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Old 09-11-2009, 06:52 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans
Gerry Dulac grades the Steelers' effort in a 13-10 win against the Titans
Friday, September 11, 2009
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09254/997253-66.stm

Steelers Ben Roethlisberger celebrates with his teammates after scoring the team's first touchdown against the Titans in the second quarter at Heinz Field last night.

QUARTERBACK B+

After a sloppy start, Ben Roethlisberger did what he always seems to do in those situations -- complete four passes in a row for 79 yards to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead. Roethlisberger finished 15 of 21 for 180 yards in the first half, but he also threw two interceptions and was careless with several throws. He finished 33 of 43 for 363 yards and completed his last 12 passes in regulation.

RUNNING BACKS F

The run game was non-existent for most of the night, but it was near-pathetic in the first half when the Steelers managed just 12 yards on 10 carries. Willie Parker had 9 yards on eight carries in the first half and his longest run was 5 yards. Rashard Mendenhall carried twice for 3 yards. Thank goodness for third-down back Mewelde Moore, who had four catches for 28 yards.

WIDE RECEIVERS A-

Santonio Holmes picked up right where he left off last season, catching six passes for 83 yards in the first half, including a 34-yard TD. He finished with nine catches for 131 yards. TE Heath Miller bailed out Roethlisberger several times, catching eight passes for 64 yards. Hines Ward's big night (8 for 103) was overshadowed by his fumble at the Titans' 4 with 51 seconds left.

OFFENSIVE LINE C-

Forget that the running game was grossly ineffective, gaining only 36 yards on 23 carries. Hey, Roethlisberger was sacked three times in the first half and it looked like a good outing for the offensive line. He actually had time to throw in the second quarter and he took advantage on the last two series, throwing for 110 yards.

DEFENSIVE LINE B-

The Titans had 44 yards rushing in the first half, but 32 came on a run by Chris Johnson when he reversed his field. Johnson and LenDale White combined for 85 yards on 23 carries. DE Aaron Smith's biggest play was blocking a 31-yard field goal by Rob Bironas, but he also had one of the few pressures from the defensive line.

LINEBACKERS B

James Farrior had the only sack in the first half as Kerry Collins again had too much time. LaMarr Woodley lost containment on Johnson's 32-yard run and also whiffed on a tackle on a swing pass to Johnson that gained 11 yards in the second quarter. James Harrison forced a fumble that was recovered by Keyaron Fox, starting for injured Lawrence Timmons, in the third quarter.

DEFENSIVE BACKS C-

Troy Polamalu was both sensational and mistake-prone until he injured his left knee late in the first half and did not return. He made a tremendous play to drop Johnson for a 2-yard loss on the Titans' third play and later made a terrific one-handed interception. But he was also called for a late hit out of bounds and a face mask penalty, not to mention a pass interference call that was offset.

SPECIAL TEAMS A

This was one of the few bright spots for the team. Stefan Logan opened with a 39-yard kick return in his NFL debut and also added a 34-yarder, punter Daniel Sepulveda was strong, Smith blocked a field goal, the coverage units were solid and Jeff Reed kicked the winning 33-yard FG. They needed all that to overcome a lack of a running game and some sloppy assignments in the secondary.

COACHING C-

It's somewhat expected in the first game that the offense is not always going to look crisp, especially against a good defense. But there appeared to be confusion in the secondary, as well. As was the case last year in the blowout in Nashville, the Titans stood up to the Steelers and did a better job of being physical. And they stopped them on third down.
Gerry Dulac can be reached at gdulac@post-gazette.com.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09254...#ixzz0QnXAj2Fy
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

Quote:
DEFENSIVE BACKS C-

Troy Polamalu was both sensational and mistake-prone until he injured his left knee late in the first half and did not return. He made a tremendous play to drop Johnson for a 2-yard loss on the Titans' third play and later made a terrific one-handed interception. But he was also called for a late hit out of bounds and a face mask penalty, not to mention a pass interference call that was offset.
i thought that pass interference call was bullcrap.
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

I give the RB's a C-...hard to run with two guys in your face. As a corollary to that, the oline gets a B for pass blocking, and a C for run blocking, but mitigated a little because it's hard for 6 guys to block 8.

I'm okay with the rest of these...
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

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Originally Posted by TackleMeBen View Post
i thought that pass interference call was bullcrap.
Yep
The receiver ran into him. Not the other way around.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

QB- B +

RB- D-

WR- A

OL- C

DL- C

LB- B

DB- C

ST- A
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

Quarterback: After a slow start, then completing 16 of 18 balls in the 4th.OT for over 360 yards, Ben proves why he is elite in the game today. GRADE: B+

Running Backs: What Running Backs? (MeMo dependable in the passing game) GRADE: F

Tight Ends: Heath Miller found his niche in the passing game, and finally reminded the coaching staff on why he was brought in here at #1. A WEAPON! Nice lead blocks on standups and leading the way for the receivers. One of the best blocking TE'S in the NFL. Also the top 3 overall Tight Ends in the game. The jury is still out by Spaeth, and clearly the Double Tights in the run game isn't working. GRADE: A

Wide Receivers: Posted our first duo going over 100 yards in the same game, and first under Tomlin in Holmes (who will never drop a ball again!) or the Warrior that is Hines Ward. A Hines Ward with something to prove spells doom for defense's. Also, Mike Wallace stepping up big with the clutch catch. GRADE: A

Offensive Line: Run Blocking was terrible, and opened up no lanes for the RB's to run through. That said, Pass Protection showed up in the 2nd half and looked like a veteran and fluid line, giving Ben extraordinary time to sit back there and deliver. Things to work on, but also things we should be happy about., pass protection wise. GRADE: C

Defensive Line: Casey Hampton got his feet wet, and for most of the game, the D-Line was getting pressure on Collins. A little room was made for Johnson and White to run through, which is uncharacteristic like. Again, things to work on, but overall a solid performance. Grade: B

Linebackers: LeBeau had our linebackers dropping back early in the game and putting our best pass rushers in coverage, but all that was due to scheme. Harrison is still a Silverback and unblockable, and Woodley had some nice pressure's. Fox filled in well and had a worth and solid debut. He now proved we have depth at the LB core. Farrior was getting nice pressure also and had a nice sack. Grade: B

Secondary: A so-so night for the Secondary. They had multiple miss communications, (mainly after Troy left the game) and was getting picked apart underneath and also sideline routes. This must be fixed, esp in the next couple games against teams like CHI, CINCI, and SD. Polamalu is the ULTIMATE ALL PRO and his loss will hurt us immensely. Hopefully we will be sitting nice at the bye so we can give him some more time to rest for the 2nd half of the season. Expected to come back before, though. GRADE: C-, Troy- A.

Special Teams: WOW! What a difference 2 players make! This is the first time in a LOOOONG TIME that the Steelers can now win games in the hand of the Special Teams. Supulveda is an unsung hero and forced Tenn in multiple tough situations backed up in their own zone. Stefan Logan is a dangerous man and will break many this year. We found a gem in this guy. Reed is the ultimate pro, and is Mr. Automatic. He deserves a nice contract extension after the season if he keeps it up. Also, Nice on the FG block, it's been awhile! Kudo's to Aaron Smith with the ups and penetration. Overall: A+

Overall team grade: A lot of things to work on, esp on the offensive side of the ball, but Ben proved he can carry this team with his arm, time, and time again. We need to find a rhythm, and gain confidence in the running game that doesn't exist at the moment. (Paging Mr. Mendenhall.) Troy's loss hurts, but we didn't suffer for it as bad as I thought we would. Here's to wishing Troy a speedy recovery. Depth is important to any football team and it shows. Sitting good, esp against a tough opponent in Week 1. GRADE: B-
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmalone View Post
Coaches.... C-

try

Defense Coach A

Arians Bunch F

equals C
OMG my eyes are bleeding from reading your slimy trail of putrefied garbage posts...you DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING about football...if anything, I'd say Arians outcoached LeBeau last night, as there were times when Tennessee simply moved the ball, both running and passing at will...

You wanted more screens: You got em
You wanted more passing: You got it
You wanted more short pass plays: You got it

You got what you wanted, BA called a brilliant game, and you give him an F...you are just TOO much...

We HAVE to run the ball sometimes, you twit...please ban yourself from this site until next February and save us all from your 50 football IQ....
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

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Originally Posted by stb_steeler View Post
Yep
The receiver ran into him. Not the other way around.
i think the refs decided it was pick on troy night. that was offensive pass, the only thing troy could have gotten called for legal was cutting the runner off.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel Head View Post
LOL

you just opened up a can of tears and whining
Speaking of whining, where's the $50 you owe me, you fraud...

By the way, where's YOUR witty analysis of the game? The typical "This sucks because I say so" garbage? You and mmalone are cut from the same idiotic fabric...
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 1 vs. Titans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steel Head View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmalone View Post
Coaches.... C-

try

Defense Coach A

Arians Bunch F

equals C
LOL

you just opened up a can of tears and whining
Nope. At this point, especially in regards to that individual, I simply consider the source, roll my eyes and move along....
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