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Old 01-18-2011, 07:59 PM   #1
SH-Rock
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Default Big Question: Steelers' special teams

Will the Pittsburgh Steelers clean up their special-teams gaffes from their regular-season meeting with the New York Jets?

Your resident AFC North blogger asked Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday what the Steelers need to do better on special teams in their rematch against the Jets.

"We need to stop Brad Smith from going 97 yards," Tomlin said. "That's a good start."

Contrary to popular belief, the Steelers didn't lose to the Jets in Week 15 because of poor offense or poor defense. The Steelers outgained the Jets by 101 yards, and Pittsburgh's offense outscored New York's 17-13.

But hidden yards on special teams and Smith's 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown proved to be the difference in New York's 22-17 victory. New York gained 177 total yards on kickoff and punt returns, which had an impact on field position and consistently gave the Jets a short field. This will be an area to watch for Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game.

Pittsburgh's coverage teams have been an issue in previous seasons, so much so that the Steelers fired former special-teams coach Bob Ligashesky and hired Al Everest this season. Pittsburgh's special teams have made strides in the first year under Everest. But his unit probably had its worst game of the season against the Jets.

Smith missed the Jets' divisional-round victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday with a groin injury. His status for this Sunday's game is still to be determined, but the Steelers know the Jets are still dangerous in the third phase of the game.

"They're a very good group," Tomlin said. "It doesn't matter whether Brad Smith is back there or [Antonio] Cromartie is back there. You saw what [Cromartie] did against Indianapolis at a critical time. He's a very capable and dangerous return man, but they have a team of potentially capable return men."
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

i shut my eyes when special teams is on field
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

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i shut my eyes when special teams is on field
me too! I don't look forward to any kick, wether it's us or the opponent returning. It's funny, during the Bears game the other day, Hester had a fair catch and the crowd let out a dissapointed "OOHHHH."

I would take a fair catch anyday over what the Steelers usually give us on special teams
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

To be honest, I love our ST guys as it goes to getting down the field and tackling. Yeah sure every team has a blunder here and there. But what scares me is how our kicker has only kicked the ball to the 12-15 yard line, and it's not really a high kick. Other teams returners are easily getting the ball it seems to the 35 + yard line. But, our tacklers out there, like Mundy, and S.Sylvester, and others have been a far cry better then the ones I remember a few seasons back. If we could only draft a kicker who is a decent FG kicker, but has great kick-off range, and can consistently put it in the endzone I would be Happy as Heck
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

I wish we'd sign someone with a big leg specifically for kickoffs. Most times the ball never goes pass the 10.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

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I wish we'd sign someone with a big leg specifically for kickoffs. Most times the ball never goes pass the 10.
wasn't jeff reed good at that?
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

Only thing Im scared of. If it werent for the special teams, I would be 100% confident right now,
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

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wasn't jeff reed good at that?
.......... you've never watched the steelers before have you ?
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

Jeff Reed was good at getting drunk!! Kickoffs were terrible!!
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Big Question: Steelers' special teams

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.......... you've never watched the steelers before have you ?
Apparently not. Hell, Jeff Reed was even worse.
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