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Old 09-04-2011, 05:32 PM   #1
CTFan
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Default Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

Hi everyone, I'm new here, I'm also a Ravens fan. But it gets worse, because I'm a UConn basketball fan too. I get to enjoy the best rivalry in the NFL and in CBB. But I'm not a troll.

Our fans think we've improved our roster a lot from last year. Sure, we lost Mason and Heap, but they were on the downward slope. Far down it in my opinion. We think our OL is lots better, Evans finally gives us a deep threat, we think (hope) our pass rush is better, and we've got the best FB in the league.

What I'd like to know is how you guys view your team's makeup compared to last year's?

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

They're exactly the same. We didn't really lose anyone The only way they are better is Brown/Sanders see the field more at the expense of Ward and Gay loses his job to Brown.
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

I definitely think picking up Leach was a positive. I wish Arians and Tomlin would do that!

I also think Evans was an upgrade over Mason. It gives the Ravens the deep threat they were missing.

I'm not sure about your TEs yet though. I would have held onto Heap. He had a strong connection to your fanbase that will be missing now. He was a huge fan favorite and rallying leader for the fans.

Your o-line looked like drizzled shit (much like ours), but they have attempted to address it with the pickups of McKinnie and Gurode and moving Oher back to RT where he is much better. Time will tell if it pays off.

As far as their make-up, I think our defense will smear it all over those dirty Ratbird's faces come next Sunday!!!!!

Just teasing, man. It should be the usual competitive game and knock down drag out affair. I'm looking forward to seeing what our two teams' revamped and improved rosters do next week.

Enjoy the game and welcome to the board!
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

i would say slightly worse. starks and adams are gone. you have colon coming off a serious injury and j. scott is not starting material. who is the backup? gilbert? essex? i guess it couldn't be any worse.

harrison's back concerns me. without harrison's push and command of double and triple-teams it will be hard for woodley to get any sacks. farrior is a year older and smith is coming off an injury.

the improvement should come in the WR department. with a year under their belt it can only get better, or so i assume.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

Thanks Buddha, I expected a bit of ribbing. I'll get you back during basketball season. :)

You may be right about Heap, but he was too fragile so they ran him on out routes mostly. We may take a hit on his blocking ability however. The new guys are a bit light.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

If we can manage too stay healthy we'll be better than last year.

As it stands Ben appears to have turned the corner. He's making faster decisions/getting rid of the ball and hitting receivers in stride.

Combine the above with Wallace entering a contract year and Brown and Sanders as 2nd year players and your DB's have more than they can handle. Hines will always be Hines and Cotchery is a significant upgrade over ARE.

Because of 1 and 2 defensive coordinators can no longer stack 7-8 men in the box to stop the run. Which opens up lanes for a solid 1-2 punch of Mendy and Redman coming out of the backfield.

Assuming that our defense can stay healthy they should be towards the top of the league yet once again.


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Old 09-04-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

I think the Ravens have regressed a lot. The defense is getting very old and the offense lost a lot of key players (Mason, Heap, McClain, McGahee, Houshmandzadeh).

On the other hand, I think the Steelers will be much better. Their receiving core gained some experience and looks very lethal. On defense, it seems like they're finding some young guys to fill holes.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

Hate to be a fence rider but I feel we are about the same. I do think at least at first Harrison will take a little while to get back to full strength (crossing fingers it isn't a long lasting season long nagging type of an injury) Because of that, like someone else mentioned - we have to hope that we can get someone in on the pressures/sacks besides Woodley. Here's to hoping Timmons is that guy. I'd say we will be a little more prone to teams that like to run it to the outside this year or use some misdirection. So to the chagrin of many - I'm saying our defense will take a step back this year. Age might finally catch up with us a little.

BUT - our offense has improved vastly IMHO. Proof is in the pudding but I'd make the argument we have top 3 - top 5 receiving corp in the league now and Ben has made some great strides (from what I've seen thus far at least) That I think will make up for some slow down on D. If we can finally put up some points maybe our D just needs to be solid to make another run at it all.

One thing is for sure - wk1 matchup is gonna be a slobber knocker once again. I think whoever wins this first game gets the division. Great confidence booster for the first half of the season.

Good luck to you and your Ratbrids. Just hope for your sake Joe Flacco will shed his "Checkdown Joey" status. If you find him constantly looking for Ray Rice for the dump off you guys are in trouble.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

Gotta say, I'm impressed with both the civility and objectivity of this board.

Our biggest problems might happen early in the season as our OL hasn't played together for even one snap, and we've got a new secondary. As for Flacco, I used to be real high on him, but he's got to have a breakout year if he wants to be considered elite by anyone other than himself.

Interesting to hear that Ben is releasing the ball sooner. One of his strengths has been, well, his strength. He's let you guys get by with a subpar OL for years because he's so tough to sack. As he's getting older, he may not want to get hit as much and it may hurt more too. Your receivers scare me, especially if we can't generate pressure on Ben. Our new DC is more aggressive than Mattison was, but that doesn;'t come without risk.

How do you guys feel about the Sun, 1p start? Seems like a bad choiice by the NFL, or an attempt to sell more Sunday Ticket subscriptions.

Here's to a great game.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Are the Steelers better or worse than last year?

It's hard to say if we're better or worse this year. You can never really tell until the season starts.

I think our offensive line is adequate. The wide receiving corps has definitely improved. One of the tops in the league.

With Harrison's back ailing, I think our defense may take a slight step back this season, but still be dominant. Opening day will be a great test to see what kind of team we really have. I can't remember the last time we opened the season against a division opponent, especially the rival Ravens
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