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Old 01-05-2014, 06:50 AM   #1
Galax Steeler
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Default Steelers Report Card: Final grade for the season

By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

QUARTERBACK

Early-season mistakes and turnovers by Ben Roethlisberger were a good part of the reason for the team's slow start. And the only comeback victory he directed was in the first meeting against the Ravens. His record number of attempts and five 300-plus-yard passing performances were largely the result of playing from behind. Still, he brought the team back in at least four games where they were headed for embarrassment and is the reason they finished 8-8 and not 5-11.

Grade: B

RUNNING BACKS

The Steelers averaged 3.5 ypc, their lowest in 10 years, and didn't have a 100-yard rusher until Week 15. But the development of Le'Veon Bell as a focal point of the offense had a tremendous impact. Bell set a franchise rookie record for most total yards (1,259), despite missing the first three games, and averaged more than 22 touches a game. In the last five games, he averaged better than 4 ypc and 109.6 total yards.

GRADE: C+

WIDE RECEIVERS

Any question how Antonio Brown would perform as the No. 1 receiver was answered in an emphatic way. His Pro Bowl numbers --110 catches, 1,499 receiving yards -- were the result of consistency and ability to make plays after the catch. Emmanuel Sanders had a productive year (67 catches, 740 yards), but critical drops will be what everyone remembers. And was there a better value in the league that slot receiver Jerricho Cotchery?

GRADE: B

OFFENSIVE LINE

The season got off to a bad start with the injury to Maurkice Pouncey, the ineffective performance of LT Mike Adams and the abandonment of the zone-blocking schemes. But Fernando Velasco was an outstanding pickup, Kelvin Beachum settled in on the left side and G David DeCastro is on the path to the Pro Bowl. After allowing 36 sacks in the first nine games, the line allowed just seven in the last seven. The running game showed signs of improvement, averaging 4.1 ypc in the final five games.

GRADE: C

DEFENSIVE LINE

The emergence of Cam Heyward as a dominant player was the brightest spot for a defense that didn't have many grand moments. And Brett Keisel, when healthy, played as well as he ever has at age 35. But that was about it. Opponents averaged 4.3 yards a rush and had 18 rushing touchdowns, the most since 1988. The biggest hole was in the middle where the defense never learned how to play without NT Casey Hampton.

GRADE: C-

LINEBACKERS

The early-season injury to ILB Larry Foote was more troublesome than imagined. That put the onus on Lawrence Timmons to set the defense and that led to problems. LaMarr Woodley was not able to make up for the loss of James Harrison. Rookie Jarvis Jones failed to keep blossoming after an impressive preseason. But the development of Jason Worilds into a pass-rushing force was a plus. And rookie Vince Williams showed he is capable of being, at the very least, a competent backup.

GRADE: C

SECONDARY

Too many big pass plays and too few INTs were the bane of the unit for most of the season. After allowing four pass plays of 40-plus yards the previous two seasons combined, they allowed 12. Even Ike Taylor struggled. Cortez Allen came on strong and William Gay was more solid than anyone expected. Getting every snap out of Troy Polamalu should have been more of a plus, but a lack of speed created problems.

GRADE: C-

SPECIAL TEAMS

Shaun Suisham missed only two field goals and has converted 63 of 68 attempts in the past 34 games, a 92.6 conversion rate that is the best in the NFL in that period. Antonio Brown had five punt returns of 40-plus yards. But there was no real kickoff-return threat and punting was a problem from the time they cut Drew Butler. Jacoby Jones' 73-yard kick return in Baltimore remains one of the defining moments of a frustrating season.

GRADE: B-

COACHING

The ability to right the ship and stave off a really embarrassing season is a testament to Mike Tomlin. Another 8-8 season is not something of which he and the organization are proud, but everything was headed in a more disastrous direction, especially when the team was 2-6. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley eventually found some common ground with Roethlisberger and entrusted a rookie to be the focal point of the offense. But there is no question the defense performed far below the usual standards of coordinator Dick LeBeau with a league-high 11 scrimmage plays of 50-plus yards.

GRADE: C+

THE SEASON'S TEAM GRADE: C

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...#ixzz2pWn56E10
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:35 PM   #2
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Default Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

Steelers Report Card: Final grade for the season

January 4, 2014
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

QUARTERBACK

Early-season mistakes and turnovers by Ben Roethlisberger were a good part of the reason for the team's slow start. And the only comeback victory he directed was in the first meeting against the Ravens. His record number of attempts and five 300-plus-yard passing performances were largely the result of playing from behind. Still, he brought the team back in at least four games where they were headed for embarrassment and is the reason they finished 8-8 and not 5-11.

Grade: B

RUNNING BACKS

The Steelers averaged 3.5 ypc, their lowest in 10 years, and didn't have a 100-yard rusher until Week 15. But the development of Le'Veon Bell as a focal point of the offense had a tremendous impact. Bell set a franchise rookie record for most total yards (1,259), despite missing the first three games, and averaged more than 22 touches a game. In the last five games, he averaged better than 4 ypc and 109.6 total yards.

GRADE: C+

WIDE RECEIVERS

Any question how Antonio Brown would perform as the No. 1 receiver was answered in an emphatic way. His Pro Bowl numbers --110 catches, 1,499 receiving yards -- were the result of consistency and ability to make plays after the catch. Emmanuel Sanders had a productive year (67 catches, 740 yards), but critical drops will be what everyone remembers. And was there a better value in the league that slot receiver Jerricho Cotchery?

GRADE: B

OFFENSIVE LINE

The season got off to a bad start with the injury to Maurkice Pouncey, the ineffective performance of LT Mike Adams and the abandonment of the zone-blocking schemes. But Fernando Velasco was an outstanding pickup, Kelvin Beachum settled in on the left side and G David DeCastro is on the path to the Pro Bowl. After allowing 36 sacks in the first nine games, the line allowed just seven in the last seven. The running game showed signs of improvement, averaging 4.1 ypc in the final five games.

GRADE: C

DEFENSIVE LINE

The emergence of Cam Heyward as a dominant player was the brightest spot for a defense that didn't have many grand moments. And Brett Keisel, when healthy, played as well as he ever has at age 35. But that was about it. Opponents averaged 4.3 yards a rush and had 18 rushing touchdowns, the most since 1988. The biggest hole was in the middle where the defense never learned how to play without NT Casey Hampton.

GRADE: C-

LINEBACKERS

The early-season injury to ILB Larry Foote was more troublesome than imagined. That put the onus on Lawrence Timmons to set the defense and that led to problems. LaMarr Woodley was not able to make up for the loss of James Harrison. Rookie Jarvis Jones failed to keep blossoming after an impressive preseason. But the development of Jason Worilds into a pass-rushing force was a plus. And rookie Vince Williams showed he is capable of being, at the very least, a competent backup.

GRADE: C

SECONDARY

Too many big pass plays and too few INTs were the bane of the unit for most of the season. After allowing four pass plays of 40-plus yards the previous two seasons combined, they allowed 12. Even Ike Taylor struggled. Cortez Allen came on strong and William Gay was more solid than anyone expected. Getting every snap out of Troy Polamalu should have been more of a plus, but a lack of speed created problems.

GRADE: C-

SPECIAL TEAMS

Shaun Suisham missed only two field goals and has converted 63 of 68 attempts in the past 34 games, a 92.6 conversion rate that is the best in the NFL in that period. Antonio Brown had five punt returns of 40-plus yards. But there was no real kickoff-return threat and punting was a problem from the time they cut Drew Butler. Jacoby Jones' 73-yard kick return in Baltimore remains one of the defining moments of a frustrating season.

GRADE: B-

COACHING

The ability to right the ship and stave off a really embarrassing season is a testament to Mike Tomlin. Another 8-8 season is not something of which he and the organization are proud, but everything was headed in a more disastrous direction, especially when the team was 2-6. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley eventually found some common ground with Roethlisberger and entrusted a rookie to be the focal point of the offense. But there is no question the defense performed far below the usual standards of coordinator Dick LeBeau with a league-high 11 scrimmage plays of 50-plus yards.

GRADE: C+

THE SEASON'S TEAM GRADE: C

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...#ixzz2pZu3rI6F
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

I'd say even a 'C' is a little high, but this team was a tale of two halves.

First half: D-

Second half: B+
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

C seems about right to me. 8-8 is average. You're right SteelersCanada, this was a season of two halves.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

Wallace and Velasco really showed something this year. And Factor in the lingering effects of the Pouncey and Velasco injuries and id say Cody Wallace played with a mean streak. Our best rushing games were when he started.

That being said does anyone advocate trading Pouncey for a second ? He's prob going anyway and an extra second will allow us to pick a big physical , playmaking receiver or Te and still load up on defense.

Face it we could pick 4 defensive players in the first four picks but they will basically get experience like Jj and Vince this year did , but they won't make an impact.
I believe we need a big body at Wr or Te to complete the offense while we continue this apprenticeship on defense.

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Old 01-05-2014, 10:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

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Originally Posted by Steelstoned1972 View Post
Wallace and Velasco really showed something this year. And Factor in the lingering effects of the Pouncey and Velasco injuries and id say Cody Wallace played with a mean streak. Our best rushing games were when he started.

That being said does anyone advocate trading Pouncey for a second ? He's prob going anyway and an extra second will allow us to pick a big physical , playmaking receiver or Te and still load up on defense.

Face it we could pick 4 defensive players in the first four picks but they will basically get experience like Jj and Vince this year did , but they won't make an impact.
I believe we need a big body at Wr or Te to complete the offense while we continue this apprenticeship on defense.

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I wouldn't mind seeing that happen at all. The thing though is Velasco is 28, while Pouncey is still only 24 years old. A lot depends on whether the Steelers see Pouncey as a member of the team in the future.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

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I wouldn't mind seeing that happen at all. The thing though is Velasco is 28, while Pouncey is still only 24 years old. A lot depends on whether the Steelers see Pouncey as a member of the team in the future.
Dude , I'm talking Cody Wallace being the starter dude came in from another team, stepped up , and contributed to our best run performances of the year. Velasco's injury scares me. Id like to see what our new Wallace brings to the table .
Trading Pouncey for a second allows us to go Wr or trade down and grab a Killer Te in the first. Then go defense twice in rnd 2 and continue it thru the next couple rounds.


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Old 01-05-2014, 10:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

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Dude , I'm talking Cody Wallace being the starter dude came in from another team, stepped up , and contributed to our best run performances of the year. Velasco's injury scares me. Id like to see what our new Wallace brings to the table .
Trading Pouncey for a second allows us to go Wr or trade down and grab a Killer Te in the first. Then go defense twice in rnd 2 and continue it thru the next couple rounds.


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Trading Pouncey weakens us as a team. There were rumblings that we almost went no huddle the whole season, but the injury to Pouncey prevented that. I'd like to have guys that both Todd and Ben are comfortable with in the starting lineup so that the no huddle can be used to pick apart teams.

That, and Pouncey is night and day better than Velasco and Wallace combined. We just haven't seen Pouncey play in a while and forget that he's a difference maker on the offensive line.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

We've never seen Pouncey play on the line when the whole line was playing as well as they did the last 7 games this season. Whether the Steelers are thinking of Velasco or Wallace replacing Pouncey, I still think a lot is depends on whether they see Pouncey as a future member of this team. I'm guessing they will want to keep him.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Final grades for the season

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We've never seen Pouncey play on the line when the whole line was playing as well as they did the last 7 games this season. Whether the Steelers are thinking of Velasco or Wallace replacing Pouncey, I still think a lot is depends on whether they see Pouncey as a future member of this team. I'm guessing they will want to keep him.
Pouncey and a developed DeCastro makes me and Le'Veon Bell happy.
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