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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 10-13-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
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Default Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

Cook: A loss that will sting in December

October 12, 2012
by Ron Cook / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham hangs his head after missing a potential game winning field goal against the Titans last night in Nashville.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Steelers aren't a very good football team.

Can we agree on that this morning?

It's not just their 26-23 loss Thursday night to a really bad Tennessee Titans team. It's not their 2-3 record with all three losses against AFC opponents. It's not their silly penalties, their inability to run the ball or their failure to stop their opponent in the fourth quarter.

It's all of it.

Much of the season remains, 11 games. It is too early to pronounce the Steelers dead. But at this point, they have the look of a .500 club at best, certainly not a playoff-caliber team. They are physically beaten down. But their pride hurts worse, much worse.

"We let Steelers Nation down tonight," guard Willie Colon said. "We let ourselves down. We know we can play so much better than we did."

This loss was on everyone, including coach Mike Tomlin. He gambled that kicker Shaun Suisham could make a 54-yard field goal with 54 seconds left to break a 23-23 tie. Earlier in the fourth quarter, Suisham had made a 52-yarder to give the Steelers a 23-16 lead with 8:18 left. This time, Suisham was short. The Titans took over at their 45 with 49 seconds left and turned the possession into the winning field goal at the gun, a 40-yarder by Rob Bironas.

"I take the responsibility for the miss," Tomlin said.
Good thing. He deserves blame.

But that decision wasn't what beat the Steelers. They made big mistakes in every part of the game. They got what they deserved. It just wouldn't have been right if they had won.

Sure, injuries were a factor. The Steelers defense didn't have safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker LaMarr Woodley coming in. During the game, the offense lost center Maurkice Pouncey, tackle Marcus Gilbert and running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman. The offense's injuries surely factored into its inability to run the football. It gained just 56 yards on 22 carries with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, of all people, having the longest run, a 14-yard scramble in the fourth quarter.

But good teams find a way to overcome adversity to win. It is worth saying again: Right now, the Steelers don't even remotely resemble a good team.

There is a bit of positive news, though. The Steelers don't play again until a week from Sunday night against the Bengals in Cincinnati. It's a good thing they have the extra time between games. They have so much to improve.

For the third game in a row, the Steelers defense couldn't protect a fourth-quarter lead. It got stung in Oakland, got away with it against the Philadelphia Eagles at home Sunday when Roethlisberger led a late winning drive and paid a big price Thursday night. It allowed the Titans to go 80 yards in 11 plays for the touchdown that tied the score, 23-23. Then, it couldn't protect that short field at the end.

Awful. Just awful.

"I'm sure the offense is going to say it's not on us, that it's a team game and they should have made more plays," safety Ryan Clark said. "But that's not true. They gave us enough points to win. We just didn't do what we had to do."

This defeat felt even worse than the Oakland loss. The Titans came in with a 1-4 record with each of their losses by at least 21 points. It almost appeared the Steelers tried to keep them in the game with mistakes. They succeeded.

Penalties? The Steelers were the most penalized team-per-game in the NFL coming in and cut down on the number, but cornerback Ike Taylor was called for two big ones. His 25-yard pass interference penalty on the Titans' first possession led to a Tennessee field goal. He then was called for holding on a third-and-10 play at the Steelers 15 late in the game, a penalty that led to the Titans scoring the touchdown that tied the score, 23-23, with 4:19 left. Yet another pass interference call on Taylor didn't count because wide receiver Kenny Britt caught the ball anyway for a 37-yard gain.

To top it off, Taylor was beaten for the 5-yard touchdown pass to Britt that made it 23-23. Taylor played a rotten game.

Special-team blunders? A blocked punt counts, right? The Titans blocked a kick by Drew Butler on the final play of the first quarter, leading to a 1-yard touchdown drive that gave them a 13-10 lead.

Turnovers? The Steelers were moving at the Titans 32 late in the second quarter when Roethlisberger threw an interception to cornerback Jason McCourty. It was Roethlisberger's first interception in 137 passes -- he hadn't had one since late in the Denver game in the season opener -- and it lead to a Titans field goal and 16-10 lead on the final play of the first half.

At that point, you thought it couldn't get worse for the Steelers in the second half. But it did. It got much worse.

"It's tough," Redman said. "We're still winless on the road. Good teams have to win on the road to get where they want to go."

Should I write it one more time?

No, it's not necessary.

I think you know the Steelers aren't a good team.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz299kF895m
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

Depressing season thus far.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

2009

deja vu all over again
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

"We know we can play so much better than we did"

I'm sorry, but I'm tired of hearing that. If they could play better, they would have by now.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

Such is life when half your team is on crutches. No Woodley, no Troy and offensive line injuries to boot! What did you expect? We're lucky to have kept it close, and without Ben, we would have lost by 20!

This team is a GREAT team when healthy. Unfortunately we haven't had this team 100% healthy in a long, long time.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayz101 View Post
Such is life when half your team is on crutches. No Woodley, no Troy and offensive line injuries to boot! What did you expect? We're lucky to have kept it close, and without Ben, we would have lost by 20!

This team is a GREAT team when healthy. Unfortunately we haven't had this team 100% healthy in a long, long time.
Every team has injuries. Even before the OL got nicked in this game, the play was uneven against what many thought was the worst team in football.

We've lost to two of the very worst, and another mediocre to bad team in Denver.

Spin it anyway you like, but right now, the Steelers are a bottom feeder.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

said it before the season started.....we are .500 team....we will be lucky to be .500 now
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

I agree with all of that.

To me, it is the perfect storm for a poor season. Injuries, the change in offensive philosophies across the league, the rule changes, the inability to run the ball, poor clock management/coaching, penalties, unlucky bounces of the ball, general malaise and apathy, and the absolute refusal of the defense to adjust. Most teams only have one or two of those issues, and they can address them or at least deal with them. We are absolutely plagued with them.

I never said a word about the coaching up to this point. I am starting to question the coaching staff, especially the defense. We absolutely do nothing to stop the other team. We run the same schemes time after time, not matter what the situation. We give yards away like candy.

I watch other division teams, the Ravens for instance, and they are pumped, move the ball, and just seem motivated. They seem to make their own luck. Without Ben and Heath, this is a 6- 10 team. It seems we wait for the other team to make less mistakes than us to win the game. The philosophy seems to be to let the opposition set the tone while we sit back and just wait for them to score or screw up. It is maddening.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayz101 View Post
Such is life when half your team is on crutches. No Woodley, no Troy and offensive line injuries to boot! What did you expect? We're lucky to have kept it close, and without Ben, we would have lost by 20!

This team is a GREAT team when healthy. Unfortunately we haven't had this team 100% healthy in a long, long time.
Health is only part of the problem.

The word I would use to describe this team - especially the defense - would be: "Stale".

Honestly, can anyone point to anything that looks "new and different"?
The offense seems to want to go in a new-ish direction and maybe that's just a matter of time before everyone "gets" whatever Haley is trying to do, so I'll let that part sit for now because I know that sort of thing takes time.

My biggest problem is the defense.

Game after game and for longer than just this season, all I've seen is what could best be described as a "pre-season" defense; a vanilla setup that doesn't seem to offer anything more than what may have worked well a couple of seasons ago but has since become old news. There's no "pop" in this defense anymore, no dynamic movement. It seems to be set up to actually allow passes to be completed or runs to gain yardage - just not so much as to score on a single play. It's as if the entire scheme is some sort of "prevent" package designed not to stop teams but merely to slow them down.

Lot's of people will point to age or injuries as the reason for the poor play of the defense but watching receivers being wide open ten yards down the field has nothing to do with aching joints but is more about coaching and that's why I believe that LeBeau is the primary reason for our defense's lack of production.
I think LeBeau has reached a point where it's time to hang up the cleats and call it a career because he just doesn't seem to have "It" anymore.

Years ago, watching a Dick LeBeau defense was like watching a complicated machine in action - lots of moving parts and all sorts of activity, but nowadays it's more like watching maple syrup drip off a teaspoon.
The defense is predictable and soft and nothing at all like what it once was and though there are some aging players, age can't be the whole story.
I think it's basically about a man having spent his entire adult life playing or coaching football and having drawn up tens of thousands of plays simply running out of ideas and perhaps not having the desire to put in the 110% effort required to put a truly effective unit on the field week after week.

I respect the hell out of Dick LeBeau and I'll be the first in line to thank him for the truly wonderful years of football he's brought to us Steeler fans. But everyone gets old and everyone loses a step and I think that's where he is now and I think that if he truly wants to help this team he should consider stepping aside and allow someone else to begin a new era.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cook: Steelers aren't a very good football team

Quote:
Originally Posted by FanSince72 View Post
Health is only part of the problem.

The word I would use to describe this team - especially the defense - would be: "Stale".

Honestly, can anyone point to anything that looks "new and different"?
The offense seems to want to go in a new-ish direction and maybe that's just a matter of time before everyone "gets" whatever Haley is trying to do, so I'll let that part sit for now because I know that sort of thing takes time.

My biggest problem is the defense.

Game after game and for longer than just this season, all I've seen is what could best be described as a "pre-season" defense; a vanilla setup that doesn't seem to offer anything more than what may have worked well a couple of seasons ago but has since become old news. There's no "pop" in this defense anymore, no dynamic movement. It seems to be set up to actually allow passes to be completed or runs to gain yardage - just not so much as to score on a single play. It's as if the entire scheme is some sort of "prevent" package designed not to stop teams but merely to slow them down.

Lot's of people will point to age or injuries as the reason for the poor play of the defense but watching receivers being wide open ten yards down the field has nothing to do with aching joints but is more about coaching and that's why I believe that LeBeau is the primary reason for our defense's lack of production.
I think LeBeau has reached a point where it's time to hang up the cleats and call it a career because he just doesn't seem to have "It" anymore.

Years ago, watching a Dick LeBeau defense was like watching a complicated machine in action - lots of moving parts and all sorts of activity, but nowadays it's more like watching maple syrup drip off a teaspoon.
The defense is predictable and soft and nothing at all like what it once was and though there are some aging players, age can't be the whole story.
I think it's basically about a man having spent his entire adult life playing or coaching football simply running out of ideas and perhaps not having the desire to put in the 110% effort required to put a truly effective unit on the field week after week.

I respect the hell out of Dick LeBeau and I'll be the first in line to thank him for the truly wonderful years of football he's brought to us Steeler fans. But everyone gets old and everyone loses a step and I think that's where he is now and I think that if he truly wants to help this team he should consider stepping aside and allow someone else to begin a new era.
LeBeau's defense was great when he had several stars making plays. When Harrison and Woodley are collapsing the pocket, stabilized by Smith, Hampton, Keisel at the LOS, and backed by Polamalu, there wasn't much scheme to it. These guys won their matchups.

Now we have guys who can't win these matchups and a DC incapable of putting them in better positions to succeed. We play the same system with lesser talent and expect the same result.
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