Feel free to discuss how your therapist is helping you through the latest Steelers debaclement…
Our first game against the Texans in 2002 made be the weirdest I’ve ever seen. Our defense completely dominated their offense but Houston won, and fairly easily: http://www.post-gazette.com/steelers/20021209steele1209p2.asp
The games we played against them in 2005 and 2008 had much better outcomes:
Ah, Tommy Maddox. He’ll throw to anyone so long as its caught.
My takeaway from those three games is that Steelers-Texans is always a blowout.
Run defense continues to look poor.
The only thing that slowed Houston down on this drive were themselves. Otherwise, the Steelers had zero answer for anything the Texans did.
It’s easy to move the ball with an O-line like that.
That Wallace guy is decent.
But then takes an idiotic penalty
Seriously? Protect the stupid ball, Ben!
Bailed out by another Houston penalty
Shouldn’t that be roughing the passer? I mean, if it were Harrison it probably would be.
What are the odds of a safety on this possession? Or a Ben fumble in the endzone recovered for a TD?
Redman returned the kick? Shades of Gary Russell and Najeh Davenport.
Lucky catch by Heath on an poor throw from Ben.
Is it time to just run the no huddle all the time?
Yes! Exactly what I was thinking.
I know that pass to Brown in the endzone was overthrown, but it seemed as though he could have dove and maybe had a chance at it.
Well that seems about right.
Once again, the only thing stopping Houston is Houston. Block in the back wipes out a blocked field goal returned for a TD.
Hi guys – just dropping in to say Hello. Been awhile.
Welcome back, Sarah! Please visit and comment often.
Afraid I don’t much follow the STeelers anynore, hard after being a fan for so long.
I’ll check in now and then, hey to everyone….
Nice juke by Ben
Alright. On the board now.
Not to give them any advice, but they should run, run, run on us.
But anyway, a TO would be great here.
A year ago, somebody picks that pass off.
Exactly. The ball has been bouncing their way all day.
Nice run by Redman
I like Ike.
Another nice run by Mewelde Moore
I hope burning 2 timeouts this early in half won’t come back to haunt the Steelers…
I’ll just be happy if we score.
Where does “the creeper” rank on the list of bad nicknames?
If this were Madden, I’d go for it. But, in real life, I guess you have to kick the FG. Not that I trust Suisham or the O-line not to botch it…
I’d go for it. What the hell, weird game, go for it.
The Steelers have no business being tied with Houston, but they are. I’ll take it.
Cue the defense choking. Might want to cover Daniels, guys.
Or remember how to tackle… So much for the tie game.
So far, hat’s off to Ben. He’s doing all he can with his feet and arm.
There’s no way that Ben survives the season with this O-line.
I believe we’ve said that the last 3 years. However this time it may be true. I think his knee is not right, he often sails throws high, can’t plant.
If I’m Houston, I’m not sure I even bother throwing at this point. Just keep running at Woodley and run out the clock and/or rip off another long TD.
Keenan Lewis with a big defensive play. Antonio Brown with a nice return.
If they hadn’t squandered 2 timeouts earlier, they could have considered punting there.
Well, this 3rd down is pretty much the game.
They stopped them, barely. One more chance. Maybe Brown will run it back.
Downed at the 1. Perfect. Safety time.
Or pick 6
Wiped out by roughing the passer
Guy went for the knee; better be a fine
And Ben got his helmet ripped off last drive. Geez.
I have no idea how Ben got rid of that ball
And picked off.
I whole-heartedly agree: Ben may not finish is season.
I cannot remember a larger beat down that he is taking now.
So many problems in so many areas… where do you begin? At first it looked as if the defensive line was trying to match the offensive line in ineptitude, but then the offensive line decided to prove that they could play even worse, which they did. What a mess.
Funny that 180 days ago they were a Super Bowl team. I guess you hit the wall suddenly in this business.
One good thing happened today: you came back. Nice to hear from you!
Well guys it is nice to check in….I cannot say I watch closely anymore, sadly. The events last year really lost me as a fan I’m afraid, despite bleeding Black n Gold since I was about 12. Painful split.
But there;s still guys here I appreciate touching base with. Peace boys.
Sarah, they not only hit the wall, it also fell on top of them.
Hah! Randy - yes, maybe!
When I read Sapp’s comments a couple weeks back I was divided….he clearly had a chip, but honestly in that first game if any fan wasn;t thinking close to the same thing they were kidding themselves. I did not watch enough to really have a strong opinion, saw mostlye high/lowlights later. But my sense is the team is on the cusp of a really awful season if they don;t make some large corrections, soon. And I am not sure they have the resources to make those corrections.
Time will tell, I guess
I’m still thinking Sapp is/was a certifiable goof. I am not worried about the age of the entire defense. I think that should be looked at only where the talent level has dropped off considerably. Aaron Smith is a shell of his former self that showed exactly what he is last game. He made 2 excellent plays early and then disappeared. He needs to be a sub that comes in for a short duration to provide all out effort while his stamina is still there and then return to the sideline to rest up for the next 2-4 play sequence that he’ll be called in for.
I am a bit worried also about James Farrior/Larry Foote combination showing their relative lack of speed, but it might just be the defensive front not swallowing enough blockers.
The task list should go:
1. Relegate Aaron Smith to backup behind Hood, Keisel, and possibly Heyward.
2. If problems persist…who is ready to step into MLB? Carter?
Steelers O line is TERRIBLE!!!!!!! This is going to be a very long season unless they get their acts together. Also Start Redman an sit Mendenhall!!!!! Very sad start for a team who has almost all the same starters from superbowl
Mendenhall was not the problem out there. The O-line did not get any push until they ran essentially the same play about 4 times in a row(2 pullers coming from left side into right side Guard/Tackle area). Redman and Moore benefitted more from the play calling and finally some successful blocking up front. The question is: Was it the scheme of the play or the front that was looking pass first that gave us success? Those holes/lanes were huge!
I’m confused why we refuse to re-sign Hotel? Or talk to Marvel Smith? If Smith has gotten himself into shape, that’d be great. Basically we have 2 turnstiles on the line, and there is nothing that can be done without using 2 TE formations and chipping.
What happened to our bunch formations? We used to do that a lot, and it’s supposed to be very effective vs a 3-4, and that’s what Houston runs.
I agree, Ben’s knee isn’t right, and that’s why he’s sailing some balls high. He’s also throwing super hard cuz he’s under tons of pressure. I think we’re watching him metamorphisize into David Carr out there. He looked shell shock at least twice today. If I were Ben, I’d say to Tomlin: ”Bench me if you wont make any changes to gameplans or offensive line. Why should I risk my career playing behind scrubs?”
I would like to see a stat :
In the last say 5 seasons….
Nbr of times Ben has been sacked, v
And even give maybe 1 of 3-4 sacks is on Ben, holding on to the ball….I still bet the numbers are huge,
Dreamboat Tommy rarely has a scuff of dirt on his uni. Nor does Manning.
Meanwhile Ben may be at the breaking point.
I really feel if Ben has a comparitively short career (and I think he will) the front office will have to answer.
I’m pretty sure they’ve talked to Flozell, but his asking price is too high. They can’t fit him under the cap.
The Colon injury really hurt this team.
Smith, Mendy, and Silverback all left the game hurt.
The Mendy injury may be a blessing in disguise–i.e., more carries for Redman.
But what is troubling to me is the no show of Woodley all year. Yeah, he gets doubled, but he clearly was responsible for the gap on Foster’s TD run.
So, should we even consider trading him for a tackle, or even, could we?
Not only did he fail to contain the gap on Foster’s run, he essentially took Polamalu out of the play, too.
The first drive was also a Timmons lowlight reel. Those two are supposed to be the future of our defense but they are coming up small after both cashing in.
I don’t think Woodley is so much the problem as he may seem to be – they’re not running at Woodley, they’re running at Aaron Smith, and he’s getting blown up.
If the guys on the d-line aren’t doing their jobs, the LBs can’t make the plays. Aaron Smith had a great career, but DL’s tend to fall off a cliff rather fast, and I think last year’s injury masked the warning signs.
In an effort to avoid the glaringly obvious critiques to be made, I am wondering about the following as realistic means by which we can improve this year.
1. No more 5 wide sets. Keep at least 1 back in the backfield
2. More multiple tight ends sets. Miller and Saunders should be a good 1-2 punch
3. Play more youth of defense. Hood, Heyward, Lewis, Sly, etc. Defense played “ok” today outside of the first drive, but lack of speed is creating some obvious mismatches
4. Fix hot route issues. More receivers running quicker routes and paying attention when the D blitzes
5. Move Ward into the slot to help with blocking and working the middle on quick routes
6. (not realistic) Have Ben check the ball down and look for underneath stuff
6a. Have the QB not hold on to the ball for 5 seconds. Much of the blame can be attributed to the oline, but the QB has to be able to read the defense and get the ball out early.
Regarding the D, Lebeau traditionally struggles the most on the opening drive, from what I’ve seen over the years. I’ve never worried about it, cuz usually we can hold them to a FG or they shoot themselves in the foot, etc. After that though, he usually seems to figure out what the opposing team is trying to do, and adjusts.
Notice how Polamalu got more energized after that TD? Lebeau said something to him on the sideline and fired him up. Need more fired up Troy.
Brady does not get hit a lot because they do a lot of max protects, delay the blitz, and hit the man underneath. Then teams back off the blitz and they go more traditional. We could use some of that. Line up in shotgun with ward and a RB, 1 TE and 2 WR. Block and release, if no blitz, go deep, etc. Lots of things do to.
The problem with the steelers O line…is they are so bad that 4 man and 5 man rush’s beat them. Ben can’t find anyone because the team has enough to keep back while the blitz / normal rush succeeds in under 3 seconds.
I didn’t see Ben hold the ball for 5 seconds much today. Maybe twice, and that was with him running and escaping pressure. We’re screwed without pass protection. Ward was open on a play Ben ran on, he coulda had a TD. (the drive Mendy got the TD on). I think Ben just doesn’t look Wards way much any more, he likes downfield more.
Farrior just looks slow.
Uh-oh. Ben’s foot is worse than I thought. He was on crutches and in a boot, according to reports.
Pouncey had an awful game as well. He was getting beat straight up the middle. Which really hurt.
Well, it’s week 4, so I’m not going to the edge of the roof yet. The team has been 6-2 for Tomlin each year, so we look on course for that again. I’ll start out a little positive.
1. Except for when they went to Owen Daniels or a quick screen, the Pass D was pretty solid. I was really happy with Lewis, and Gay made some solid tackles. Who would have thought the Pass D would be the Steelers strength so far.
2. Redman looked great. Mendy getting hurt isn’t good, but more Redman touches and changes of pace with Moore are a good thing.
3. For what it’s worth, Ben looked mostly like old Ben today. He had some masterful escapes from pressure and some excellent back shoulder passes.
4. Except for a few hot reads, Brown had another solid game. No sophomore slump for him.
1. Penalties. Or lack there of in some cases. I still don’t understand how Ben can get his helmet ripped off without a flag. At least his nose came out unscathed. And the taunting call on Wallace really was a turning point, IMO. The offense was firing on all cylinders going up to that point, and never really seemed to recover.
2. Tackling. I never thought I would have to say this, but they have struggled badly with rapping guys up. I know it was Foster making moves in some cases, but there seemed to be a lot of whiffs in the backfield.
3. Ben’s health. He’s gonna miss time at this point, it’s just a matter of when. He’s getting sent the the lions den each week and his body is gonna give at some point.
4. Bruce Arians. He’s slowly killing Ben. He needs to realize the line Ben is playing behind. Teams succeed with short, high efficiency passes, why can’t the Steelers. And with the way the line played today, Ben should never have been in the backfield by himself. The more blockers, the more guys to at least get in the way since they can’t seem to hold a block.
Has it ever occurred to people that maybe Ben doesn’t like the short quick throws? Why is it always on Arians?
That being said, I’m thinking that next year we’ll be seeing a new OC if the Steelers don’t pick it up. I’m OK with change for change sake sometimes.
You do have a point, Ben is the guy with the ball at the end. But it is Arians’ offense. Ben won’t have a choice if Arians dials up nothing but short throws. And it’s not like Ben is missing guys wide up underneath. Nothing is really there. No, it’s not all on Arians that it isn’t happening. BUT, if things don’t change it will be all on him. He’s supposed to be a coach. Guide Ben to succeed. On one hand Harrison was right. Ben isn’t Manning because he isn’t an offensive coordinator. Arians needs to step in for the sake of his job.
Yeah, I was screaming for a flag when they ripped Ben’s helmet off.
Also, EB believes the hit on Hines should have been flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver.
And Wallace, what was he thinking?
And Pouncey, what was he thinking for that late hit? I think that was the turning point. We had 1st & G from the 8, then 1st & 10 from the 21, then a blocked FG. 10 pt swing, folks.
Anything can happen in ye olde NFL.but this Steelers team looks old and in the way.
I wrote 4 paragraphs of stuff but I think I will leave it at that.
On a positive note, I’ve hoped on the Lions bandwagon as my second favorite team this year. All hail Megatron!
I realize I’m violating the 24 hour rule but a couple of items here:
> If they are going to penalize Wallace for ‘taunting’ then they better penalize everyone. Do I think he should have done it? No. Was it a penalty? Also no
>Pouncey was finishing his block that was not a penalty. All the ref saw was his man flying through the air, bad call
>I would love Redman to start, but be careful, you do lose some explosiveness.
>Also, when you first saw the schedule how many of us had them at 4-0? Didn’t think so. Hell I thought 1-3 or 2-2
>Lastly, the lockout, as it turns out, hurt the Steelers. It really didn’t give them the ability to properly evaluate their vets in my opinion.
>Marathon not a sprint – Tennessee is next – and we only have to be good enough to beat them.
It’s not the two loses that bother me. It’s how they lost (and won) the games that has me worried.
Harrison out with a broken orbital bone. Sucks.
This year is rapidly turning into 2003. We really need to win this week. Time for Woodley, Timmons, Hood, and Worilds to step up.
I still think they should put Gilbert at LT. He’s going to be starting there next year anyways. Get the growing pains done this year.
The article I read said Timmons would move over and Farrior/Foote would start inside. I’d really like to see Worilds step up, but that’s hard to do from the bench. Also, paging Stevenson Sylvester. After a stellar preseason I thought he earned at least some backup duty or spot duty, but I guess he’s just not showing it off camera.
Agreed on flipping Essex and Gilbert. At least that way Roethlisberger will see the guy about to kill him coming.
Worilds is also doubtful with a quad strain, so that effectively eliminates that option.
I am listening to 937 the Fan for the first time right now, and some moron just called in and said Ike Taylor wouldn’t start on most teams -_-
I don’t think he would start on the Eagles or the Packers, and it would be a near thing on the Chiefs, otherwise I think he would start (I may have forgotten a few players off the top of my head).
Dulac is reporting we’re close to signing Max Starks. I guess anything is better than nothing.
It sucks to be excited at the prospect of Max Starks swooping in to save the day, but here we are.
Are you kidding? Signing Starks would be a great move. He’s always been a decent tackle. For all of the clamoring about Flozell, Colon looked much better than him before he got injured. But Scott has been awful.
Starks and Gilbert as starting tackles should be OK.
If so, this begs the question of why a “decent” tackle in Starks was cut in favor of an “indecent” one in Scott. (Yes, I know the stated reason of Starks being grossly out of shape– but might not that still apply?) Still, we’re now desperate and I’m not going to complain. Had to do something…
I think they cut Starks, figuring they would get similar play out of Scott for much less money while transitioning Gilbert into the LT position.
However the horrible play from Scott and the injury to Colon has led them to reevaluate this.
I also think that cutting Starks may be their largest blunder of the offseason. Not finding any decent guards ranks as a close second though. Their guard play is awful. And Pouncey hasn’t been that great this year either.
All true. I just have very modest expectations of Starks, and can totally understand the muted responses to the signing of a guy who had just recently been unceremoniously cut. Starks is now a “body”, and a body who won’t be ready for a few weeks, I’d assume.
Or I’m wrong and Starks sucks.
Next year, I wouldn’t mind a NT, OG, OG, draft for the first three rounds.
Don’t get me wrong: I am very relieved that we have help now. But the fact that he was 60 lbs overweight and something made our FO release him.
But, given our situation, I’m a bit relieved. But he probably will not start and will gradually be given reps and playing time. Hope springs eternal, my friends.
According to Starks’ twitter account, he resigned. My favorite part is that the website I saw that at had this ad running above the article:
I checked Starks twitter feed and I noticed a response to another former Steeler that leads me to make this comparison.
time to wake n bake
31 Mar 10
Who wakes up and starts washing clothes … This guy lol
3 Oct 10
Starks@bde2134d90cd9e2cb9fb3d302dbea432:disqus !!!!!! This season is not over fellas. Things are looking up. Starks should hopefully be starting at T next week, Scott can either return to his role as backup or split time with Gilbert at the other T spot. Not sure if Starks is nimble and fresh enough to play LT, but he can’t be worse than Scott and Essex the last two weeks can he??
My biggest issue with this whole thing is: why didn’t this happen earlier? Did they really need to see their franchise $100M QB almost get killed and sprain his foot to realize that what they had was absolutely garbage and unacceptable?
By my count the PS now have at least 4 offensive lineman that were/would be on the couch if they had not called – Starks, Essex, Scott, and Meredith. One could make a case that Legs could be added to that list. That would make 5 of 9 OL that aren’t capable of making another team. And it’s not like they are all backups – 2 of the 5 are starters, or 40% of the line.
And why in the world was C. Scott cut over Meredith? It’s not like Meredith won’t be waiting for a call if they need him down the road.
That’s not necessarily true of Starks. He was worked out by the Vikings a couple of days ago, so there’s every possibility that if he hadn’t come back he would be playing there.
I think Starks could make another team. Legursky, while not a starter would be a useful backup on a lot of teams.
Could, but didn’t. May be true on legs. May be true on Legs, but “may” and “backup” being the key words.
For a number of reasons, I’ve only been able to watch the
game through the Foster TD. Based on all the negativity, I was expecting
a total debacle. Maybe I’ll regret saying this when I’ve had a chance to
watch the rest of the 4th quarter, but I’m not at the clothes-rending stage
We were playing on the road against a likely division-winner with top
offense with last-year’s NFL-leading rusher and the score was tied 10-10 after
the third quarter. The pass defense
was generally strong. We ended up losing by one score and only gave up
17 points. We gave up one long play in
the entire game (when both Woodley and Troy failed to make a play of Foster’s
long run). The special teams were very good (except the blocked FG, which was horrible but not likely to happen regularly). Even the much maligned OL hasn’t
looked as bad as I would have guessed (I’m not saying it looked great, but I
did not see the problems of playing on the wrong side of the line on running
plays that people have commented about).
And I did not see the DL being blown off the ball. We were certainly helped by all the Texans
penalties, and I want to see much better back-side contain on run plays. If a few third downs had gone the other way, it
would have been a very different game. I’m more worried about Silverback’s
broken face (and our other piling injuries) than I am about the loss to the Texans.
On a separate note, one “secret” that announcers seem to not know is
that Troy is an average tackler. When he misses someone, you often hear
something like, “You rarely see that!” But we see it every other game or
so. Don’t get me wrong: he’s a HOF-er, may have the best hands of any
strong safety ever, and his Matrix-like bursts of speed are often game-changing. But he regularly gets into position to make
tackles and either whiffs or doesn’t wrap up players all that well, perhaps
playing “too fast” at times.
Regarding Troy I think you’re half right. I think he is a decent tackler, but he does whiff on more than his share of tackles (announcers are wrong if they say “you rarely see that”). There are a lot of plays where you see him diving at a guy and missing or only getting him enough to slow him down. And there are a lot of plays where a similar looking dive that knocks the carrier flat or upends him. Much depends on what you consider to be “the tackle.” If you only look at the contact, then you could say Troy is a bad tackler. But rewind the play a second and you’ll generally see that he came flying into the play from fifteen yards out. That’s an extremely difficult tackle to make at speed, and no other player in the NFL would even be in a position for the attempt. Analogy: one guy in a riflery competition has a slightly worse than average score – oh and half the time he shoots from 100 yards like everyone else and the other half of the time he shoots from 500.
Yes, exactly. Some of these missed tackles are damned near impossible. But because it’s Troy and because he might have made some contact, he “missed” the tackle. I remember one play from early in this last game where Troy made his typical backfield penetration and nearly brought the ballcarrier down on his own with one arm across the runner’s legs, but the runner then ripped off a nice gain because there was no one else in the same area code to clean up (which is what we need more of, better team gap responsibility and pursuit). Missed tackle– you don’t see that often. Nonsense.
Agreed about the big plays or absence thereof. But until the 4th quarter after Foster’s TD run (when the Texans got very conservative and rightly so), it just seemed like we were being ground into dust by the run, with a few nice 3rd-down pass conversions on top of that to keep drives alive. That’s not horrible, but it’s not something we’re used to seeing from a Steelers’ defense, and it’s now happened three times on the season. This was also with Andre Johnson out of the picture for most of the game. The 17 points is deceiving too, as this was a very “short” game in number of possessions. The Texans put up those 17 on only their first five possessions of the game, which is efficient even in today’s scoring-happy NFL. (For the statistical types, as I suspected this was a below-average DVOA defensive effort, and a well below-average offensive game, obviously.)
I don’t see much point in looking for silver linings to these kind of efforts. It’s not going to get it done with just a few breaks thrown in here or there– James Harrison was right about that. So rather I’m focused on seeing actual improvement, which I believe is entirely possible. That really needs to start now though, in the next two games at home, injuries or not.
I totally agree and I will go a little further: Troy is a terrible tackler. His value is in anticipation, disruption and INTs.
I wouldn’t want another SS on our team. He has been playing OK. That TD run was Woodley’s responsibility, who, as Randy noted, took Troy out of that play.
I think its a product of his size. He tries to blow guys up rather than wrap up and given his speed it often works. Frankly, I don’t give him any blame on the Foster run. I believe he had the tackle made until Woodley missed Foster and slammed into him. That play was almost 100% Woodley being out of position.
Just watched the rest of the 4th quarter. The OL really did fall apart and looked significantly worse than it had the rest of the game.
Any good OG prospects out of FSU? Might as well complete the set. Hold the Tebow, please.
No, but FSU’s tackle, Andrew Datko played guard some, and is sometimes projected as one in the NFL, and converting a tackle to a guard seems to work out in general. But it’s really, really early to be talking about that, no?
That video will change your life.
Holy crap. I’m speechless. That so perfectly pushes so many nostalgia buttons at once.
Exactly lol. I nearly peed myself when Ike came up as Urkel.
The night is darkest just before the dawn….
Harrison and Worlds injuries could be blessings in disguise and so could Mendenhall’s injury.
We need a change and Redman and Timmons on the outside may provide the spark we need.
I just watched the Bengals – Bills game. I also saw them play the Patriots. The Bills have a high scoring offense this season, but their line looks only marginally better than Pittsburgh’s. Given the fairly clear-cut superiority of the Steelers’ QB and receivers, what’s going on there? Is the o-line gap larger than I’m giving credit for? Is a small difference in efficacy up front that large a swing in offensive output? Is is the scheme? One thing I noticed is that the Steelers go 22.45 yards per point scored, whereas the Bills only need 11.79 for each point. That difference seems enormous. I can’t help but think there’s something to learn from the comparison.
Flag for removal!!