Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Steelers Week 7 - Reflections

Some thoughts as the Steelers winning "streak" continues:
  1. Steeler football is not like watching other teams (e.g. the Colts/Broncos last night).  The 2 styles are almost Lombardi vs. Coryell - i.e. win with (a) running & defense, or (b) high scoring, screw the defense.  I mean, the Steelers over the past few years have just grounded out games, and it makes me tense to watch, and the margin of error feels like almost nil.
  2. The offense is doing pretty well. Amazing what happens when you get your top players back, eh? (see my previous entries for this prediction).  Which means we'll get even better when our #2 TE comes back (and possibly even more with the rookie Wheaton, but I think our TE situation needs more rapid improvement).  Tight Ends are a crucial part of the modern NFL offense (which could explain why we got another one recently; sadly he broke before he could play).
  3. We're getting better every week.  Which should scare everybody.  
  4. See this page for detailed examples of the improved O-line and running game.
  5. Our getting better shows that the coaching is getting better.  I stand by my earlier assessment that the coaches of previous years were not that good, especially on o-line. The best proof for a better O-line coach is seen by Guy Whimper (aka, for real, "Abdullah the Butcher"), who was discarded from other teams, and was not good in training camp (so sez the beat reporters, who should know) but had a very credible game on Sunday against a monster defensive line.
  6. From the above link: "Abdullah and Kelvin Beachum, considered mere depth back in training camp, combined Sunday to hold the dangerous pass- rushing tandem of Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs to 1.5 sacks in the Steelers' 19-16 win..."
  7. Because I can see very clearly that the coaches know what they're doing, and that the in-season moves have actually been effective, I will restore my trust in the front office.  They do seem to know what they're doing, at least so far.
  8. Why was it bad before and good now?  Well, I think Tomlin has limited wiggle room because, and this is pure speculation, the Rooney's seem to have close scrutiny and may make certain decisions by fiat; especially as it comes to coaches.  They seem to be the ones who fired Arians (which I was happy to see, and as I said before, Haley was working out even last year before Ben got hurt). 
  9. The defense is also slowly getting better.  If it works out like last year, then LeBeau could get them in such shape that we'll have a crackerjack shutdown defense by the last quarter of the season.
  10. I see people talking about the Steelers still in the Wild Card race.  I think more of winning the division, but I guess the others' want WC because that makes us in control of our destiny while the division needs to have the Bengals stumble.  Note, that the Bengals have always stumbled, but I see their mentality's advantage.
  11. About the WC race, the standing right now are Patriots win the E, Bengals N, Colts S, and the freakin' Chiefs the West.  The WC would be Denver & the freakin' Jets.  Because of KC & Denver, there's only 1 real WC spot left, so the Steelers will need to battle it out with all the mediocre AFC teams, which for now are numerous.
  12. Anyway, while it still is possible to make the playoffs, my reason to look at that is in order to see how the team/games are still relevant.  That's key.
  13. Emmanuel Sanders should be our PR/KR.  Duuuude.

Further personal note:
Except for football, I'm a NY team fan, but Pittsburgh is my #2 for the rest (I was born in Pittsburgh but lived in the NY area for most of my life).  For historians, it goes like this:
    • #1 Steelers (1972-present)
    • #2 Jets (1980-1983), and I still have occasional sympathy
    • #1 Mets  (by a big margin)
    • #2 Pirates (because of history, and what can you do?)
    • after this, it's pretty much rooting against whomever I hate.
    • #1 Knicks, but I am feeling some growing sympathy to jump ship to Brooklyn, (displaced) land of my fathers.
    • #2 I really don't care very much about basketball, to be honest
    • #1 Rangers
    • #2 Penguins
    • If it's possible to care less about basketball, that's how little I care about hockey
OK now thats done.  I set that up for this point: So, I follow the Pittsburgh teams via Pitt radio and Steelers beat writers, and I noted how the Penguins were one of the best and they died in the playoffs   Pirates did the same. It's possible now to think that the Steelers can possibly repeat 2011 - make it and lose in 1 game.  There's double precedent!

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