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Old 10-15-2013, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default Steelers choose to forget the big picture

By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Now what? The Steelers won a game, but they still find themselves down at the bottom of their division, looking up at three teams including the Cincinnati Bengals (4-2), who reside in first place in the AFC North Division.

The Steelers (1-4) prefer not to peer anywhere beyond Sunday when they play the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field in a game that has lost its usual sizzle. Neither team has a winning record, a rare occurrence when they play. They previously met without one or the other having a winning record in the seventh game of 2002, when they carried 3-3 records and the Steelers won, 31-18, at Baltimore.

Yet it remains a game of importance for both teams. At 3-3, the Ravens are trying to sidestep that Super Bowl hangover the Steelers suffered in 2006 and 2009, when they failed to make the playoffs the seasons after they added to their Lombardi Trophy case. The Steelers' job again will be to avoid making this season irrelevant before the halfway point.



"It will be a tough game against Baltimore," Brett Keisel said. "I didn't even know that until you said that. It will be a good test for us."

That he did not know who they played beyond the Jets might be a good indication the Steelers have adopted coach Mike Tomlin's instructions to put away all thoughts of any games beyond the next -- including those games in their locker room that he has banned in his own version of Ping-Pong Diplomacy.

"We can't just be basking in this win here," offensive guard Ramon Foster said. "This is one win. We have to dig ourselves out of a hole. We can't relax, we have a big one next weekend at home and we have to be on top of the same mindset."

The victory was somewhat significant for their seven rookies, who experienced it for the first time as professionals.

"Hopefully, it will give them some confidence," said tight end Heath Miller, who is working on his ninth season. "They haven't had this feeling yet in their career. Hopefully, it's contagious, and they'll be hungry to get another one."

Jones makes progress

One of those rookies, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, was upset at first Sunday after he plowed into Jets quarterback Geno Smith with three minutes to go in the game.

"I didn't sack him," said Jones, who still is searching for his first.

He paused.

"But I created a turnover."

Jones' hit on Smith caused the ball to flutter like a pop-up to shortstop that inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons easily fielded at the 3 to put the Steelers victory away at 19-6.

Sometimes, the near sack is worth more than a sack itself.

Jones is the first rookie to nail down a starting outside linebacker's job since they moved to the 3-4 defense 31 years ago.

His coaches believe, like other rookies at the position, Jones could have used one season in a backup role to learn the defense and refine his game.

But, with James Harrison gone, they decided to force-feed their prized rookie by starting him ahead of Jason Worilds, who continues to rotate into the position and had a sack Sunday.

Jones' progress has been slow, but he showed on that hit on Smith what he is capable of doing. He said getting a second-half lead for the first time this season benefited that style of play on defense.

"It's a great opportunity because now you make them one dimensional," Jones said. "We can open our playbook more and put more pressure on them. That was good for us, we got them behind.

"We could open up he defense a little bit and do more things we weren't capable of doing the last few games."

Brown's game was different

Antonio Brown had the kind of game few wide receivers experience. He caught nine passes to put him on pace for what would be a team-record 131 receptions. He completed a 15-yard pass for a first down. He dropped a touchdown pass. And he was sacked.

Brown joined Emmanuel Sanders, who was sacked once in 2012, as the only two non-quarterbacks on the Steelers to be sacked since Antwaan Randle-El in 2002.

Brown also leads the Steelers with a 7.0-yard average per rush -- although he only has run twice.

Injuries create problems

Two more injuries might force the Steelers to add two more players. They lost tight end David Johnson to what was described by Tomlin as a potential major injury to his left hand and wrist. Offensive tackle Levi Brown also could be finished with a triceps injury, something that kept him from playing at all in 2012 with the Arizona Cardinals.

If they are looking for a tackle to replace Brown, Max Starks remains available. The San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams cut Starks this season, but Starks was good enough to start 16 games in 2012 for the Steelers. Shouldn't he still have enough to serve as a backup for them one year later?

As for replacing Johnson, do the Steelers really need another tight end? They have four on the roster, now three without Johnson. Matt Spaeth will be eligible to return in a few weeks anyway.

Spence's next step: Practice

Inside linebacker Sean Spence said Sunday he will come off the physically-unable-to-perform list and start practicing Wednesday. The Steelers will have three weeks to decide whether to activate him to the 53-man roster, place him on injured reserve and end a second consecutive season for him, or release him.

Taking him off the PUP list affects them not one bit, other than to start his clock on the three-week decision. It will allow Spence to join them at practice and do more than the individual drills he has been working on exclusively with trainers. Depending on their record after three weeks, they could add him to the 53-man roster in order to allow him to practice the rest of the season -- or until they might need his roster spot. If they put him back on injured reserve, he cannot practice.

Either way, it fulfills linebackers coach Keith Butler's promise that they will do everything they can to allow this third-round draft choice to overcome a devastating knee injury that included nerve damage in the preseason of his rookie year in 2012.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2hmOZwS2I
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Old 10-15-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers choose to forget the big picture

At this point, there's no big picture to even look at or forget. Once they get closer to the top of the AFCN, then maybe the big picture will start materializing.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers choose to forget the big picture

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The Steelers (1-4) prefer not to peer anywhere beyond Sunday when they play the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field in a game that has lost its usual sizzle
What planet are you living on, Ed?
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers choose to forget the big picture

yea, got to disagree - desperate Steelers on their turf with Roethlisberger - think there's much on the line?

Even if they sniff the top of the AFCN - they better keep shit in check and stick with 1 game at a time - that's the only way you make it to the top - some of them SHOULD know better
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers choose to forget the big picture

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yea, got to disagree - desperate Steelers on their turf with Roethlisberger - think there's much on the line?

Even if they sniff the top of the AFCN - they better keep shit in check and stick with 1 game at a time - that's the only way you make it to the top - some of them SHOULD know better
Yup. Tomlin better not think about giving them back the ping pong tables or the pool tables until we have a 3 game lead in the AFCN.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:54 AM   #6
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Yup. Tomlin better not think about giving them back the ping pong tables or the pool tables until we have a 3 game lead in the AFCN.
you're kinder than I am - once they're gone and "it worked" / in that mindset - they can be reminded they'll have plenty of play time on their own time - outside of the fact they already prepare for a game as it is . . .
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers choose to forget the big picture

It's funny how quickly steeler fans can turn optimistic. I think it's great... but I'm not so optimistic. Yea we got a win but IMO that win only reaffirmed my opinion that this team is really bad. The jets are bad...really bad. Yea they can stop the run, but other then that they stink....and if it wasn't for 2 bad turnovers by their rookie QB... they win that game. Turnovers are part of the game...and good teams create them...problem is I don't think the steelers created that first INT...... that was just a bad throw and a bad decision. The 2nd turnover was created by pressure on the QB...but I think a better QB gets rid of that ball quicker.

We exchanged FG's with a bad team.... any playoff caliber team easily beats us in that game.... our line is horrible.... Ben is not the same QB as he was 4-5 years ago...he's making rookie mistakes. A couple of those sacks Ben took were just stupidity.... Ben ignored wide open receivers 5-10 yards deep.... it's almost like he's refusing to accept this offense. Watch the film... Ben's questionable decisions are more frequent then you think... yes he racked up some good yardage in this game... but like I said.. against a good team that yardage wouldn't have given us a win.

Another thing that's bothering me is the fact that Troy looks physically great....but mentally he's making mistakes ...and plenty of them. He's flying around but not doing much. He's showing up late...he's taking himself out of plays. When is the last time Troy made a play on a ball? ...not even an INT...but a tipped ball? Troy used to come out of no where to break up passes.....he used to blow up run plays in the backfield with regularity. No he just runs around but doesn't really do much.

oh yea and the poorly ran screens that we run every other play...they rarely produce anything positive. I understand we're trying to keep teams from blitzing every play...but if we can't run the damn screen like a pro team should...and teams are ready for it... why are we wasting play after play doing it? Eventually it's going to result in a pick 6 and another loss. IMO the fact that we execute these screen plays like a high school team is a clear indication that this team is poorly coached. An NFL team should be running such a simple play with ease ....especially considering we run it so damn much. Our offense is out of synch and it appears that they aren't prepared to run half the plays they run.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers choose to forget the big picture

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"The Steelers won a game, but they still find themselves down at the bottom of their division, looking up at three teams including the Cincinnati Bengals (4-2), who reside in first place in the AFC North Division.

- Ed Bouchette"
Man, you can't slip anything past ol' Ed, huh?
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers choose to forget the big picture

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Originally Posted by madtowndrunkard View Post
It's funny how quickly steeler fans can turn optimistic. I think it's great... but I'm not so optimistic. Yea we got a win but IMO that win only reaffirmed my opinion that this team is really bad. The jets are bad...really bad. Yea they can stop the run, but other then that they stink....and if it wasn't for 2 bad turnovers by their rookie QB... they win that game. Turnovers are part of the game...and good teams create them...problem is I don't think the steelers created that first INT...... that was just a bad throw and a bad decision. The 2nd turnover was created by pressure on the QB...but I think a better QB gets rid of that ball quicker.

We exchanged FG's with a bad team.... any playoff caliber team easily beats us in that game.... our line is horrible.... Ben is not the same QB as he was 4-5 years ago...he's making rookie mistakes. A couple of those sacks Ben took were just stupidity.... Ben ignored wide open receivers 5-10 yards deep.... it's almost like he's refusing to accept this offense. Watch the film... Ben's questionable decisions are more frequent then you think... yes he racked up some good yardage in this game... but like I said.. against a good team that yardage wouldn't have given us a win.

Another thing that's bothering me is the fact that Troy looks physically great....but mentally he's making mistakes ...and plenty of them. He's flying around but not doing much. He's showing up late...he's taking himself out of plays. When is the last time Troy made a play on a ball? ...not even an INT...but a tipped ball? Troy used to come out of no where to break up passes.....he used to blow up run plays in the backfield with regularity. No he just runs around but doesn't really do much.

oh yea and the poorly ran screens that we run every other play...they rarely produce anything positive. I understand we're trying to keep teams from blitzing every play...but if we can't run the damn screen like a pro team should...and teams are ready for it... why are we wasting play after play doing it? Eventually it's going to result in a pick 6 and another loss. IMO the fact that we execute these screen plays like a high school team is a clear indication that this team is poorly coached. An NFL team should be running such a simple play with ease ....especially considering we run it so damn much. Our offense is out of synch and it appears that they aren't prepared to run half the plays they run.
as I've posted elsewhere regarding Sanders TD - that's just it - a TD. The same goes for 1 win out of 5 games. That's just it - they're still a 1-4 team but it should instill some hope at least for the future - always have to find a bright spot, otherwise - why even root for them?

I agree with the offense still being out of sync but consider all the moving parts all the time - the Jets D is also a good defense so they manned up and it was tough. The flip side is that even great teams have bad games - I dunno, its a "W" and I'll take it at this point.

They have a bigger test coming up and they'll just keep getting bigger over the next month
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers choose to forget the big picture

It's not realistic to expect a 180 and all cylinders to fire magically and spontaneously one of these weeks. It's a progression. And so far every week we've gotten a bit better. From putrid in wk1 to some semblance of an actual nfl team this past week.

Don't know about you guys but this last Sunday was awesome. I didn't pass out right after steelers game and hate on the rest of the day lol.
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