher's tenure?

Also consider Cowher isn't here anymore and the Steelers defense has had some fourth quarter issues for the last three seasons. Playing close to the vest hasn't worked out too well in recent history.
they should let Ben be Ben and score all those points he usually scores.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by Twentyvalve View Post
I agree. Their soft defense does not force mistakes. The other teams seem to just make the occasional mistake as a result of statistics, not through forced error. While on the other side of the ball the opponent is trying to force mistakes.

To make big plays you need to take big chances. On both sides of the ball. You can't allow the other team to force mistakes while having a predictable low-risk offense. At the same time you can't sit back and wait for the other team to make mistakes. You won't win many games that way.

Take Chances=Big Plays.
It was refreshing watching the playoffs last week and seeing DBs break on balls and get INTs, DBs crash the pocket and knock passes down or sack the QB. Been a long time since we've seen either.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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they should let Ben be Ben and score all those points he usually scores.
Yes, get rid of that stupid bubble pass, and mix in a few of Haley's dink and dunk plays and he just may have scored them. Maybe a "Halians" or "Arieys" mixture of offense. Although, that means we would need a RB that defenses felt was a threat. We start scoring points and the Defense can come out of prevent.

One good thing about Arians, or was it Whiz, was they were not afraid to go deep on a 1st and the rest of the game.
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