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Old 09-19-2006, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default Reality Check

Reality check

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, September 20, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.

This one stung because the Steelers never saw it coming.

Oh, they knew the Jaguars would be a handful at home. The Steelers knew the Jaguars' defense would fly to the football in the secondary and refuse to be moved up front. The Steelers were aware quarterback Byron Leftwich could throw vapor trails when necessary. And the Steelers understood running back Fred Taylor would be potentially combustible all night long.

But never for a second did the Steelers envision a 9-0 shutout.

It was still a three-point game with less than seven minutes to play. Still, the Jaguars were thoroughly enjoying themselves throughout, which only added to the Steelers' angst.

"They kinda laughed about it," running back Willie Parker said from a visiting locker room where no one was laughing. "Even before the game, they were out there dancing and doing all that."

Parker admitted to becoming increasingly frustrated while being held to 20 yards on 11 carries and a laughable 1.8 yards per attempt. He also admitted to becoming increasingly frustrated while rehashing it afterward.

"No team is going to come hit us in the mouth and just get away with it and laugh about it, basically," Parker said.

Actually, the Jaguars did precisely that.

But if the Steelers take it out on someone else -- Cincinnati this Sunday, perhaps -- their night in Jacksonville won't have been a total loss.

At least now the Steelers have been reminded that such a comeuppance is possible.

If they'd forgotten as much between the last time they'd lost a game that mattered and Monday night in Jacksonville, it would be understandable.

It had, after all, been since Dec. 4, 2005.

The Steelers followed that season-threatening, 38-31 loss to the Bengals at Heinz Field with a season-salvaging, four-game winning streak.

And, upon reaching the postseason, they kept on streaking, through Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Denver and, eventually, Seattle in Super Bowl XL.

When the 2006 season commenced, the winning continued, this time in a game in which the Steelers trailed in the fourth quarter against Miami and were playing without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Big Ben was back for Jacksonville, which only bolstered the Steelers' spirits.

He was a factor Monday night, just not in the manner the Steelers imagined.

To suggest Roethlisberger's return sent the Steelers' confidence soaring to the point that they overlooked the Jaguars would be an insult to the Jaguars' magnificent defense. It also would be unfair to the Steelers, given their history of preparation and focus.

The Steelers lost because the Jaguars were much better, particularly at quarterback. But was the sense of urgency with which the Steelers took the field what it was last January and February? What it needed to be against an opponent of such obvious pedigree?

Suffice it to say, that won't be an issue next Monday, no matter the outcome Sunday against the Bengals.

Having so recently been hit in the mouth and laughed at, the Steelers have been reacquainted with a sense of vulnerability.

Not using that to their advantage would be as uncharacteristic as Monday night's pummeling was unanticipated.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_471281.html
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Reality Check

I hope they use this as fuel...NEVER be shutout like that again. NEVER.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Reality Check

so do I and I am sure they are pissed as they can be and I hope they take it out on the bungals
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Reality Check

I just want to see the Defense take it out on Cinci and then watch Ben make up for his self described "poor performance" on Monday night!!!
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Reality Check

A mad team is a hungry team - the Bungles had better bring their A++ game on Sunday - somehow I think they're going to need it. I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Reality Check

I dunno...im gonna keep my mouth shut this week....
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Reality Check

Quote:
Originally Posted by klick81 View Post
I hope they use this as fuel...NEVER be shutout like that again. NEVER.
I think we are safe to say they will be using this as fuel. Really when you look at it, this was back to back poor performances by Ben. Being a perfectionist this willnot sit well with him and I think we can expect a monster game from him and most likely the whole team.
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Old 09-20-2006, 06:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Reality Check

KEep one thing in mind... the bung-holes have 3 starters missing due to injuries so i think that will give us that extra edge but the loss will not be any regular fuel it is going to be ROCKET FUEL BABY!!!
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Reality Check

im not sure if i expect a big game out of ben....i think he needs to get his confidence back, i mean after all he has been through a lot recently. Once he proves to himself again that he can play, then he'll be dangerous..but i think that will come against a bad team. Call me crazy but i think our Defense is going to win us this game with turnovers
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Reality Check

Ed.B. of the P-G said, among other subjects in today's P-G chat, the key is to get the running game going again.

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/06263/723438-66.stm

The 2003 season collapsed due to an infatuation with the pass and a busted up O-line.

Play action and first down passing requires a valid threat of the run. I assume the Steelers will attempt to pound it early this week.
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