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Old 12-31-2013, 01:06 AM   #1
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Default My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

Just rambling here.

The receiving corps outside of Antonio Brown is depleted. Sanders has been inconsistent as hell and drops any clutch pass thrown to him. We should have taken the third round pick, and that boneheaded decision will haunt this franchise. Cotchery has been a TD machine but doesn't do much outside of the red zone. Wheaton has been hurt all year. Moye looked good in the preseason and occasionally flashed in limited opportunities. Heath has lost some of his already limited explosion, but is still a great tight end because of what he contributes via blocking. The depth behind him is nonexistent.

The offensive line outside of Pouncey and DeCastro is a complete clusterfuck. We all know this. Moving on.

The front seven is the worst we've had in years. I like McLendon, but he's a rotational NT at best, possibly a full time DE. He can't plug the run and that's one of the reasons our run defense is completely abysmal. Cam Heyward has been absolutely fantastic now that he's finally getting playing time; I'll never understand why our coaches kept him buried behind the completely useless Ziggy Hood who should be gone after this season. Keisel is okay, but he's on his last legs at this point. Timmons has been decent, but is definitely having an off year, which he can't afford after his stellar 2012 season and the rotation of backup caliber talents playing next to him throughout the season. LaMarr Woodley has obviously been tanking now that he has his big payday. His motivation was called into question last year, and now this year he's just been nursing minor injuries and not producing on the field. Complete waste of our horribly limited cap space. Jason Worilds has been surprisingly good, our best pass rusher by far, but it's a contract year so who knows with that. Jarvis Jones needs more seasoning. Hopefully he'll be an impact player next year. He made a bunch of splash plays that didn't show up on the statsheet, so anyone just looking at his sack numbers and getting disappointed hasn't been watching the games.

Weird year for the DBs. Ike started out the season very hot, shutting down AJ Green and Brandon Marshall, but was terrible for the majority of the stretch run before having a few solid games to close out the year. William Gay has somehow been our best corner, which continues to defy logic. Cortez Allen was playing well until his injury, and he's been rusty since. He was terrible against the Dolphins, absolutely terrible. Still showing promise, though. Ryan Clark is done. It's time for him to go and be an NFL analyst since that's all he does in his spare time anyway. Shamarko Thomas will be taking over next year. Polamalu has been revitalized with a healthy season. Splash plays, turnovers, all the classic Troy stuff we're used to.

Suisham was fantastic outside of the only game in which he missed field goals. Of course, that game was decided by a field goal. Natch. Punters? Eh, who needs 'em.

Coaching has been bad. Flat out bad. This has been a reoccuring issue I've been upset with for the past three years. Tomlin never has them ready for primetime games. We always play down to the competition. It's just a poorly coached squad out there and that's why we have lost so many close games. Todd Haley has had his ups and downs, but if anyone is to be the fall guy, he will be the scapegoat for an offense plagued by a garbage offensive line and one reliable receiver. Part of me wants to chase Haley out with pitchforks and torches, and another part of me realizes he was dealt a terrible hand this season, especially at the beginning with Heath and Bell both missing a few games, Pouncey dying immediately, and the rest of the suck squad that was our offensive line meandering around out there. Dick LeBeau needs to retire because his defense is getting exposed more and more with each passing year. Does it have something to do with declining talent? Sure, but it shouldn't ever be so bad to this degree. I've been saying it since our loss to the Titans last year: this coaching staff needs an infusal of new blood. Also, why on earth have we not jettisoned our strength and conditioning coach and the training staff into the sun, yet? It's like a team full of faberge eggs out there.

That said, there's no way the team is as bad as its 0-4 start. That was just absurd. Worst turnover differential in NFL history to start 4 games of a season (literally 0 turnovers generated by the defense). We got Heath and Bell back, and things started to click a bit more. Ben was Ben. The offensive line was absolutely abysmal to start the year, but got better as it progressed. Pouncey and DeCastro are great. Hopefully we can bring Velasco back as well, he was a surprise. The tackles are in a constant state of flux. Beachum is okay, I really like him as a jack of all trades backup. Gilbert is bad. Mike Adams showed promise, then really sucked, then started to show promise again. We need to add someone else to the unit with a first or second day pick in the draft.

In conclusion: I said a lot of things and reached absolutely no verdict. See you jerks around draft time. Time for me to hibernate and watch a shitload of college game film.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

And you guys think I'm negative?
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

Quote:
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The receiving corps outside of Antonio Brown is depleted. Sanders has been inconsistent as hell and drops any clutch pass thrown to him. We should have taken the third round pick, and that boneheaded decision will haunt this franchise. Cotchery has been a TD machine but doesn't do much outside of the red zone.
I think you are exaggerating about Sanders a little. Sure he has had some drops and needs to tighten up his game but he still made a lot of plays and has 6 TD's on the season. I think his numbers would be a lot bigger if Ben and him worked on their timing some more. Go back and watch some tape and look at how many big passes were just out of Sanders reach or just an inch or 2 off the mark. He is a solid number 2 and I would like to see him back.

I think Cotchery's lack of production simply comes from him not being written into the plays. He is our 3rd receiver so in most cases he is our 3rd, 4th or 5th target depending on how we are using Heath and Bell in the passing game. Brown and Sanders get open quite a bit so going to Cotchery just doesn't happen.

Quote:
The offensive line outside of Pouncey and DeCastro is a complete clusterfuck. We all know this. Moving on.
I think you are overrating the significance of Pouncey and doing a disservice to how well some of our others have played. I would personally like to see Pouncey gone and have Velasco and Wallace as our guys for a smaller price. I liked Pouncey but he is injured too much and has done some questionable things off the field. Velasco acquitted himself well after he adapted and even Wallace held up after never having any NFL starts. He also brings a much needed nasty streak to our line. He shoves his hands up guys asses for extra credit and if you rematch the games you will see he is just always looking to smash someone and grind them down.

I was glad to see Adams benched but think he is better suited away from LT. He is just too slow for that spot. But he is huge so I think if we try him more at RT or even a guard position he could be much more successful.

I know you said Beachum is a jack of all trades backup but I think he has earned a spot as a starter. Maybe we need an even more dominant LT in the long run but I would start Beachum over Gilbert at guard or we could start him at RT.

In any case I am actually happy with our line. 2 games back to back this season without a single sack and only 1 given up against the Browns. I think there were some other low sack games as well and that was with a line constantly in flux. Imagine starting the season and going the whole year with 1 group of the guys we already have. Could be one of the better lines in football.


The rest I mostly agree with. Haley should stay, Tomlin needs to improve as an HC and the front 7 definitely needs work.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

WRs:

AB has been outstanding and even better than expected. We made the right choice keeping him over Wallace.

Cotchery has been solid for us and I hate to see him go. He's not flashy and he doesn't get a ton of targets so he's not always on the radar, but he's made some big plays for us this year.

Sanders is OK, but not spectacular. I'm not sure he's really a guy you would want to pay big money to as a #1 or #2 WR. Somebody will though.

Wheaton had some injury issues and just an all-around lack of playing time. He's a first year receiver and will need a little time to adjust at the pro level. The jury is still out on him.

I like Moye's size, but will he be able to crack the lineup and be a contributer next year? Another one that time will tell.

Don't forget about Justin Brown on the PS. I've heard some good things, but until he sees the field in a regular season game, we won't know what he has to offer.

O-Line:

I disagree that our line sucks now. If you had stated that early in the season I would have wholeheartedly agreed with you.

Pouncey getting hurt was a huge kick in the nuts early on. He's becoming injury prone and, quite frankly, he's not progressing as I had hoped. He's still a solid center and better than quite a few on our line, but I'd like to see him stay healthy and get better.

Velasco was a great pickup and I'd rather keep him over Pouncey at this point. He came in and settled this line down some and played well until he got hurt.

Foster has been Foster. Not great, but healthy and decent. He's probably more of a backup than a starter IMO.

Beachum has been a complete surprise and a good one at that. He's a keeper and maybe even earned a starting job. He should get some serious consideration next year after his performance this year. This could also help to push Gilbert, Foster, and Adams.

Gilbert has settled in nicely at RT and done pretty well. He's good for a mistake or two a game, but much better than he was early in the season. He needs to build off that and solidify his RT position.

I still have hope for Adams. He was coming off a stabbing in the offseason and missed time due to it. I'm sure his recovery wasn't a walk in the park either. He looked good in spots after a train wreck of a start. He also played well as an extra TE in some packages. Don't give up on him yet.

Wallace was another surprise. He played much better than I expected and may have earned a top backup spot if he continues that play.

D-Line:

I agree McLendon hasn't been the NT we expected. As you said, he may be out of position and better suited as a DE. He could take over for Keisel next year and we could either promote Al Woods to the starting NT or draft one.

Keisel is gone. I hate to say it, but his best years are behind him and his cap hit hurts too much to keep him. He's been a great player for us for many years and I appreciate everything he's done, but we need to move on to the youth movement. Thanks for everything, Brett!

Heyward is looking like a beast. This is a no-brainer. Not sure why he was buried on the bench behind Ziggy Hood for so long, but at least we have him starting now.

Ziggy Hood is possibly gone in free agency. If we could keep him at a low cost as a backup, I say we re-sign him, but no way should he be a starter for us. At least not until he proves he's worthy of it.

Al Woods has been pretty good as a fill-in NT when McLendon is out. He's a damned good backup and possibly our starting NT going forward IMO.

DBs:

Ike Taylor looks to be losing a little bit of a step. He's been good and bad this year and I wonder how much longer we'll wait to find his replacement. Possibly this year's draft will be the year.

Cortez Allen has gotten steadily better as the season has progressed, I feel. He started off injured and then when he got a shot he was less than impressive and got benched in favor of William Gay. Since then, he's showed improvement and made some splash plays and nice pass defenses. He's coming along.

William Gay has done a great job this year and exceeded expectations. He even landed a starting CB job for awhile. I don't think he's the long-term answer, but he could be a stop-gap between Ike and our next great CB.

Troy has returned to being Troy. He stayed healthy all year and showed explosiveness again. He played out of position at linebacker a little and that didn't really produce much results, but he still showed he can play at a high level. I would love to have him back and never want to see him in another uniform ever, but the cap may get us again here.

Ryan Clark's days in Pittsburgh are done. His played tailed off dramatically from a year ago and he seems ready to move on to other things like broadcasting. Thanks for your service, Ryan! You were a damn good Pittsburgh Steeler!

I like what Will Allen brings to the table. He played very good for us in his return here and I'd like to see him back. He would be a big help for that secondary.

The jury is still out on Shamarko Thomas as well, but I do notice his hustle and hard hitting. I think he'll be a great one for us in the future. He just needs a little more time.

Coaches:

Mike Tomlin will be the head coach period. He's not perfect, but most aren't. He still needs to work on some things (obviously), but he's a solid coach who has the respect of his players. That was shown with the way they fought back from that horrendous start. They never gave up and Tomlin didn't let them.

Todd Haley...... I just don't know what to think here. He's done some very good things with this offense, but still needs to tweak some things. At the beginning of the year I wouldn't have cared if they fired him even though I think it would have been premature, but the way the offense finished the season, I'm leaning towards giving him another year. Don't make me regret it, Todd!

Dick LeBeau. What can you say about this man that hasn't already been said? He's one of the greatest defensive minds to have ever been affiliated with the NFL. Although his recent defenses haven't had that same dominating and bullying feel to them, he still manages to make it work. It may be time for him to retire and give Keith Butler a chance, but I think he's earned the right to go out on his terms.

Danny Smith seems to have done a pretty decent job with the special teams unit. I see no reason to make a change there other than to tell him to whip Suisham's ass every time he kicks a kickoff out of bounds.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

In the last seven games, Beachum posted one of the best pass blocking efficiency ratings in the NFL. He just needs more time to develop.

JJ is going to do big things.

The only roster decision this off season that really puzzled me was keeping Moye over Justin Brown. From what I saw, Brown not only outperformed Moye, but it was by a fairly substantial margin. He caught everything that was thrown at him which is quite telling because he played with Landry Jones and not Ben. He absolutely needs to be on our team next season. The combination of AB, Wheaton and Justin provides a terrific trio of receivers with different but excellent skill sets. Brown's 6'4, 205 lbs. frame makes him perfect for the red zone and down the seam passes.

Cortez Allen has been playing out of his mind the last few games. Completely blanketing Josh Gordon and holding him to 0 catches (I originally had thought it was one catch, I was wrong) is impressive. Ike struggled with Gordon (what else is new?) but Allen kept up with him. A year that was marred with injuries may have set him back, but he's going to be our number one CB and he's going to be a great one in this league. He's the least of my worries.

Shamarko Thomas needs to start next season, but it absolutely has to be at SS. He doesn't have the frame or ball hawking ability to play FS.

The core of our team is young and talented. I can't wait for 2014.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

sure our guys drop some balls but every receiver drops balls…..even Johnson (look at the Raven's game) and all the big names…..Receivers aren't perfect and the qb's aren't going to throw perfect balls every time.


when you have Brown nearly setting a team record for catches and Bell coming out of the backfield catching more balls than running backs have caught in the past…..well this is going to take production away from Miller, Sanders, Cotchery, etc.


Pouncey….let him and go and sign 2-3 guys with the money we save.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

also,,,,,there is in the tweet box on this forum….there was a comment that recently that when McClendon was in the opponents runs up the middle average less than 3 yards a carry. if that is the case he must be producing some kind of positive results.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

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In the last seven games, Beachum posted one of the best pass blocking efficiency ratings in the NFL. He just needs more time to develop.
I knew he had played well but damn. Nice info right here.

Quote:
JJ is going to do big things.
I really hope you are right about this. I am leaning this way too but he really underperformed this season. I didn't need him to be Greg Lloyd but he really did little of note at all.

Quote:
The only roster decision this off season that really puzzled me was keeping Moye over Justin Brown. From what I saw, Brown not only outperformed Moye, but it was by a fairly substantial margin. He caught everything that was thrown at him which is quite telling because he played with Landry Jones and not Ben. He absolutely needs to be on our team next season. The combination of AB, Wheaton and Justin provides a terrific trio of receivers with different but excellent skill sets. Brown's 6'4, 205 lbs. frame makes him perfect for the red zone and down the seam passes.
Moye still needs a chance. He got very little PT and when he did he had a TD catch and another catch where I think he took a big hit or landed badly. I don't think he was even targeted much more than that.

I also think you are a little too optimistic about Brown and Wheaton. Wheaton can't stay healthy and when he has been healthy he has been basically invisible. Again, I think part of that is the targeting but still. And JB never even got to dress. So we know nothing about how he will perform once given the chance if the coaches even wise up and give him one.

Coming into the season I would like to see our same trio if we can keep Sanders for cheap enough. Cotchery should definitely be offered money and I think he would want to stay.

If Sanders goes I like Brown at 1, Cotchery at 2 and let the other 3 rotate at 3 and see who earns it. The others can take 4 and 5.

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The core of our team is young and talented. I can't wait for 2014.
Agreed.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

As for McLendon not being able to "plug the run:"

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/12...e-run-in-2013/


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
Just rambling here.

The receiving corps outside of Antonio Brown is depleted. Sanders has been inconsistent as hell and drops any clutch pass thrown to him. We should have taken the third round pick, and that boneheaded decision will haunt this franchise. Cotchery has been a TD machine but doesn't do much outside of the red zone. Wheaton has been hurt all year. Moye looked good in the preseason and occasionally flashed in limited opportunities. Heath has lost some of his already limited explosion, but is still a great tight end because of what he contributes via blocking. The depth behind him is nonexistent.

The offensive line outside of Pouncey and DeCastro is a complete clusterfuck. We all know this. Moving on.

The front seven is the worst we've had in years. I like McLendon, but he's a rotational NT at best, possibly a full time DE. He can't plug the run and that's one of the reasons our run defense is completely abysmal. Cam Heyward has been absolutely fantastic now that he's finally getting playing time; I'll never understand why our coaches kept him buried behind the completely useless Ziggy Hood who should be gone after this season. Keisel is okay, but he's on his last legs at this point. Timmons has been decent, but is definitely having an off year, which he can't afford after his stellar 2012 season and the rotation of backup caliber talents playing next to him throughout the season. LaMarr Woodley has obviously been tanking now that he has his big payday. His motivation was called into question last year, and now this year he's just been nursing minor injuries and not producing on the field. Complete waste of our horribly limited cap space. Jason Worilds has been surprisingly good, our best pass rusher by far, but it's a contract year so who knows with that. Jarvis Jones needs more seasoning. Hopefully he'll be an impact player next year. He made a bunch of splash plays that didn't show up on the statsheet, so anyone just looking at his sack numbers and getting disappointed hasn't been watching the games.

Weird year for the DBs. Ike started out the season very hot, shutting down AJ Green and Brandon Marshall, but was terrible for the majority of the stretch run before having a few solid games to close out the year. William Gay has somehow been our best corner, which continues to defy logic. Cortez Allen was playing well until his injury, and he's been rusty since. He was terrible against the Dolphins, absolutely terrible. Still showing promise, though. Ryan Clark is done. It's time for him to go and be an NFL analyst since that's all he does in his spare time anyway. Shamarko Thomas will be taking over next year. Polamalu has been revitalized with a healthy season. Splash plays, turnovers, all the classic Troy stuff we're used to.

Suisham was fantastic outside of the only game in which he missed field goals. Of course, that game was decided by a field goal. Natch. Punters? Eh, who needs 'em.

Coaching has been bad. Flat out bad. This has been a reoccuring issue I've been upset with for the past three years. Tomlin never has them ready for primetime games. We always play down to the competition. It's just a poorly coached squad out there and that's why we have lost so many close games. Todd Haley has had his ups and downs, but if anyone is to be the fall guy, he will be the scapegoat for an offense plagued by a garbage offensive line and one reliable receiver. Part of me wants to chase Haley out with pitchforks and torches, and another part of me realizes he was dealt a terrible hand this season, especially at the beginning with Heath and Bell both missing a few games, Pouncey dying immediately, and the rest of the suck squad that was our offensive line meandering around out there. Dick LeBeau needs to retire because his defense is getting exposed more and more with each passing year. Does it have something to do with declining talent? Sure, but it shouldn't ever be so bad to this degree. I've been saying it since our loss to the Titans last year: this coaching staff needs an infusal of new blood. Also, why on earth have we not jettisoned our strength and conditioning coach and the training staff into the sun, yet? It's like a team full of faberge eggs out there.

That said, there's no way the team is as bad as its 0-4 start. That was just absurd. Worst turnover differential in NFL history to start 4 games of a season (literally 0 turnovers generated by the defense). We got Heath and Bell back, and things started to click a bit more. Ben was Ben. The offensive line was absolutely abysmal to start the year, but got better as it progressed. Pouncey and DeCastro are great. Hopefully we can bring Velasco back as well, he was a surprise. The tackles are in a constant state of flux. Beachum is okay, I really like him as a jack of all trades backup. Gilbert is bad. Mike Adams showed promise, then really sucked, then started to show promise again. We need to add someone else to the unit with a first or second day pick in the draft.

In conclusion: I said a lot of things and reached absolutely no verdict. See you jerks around draft time. Time for me to hibernate and watch a shitload of college game film.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: My kneejerk, frustrated reaction to the Steelers' issues

Quote:
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As for McLendon not being able to "plug the run:"

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/12...e-run-in-2013/
i posted this on another thread too...

this may be a true stat, but here are some other stats....
the steelers were 19th in points allowed
the steelers were 20th in yds per game
the steelers were 25th in sacks
the steelers were 11th in rush def.
the steelers were 24th in pass def

just because we only 2.19 yards in a few games doesnt mean we dont have an issue! as you can see these stats are way more telling!!!!! and yes passing yards allowed is a direct result of no pass rush!!!
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