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Old 01-15-2010, 06:08 AM   #1
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Default New coach in a better spot with Steelers

New coach in a better spot with Steelers
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_662293.html#
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, January 15, 2010

Things are looking up for new Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who experienced a nightmarish 2009 season with the Buffalo Bills.

Kugler is joining a team whose offensive line was relatively intact all season. Right guard Darnell Stapleton missed the year with a knee injury, but the other four starters lined up nearly every week.

At Buffalo, Kugler was in charge of a unit that didn't return a single offensive lineman who played the same position from the previous season. Center Geoff Hangartner, a newcomer, was the only lineman to play every game at the same spot. Four linemen who started during the season finished on injured reserve, forcing Kugler to come up with more than a half-dozen starting combinations.

During one game, the Bills committed eight false starts.

"This has been extreme," Kugler told reporters during the season. "I tell these guys, 'You're going to look back on it and laugh. That's all you can do. You just can't sit there and dwell on it. You have to keep grinding.' "

Buffalo ranked No. 30 in offense this season, averaging 273.9 yards a game. The Bills were No. 16 in rushing and No. 30 in passing. Despite the rash of injuries, they featured a 1,000-yard rusher in Fred Jackson.

Buffalo's quarterbacks were sacked 46 times in 441 passing attempts. By comparison, Steelers quarterbacks were sacked 50 times in 536 attempts.

In 2008, when Kugler had Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters (who was later traded to Philadelphia), Buffalo was No. 25 in offense (305.1 yards) but ranked in the top half of the NFL in rushing (No. 14).

After former line coach Larry Zierlein was fired last week, starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu said the players have an obligation to pull together for their new coach.

"Seeing that Coach Z got fired, we're going to have to go back to the drawing board and see how good we communicate with who whoever the new coach is. That's a priority,'' Kemoeatu said.

Kugler has been an NFL assistant for eight seasons. He coached three seasons in Buffalo, the last two as offensive line coach. He was assistant head coach at Boise State in 2006 when the Broncos were 13-0 and finished No. 5 in the country. From 2001-2005, Kugler was an assistant with the Detroit Lions.

Note: Bobby April, who interviewed for the Steelers' special-teams coordinator vacancy, signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

Great! No April but we get a guy who on paper looks even worse than what we had? Hope this is not the case.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

He is in a better spot. Not sure the Steelers are in better spot!
We shall see.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

I dont remember watching much of the Bills this year, because they were the Bills. I do think that Kugler zone blocks more than we do and that could be a big change for some fans to get used to. Nothing wrong with it if you can do it well, but I think he is gonna have to evaluate his personel first before deciding how much zone he is gonna do.

My guess is he may zone 30% of the time, which is still more than we did this year.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

Great... so my guess is, the Steelers think that this guy can fix all of their O-Line issues and we're still stuck with the same awful unit that allows multiple sacks and can't run-block worth a damn.

I can feel a 9-7 record already.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

Give the guy a chance

He was dealt a crappy hand last year...
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angus Burgher View Post
Great... so my guess is, the Steelers think that this guy can fix all of their O-Line issues and we're still stuck with the same awful unit that allows multiple sacks and can't run-block worth a damn.

I can feel a 9-7 record already.
Mendenhall had 1,100 yards this season and a 4.6 ypc average. This unit CAN run block, but they are not given the chance to establish the run. Its just not who this team is.

Sure Zeirline kind of got scapegoated as this year was better than the previous, but if Kugler can bring back a nasty finishing attitude to the unit, it will be a step forward.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

I'll believe it when I see it.

As for Mendy's 1,100 yards... it sounds impressive, but he only had three 100+ yard games. And considering he struggled against horrid run defenses like CLEVELAND, I have a lot of trouble calling this a good unit. I want them to be good... but I have very little faith in the run right now.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

Man, everyone's already going after this guy. Gotta at least give him a chance! It will be interesting if he can make a noticeable difference in the offensive line play. Honestly, I thought our offensive line actually improved last year over our superbowl season, so hopefully that trend continues.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: New coach in a better spot with Steelers

WOW he sounds like a bust before the season even gets here. Give the guy a chance and lets see what happens.
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