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Old 11-14-2011, 05:59 AM   #1
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Default Post-Cincinnati thoughts

NFL from the sidelines
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After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard as a sometime host on ESPN 970-AM. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Post-Cincinnati thoughts



I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's a reason why they play the games.

And that's all I'm going to say about what happened in Seattle on Sunday.

Tough day all around for Heath Miller. First he gets hammered a half-second after making a catch by Reggie Nelson; then he bobbles a ball that gets intercepted; and finally he draws an iffy pass interference penalty that negates a touchdown.

To me, the hit by Nelson, by the way, was on a defenseless receiver. The only thing was that Miller held onto the ball.

The bye comes at a good time for the Steelers.

They'll get LaMarr Woodley and Emmanuel Sanders back in two weeks. And Ben Roethlisberger got pretty beaten up in this game. Cincinnati was credited with 13 QB hits and added five sacks.

The Bengals are going to be a team to be reckoned with moving forward. They're building a nice nucleus, though the loss of top corner Leon Hall Sunday will hurt them moving forward this season.

Mike Tomlin said the decision to keep Hines Ward on the bench was his and that Ward was OK to play. But if Tomlin admitted he was protecting Ward, who was coming back from 'concussion-like symptoms,' he might have gotten himself in trouble with the league for playing him in the first place.

With Arnaz Battle and Sanders out, the Steelers needed Ward active. But they didn't need to play him all that much and risk further injury.

And Jerricho Cotchery is getting more comfortable in the Pittsburgh offense.

This is going to be a scary wide receiver group moving forward.

All the people who wanted to bench/cut William Gay coming out of last week's game can see why the Steelers didn't do so. Gay is having an outstanding season.

The Steelers were 3-4 scoring touchdowns in red zone trips Sunday. But some people will still complain about the one trip inside the 20 in which they didn't score.

Of course, they actually did score a touchdown on that trip as well - only Miller was called for the penalty.

With their two turnovers Sunday, the Steelers now have six for the season. That still puts them on pace for just under 10 for the season.

Makes you wonder how they're 7-3.

But they have forced three turnovers in the past two weeks, so maybe they're turning the corner there.

The lack of turnovers, in my opinion, is because the only player in their secondary who can consistently play the ball in the air, Troy Polamalu, is spending so much time at the line of scrimmage because of the team's issues against the run.

And the corners, who don't play the ball well to begin with, are playing more man, which doesn't allow for a lot of picks either.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Can't wait to watch the Ravens and Bengals play next week.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

I agree with most of what you say. However, I take exception with William Gay having an "outstanding season." He's had some nice performances here and there - he was clearly the player of the game this week. However, he has hurt us, considerably, at times as well. Gay is having a good "Gay" season - he's outplaying our expectations for him, but he's still a major liability at times.

The only player in our secondary worthy of being considered outstanding would be Ike Taylor. If not for his concrete hands (dropped another pick this week) he would be considered one of the best corners in the league right now. Unfortunately, he doesn't put up flashy interception numbers, which limits his national exposure. He SHOULD be a Pro-Bowler this year.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

I was pleased to see a 2nd down pass late in the 4th quarter to help extend the drive and seal the win. I can't count how many games have been lost or nearly lost due to extremely predictable playcalling when up a score late in 4th quarters. The old 1st down run, 2nd run , 3rd incomplete pass then punt is an Arians special. Thanks to Everyone involved for changing it up!
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

Watching this team this season reminds me of building a hot rod.

We have this great engine with all of the right performance parts built into it and we have all of the other goodies that go into a great street machine, but we haven't quite gotten to the point where everything is tuned perfectly and running at peak efficiency and that's the maddening thing about us.

It's like I KNOW that once this thing is set up properly, it will be the best car on the road and will blow the doors off of anything else out there -- but not yet.
There's still some fine tuning that has to be done and some kinks that have to be worked out. And on the one hand I feel confident that these things will be addressed and I'm anxious to see just how good this thing will run, but on the other hand it's a little frustrating that we still have to wait for that moment to get here.

But I'll say this: when this team finally gets its freak on, the rest of the league is gonna be scared shitless.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

I'm tickled that we are actually getting healthier as the season wears on. Our team needs this bye to come back rejuvenated and with some bodies back. Look at what Woodley started, without Harrison back. These guys are salivating at the thought of them being back in their together. Combined with the youth movement and hopefully some increase in red zone efficiency and I say we can make it back to the big show. Heck, who knows - still have a good opportunity to make this thing run through Pittsburgh.

Keep this train runnin on the same tracks baby - I see something good coming very, very soon.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

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Originally Posted by steelfury02 View Post
I'm tickled that we are actually getting healthier as the season wears on. Our team needs this bye to come back rejuvenated and with some bodies back. Look at what Woodley started, without Harrison back. These guys are salivating at the thought of them being back in their together. Combined with the youth movement and hopefully some increase in red zone efficiency and I say we can make it back to the big show. Heck, who knows - still have a good opportunity to make this thing run through Pittsburgh.

Keep this train runnin on the same tracks baby - I see something good coming very, very soon.
yep, this.

which is why i was saying after last week not to worry too much, the team is moving in the right direction and young talent is stepping up. after the bye week the team will be healed from most of their injuries, and having woodley/e.sanders back will be big
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

I was not worried leading into this game,not even when it was tied in the 3rd...The officials clearly have it out for us and that worries me more than any team!!! I like the gameplan except the ever so predictable play calls late in the game!Also excited about getting healthy leading into the bye week!
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

I think Gay is doing just fine. Has had some bad moments, but IMO has made more plays than not. I think our secondary issues are at saftey. Troy can't guard anyone, and doesn't make plays in the air anymore...e.g., see that TD where a rookie went past him and over both him and Clark. Speaking of Ryan Clark, as a FS he should be making way more plays than he does. Seems his only strength is making plays on runs that get past our DL and LBs. But he doesn't cover enough ground and should be picking off passes that have gone for TDs.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by FanSince72 View Post
Watching this team this season reminds me of building a hot rod.

We have this great engine with all of the right performance parts built into it and we have all of the other goodies that go into a great street machine, but we haven't quite gotten to the point where everything is tuned perfectly and running at peak efficiency and that's the maddening thing about us.

It's like I KNOW that once this thing is set up properly, it will be the best car on the road and will blow the doors off of anything else out there -- but not yet.
There's still some fine tuning that has to be done and some kinks that have to be worked out. And on the one hand I feel confident that these things will be addressed and I'm anxious to see just how good this thing will run, but on the other hand it's a little frustrating that we still have to wait for that moment to get here.

But I'll say this: when this team finally gets its freak on, the rest of the league is gonna be scared shitless.
Great post. Well put.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Post-Cincinnati thoughts

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Originally Posted by steelcity1974 View Post
I think Gay is doing just fine. Has had some bad moments, but IMO has made more plays than not. I think our secondary issues are at saftey. Troy can't guard anyone, and doesn't make plays in the air anymore...e.g., see that TD where a rookie went past him and over both him and Clark. Speaking of Ryan Clark, as a FS he should be making way more plays than he does. Seems his only strength is making plays on runs that get past our DL and LBs. But he doesn't cover enough ground and should be picking off passes that have gone for TDs.
to be fair, AJ green is a phenom. in a couple years he'll be in the same class as fitzgerald and megatron
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