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Old 11-22-2005, 01:39 PM   #1
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Default What they are saying about us......

Tuesday?s Outlook
Upon Further Review
After writing yesterday?s cover story, I thought I had vented to the point that I felt ok after that dismal loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. But as expected, the criticism of the Steelers is raining in all over the internet. And we deserve it. As I said yesterday, you can?t blame Tommy Maddox entirely. What I failed to mention yesterday was that our special teams was not very good. B.J. Sams returned one kickoff for 29 yards. Chester Taylor brought back two for an average of 33.7 yards, one coming for 45 yards. And Sams also returned five punts for an average of 10.8 yards per return, one coming for 30 yards. That is not acceptable. Compare that to Pittsburgh return team and you will see we were lacking mightily in that area. Ricardo Colclough returned four kickoffs for a measly average of 13.8 yards per return. Antwaan Randle El, while always dangerous, could only average three yards per return on four punts. Again unacceptable. Those numbers are just a slice of the problem pie that the Steelers created for themselves this past weekend. Many will want to put a heavy dose of responsibility on Maddox, but he was just a part of many problems. The offensive line was horrible; the defense failed to keep Kyle Boller in check; and the play calling by Ken Whisenhunt and Bill Cowher was atrocious. If you need more evidence of that, read below what Peter King and Vic Carucci had to say about some of the strategy of the game.

Still, I have to say I think there could have been a slight advantage had Tommy Maddox been pulled from the game. Whether Cowher took a chance with Big Ben (which was unlikely because even Roethlisberger said he did not want to play just yet), or by taking a risk and letting Antwaan Randle El finish the game, the offense needed a spark. Randle El may have provided that. It is obvious though that the offense is not the same without Roethlisberger. Everyone knows it. But it shows not just on the scoreboard but with the chemistry of the team. The offense is way out of sync without him, and it seems it affects the defense as well. Simply put?when Big Ben is in the game, do we play this poorly overall? Answer? FLAT OUT NO! Before I give you some media opinions, take a look at the picture below. It tells a thousand words. This was Tommy Maddox, IN THE FIRST QUARTER, after the FIRST SERIES, walking along the Steelers sideline. Let me point out a few things about this image. First of all, he is alone. Where are his teammates rallying around him? Secondly, he looks like a beaten man. How can he appear so dejected so early in the game? For God?s sake, we are talking first quarter, after one series! If I was Cowher and saw Tommy in that state of mind, it would have been clear to me that he was finished. Done. Kaput. Tommy has lost it. He no longer has any confidence which usually means his teammates have also lost confidence in him.



Let me point out one more thing. With the Colts coming up on Monday, if Ben Roethlisberger is unable to start, Bill Cowher faces a real moral dilemma. Does he start Maddox again? Even with Ben, I think our defense will have trouble stopping the Manning machine. I sure hope I?m wrong, but this game could be either very close, or very ugly in Indy?s favor. And think about this?if we lose, that?s four losses with five to play. A 10-6 record may not make the playoffs. And, we still have to play a tough Bengals team, a difficult Bears team, and the Vikings on the road. Another nightmarish thought?the Jacksonville Jaguars own the same record currently as we do. If we don?t? win the AFC north and it comes down to a wild card knockout with the Jaguars, they own the tiebreaker with us by virtue of their win over Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. I would hate to get bumped by the Jags because of that stupid loss earlier in the season. I try to be a Bill Cowher fan, but coming off a 15-1 season, if he fails to make the playoffs, any other franchise would fire a coach in that position. My personal opinion is that this has been thus far one of the worst coached seasons by Cowher in his tenure at the top of the Black and Gold.

Vic Carucci, NFL.com, The good and the bad: Week 11
?The Pittsburgh Steelers attempting a play-action pass, rather than a power run, on fourth-and-1 late in the third quarter of their 16-13 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens. In a game this close, it's often one or two plays that make a difference, and it seems Pittsburgh's coaches out-thought themselves on back-to-back plays. The first came on third-and-1 from the Baltimore 35-yard line when receiver Antwaan Randle El stepped in for Tommy Maddox under center, took the snap and pitched to running back Willie Parker, who was held to no gain. Then, on fourth down, the play-action pass call abruptly ended when linebacker Bart Scott came bolting through the middle of the line to sack Maddox. Given the circumstances, it seems as if the Steelers should have simply done what they are built to do and let the blocking of Dan Kreider and Alan Faneca simply tear open a hole for Parker or Jerome Bettis for the first down and keep alive a decent scoring opportunity.?

Week 11 Snapshots
?The Steelers' problems actually did not begin with the knee injury to Ben Roethlisberger and the subsequent loss of No. 2 quarterback Charlie Batch. Their problems were not even mostly connected with their passing game, despite the fact Tommy Maddox threw an interception and lost a fumble. Pittsburgh's greater issues were with a running game that was limited to Willie Parker's 59 yards on 18 carries. The Ravens had little in the way of offense, either, but they were persistent and clearly still playing with a purpose in an otherwise highly disappointing season.?

Shannon Sharpe, NFL.com
?So how do I see the whole AFC picture?
1. Indianapolis: Best team in the league.
2. Denver: Second-best team in the league. Jake Plummer is not making mistakes and they are playing solid defense.
3. Cincinnati: Lost to Indy but still a top team in the AFC.
4. San Diego: They have played the toughest schedule of the bunch and started off slowly. They can play defense well, and obviously LaDainian Tomlinson is unreal, I'm just not sure if they have enough time left to make up for the ground they lost earlier this year.
5. Pittsburgh: They have no chance without Ben Roethlisberger. If he comes back soon they are a different team.

Michael Smith, ESPN
?Steelers stoned. Still, the Steelers blew it bigger than anyone Sunday. Even though they're still technically in first place by virtue of an earlier win over the Bengals, Pittsburgh would be alone atop the AFC North and not tied with Cincy at 7-3 had it gotten anything out of its offense in a loss to the Ravens. When your offense looks worse than Baltimore's, that's saying a lot. Then again, perhaps Baltimore, which snapped a four-game losing streak, really is better than its 3-7 record. The Ravens are definitely a difficult matchup for Pittsburgh. Remember, the Steelers needed a late field goal to beat the Ravens in their first meeting. Thankfully, Ben Roethlisberger (left) should be back next week for Pittsburgh, which has lost both games this season started by Tommy Maddox (interception, fumble Sunday). The Steelers will try to end Indy's undefeated dream Monday night at the RCA Dome. With the way the Colts are rolling, you have to figure the two AFC North contenders are vying for the division and maybe the second bye in the playoffs. And don't forget about 8-2 Denver. If the Steelers end up being a wild card, they can look back at a loss like Sunday's at Baltimore as the reason why.

ESPN.com, Scouts Take
?The Steelers better get Ben Roethlisberger healthy and keep him healthy. That offense is a mess without him. They might have been better off playing Antwaan Randle El a few more snaps at quarterback on Sunday.?

Pete Prisco, CBS Sportsline, Week 11 grades
B. Ravens: They always seem to play their best against the Steelers. The defense played well, while Kyle Boller made some plays when he needed to. They're still fighting.
C. Steelers: Okay, now it's official: The Steelers are average at best without Ben Roethlisberger. Tommy Maddox just doesn't have enough skill to win games when he needs to.

Peter King, Sports Illustrated, The Fine Fifteen
1. Indianapolis. I haven't seen an offense this unstoppable since, well, since the 2004 Colts.
2. Denver. With 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, I noted that Justin McCareins was outrushing Curtis Martin, 8 yards to 7. Yes, the Jets stink. But yes, Denver's got a defense.
3. Pittsburgh. Bill Cowher's not a what-if guy, but I bet he had a few thoughts on a morose plane ride home from Baltimore about not using Antwaan Randle El at quarterback more.

Sports Illustrated.com, Truth and Rumors
?Ben Roethlisberger went through many of his pregame rituals on the field, throwing to quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple. He appeared to favor the right knee that was bandaged. The Steelers probably would have used Antwaan Randle El at quarterback if something happened to Tommy Maddox. Roethlisberger said he never discussed entering the loss to Baltimore at any point. He would like to play against Indianapolis next Monday night.?
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Old 11-22-2005, 01:40 PM   #2
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Post-Game Pittsburgh/Baltimore Quotes
Bill Cowher
?Well, what can I say? We had opportunities but we let it slip away. I give a lot of credit to Baltimore, they played hard. They did what they had to do and we really couldn't get much done offensively most of the day. We fought until the end. They made a big play on third down and then Stover kicked the field goal for them. It was a tough loss, but we have to move forward. Right now, it's a six game season and that's how we have to look at it. Structurally we weren't where we needed to be and we weren't very efficient. We were not real efficient on the sideline. We were certainly not in rhythm from that perspective. That has not been indicative of us. We kicked more than we have had to in the past. We missed some opportunities. We had a roughing the quarterback on third down and long that kept them on the field. Then they had their scoring drive. We had a couple of third downs that we should've converted. We tried tightening up in the second half. For the most part, we tried very hard on defense. Chester Taylor ran very, very well. What can I say? We had our opportunities offensively with the ball and defensively, we forced it into overtime. We have to capitalize on that. Like I said before, these two teams have a genuine dislike for each other and that makes for a good football game. Both these teams have been on top; they have won the division the last four years when we have not. They won it the one time, and we won it the last three or four times. We have two tough teams, and I think you'll still find Cincinnati in the picture pretty soon. We'll see what happens. We have two tough teams that we play twice a year.

Joey Porter
?They made a couple more plays than we did, it came down to the wire, we definitely felt like that was a team we weren't supposed to let hang around, because if you let them hang around, their confidence is going to build and that's what happened. If we go out there and jump on them early, it's possible that they just quit but we went into halftime losing so we let them stick around the whole game and the crowd was into it. It was one of those games, a classic Steelers vs. Ravens game. It's not about streaks. You've got to win the game regardless. We needed that game to keep sole possession of first place . So that hurt more than the streak, 8-2 is a lot better than 7-3 and you'd be undefeated in the AFC North. So that puts us right back in the dog fight with Cincinnati. We just didn't play well. We got back in the game, got it going in overtime. We feel pretty good. We won the toss. We kick a field goal and win the game. We just couldn't get anything going like we wanted to. It was one of those games that went back and forth. We couldn't get a break with the refs. The refs didn't make it easy for us.

Chris Hope
?Anytime you lose, there are going to be a few plays that you want to get back and a few plays within the game that you had an opportunity to win, especially with it being such a close game. It felt like we put ourselves in the position to win, just as they did. They just came out on top. It's a rivalry. You have to throw out all the records, you have to throw out all the yards. You have an offense averaging 300 or 400 yards a game, but in this game, all the records, all the stats is just thrown out because both teams pride themselves so much in playing defense and stopping the other team. Today we saw two good defenses play.

Tommy Maddox
?We didn't make the plays when we needed to. We fought hard. You have to give them a lot of credit, they have a good defense. They played hard the whole game and gave us a lot of different looks. It was tough. They came after us a lot. They kind of stopped the run and the pass at the same time. They played hard, they have a good defense, but we left some plays out there on the field as well. They put a lot of guys in the box. They knew they only had three DBs back there so they had to get to me or we would have our shots downfield. We had some shots, but we didn't take advantage of them. I don't think in this offense, we ever really plan on throwing that much. They did a good job of stuffing the line of scrimmage, giving us a lot of different looks. (Adalius) Thomas was in every position at one point, from free safety to linebacker, blitzing up the middle. You have to give them credit, but we had our chances to make plays. I thought the defense played great and stopped them and we'd have a shot to win this thing and we did. We had an opportunity to win it and we were right down there. Ten more yards and we ?re in field goal range. That's what stings. They're a good defense. They do that to a lot of things. You miss a pass here and there or a third-down play or something happens on first or second down and all of a sudden it takes you out of that rhythm. Finally on that drive we did get a in a little bit of a rhythm.

Willie Parker
?I guess we never go into a game planning to throw more, that's just the way the game developed, so that's the way the system worked. You just have to take what they give you. We had fun throwing it, but we came up short, so it kind of hurts right now. All that stuff is relevant if you get the win. We just have to go out next time and get the win.

Hines Ward
?We had our shots. We had our opportunities. It's just that the ball didn't bounce our way. But you really have to commend Tommy's effort coming in with a young offensive line. They were bringing pressure on him all game. We did what we had to do and tried to do our best. Overall, we still left some plays on the field. That's the disappointing thing, because we had our opportunities. It was a fluke, man. I thought I was getting held. The guy was grabbing me, he had my right arm. I tried to bat it down with my left and it kicked off my foot. Fluke play. If you don't finish games that you have the opportunity to win, then we're kind of behind the eight-ball. We don't control our own destiny now, so we're going to look at it, learn from it and put it behind us. It's a six-game season for us and we're right in the thick of things.?
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Old 11-22-2005, 01:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: What they are saying about us......

Mike Irving still thinks that we are the 3rd best team in the NFL
Jaworski says 5th best!

Dont know if this means anything, but I like there pick
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Old 11-22-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: What they are saying about us......

alot of people are down us after this loss..but to those I say.. F U!!!

Anybody who knows football knows we are still a premier team in the league.. a loss is a loss, there is no excuse..but not having ur starting QB, your starting MLB, starting LT in a close division game, it doesnt help matters either.
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Old 11-22-2005, 03:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: What they are saying about us......

yea if you look over the net everyone is saying shit aboutt he steelers cause we lost to the ravens.....thats bull any given day and any given time any team can lose no matter how good they are or what thier records indicate We know this first hand
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Old 11-22-2005, 03:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: What they are saying about us......

I personally think we are going 10-6. We will not make the playoffs and everyone will wonder where we went wrong. Jerome is going to be a forgotten warrior next year when he is gone and we are going to be sucking it up. I have no expectations for the playoffs at this time. I am going to sit back and root for us to win but I am not going to lose anymore sleep from here on out if we get dealt with.
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Old 11-22-2005, 03:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: What they are saying about us......

I`m with BRC, F`em we will prevail! F` em
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: What they are saying about us......

I still think we will win the North. I think a loss this week doesnt matter really as long as we beat the Bungles next week. Then we will be able to lose another game along the way and still hold the tiebreaker.
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: What they are saying about us......

You know I take my comment back. I agree with BRC and clevestinks. F' em till they can't get F'd no more. You can't downsize this baby!
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Old 11-24-2005, 12:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: What they are saying about us......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avoid LLoyd1975
You know I take my comment back. I agree with BRC and clevestinks. F' em till they can't get F'd no more. You can't downsize this baby!
Glad you dame to your senses!
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