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Old 11-22-2007, 09:34 AM   #1
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Default Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers
Thursday, November 22, 2007
By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A week ago, the talk of the town was the Steelers' chances of earning the second seed in the AFC playoffs and the possibility of them defeating the all-powerful New England Patriots in December.

This week, the talk of the town is about how awful the Steelers are and whether they'll even be able to win the AFC North Division. No one mentions the Patriots.

There is bitterness and anger among at least a sizable portion of the fan base. Some e-mails reaching this desk and other people in the media are vitriolic. There's a feeling of having been let down and a feeling of animosity toward the Steelers in general and coach Mike Tomlin in particular.

Get a grip, folks. It's only a game. Besides, there's no reason for animosity. The Steelers promised nothing other than to do their best. That's all they owe the fans.

No one, though, should continue to despair. The Steelers will win again. They will not, as one e-mailer insisted, lose all their remaining games. They're going to win their next two games, they're going to win the AFC North, they're going to the playoffs.

You're on your own after that.

We all ride the roller-coaster with the Steelers, some just take the ride a little too seriously. When they win, they look like Super Bowl winners. When they lose, they look like losers.

Here are some things to remember:

? They're 7-3, not 3-7.

? Willie Parker is the leading rusher in the AFC, not some failed running back.

? Ben Roethlisberger is second in the league in passer rating at an excellent 110.2, behind only Tom Brady and seven points in front of Tony Romo and 14 in front of Brett Favre.

? The offensive line, bitterly criticized and understandably so after the loss Sunday to the New York Jets, is opening up enough holes that the Steelers have the No. 1 rushing offense in the AFC.

? The defense, which also took a large dose of abuse despite allowing only 16 points in regulation against the Jets, is No. 1 in the NFL, allowing a whopping 40 fewer yards per game than the second-place team.

We mention these positives because of the considerable amount of negative finger-pointing that's going around. In a sport where even the coaches are hesitant to comment before watching the tape of the game, it's dangerous to casually place blame.

For example, the seven sacks by the Jets Sunday was widely considered to be the fault of the offensive line. At his news conference Tuesday, Tomlin suggested otherwise.

"It's not a five-man job," he said. "It's a unit job. Our failures in that area were shared by all."

He indicated the wide receivers share some of the blame for not getting open and the quarterback shares some of the blame for holding on to the ball too long.

While it's clear the line deserves some of the blame -- probably the majority of it -- let's not forget this same unit has cleared the way for the best rushing offense in the AFC. They are not the incompetent slackers too many are contending they are.

The best positive news concerning the Steelers is that their next two games are at home against the Miami Dolphins Monday and the Cincinnati Bengals six days later. The Dolphins are 0-10, the Bengals 3-7. The Steelers own an 11-point win against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

It's time to forget the loss to the Jets. Those things happen. Great teams are upset, and the Steelers are not a great team, despite what we allowed ourselves to think.

It remains entirely possible, despite the miserable showing against the Jets, the Steelers are the third-best team in the AFC. Certainly, they are not in a class with New England. When the Indianapolis Colts are healthy, and they're not and won't be for some time, they're better than the Steelers. But the rest of the conference is loaded with teams like the Steelers -- that can look terrific one week and awful the next.

Remember the anger and disgust in 2005 when the Steelers lost three consecutive games, to Baltimore, Indianapolis and Cincinnati, in November and December, to fall to 7-5. Many thought a playoff berth had vanished with those defeats. No one expected a Super Bowl win.

It's time to view the Steelers for what they are, a good team with flaws -- just like the majority of the NFL.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07326/835972-194.stm
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

Good article by Smizik putting this season into its proper perspective.

This makes me want to heave:

Quote:
There is bitterness and anger among at least a sizable portion of the fan base. Some e-mails reaching this desk and other people in the media are vitriolic. There's a feeling of having been let down and a feeling of animosity toward the Steelers in general and coach Mike Tomlin in particular.
The let down part I can understand - I think we all felt varying degrees of disappointment after the Jets game, but animosity towards the team and Coach Tomlin??? WOW. Some of these people really need to get a freakin' grip. As Smizik so correctly states above -

Quote:
The Steelers promised nothing other than to do their best. That's all they owe the fans.
A-freakin' MEN.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

Ok....I think fans have the right to bash their team if they want or not....It doesn't make anybody less of a fan for stating their opinion good or bad.....Some people are just positive while some are just negative....

Last time I checked these coaches/players make millions to play a game.....lol So I see no problems with people bashing them......

As for this current loss....I'm not that upset about it.....I knew the Oline was garbage heading into the year....So no shock here that this group is killing the team....I was just hoping Tomlin/Zierlein could make some adjustments to help this current group....Well its clear the Steelers need to make over the entire Oline.....lol

The Steelers are a good team but without a dominant Oline they can't win a Super Bowl....The Oline is the heart of your football team.....So thats why I'm not sweating the loss to much...Hell but play-offs with a first time HC isn't all that bad.....Plus Big Ben is entering his prime in the next few years...So I'm sure there is great times ahead...Just be patient....
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Old 11-22-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

Very good read!
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Old 11-22-2007, 11:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

As I've stated before I don't mind a team losing - but what I can't stand is when they don't play well and lose the way they did to the jets.

However, with that being said, it's a great article and I'm sure, although I'm guilty of pointing fingers this week, that Tomlin will have them focused for the Monday Nighter against the phish and then take this one game at a time into the remaining 5 games after it!!!

I never jumped ship, was just disappointed in the performance of the game!
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Old 11-22-2007, 11:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black@Gold Forever32 View Post
Ok....I think fans have the right to bash their team if they want or not....It doesn't make anybody less of a fan for stating their opinion good or bad.....Some people are just positive while some are just negative....
I have no problem at all with fans critiquing their team, but when I see and hear fans expecting their team to be perfect every week come hell or high water and not have up and down games (and seasons) as ALL teams do at some point, (even the Patsies who aren't going to be at the top forever), along with expecting the team to win the division, get into the playoffs and win the Super Bowl every freakin' season - that's when I want to throttle the living sh it out of 'em.

Quote:
Last time I checked these coaches/players make millions to play a game.....lol So I see no problems with people bashing them......
There are also a ton of people who do nothing but sit behind a desk with an iron fist, dictating to others what to do their entire lives and make millions.

It isn't just about playing a game, Dan. These guys have to be in tip-top physical condition and go through rigorous drills both in TC and in daily practices (with a day off here and there). Their bodies go through hell and some of the injuries stick with them after their playing days are over. I never make light of what these guys do.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

Quote:
These guys have to be in tip-top physical condition
....i'm sorry, but thats just funny !!! have you noticed the physique on 90 % of the linemen in the league ? just look at our own " big snack " . these guys can't sprint 50 yds down the field without grabbing the oxygen mask...
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

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Originally Posted by MasterOfPuppets View Post
....i'm sorry, but thats just funny !!! have you noticed the physique on 90 % of the linemen in the league ? just look at our own " big snack " . these guys can't sprint 50 yds down the field without grabbing the oxygen mask...
He's the perfect shape for what we need him for.
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

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Originally Posted by MasterOfPuppets View Post
....i'm sorry, but thats just funny !!! have you noticed the physique on 90 % of the linemen in the league ? just look at our own " big snack " . these guys can't sprint 50 yds down the field without grabbing the oxygen mask...
Let me ask you something here. Could you do what they do?
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Smizik: Don't panic over Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
Let me ask you something here. Could you do what they do?
10 years ago...absolutly !!! i'm no small potatoe...6 - 3 ....270 lbs... but i don't look like i have an 8 gallon keg under my shirt...lol. i'll be 40 yrs old in a few months....the 20 yrs of construction work are catching up with me.
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