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Old 09-11-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default More Steelers observations

More Steelers observations
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth
September 11, 2009 12:15 PM

Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- With Troy Polamalu’s knee injury and the Steelers’ overtime victory over the Tennessee Titans, there were several things I was unable to get to late Thursday night.

So now that I’ve had more time to reflect on the game, here are several additional observations on the Steelers:

* Let’s start with the good: Santonio Holmes looks primed for a 1,000-yard season. Against the Titans he had nine receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown -- the same total from his Super Bowl MVP performance. The difference I’m seeing now from Holmes is he’s making all the routine plays in addition to the spectacular ones. Holmes didn’t leave any opportunities on the field Thursday. He was thrown to 11 times and nine were receptions. The other two were uncatchable balls by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, including one interception. The Steelers won’t pass 43 times every week (at least I don’t think they will). But it’s clear Holmes is capable of putting up big numbers when needed.

* As indicated in the preseason, the Steelers were much improved on special teams against the Titans. In a field-position battle, punter Daniel Sepulveda turned out to be one of Pittsburgh’s most important players. He punted seven times for an average of 42.7 yards per punt. But most importantly, he placed four kicks inside the 20. Stefan Logan added 127 yards in returns and a blocked field goal by defensive end Aaron Smith made a huge difference in a close game. Veteran Jeff Reed also made two clutch kicks in the fourth quarter and overtime to seal the victory, capping a banner night for Pittsburgh's third phase of the game.

* The Steelers really needed this win over Tennessee. Pittsburgh goes on the road two straight weeks, against the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals, and doesn’t return to Heinz Field until October. Playing the next three to six weeks without Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu also will be a challenge for the Steelers. But it’s a little easier when you’re the first NFL team to get in the win column this season.

* Now for the bad: Loyal readers of the AFC North blog know I’ve been skeptical of Pittsburgh’s offensive line entering the season and Thursday’s performance confirmed my skepticism. Roethlisberger was sacked four times by the Titans. By my account, two were on Roethlisberger for holding the football and scrambling too long, and two were from lack of protection. But what jumped out most Thursday was the run blocking. The Steelers weren’t physical and couldn’t hold their blocks very long. They have nine days to straighten out those issues. Of Pittsburgh's five up linemen, I thought starting guard Trai Essex had the most problems against Tennessee.

* Finally, I’m going to offer the Steelers some free advice: Call up Isaac Redman from the practice squad. After watching Pittsburgh’s running backs get stuffed at the line of scrimmage time after time, I’m convinced “Redzone” is the best short-yardage option the team has. It’s not the end of the world to carry four tailbacks, and Redman rightfully won’t be the primary option. But even if he gets two carries a game that result in two first downs, he's worth the roster spot. The Steelers cannot expect to win every week going 4 of 14 on third-down conversions.

Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger, Stefan Logan, Chicago Bears, Isaac Redman, NFC North, Tennessee Titans, AFC North, Santonio Holmes, AFC South, Daniel Sepulveda, Troy Polamalu, Titans-Steelers 091009

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

I'm not sure if Redmen is the answer, but I wouldn't be against the idea. I wonder who is cut then. I also agree Essex really struggled along with Starks, who blocked no one on one of the tities sacks. Colon might have had the best game of the o'linemen -and that is not saying much.
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

the edges seem to be where we have the most trouble blocking ppl, by the time ben gets dropped back, theres ppl on both sides...redmans not the answer, if a power back is all we need then we should just start mendenhall and have fast willie be the change of pace back, that would work i think, and of course the o line should start zone blocking
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

I'm sure a PS back from a D-II squad will have MUCH better luck escaping 2-3 tacklers from one of the best defense sin the league ALREADY in the backfield .5 seconds after the snap.

Maybe we should call him up JUST to shut all the people who think this is ALL the RB's fault up...NOBODY as getting any yardage in that game...sorry...
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

[/QUOTE* Let’s start with the good: Santonio Holmes looks primed for a 1,000-yard season. Against the Titans he had nine receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown -- the same total from his Super Bowl MVP performance. The difference I’m seeing now from Holmes is he’s making all the routine plays in addition to the spectacular ones. Holmes didn’t leave any opportunities on the field Thursday. He was thrown to 11 times and nine were receptions. The other two were uncatchable balls by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, including one interception. The Steelers won’t pass 43 times every week (at least I don’t think they will). But it’s clear Holmes is capable of putting up big numbers when needed.QUOTE]

I think Holmes will have a 1000 yard plus this year and he is off to a good start. I can see Holmes start taking more and more passes from Ward as the year goes on. Ward will still get his catches but Holmes will start becoming the go to guy.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

Not to mention we have Sweed, Wallace, and McDonald AND Miller. Seems like a waste to me not giving more plays to the most talented players in the offense just for the sake of tradition. Let the defense beat up teams to uphold the tradition. Our OL is not built for it.

Time to make halftime adjustments and think outside of the box. Do you remember when Franco was not the feature and Swannie and Johnny became the offense?

Franco is the best RB in Steeler's history and he is great. He is known for three famous highlights:
1. The greatest play in NFL history, Immaculate Reception.
2. Super Bowl IX.
3. Run up the middle on the Cowbys for a TD in SB.

Swannie and Johnny have more highlights than can be mentioned and they came in the later years. We are in the later years with this team. The Bus and early FWP combined for this team's Franco. Now it's time to let BB bring back the circus of the Blonde Bomber, Swannie, and Johnny.
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
More Steelers observations
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth

* Now for the bad: Loyal readers of the AFC North blog know I’ve been skeptical of Pittsburgh’s offensive line entering the season and Thursday’s performance confirmed my skepticism. Roethlisberger was sacked four times by the Titans. By my account, two were on Roethlisberger for holding the football and scrambling too long, and two were from lack of protection. But what jumped out most Thursday was the run blocking. The Steelers weren’t physical and couldn’t hold their blocks very long. They have nine days to straighten out those issues. Of Pittsburgh's five up linemen, I thought starting guard Trai Essex had the most problems against Tennessee.
I actually thought that Essex was the better lineman when it came to run blocking. Massive upgrade in that department over the frankly awful Stapleton. On the other hand his pass blocking looks just as inadequate.

Just some pass blocking stats, I know the analyst so can query any concerns

http://www.profootballfocus.com/gsta...=o&gameid=1395

Two sacks on Stark, 1 on Miller and 1 Big Ben. What's worse than the sacks is how much pressure the Titans got. 20 total pressures given up on 50 pass plays which obviously isn't good. On the plus side you won't face too many defences that have the defensive line talent and depth of the Titans, but I'd be really concerned about facing a team like the Ravens twice if your line doesn't sort some of these issues out
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

I say Legursky could open some wholes, based on what I saw in the preseason.
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

Quote:
Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
I'm sure a PS back from a D-II squad will have MUCH better luck escaping 2-3 tacklers from one of the best defense sin the league ALREADY in the backfield .5 seconds after the snap.

Maybe we should call him up JUST to shut all the people who think this is ALL the RB's fault up...NOBODY as getting any yardage in that game...sorry...
LOL. So very true!
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: More Steelers observations

The scary part for our special teams is that they could improve even more compared to last year with Sepulveda and Logan. It's great to know that going into each game our special teams all the way around give us an edge now. There is no doubt in my mind that Holmes is now ready for stardom. Our WR depth is scary good right now with Ward, Holmes, Sweed, Wallace, McDonald and of course throw in Miller there too.
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