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Old 10-04-2011, 07:28 AM   #1
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Default Steelers attempting to find their place again

Steelers attempting to find their place again
By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Welcome to the bizarro world where up is down, Sarah Palin is left, NASCAR turns are right and Steelers fans have more reason to grouse about Lawrence Timmons than they do William Gay.

The Steelers entered an alternate universe Sunday, after Arian Foster became the first running back to rush for at least 150 yards and a touchdown against them since 2001.

And the only way out of it is to start stopping the run, something the Steelers did historically well last season when they allowed 62.8 rushing yards a game the franchise's fewest dating to 1969.

Strange and heretical as it is, the way to attack the 2011 Steelers is as follows: pound them with the run and use the ground game to set up the pass, for tight ends in particular.

The Ravens demonstrated that in a 35-7 pasting of the Steelers on Sept. 11. The Houston Texans followed that blueprint Sunday. They may have also blown out the Steelers had they not sabotaged themselves with penalties.

What happened to the good old days when progress by opposing running backs was measured in inches, not chunks of yardage?

Four games into the season, the Steelers (2-2) are 23rd in the NFL in rushing defense (157.5 yards per game) they are No. 1 against the pass (119.5 yards) and there are a number of ways to put that dubious ranking into perspective.

Last year in nine games against backs who finished among the NFL's top 13 in rushing, the Steelers allowed a total of 269 yards.

Foster, Ray Rice of the Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts' Joseph Addai have already combined for 348 rushing yards against the Steelers.

"You know how the league goes. It's a copycat league," Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said. "Once you put things on film teams are going to continue to attack you that way, so until we put a stop to it, people running the football on us, I think we're going to see that week in and week out."
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers attempting to find their place again

In all fairness the Offense has a lot to do with all of this because we're not putting together sustained drives and separating ourselves from other teams in terms of scoring.
If we could put some points up where the other teams had to pass more to catch up, they wouldn't be grinding us down with running attacks as they are.

But when we go 3 and out or fumble the ball away or throw picks, all we do is grind our own defense down by having them on the field way more than they should be and most often defending against a running game because the other teams don't need to pass because they're either in front or very close by.

Even the best defense will get worn out if they're spending most of their time on the field - especially if they have to go back out immediately after fighting very hard to get the ball back for us only to have it given back after a couple of botched plays.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers attempting to find their place again

LB's who can't cover TE's.....a DLine that can no longer stop the run, and a slow secondary that plays really deep zone featuring an overly aggressive safety who takes himself out of plays just as often as he makes them...
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers attempting to find their place again

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In all fairness the Offense has a lot to do with all of this because we're not putting together sustained drives and separating ourselves from other teams in terms of scoring.
If we could put some points up where the other teams had to pass more to catch up, they wouldn't be grinding us down with running attacks as they are.

But when we go 3 and out or fumble the ball away or throw picks, all we do is grind our own defense down by having them on the field way more than they should be and most often defending against a running game because the other teams don't need to pass because they're either in front or very close by.

Even the best defense will get worn out if they're spending most of their time on the field - especially if they have to go back out immediately after fighting very hard to get the ball back for us only to have it given back after a couple of botched plays.
That drive where the Texans marched down the field and scored primarily by pounding it in our gut was not a result of the offense not getting it done. the D was manhandled from the first snap.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers attempting to find their place again

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That drive where the Texans marched down the field and scored primarily by pounding it in our gut was not a result of the offense not getting it done. the D was manhandled from the first snap.
Yes, I get that.

My point is that they've been worn down since the beginning and they know in the back of their minds that the offense isn't going to do much so they think "it's all on them" and that all by itself will make you press too hard (which always results in mistakes).

After a few games of realizing that the offense isn't going to be of much help, the idea of having to carry the game defensively becomes the norm and defenses wear out a lot faster than offenses.

The problem isn't one drive here or there but rather its a pattern that they've come to expect and sometimes that wears you out even before the game starts.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:55 AM   #6
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Yes, I get that.

My point is that they've been worn down since the beginning and they know in the back of their minds that the offense isn't going to do much so they think "it's all on them" and that all by itself will make you press too hard (which always results in mistakes).

After a few games of realizing that the offense isn't going to be of much help, the idea of having to carry the game defensively becomes the norm and defenses wear out a lot faster than offenses.

The problem isn't one drive here or there but rather its a pattern that they've come to expect and sometimes that wears you out even before the game starts.
Possible but i don't buy that...the ravens had been operating under that umbrella for longer than anyone and still had successful teams...hell they even won a SB...this D has the talent and depth to shoulder that load as well....but i fear Age and a phobia against giving the young guys extensive playing time is hurting this team
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers attempting to find their place again

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Possible but i don't buy that...the ravens had been operating under that umbrella for longer than anyone and still had successful teams...hell they even won a SB...this D has the talent and depth to shoulder that load as well....but i fear Age and a phobia against giving the young guys extensive playing time is hurting this team
Well that's another way to look at it and you may be onto something.

One of the biggest descriptors of the Steeler/Rooney organization is the concept of "tradition" and "loyalty".

These are both great attributes but they can sometimes become liabilities - especially in the way you describe, when loyalty supersedes common sense and reality.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:02 PM   #8
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Yes you are right about the "loyalty" aspect, I think now it's gone to far...one thing Cowher didn't do was suffer fools if he saw an area on the team not improving or regressing, that coach or player was gone, Tomlin doesn't have that mentality, i was shocked when he let Zeirlein go
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:08 PM   #9
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Yes you are right about the "loyalty" aspect, I think now it's gone to far...one thing Cowher didn't do was suffer fools if he saw an area on the team not improving or regressing, that coach or player was gone, Tomlin doesn't have that mentality, i was shocked when he let Zeirlein go
Uhh...

You DO remember Kordell don't you?
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:34 PM   #10
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Uhh...

You DO remember Kordell don't you?
Kordell wasn't that bad, his hook-ups with Thigpen kicked ass.....he flourished under Gailey and Mularkey and he played like shit under Gilbride and Sherman, but Sherman sucked and Gilbride was still pass-happy on a team that didn't really have the personnel for that....Kordell issue was was his rabbit ears...he could not handle criticism at all .
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