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Old 12-12-2009, 11:06 AM   #1
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Default two datys later

After two days of contemplating and listening to the talking heads on ESPN and NFL Network about why Steelers have fallen from grace as they have, I've come up with a few reasons of my own.

The first and major reason I think the collapse has happened is because the defensive mindset has changed. There used to an quiet confidence among the defensive group. It seemed like they knew that if the game came down to the fourth quarter, with the team holding to a slim lead, they would be able to come up with a big stop and secure the game. Obviously, things have changed, and I don't think it all has to do with Troy Polamolu. Sure, not having him back there making plays and striking fear into the hearts of receivers, quarterback, and runningbacks...... pretty much everybody, has changed the dynamic defensively, but I wouldn't imagine it could be to this extent. From my perspective, it seems as though we're not pressuring the quarterback like we did last year. I'm not saying that LeBeau has changed the scheme, or is calling less blitzes, but I'm just saying there isnt the consistent pressure there was last year. As we all know, pressure is what forces quarterbacks into making bad throws, which increases the chances that the defense can create turnovers. Also, I'm not too fond of the way Lawrence Timmons has stepped in for Larry Foote. To clarify, I'm not saying he's a bust, just saying that he's playing like a first year starter at the position. If I recall correctly, Foote was getting run over by Stever McNair in his first year as a starter, but rounded out into a solid ILB. My last note on the defense will be that I think James Farrior has lost a step... or two. Don't get me wrong, I love the guys heart, and what he bring to the defense from a leadership standpoint, but the proof is in the pudding. It seems to me, if the opposing team needs to convert a medium distance 4th or 3rd down, they run a crossing pattern over the middle and try to get a running back or tight end on Farrior because its a desirable matchup. My opinion is that we need to start looking for another option at that position. I wont sit here and bash William Gay, because we all know he's not that good this year. Maybe Tomlin should stick to his word and try other options at that position as well.

Special teams play has obviously been a huge disappointment this season, so I don't have to dwell on it. Giving up some kind of return in 8 games is not professional at all. The lack of professional special teams has probably cost us at least 2 - 3 games this year.

Finally, the offense, which has put up good numbers this year, has been inconsistent at times, which makes me scratch my head. In one game, the line will dominate, and open huge holes for Mendenhall all day (Chargers, Broncos, Raiders). Other times, they cant punch holes in the leagues worst run defense? Also, it seems Big Ben is good for a pick a game, which is something he definitely needs to work on. I also think, that Arians calls some of the worst games I've ever seen. Not necessarily because he passes too much, but because when things aren't working, there's no adjustment. In the Browns game NOBODY was open....ALL DAY!! I've never seen anything like it. Also, what kind of message are you sending on the first drive of the game, when its 3rd and 1, and you come out 5 wide, or 4 with a back? The defense doesn't even have to consider playing the run. Mendenhall had just picked up 9 yards on 2 carries, and you don't even have him in there to make them think if could be a run. You could still pass, but use play action in that situation. That killed me. I think that pretty much is a microcosm of how Arians calls games. He doesn't seem to be able to call situational football very well. If his original plan isn't working we're dead. What happened to the no huddle? Just throwing that out there.

To wrap up, I think we have a playoff caliber team, just not this year. The Steelers need to address a few issues in the off season, add some youth and playmakers to the secondary, other than Troy, and I think we can be back again next season. What do you guys think? And Please, if you think Arians is a good OC, thats fine, but dont just bash me because I dont, we're all entitled to our opinions.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: two datys later

Aaron Smith and Arians.

Also we don't have a secondary at the moment.
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