Friday, November 08, 2013

Steelers Week 9, Reactions

Most of these were written soon after the game, I've just been too busy to put it all together.  This is after the worst Steelers game ever, as based on the number of points given up (55), the most in Steelers 81 year history.  Now the previous record was 54 in 1985, so that's key context, and the opposing team in '85 was the Air Coryell Chargers with Dan Fouts, a worthy comparison to the Air Brady of 2013.  Anyway, here goes:
  1. I started the game expecting to lose and feeling that I could keep my emotions in check.  Except these are the Patriots, and I hate them.  And while we played terribly, as usual, we then tied it up!  24-24. And then broke our hearts.  A total meltdown... 28 points by the Pats in the 4th Q alone, almost more than we scored the whole freakin' game.
  2. Teams will love playing us this year because we're allowing others to set records.
  3. When tomlin 'takes responsibility' what does that mean?  Because, he doesn't.  He's still blaming the players.  If he took responsibility, he'd talk about what he's doing wrong.  he says it, though, because it allows him to end the press conference earlier.
  4. About how badly we've drafted - and we clearly have.  If so, how can we draft great receivers?  That part of the drafting process has been top notch.  I guess this means we have a good receivers coach?
  5. Speaking of draft, I have two words: Landry Jones. It was mystifying back in April but now it's egregious.  We literally could use a player in ANY POSITION except QB.  Jeez.
  6. There seems to be a lack of leadership, as I said last year.  But who's the difference from this year from last?  I guess Harrison for linebackers (which the Bengals have talked about, that he's a huge influence on the young guys).  And we all know that Big Ben must be a terrible leader because he doesn't seem to be a decent person.  Maybe we're suffering because we don't have Charlie Batch - which, again, makes the Landry Jones choice worse because we could have Batch there every week just as inactive as Landry.
  7. Right after the game, Scrap Bradley said our defense is porous now because of a lack of pass rush.  I already noticed our soft center, but I also noticed we were never getting to the QB, so Scrap's point makes real sense.  He sez the reason the defense can't get off the field on 3rd downs is that we don't have a pass rush.  Now I miss Harrison even more.
  8. Everyone is just saying we're a bad team.  If so, who are the bad players?  We have pro-bowlers for QB, WR, TE, SS, etc. 
  9. To quote Wolf on Monday: "it was a maelstrom of beatdown"
  10. Just to note: we're drafting 4th or 5th (tied with Giants) right now.
  11. Silver lining: we had better red-zone efficiency.   There was one point during the game, when we tied in up, when we looked like the 2010 Steelers!
  12. Ironically, I think we have the talent on offense but bad coaching, good coaching on defense but bad players.
  13. The hard hitting steelers may be scared to hit hard.  the Mel Blount rule of 2013 may actually be fulfilling its purpose - defanging the Steelers.  (Started with Harrison, etc)
  14. On Monday, a caller on the Tunch & Wolf show said you can blame the coaches because it doesn't seem like we're playing like a team.  That's a good analysis.
  15. On Monday, Tunch was asked what would Myron Cope say about the game.  The answer: "feh"
  16. Troy and Ben are not playing well - so maybe my prediction (see last week) can be upheld? Caveat about Troy - I think he's been forced to act as a Linebacker. We can't judge him because we don't know what his assignments are. But I do think it was polomalu's turn to do what Clark did last week (acc to my analysis of "trying too much").  Our defense depends on linebackers and we don't got 'em.
  17. Prisuita & Labriola are saying what I've been saying, that Polomalu is messing up possibly because he's trying to do too much. This happened to Ben in the first few games.
  18. Why was Ben in the game late? Because of the machismo no-data type coaching of Tomlin? See also: RGIII in the playoffs.  In retrospect I understand: Ben was kept in the game because Tomlin didn't want to give up. This is admirable. And the reporters don't seem to get it because they play too many computer games, or are thinking like stock-holders.
  19. Everyone's talking about LeBeau being forcibly retired. I'd be VERY surprised. I think it's the *talent* on defense, and the big cap money trapped in old players.  LeBeau should be untouchable.  But, again, the fans are freaking out and saying stupid things.  Thank goodness the Steelers don't act like any other organization in this way.
  20. Salary cap: I'm glad it hasn't risen. I hope it won't - it'll take a few more years to rein in the stupidly large contracts. Things gotta shrink, and it'll take a few years for that to happen.  The crazy salary of Flacco could be a death-knell. 
  21. People are recognizing that the team always goes down and battles back furiously.  And in this, I think Charlie Batch is right (in an interview this week): he confirms what I've long suspected, that Haley or whomever is not allowing Big Ben to do no-huddle... because when Ben does that, he rocks and rolls, and it makes the OC look bad.  No other answer right now for why they don't do this more.  And I see in, behind the scenes, in how Ben reacts to the play calling.  Things come in too slow, are predicated on deliberate choices, and it hampers our Superbowl winning QB.   I won't mind when Haley leaves.
  22. After the game Tomlin thought - as many of us did - that maybe the players gave up.  Turns out, as everyone who looked at the tape, that the players didn't. Which means we were outplayed.  Oy.  That's good, vis-a-vis professionalism, but it confirms that we're just an average team.
  23. Tunch asks why the fans are angry.  Well there are those who bet on games and/or pay money for fantasy.  That is a HUGE part of the game and I'm ignoring that because I have nothing to do with it.   But we're angry because (a) bad talent assessment in the drafts, (b) problems don't seem to be fixed, (c) quality players don't play well, e.g. even in 2011 we would play badly against bad opponents. 
  24. Good questions here.
Lastly, some things from Ed Bouchette.  First, a very good point:
Team management today is the same that won a Super Bowl in 2005, again in 2008 and went there in 2010. As I wrote today, perhaps they need to take a look at how they are evaluating players, both in the draft and, as you say, once they make the team. Keenan Lewis is a good example; they never made him an offer. Some believe they could have gotten younger by keeping him and letting Ike Taylor go. I don’t know which, but it was surprising that they let a good, young cornerback they drafted get away. That hasn’t been their style in the past.

However he whiffs on this:
YOU: I believe a backup rookie tackle prevented Woodley from even getting 1 qb hurry, not to mention how well the rookie lineman for the Bears played against us. So couple questions, why haven't the steelers been able to evaluate offensive line talent in the Tomlin era? Or is it our youth and bad luck that they haven't been able to put it together? Or, is the defensive front 7 so bad that it doesn't matter who is blocking them? Finally, as much as he is making, is there any chance Woodley is released in the off season?

ME: LaMarr Woodley has been their best pass rusher and I believe he’d be more effective if they were getting a pass rush from the other side. Their problem is, they don’t have enough pass rushers, so they’re not going to get rid of their best one.

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