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Old 09-03-2006, 09:18 AM   #1
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Default Steelers #2 in LA Times Rankings

LA Times NFL reporter Bob Oates, who goes back to Super Bowl I, has the Steelers ranked #2, behind New England and ahead of Cincinnati, as the three teams in the "First Division" of the NFL this year.

Oates has seen it all and has some interesting observations:

This is the first time the NFL has ever simultaneously had four passers as talented as Tom Brady of New England, Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh, Carson Palmer of Cincinnati and Peyton Manning of Indianapolis.

So look for the games to be a little different, more footballs in the air and fewer running plays, in a league that now appears to be stronger and more evenly matched than ever, top to bottom -- most noticeably at the very top. There, the New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers seem jointly supreme....


With regard to Ben and the Steelers, Oates has these thoughts:

The Steelers will be defending the league championship with Roethlisberger, the strangest good quarterback in the history of pro football. A giant of a man who is listed at 6-foot-5, though he's obviously larger, Big Ben towers over teammates and opponents alike while powering the ball with rare accuracy at all distances....


The problem for the Steelers is whether Roethlisberger can continue to bail out an obtuse coach, Bill Cowher, a run-and-defend old-timer who, in last winter's Super Bowl, let the Steelers pass just often enough to take out Seattle, 21-10....

Given my personal bias against so many predictions once again jumping on the Colts bandwagon as it heads towards its annual trip over the cliff, I particularly enjoyed this passage, in which Oates explains why he ranks the Colts as #8 rather than #1 like everyone else:

Eight -- Indianapolis Colts: Manning is a great self-made passer who can beat most regular-season rivals -- sometimes 13 of them in a row. And because running back Edgerrin James is gone now, Manning, forced to pass more often, will be better than ever. But he isn't a natural quarterback and so, in big games, he tends to flame out.

Everybody is putting out preseason rankings right now, but Oates's perspectives are worth the read to me.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/footba...nes-sports-nfl
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers #2 in LA Times Rankings

Oh Mannn....

if we would have kept Kuhn...we would soooo be #1....

(off of my sarcastic rant...good read..thanks for posting it)
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers #2 in LA Times Rankings

While I like his #2 ranking of the Steelers (always nice to see that), I have to wonder......what the hell is the author smoking?

Quote:
The problem for the Steelers is whether Roethlisberger can continue to bail out an obtuse coach, Bill Cowher, a run-and-defend old-timer who, in last winter's Super Bowl, let the Steelers pass just often enough to take out Seattle, 21-10....
obtuse
2 a : lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect : INSENSITIVE, STUPID b : difficult to comprehend : not clear or precise in thought or expression
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers #2 in LA Times Rankings

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
While I like his #2 ranking of the Steelers (always nice to see that), I have to wonder......what the hell is the author smoking?



obtuse
2 a : lacking sharpness or quickness of sensibility or intellect : INSENSITIVE, STUPID b : difficult to comprehend : not clear or precise in thought or expression
Cowher has become a great coach but he never won it all until he played to win rather than played not to lose in the playoffs last year; everyone loves Cowher now but it was not as easy to feel the love after the loss to New England in the 2004 playoffs or in early December last season. That is a function of finally having a franchise QB.

He was a great coach last season - until then he had rep of not being a great game day coach in the playoffs and generally was regarded as having been outcoached in the AFC championship losses to Bobby Ross, Shanahan and Belichek (twice); while Dallas beat the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, Barry Switzer could not outcoach a corpse.

I agree with Oates that it is time to play the regular season like the playoffs - my bet is Cowher will let Whiz and Ben do just that starting on Thursday night.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers #2 in LA Times Rankings

Personally... I would much rather watch our team grind the opposing defense into the turf with a strong running game and passing when needed or to surprise.

I've lived out here in Philly long enough to know that having a good passing game and no running game isn't going to win the big dance.

As for SB XXX, I don't blame Cowher for that. O'Donnell shot us in the leg twice that game.

I also disagree with this statement::

Quote:
This is the first time the NFL has ever simultaneously had four passers as talented as Tom Brady of New England, Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh, Carson Palmer of Cincinnati and Peyton Manning of Indianapolis.
I remember some guys named Elway, Marino, Kelly and Montana who were pretty stunning quarterbacks to watch.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers #2 in LA Times Rankings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Cowher has become a great coach but he never won it all until he played to win rather than played not to lose in the playoffs last year; everyone loves Cowher now but it was not as easy to feel the love after the loss to New England in the 2004 playoffs or in early December last season. That is a function of finally having a franchise QB.

He was a great coach last season - until then he had rep of not being a great game day coach in the playoffs and generally was regarded as having been outcoached in the AFC championship losses to Bobby Ross, Shanahan and Belichek (twice); while Dallas beat the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX, Barry Switzer could not outcoach a corpse.

I agree with Oates that it is time to play the regular season like the playoffs - my bet is Cowher will let Whiz and Ben do just that starting on Thursday night.
While I understand your points, Dan, I still think "obtuse" is way too strong of a word to use in the author's description of Cowher.
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Old 09-03-2006, 03:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers #2 in LA Times Rankings

I dont get what the deal is about people saying things about Cowher ... If you look at our QB play in all of those games... horrible. our QB's made mistake after mistake and had nothing to do with Cowher IMO... Look at Ben last year in Super Bowl, he was aweful as well and if we would have lost ... it again would have bene blamed on Cowher and not Ben's playing even though Ben would have told you differently.
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