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Old 05-29-2007, 10:00 AM   #31
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Default Re: How talented are the Steelers?

I am very optimistic about this season due to the talent and the head coach choice. Think about it. We have Dick Lebeau who has a linebacker mentality as a coach. He developed a 3-4 scheme that is still proven to be successful but has always had an achilles heel due to the secondary. Big Ben who was known as a passer in college is getting a playbook that he no doubt had a lot influence with its creation. To top it all off we get a head coach who is a proven "teacher" of CB's. His knowledge of how the secondary plays will no doubt help his QB when it comes to reading the secondary and help his WR's counteract some CB tatics(e.g. how to beat a jam, how to read coverage to pick a route, etc...)

To me the talent is there and the stars are aligned.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:26 AM   #32
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Default Re: How talented are the Steelers?

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Where do you start thinking that Hines Ward is slowing down? Not in my opinion brother.
His receptions are on a downward trend, he missed a game in 2005 and most of the 200preseason due to a hamstring injury, and he is 32 years old - time waits for no one.

Year G GS Rec Yds Avg Lg TD 20+ 40+ 1st
1998 16 0 15 246 16.4 45 0 3 1 12
1999 16 14 61 638 10.5 42 7 6 1 31
2000 16 15 48 672 14.0 77 4 8 2 31
2001 16 16 94 1003 10.7 34 4 13 0 52
2002 16 16 112 1329 11.9 72 12 19 2 66
2003 16 16 95 1163 12.2 50 10 18 2 60
2004 16 16 80 1004 12.6 58 4 15 2 52
2005 15 15 69 975 14.1 85 11 10 3 53
2006 14 14 74 975 13.2 70 6 13 2 5
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:41 AM   #33
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Default Re: How talented are the Steelers?

Dan, I have to say that the numbers don't really show much of a decline. I do agree with you though, time waits for noone.

While on the subject of Ward, I would like to pose a question. Given the fact that Ward is aging, would he play a role similar to Troy Brown in N.E. ? Meaning would he be willing to be a 2nd or 3rd WR for the Steelers? Would he be willing to be a role player, minus the defensive duties of course that Brown has had on occasion.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:45 AM   #34
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Default Re: How talented are the Steelers?

i think people put to much importance on the head coach. when it all comes down to it will be all up to the players executing properly. all the coaches can do is prepare them for their opponent that week and give them a little motivation when things a going bad.

i think we have questions on both sides of the ball. the obvsious one on offense is Ben. will he be able to adjust to calling his own protection schemes and running more of a spread on first on second down. since he ran that kind of offense in college im pretty sure he'll be fine.

defense is always the same question for me every year for the last couple of years- will our corners, especially Ike Taylor, step their play up. and now we have the question of will the james harrison/lawrence timmons combo make up for the loss of joey porter. harrison has certainly looked capable of being more than a back-up
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:22 AM   #35
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Default Re: How talented are the Steelers?

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I believe the Steelers possess a great deal of sheer talent and could be very dangerous IF they keep everything in perspective, play as a team and don't allow their heads to become swollen as I feel they did last season. I still totally disagree that coaching played a huge role in this team's downfalls last season, though I think it played into the equation a little. These guys are grown men and professionals - they shouldn't need any coach to take them by the little handie or kick them in the hiney to get them going. It is very easy to blame the HC when a team plummets from glory, but if you stop and think about it - minus The Bus, this team was basically the same team with the same coaching staff that won the Super Bowl the season before.


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Old 05-29-2007, 12:43 PM   #36
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Default Re: How talented are the Steelers?

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Dan, I have to say that the numbers don't really show much of a decline. I do agree with you though, time waits for noone.

While on the subject of Ward, I would like to pose a question. Given the fact that Ward is aging, would he play a role similar to Troy Brown in N.E. ? Meaning would he be willing to be a 2nd or 3rd WR for the Steelers? Would he be willing to be a role player, minus the defensive duties of course that Brown has had on occasion.
I think Hines will play whatever role he is asked to play if he gets paid for it - however I do not believe he will take a cut to "role player" $$ like Bettis did for the last several years of his career.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:47 AM   #37
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Thumbs up Re: How talented are the Steelers?

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The more I think about last years season, the more I realize we were a dropped ball here, broken play there from having a 10-6 or 11-5 season.

With all of that, we were STILL only 1 game out of the playoffs. If we beat the Raiders, we would have made it. Had we not let the Atlanta game get out of hand, we would have made it.

Those type of mistakes come from not being focused. I think that problem is pretty much taken care of. Cowher was always focused on winning the SB. When he won it, I am not sure he knew how to react. The drive that kept this team going since that awful 2003 season disappeared because they DID redeem themselves from that season with a SB win.

Now, we have a coach with that drive again. We only lost Joey (players of importance) from last years team.

Hence, I believe that we are a playoff bound team, deep in the playoffs. SB? Honestly, doubtful. But I also doubt we are a one and done team talent-wise this year.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:12 AM   #38
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Default Re: How talented are the Steelers?

This team won the Super Bowl 2 years ago. I know we lost some real nice players ( Joey, The Bus, Hope, Randle El, Kemo, Hartings) but we still have our Franchise QB, a couple MVP type defensive players in Farrior and Polamula. Still got Ward and Big Snack (Hampton) two perennial pro bowlers. Faneca who is killing me with his mouth but still is one if not the best at his LG position. I could go on but i will say we are talented enough for 11 or maybe 12 wins and a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs. Think about it the last couple of years we drafted the best players @ positions of need. From Timmons the best pure OLB in the draft. S. Holmes best WR in his class to Miller the best TE in his class. The FO know what it is doing, look @ its track record compared to some other Franchises the last 10 years and it should make you proud to be a Steelers Fan. We want miss a beat w/out Cowher.
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:23 AM   #39
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Default Re: How talented are the Steelers?

The Steelers have a lot of talent, which is better than having extreme talent at a few positions. Teams like the Steelers stay competitive because of their chemistry mentality. Its not about obtaining a few big name guys. Its all about bringing together guys that work as a unit. Losing guys who make that bond stronger is always a bummer, but having depth and good character keep that unit together.

As long as they make efforts to keep the strong bonds around, they will continue to stay in the playoff chase. They dished out money to Aaron Smith and Troy will get his payday, Casey is another guy who they need to put on the top of the priority list. Hines Ward is one of those guys. Even if production slumps, he is still a CRUCIAL member of this team. Hines Ward is so good because he is valuable in the run game. 2005 showed a slump in production and 2006 can EASILY be racked up to the fact that the entire offense broke down. Despite the lower numbers in 2005, it was enough to win the big one. He was huge when it mattered (the Super Bowl) and provided a strong backbone in the run game during the season.

Can Hines play in the 2nd or 3rd role and be satisfied? Depends. As much as I don't want to believe it I think he would only be alright with that as long as we are winning. Ultimately, Hines Ward fits this team. He always has. He was a special teamer early on and worked to earn his position as number one. I don't think he would be as valuable to other teams as he thinks he would be. He has great hands, true, but he depends on fundamentals and handling EVERY duty at WR. That's what this team needs. Not someone like Randy Moss. I hope he stays, but it will be interesting once the coaches start shuffling him around.
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