Chattin’ Thread for the Week of October 9

Max Starks. Season saved. Commence with the chattin’…

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  • dennisonschili

    Dwyer is Moses

  • Frank MIddleton

    Max Starks has nothing to do with this win.   Bruce Arians called a better game, focusing on the run and some creativity and the backs ran hard through the hole.  Mendenhall is a dancer and he will have good games but kill you with his bad games.   Also, every teams uses the same game plan against the Colts, in order to neutralize their ends, run the ball and keep running it.   Bruce Arians wants to throw the ball too much.   Go back to ground and pound and let the defense play Steeler defense and we will win this season.

    • Joel Miller

      No pressures coming from Max Starks’ assignments whereas Jonathan Scott and Trai Essex were closer to turnstiles at the LT position.  Surprisingly, Jonathan Scott looked like an okay NFL caliber RT during the 2nd half.

      Given that we do not have a good offensive line and are not going to suddenly become exceptional run blockers…its a bit over the top to assume that all we need to do is ground and pound.  We are not Jerome Bettis’ Steelers or the 70s Steelers.  Running the ball needs to be effective enough to make play action worth respecting and keep the outside rushers honest.

  • As

    Steelers nation seems awfully quick to pull the plug on Mendenhall for Redman, a guy who averaged less than 3 yards per carry vs the Titans.

    Maybe the backup RB is the most popular player in Pittsburgh instead of the QB. I remember the calls for Zeroue, some guy named Richard Huntley (I think), Dwyer, now Redman is the new flavor of the month.

    Not that he isn’t good. But Mendenhall is clearly the more dynamic player.

    • Anonymous

      I think Mendenhall’s the better runner. But the thing Redman does better is take on tacklers and get the yards he can, and that just so happens to be the thing a team whose offensive line is struggling to run block needs. I would still start Mendenhall if he’s healthy, but I’d like to see more frequent use of Redman than we have.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      As Lennon sang, I dig a pony.  Let’s see Mendenhall and Redman on the field at the same time.  And let’s make sure Dwyer maintains his subscription to Nutrisystem.

    • Randy Steele

      Yes, but Red is always moving forward. Always.

  • David

    Mendy has not been hitting the right holes on several occasions, from what I’ve seen. Redman will hit the right hole and gain 3 yds and know he will get hit. Mendy either doesn’t want to get hit or tries for the home run every time.

    So I agree: pony.

  • Randy Steele

    The best part of this game for me was that Rothlisberger played like “Ben,” not like “Big Ben.” Of course, he was playing against a Cover 2, so he was supposed to take what they gave him underneath. And he did. And did it well.

    But I hope everyone realizes that, going forward, it’s unlikely that he’ll see as much Cover 2 in one game as he saw in this one, and will have a much tougher time duplicating yesterday’s success. The Titans did a very poor job planning their defense for this match-up. The Steelers’ other opponents will learn from that mistake.

    That said, I’m getting in line for a Max Starks’ jersey.

  • Cols714

    This Mendenhall stuff is getting out of hand. Redman is a superb 3rd and short back. He’s also a good change of pace and goal line back because he runs straight ahead and can move the pile.

    However, up until these first 4 games when the O-line was getting destroyed by some pretty decent defenses, Mendenhall has been a pretty damn good running back. He’s definitely more talented than Redman and has suited the offense pretty well the last two years.

    Now all of a sudden, Redman, who in his first start averaged less than 3 yards per carry, is the savior and Mendenhall sucks??

    What gives Steeler Nation?

    • David


      What did it for me was the Indy game. Mendy had the opportunities to gain 2, 3, maybe 4 yards by going thru the right hole, but tried to bounce it outside or reverse field. He is the more explosive back, hands down. But when our running game is (was?) struggling, you’ve got to take what is there, not try to make chicken soup out of chicken dung.

      So my only point is that he is not a grinder. We need a grinder while our O-line is trying to find itself. We need 2, 3, 4 yds each time instead of 0, 0, 1, with the occasional 15 yarder.

      BTW, I emailed Eddie B, and he replied back that he agreed that Mendy consistently did not hit the right holes vs. Indy. Take it FWIW


      Totally agree, as a fan base it seems that we have a very, very short term memory, our main past, current and near term concerns are a mediocre o-line, a killer injury bug and the age of a few key defensive elements. This win, as sweet as it was, does not change that. Talking about Mendenhall as part of the problem is focusing on symptoms not on the root cause, every opponent is different, every game plan is different and every single play is as well. We have enough evidence that Mendenhall is a Top 10 RB in the NFL, Dwyer, Redman and Moore are a great platoon of backups, and nothing more.  We should be thankful that Diesel is back, that the Hoke had a terrific game, that Starks step up and give us an upgrade, that the young DE’s seems to be legit, but we are not there yet. We are not as terrible as we thought, we are nos as  good as we can be. We have a few games to get ready and healthy for the toughest 2 games of the year, Ravens and Pats. We need a lot of things, to regain the Top of the AFC North, but not a RB controversy. Mendenhall is and will be the best RB option. Period.

    • MRavelo

      I’m not sure you’ll find a real member of Steeler Nation who believes that Redman is the more talented running back. I think what you’re misinterpreting is that Steeler Nation would rather see Redman fall forward for 2-3 yards at a time to bring us to 3rd and manageable than watch Mendy try and shake and bake his way to a 20 yard gain only to end up 2 yards behind the line. We’ve seen what Mendy can do. He opened the season last year against Atlanta with a huge run. But more often than not, we see him struggle in his decision making, which leads to negative yards.

      I personally, would rather have Mendy in the backfield than Redman. But honestly, who would you rather have when you need to convert a first down? It’s really getting hard to say that you’d take Mendy over Redman. I think what we can all agree on is that we’d like to see Mendy be a better decision maker and diagnose plays better and accept that on some plays, he’s only going to manage 2-3 yards and stop winding up in the backfield. It’s the same with Big Ben this week going West Coast. Holding the ball for 6 seconds and dropping bombs hasn’t worked the last 4 weeks, so he took the underneath stuff this week and as you saw, it worked out really well. In doing so, the deep stuff he loves to throw opened up at the end.

      Just my take.

  • Mike L
    • Randy Steele

      If I correctly understood Ian Whetstone’s note on the message board of SCI, the answer is yes. The Steelers extended Aaron Smith another year to make room for Starks’ contract, which was about $850,000. (Quite a fall from the $6-plus million he had been scheduled to make, eh?)

      • Randy Steele

        I was wrong about the amount of money Starks is making this season. It’s even less than the $810,000 veteran minimum. Because he wasn’t on the roster for the first four games, he gets only about $620,000 this year.

  • Cols714

    So Keenan Lewis is turning out to be pretty good? If so, then the Steelers are set at CB for the next few years.

    Also nice to see Starks play well. I’ve always thought he was an underrated guy on this team. Does Legursky get to start at LG the rest of the year or do we have to go back to watching Kemo flail away in pass protection?

    I think a line of Starks, Legursky, Pouncey, Foster, Gilbert is the best line we have. Kemo, while sometimes very good, is so freaking bad  at figuring out who to block that I don’t think he should start anymore.

  • DJAnyReason

    Mendy’s a better runner than Ike.  However, Redman plus whoever we could’ve drafted instead of Mendy is probably a better option than Mendy.  But I’m not exactly shocking anybody with RBs-are-fungible-so-don’t-draft-them-in-Round-1 opinions on this site…

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      If you mean Chris Johnson, then yeah, Johnson + Redman > Mendy.  But after CJ2K, looking at the late 1st round and early second round of 2008, there aren’t many if any guys I’d rather have than Mendy (+ Redman).  He’s been pretty damn good, especially behind this line. We would not have made it through the playoffs last year without Mendy. And I’m not downgrading Redman, but he has 403 yards and 1 TD in his career.  Also, one guy projected to go as high as Mendy went, of course, was Limas Sweed.

      • Anonymous

        I wasn’t paying the kind of attention to football back then to have any clue what people were thinking, but in hindsight if I could have any guy on the Steelers picked from Mendenhall through Sweed, I’d take Brandon Flowers. No knock on Mendenhall who has been and still is a top tier runner, but I agree with the sentiment that finding people who succeed at RB deep in the draft or undrafted is easier than any other position outside of kickers and punters.

        • Bob Costas

          I think I speak for everyone when I say that we were all thinking, “Draft an offensive lineman!  DRAFT AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN!!”.

      • DJAnyReason

        Well, perfect hindsight, we could, in theory, package Mendy and Limas picks to move up high enough for Branden Albert.

  • Cols714

    It’s not that I don’t think Redman is good. He is. It’s that people are getting way to excited about a guy who just went 15 carries for 49 yards. If Mendenhall had put up those numbers would anyone anywhere be excited? No.

    I think with both Mendenhall and Redman we are in good shape. And yes it is very easy to find decent RBs which is why we have Redman and Dwyer.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    FO has us at 10 in DVOA, with rankings of 10, 10 and 11 for O, D and ST.  The Ravens are 5 in DVOA with 23, 1 and 30 for O, D and ST.  We’re also 31 in week-to-week variance and the Ravens are 30.  CIN is 4 and CLE is 2 in VAR. 

    Speaking of CIN, I haven’t seen anything other than highlights, but it looks like they’ve gotten keepers in Dalton and AJ Green.

    • Anonymous

      The only team that ranks higher on both offense and defense is the Giants at 9 and 8, but they are at 12 overall because of poorly ranked special teams, 21. It does “feel” like they’ve played well enough to be #10, does it? I’m right on board with the huge variability though.

    • countertorque

      Our D is 10 overall, made up of being 4th against the pass and 29th against the run.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning