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Old 09-05-2013, 11:32 AM   #1
Atlanta Dan
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Default ESPN Grantland Says Steelers Not Doomed!

With all the downbeat predictions I was surprised to read this on ESPN Grantland

The NFL Contenders
In the final installment of our team-by-team preview, we look at who has the best shot at winning the Super Bowl


Now is the time to talk about the eight teams in football that have the best shot at competing for the Lombardi Trophy this season.
...

Pittsburgh Steelers

2012 Record: 8-8
Pythagorean Wins: 8.6 (underperformed by 0.6 wins, 11th-unluckiest in league)
Record in Games Decided by Seven Points or Fewer: 5-6 (0.455, 14th-worst in league)
Strength of Schedule: 0.466 (seventh-easiest in league)
Turnover Margin: Minus-10 (tied for 24th in league)

2013 Out-of-Division Schedule: AFC East, NFC North, vs. Titans, at Raiders

The last time the Steelers were this bad was in 2006, Bill Cowher's final year with the team, when they went 8-8 and outscored their opposition by a total of 36 points. That was the year where Ben Roethlisberger got into a motorcycle accident and had his appendix removed before Labor Day. They replaced Cowher with Mike Tomlin, got Roethlisberger healthy, and promptly reeled off five consecutive winning seasons. Before that, the last time they were this bad was 2003, when they went 6-10 with Tommy Maddox at quarterback (and underperformed their Pythagorean expectation by 1.2 wins). That time, they replaced Maddox with a rookie Roethlisberger, brought back Dick LeBeau, and went 15-1. A year later, they won the Super Bowl.

This is how things go for the Steelers. They have had two consecutive .500-or-worse seasons exactly two times since Watergate. This 8-8 season was the first time they've failed to post a winning record since Roethlisberger arrived into town. They win and win and win and then, if there is a brief respite from the winning, they get back to it like nothing ever happened, like they just needed to replace a lightbulb or snake the toilet. It's no accident that this happens to the Steelers, who have drafted and developed young players for 40 years like nobody else in pro football. In fact, that losing season usually serves as a wake-up call to move on from the successes of the past and bring along some of that young talent. That's what Pittsburgh will do in 2013. It will work.

So, here comes the core of the next notable Steelers team. Some of the pieces are already notable: Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, and Ziggy Hood are already essential players. Now, it will be the young guys following them and ascending to starting roles who step up. Cameron Heyward and Steve McLendon up front. Jason Worilds and 2013 first-rounder Jarvis Jones at linebacker. Cortez Allen in the secondary. Mike Adams and David DeCastro on the offensive line. Eventually, once he's healthy, Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Steelers aren't perfect, so it's not true that every single one of these guys will work out. But it seems safe to say that a few of them will become above-average starters as part of a contending Pittsburgh team. That's just how it goes in Pittsburgh.

They'll get better just by being healthy. The Steelers had the league's second-most-injured offense last year, per Football Outsiders, with almost a comical number of problems on the offensive line and at running back. Of course, Bell is already hurting at running back, but it's hard to imagine that they'll be quite so injured up front. If they can keep everyone on the field, it's a very promising line, paced by the interior combination of Pouncey at center and DeCastro at right guard, both former first-round picks. Both tackles are second-round picks, so that would be a bunch of awfully impressive pedigrees up front. No team has invested more in its offensive line over the past few years besides the 49ers, and you've probably seen the impact it's had on the San Francisco offense.

And if all else fails, the Steelers get a little bit of help in 2013 from that schedule. Playing the AFC North is no fun, but Pittsburgh also gets the massively friendly combination of the AFC East to go along with the Titans and Raiders, two of the worst teams in football. That's a gift. They did lose to the Titans last year, but that took a missed field goal with 52 seconds left to happen. If you want to count out Pittsburgh and suggest that its young talent won't come through, that's fine. But you're fighting against a lot of history in the process.

Worst-Case Scenario: History is wrong.


http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...ombardi-trophy
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: ESPN Grantland Says Steelers Not Doomed!

so those on the outside think that the steelers are the best team at drafting and developing talent over the past 40 years, but fans closest to the organization think about the front office's "suspect moves" and how the scouting department needs to change and our conditioning program sucks.

this article wasnt written by someone wearing black and gold colored rose glasses was it?
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: ESPN Grantland Says Steelers Not Doomed!

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
so those on the outside think that the steelers are the best team at drafting and developing talent over the past 40 years, but fans closest to the organization think about the front office's "suspect moves" and how the scouting department needs to change and our conditioning program sucks.

this article wasnt written by someone wearing black and gold colored rose glasses was it?
Some people are just never satisfied , If ya pick At 31 in the first round and the player isn't an all pro by season 2 , Colbert/Tomlin have failed.

For the avg draft position we usually select , we do a fine job. Sure there are misses , but for every miss we find a gem in the late rounds or as undrafted free agents . This seems like a reoccurring topic in most threads . You have the Colbert/Tomlin bashers vs. the Steeler realists. The Bashers bash , wine , and moan at every chance. The realists are appreciative of what the team has accomplished and realize an inexact science such as player evaluation comes with its share of hits and misses. It takes all kinds to make the world go around , I guess that's what these forums are for. to agree and to agree to disagree.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: ESPN Grantland Says Steelers Not Doomed!

Bill Barnwell's a pretty smart cat.

Still, if one were going to make a counter argument to his points, they'd be:

1. The Steelers are due for 'regression to the mean'.
and
2. History also says that teams with aging corps tend to produce less than stellar results.

He probably has the Steelers rated a tad high (compared to some other peers like ATL or BAL), but his logic is pretty sound as usual.

Choosing the Steelers as a 'contender' is usually a 'high probability' decision.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:10 PM   #5
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Cool Re: ESPN Grantland Says Steelers Not Doomed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSMaster56 View Post
Bill Barnwell's a pretty smart cat.

Still, if one were going to make a counter argument to his points, they'd be:

1. The Steelers are due for 'regression to the mean'.
and
2. History also says that teams with aging corps tend to produce less than stellar results.

He probably has the Steelers rated a tad high (compared to some other peers like ATL or BAL), but his logic is pretty sound as usual.

Choosing the Steelers as a 'contender' is usually a 'high probability' decision.
Aging?
Timmons, Woodendong, Allen, Jones, McClendon, Hood... and Heyward, & Williams on defense.

BB is the oldest starter on offense.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: ESPN Grantland Says Steelers Not Doomed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSMaster56 View Post
Bill Barnwell's a pretty smart cat.

Still, if one were going to make a counter argument to his points, they'd be:

1. The Steelers are due for 'regression to the mean'.
and
2. History also says that teams with aging corps tend to produce less than stellar results.

He probably has the Steelers rated a tad high (compared to some other peers like ATL or BAL), but his logic is pretty sound as usual.

Choosing the Steelers as a 'contender' is usually a 'high probability' decision.
Barnwell didn't strike me as that smart when he was at Football Outsiders. We'll see.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: ESPN Grantland Says Steelers Not Doomed!

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Originally Posted by teegre View Post
Aging?
Timmons, Woodendong, Allen, Jones, McClendon, Hood... and Heyward, & Williams on defense.

BB is the oldest starter on offense.
Well, I was thinking more along the lines of Troy, Ike, Clark and the recently departed Hampton, Harrison, etc. Woodley is nearly 30 and Heath will be over 30, too.

The Steelers held onto an aging corps and literally just re-loaded (since prior drafts hadn't yielded much return) this last offseason.

(If I remembered where to look it up, I'd check the average age of their roster... it's probably still among the oldest in the NFL.)

It's not impossible for them to succeed with said formula, as last years Ravens won it all and the Pats have made two SB's with remnants of their corps, but it is worth noting that the Steelers aren't in the same position as say... Cincy, San Fran and/or Seattle.

EDIT: Found this link. Steelers have the 10th oldest roster. Obvious that will fluctuate with injuries, etc., but still. It's not folly to describe Pittsburgh as an 'older' team.

DOUBLE EDIT: That 26.45 AVG Age is a decisive improvement over last year's 28.8, but it really just drives home how old the Steelers were and still are. Their corps is 'older'.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: ESPN Grantland Says Steelers Not Doomed!

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Originally Posted by steve314 View Post
Barnwell didn't strike me as that smart when he was at Football Outsiders. We'll see.
Maybe he's just better at explaining his B.S.?
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