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Old 12-20-2011, 06:25 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Post-SF thoughts

NFL from the sidelines
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
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.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Post-SF thoughts

Starting Ben Roethlisberger Monday night was absolutely the right call for the Steelers.

Roethlisberger is the Steelers' franchise quarterback, a two-time Super Bowl winner.

He said he was healthy enough to play. If that happens, he plays.

The fact that Baltimore lost Sunday night had nothing to do with Roethlisberger playing. That decision had already been made.

Really, there's not a lot to say about this game.

The Steelers did the one big thing against the 49ers that they absolutely needed not to do - turn the ball over.

They didn't force any of their own - though that call against Keenan Lewis for interfering with the return man was a bad one and should have resulted in a fumble recovery for the Steelers.

You can't beat anyone at minus-4.

Steelers fans should be rooting for the Bengals.

Given Baltimore's struggles on the road this season, there's no reason a motivated Cincinnati team can't beat the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium in Week 17.

All the Rashard Mendenhall haters need to watch Monday night's game. He ran the ball well and hard against the league's top-rated rush defense in a game in which the Steelers needed a running game to protect their quarterback.

The offensive line did an outstanding job keeping Roethlisberger clean until late in the game.

The Steelers' rush defense was solid for the most part against a very good rushing attack. But where was the pressure?

The few times the Steelers did get pressure on Alex Smith, Smith threw the ball wildly.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

My quick thoughts:

-Ben actually played better than I thought. Before everyone rips down my throat and points out the 4 turnovers, only 2 was really on him. That first one was VERY poor route running. David Johnson ran such a horrid route that didn't cause any separation or window for Ben to throw into. Bad play all-together. That second one just got away from him and went through the hands of Heath. The other interception was desperation. That fumble, however, was ALL on Ben. He held on way too long. Very un-intelligent to hold on to that ball forever with an ailing foot.

-Our offense actually moved the ball and had some nice drives. Our red zone deficiency is haunting us. As soon as we approach that 20 yard line, here comes the false starts, illegal formations and offensive holding penalties. We must get better in putting the ball in the endzone.

- Lawrence Timmons is becoming a complete waste on this defense. I've seen him ALL YEAR play out of position on defense. It happened in week one and happened severely last night. He also generates a lack of fiery on his blitz's, always getting stood up by weaker running backs. Sylvester should be breathing down his neck.

- We must get healthy. Woodley is getting fatigued, Pouncey and Ben are struggling with high ankle sprains and Mewelde (who is a great precision runner) is out with an MCL injury. Cleveland REALLY f*cked us up that Thursday Night.

- Lack of running game scares me and Arians lack of trust in it really has me fuming since Mendenhall was actually running hard and finding holes last night.

-Ben passing it for 44 times on a bum ankle just goes to show how out of touch we were last night, across the board in coaching.

-Time management was a joke.

-Defense must get off the field on third downs.

- Being -4 in turnovers and averaging the ball at the 15 yard line is a losing formula, even to the Bad News Bears or the Little Giants.

- Defense MUST force a turnover for once in their lives.

-LeBeau's defense STILL struggles against tight ends that decide to take advantage of it. Those 2 huge catch's by Vernon Davis were nails in our coffin after a HUGE 51 yard FG from Suisham.

-Max Starks had his first bad game since he returned.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

I still cant understand why we never do any play action pass or roll outs. It seems average or worse teams do it all the time with success. That play 9ers did on us in the redzone with the TE works most of the time on us and we never seem to pick it up, C'mon the guy was uncovered totally. And yes i do realize Ben couldnt do those types of plays lastnight but what about other days.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

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Originally Posted by stb_steeler View Post
I still cant understand why we never do any play action pass or roll outs. It seems average or worse teams do it all the time with success. That play 9ers did on us in the redzone with the TE works most of the time on us and we never seem to pick it up, C'mon the guy was uncovered totally. And yes i do realize Ben couldnt do those types of plays lastnight but what about other days.
With Ben hurt, those roll-outs are cacked, in true Arians fashion. The only time we used the roll-out was in the pre-season when Ben tore it up and how our offense looked smooth in doing so. We did it so well, Arians haven't used it since.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

Kind of hard to run play action or roll Ben out by design when you are constantly playing out of the shotgun with 4 or 5 wide from the first whistle to the last.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

my thoughts:

1 - our coaches have to start firing the team up more, get them ready to play. Did you see how venomous the 49ers defensive line looked last night? Ours in contrast looked like they just got up from a nap.

2 - stop running the same plays in a row. Just because Mendenhall has a 4, 5, 6 yard run, DOES NOT mean you run the exact same freakin' play again. Guess what happens? He gets stuffed. Almost every time. Because we're so predictable.

3 - What the hell has happened to Timmons? Instead of a budding superstar, he's a zombie-in-headlights on the field. No game changing plays coming from him.

4 - We HAVE to start producing turnovers on defense. I was watching our backfield make tackles and it didn't even look like they were trying to strip the ball loose. Thats not going to win games.

5 - Stupid penalties, but i'm not even going to go deep into this one, because we were called for a bunch of very borderline calls that no way gets called on other teams. A sorry performance by the refs last night...really bad.

6 - Worst part of the game for me? Watching us not get to the QB. That cost us the game as much as anything. What has happened to his defense?????? We can't even get to the QB anymore? Not even a little bit? I don't know if its motivation/effort or bad defense coaching. It was sickening to watch.
How sad has it become when our opponents have a like 2nd or 3rd and 25 and i'm like "they'll convert it....no problem"

7 - oh yeah, how could i forget......offense scoring 3 points. 3 g@%^#! points. They better wake up. Can't win anything when you score 3 points.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessStill View Post
My quick thoughts:

-Ben actually played better than I thought. Before everyone rips down my throat and points out the 4 turnovers, only 2 was really on him. That first one was VERY poor route running. David Johnson ran such a horrid route that didn't cause any separation or window for Ben to throw into. Bad play all-together. That second one just got away from him and went through the hands of Heath. The other interception was desperation. That fumble, however, was ALL on Ben. He held on way too long. Very un-intelligent to hold on to that ball forever with an ailing foot.

-Our offense actually moved the ball and had some nice drives. Our red zone deficiency is haunting us. As soon as we approach that 20 yard line, here comes the false starts, illegal formations and offensive holding penalties. We must get better in putting the ball in the endzone.

- Lawrence Timmons is becoming a complete waste on this defense. I've seen him ALL YEAR play out of position on defense. It happened in week one and happened severely last night. He also generates a lack of fiery on his blitz's, always getting stood up by weaker running backs. Sylvester should be breathing down his neck.

- We must get healthy. Woodley is getting fatigued, Pouncey and Ben are struggling with high ankle sprains and Mewelde (who is a great precision runner) is out with an MCL injury. Cleveland REALLY f*cked us up that Thursday Night.

- Lack of running game scares me and Arians lack of trust in it really has me fuming since Mendenhall was actually running hard and finding holes last night.

-Ben passing it for 44 times on a bum ankle just goes to show how out of touch we were last night, across the board in coaching.

-Time management was a joke.

-Defense must get off the field on third downs.

- Being -4 in turnovers and averaging the ball at the 15 yard line is a losing formula, even to the Bad News Bears or the Little Giants.

- Defense MUST force a turnover for once in their lives.

-LeBeau's defense STILL struggles against tight ends that decide to take advantage of it. Those 2 huge catch's by Vernon Davis were nails in our coffin after a HUGE 51 yard FG from Suisham.

-Max Starks had his first bad game since he returned.
I agree with all of these. I'm not worried about Starks, he's going to have a bad game now and then and he was against a good player. LeBeau does have to figure out the TE's. The zone works great for us but we need something to switch to when teams start using the TE's in the passing game. Something similar to the gameplan against the pats. As mentioned, we need turnovers to win in the playoffs and even more so, we need to be healthy.
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

Post Game thought: Was that loss mainly due to so many injuries and a suspension? Are we ready for the playoffs since we keep losing to playoff teams? Can we really do it on the road?....what do you guys think?
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

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Post Game thought: Was that loss mainly due to so many injuries and a suspension? Are we ready for the playoffs since we keep losing to playoff teams? Can we really do it on the road?....what do you guys think?
Road win against the AFC West champ (unless it is San Diego) the first weekend - road loss in Baltimore or New England on January 14 - 15

Hopefully Arians gets canned January 16
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Post-SF thoughts

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
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All the Rashard Mendenhall haters need to watch Monday night's game. He ran the ball well and hard against the league's top-rated rush defense in a game in which the Steelers needed a running game to protect their quarterback.
.
I was thinking that exact, same thing. I think Mendenhall ran really well, especially against the top tun defense.
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