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Thread: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

      
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    Default Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    November 24, 2009
    Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations
    BY ALAN ROBINSON
    Associated Press

    PITTSBURGH — The coach is edgy and unhappy. The quarterback is dealing with another concussion, his fourth since 2006. The defense isn’t the same with two of its best players injured and out. Every kickoff is creating anxiety. Every game is becoming an adventure.

    Has it really been only 10 months since the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl?

    The Steelers won’t say so, but they expected to be cruising toward the playoffs by now, with all but two starters back from an experienced, proven team that won its second Super Bowl in four seasons. Their schedule is much softer than last season’s, with no Colts, Patriots, Cowboys, Giants or Eagles to be found and a healthy mix of Lions, Browns and Raiders.

    Instead, they’re 6-4 and locked in an unanticipated struggle merely to make the playoffs. Injuries, special teams breakdowns, the surprising Bengals and a post-Super Bowl letdown appear to be conspiring to torment a team that looked to be championship-ready only a few weeks ago.

    The Steelers still can salvage a season in which they’ve lost two in a row, including an inexplicable 27-24 overtime loss in Kansas City on Sunday. But they’re running out of time – and, with key starters such as Troy Polamalu, Aaron Smith and Chris Kemoeatu injured and out, they’re running out of players.

    “If we address our ills and really don’t blink in the face of adversity and let that guide our energy and decision making, continue to do the things well that we’re doing well, we should be fine and should be able to correct those issues,” coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. “In the short term? Uncomfortable? Absolutely.”

    Edgy, too, a word Tomlin used several times during a news conference that lasted nearly twice as long as usual.

    And for good reason.

    The Steelers have won 10 games or more six times since 2001, so they’re hardly ready to give up on their season. AFC North leader Cincinnati (7-3) showed its vulnerability by losing at Oakland, and only one of Pittsburgh’s remaining opponents has a winning record.

    However, the Steelers are going into Sunday’s game at Baltimore (5-5) with yet another big worry, franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s latest concussion.

    He has been their best player all season, and they shudder to think what might happen if he goes down, especially with backup Charlie Batch out with a broken left wrist.

    Four years ago, the Steelers were 7-5 and looked to be in worse shape than they are now, yet they rallied to win eight consecutive games and the Super Bowl. But while that team was confident and combative, this one appears confused and uncertain.

    The four kickoff return touchdowns they’ve allowed in five games are undermining everyone’s confidence. The coaches wonder why the special teams players lack the pride and commitment to not allow such breakdowns; the players wonder why the coaches can’t correct it.

    There’s also starting to be finger-pointing, something the Steelers almost never do – and, as right tackle Willie Colon said, something they can’t do.

    Players on both sides of the ball are unhappy with some playcalling, especially a third-down toss sweep by backup running back Mewelde Moore that lost 3 yards and ended the Steelers’ only overtime possession in Kansas City.

    “I’d do it again,” Tomlin said.

    He might be the only person in Pittsburgh who would.

    Some players want to run the ball more; some want to blitz more. Other players are raising questions about team unity.

    Tomlin personally accepted the blame for the Chiefs loss, saying it’s on him to have his team better prepared.

    “The difference between winning and losing is so little you’ve got to be on top of your game (every week),” running back Rashard Mendenhall said.

    While the Steelers are No. 1 defensively, just as they were the last two seasons, they’re clearly not the same without Polamalu, one of the NFL’s best players.

    He’s missed five full games and all but a few plays of a sixth with two left knee injuries, and the Steelers lost four of them.

    He isn’t expected to play in Baltimore.

    The Steelers also gave up some of their renowned toughness when Smith went down with a season-ending rotator cuff injury in mid-October.

    The secondary, especially without Polamalu, is ordinary, allowing seven pass plays of 30 yards or more.

    Linebacker LaMarr Woodley isn’t making the game-changing plays he often made last season, and nose tackle Casey Hampton isn’t the shutdown run-stopper he’s often been.

    The Steelers also have forced only 14 turnovers, fewer than half as many as league leader New Orleans (29).

    Offensively, the Steelers keep shifting away from the build-around-the-run philosophy that has been the franchise’s foundation since the 1960s.

    That’s requiring Roethlisberger to shoulder an increasing amount of the workload, and Mendenhall often seems to be overlooked at key moments despite being on pace for an 1,100-yard season.

    Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, blanketed in almost every game, has made only one touchdown catch and none in nine games.

    Still, Tomlin said, “We’re capable of moving the ball on anyone.”

    Tomlin is referring to the Ravens’ game as Redemption Sunday – though the Steelers will need more than one good week to redeem this season.

    “We’re preparing with an edge because we’d better,” Tomlin said. “The situation dictates it.”

    So does the calendar.

    http://www.tribune-democrat.com/spor...328231219.html
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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    November 24, 2009
    Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations
    BY ALAN ROBINSON
    Associated Press


    Players on both sides of the ball are unhappy with some playcalling, especially a third-down toss sweep by backup running back Mewelde Moore that lost 3 yards and ended the Steelers’ only overtime possession in Kansas City.

    “I’d do it again,” Tomlin said.

    http://www.tribune-democrat.com/spor...328231219.html
    This is the **** that ****es me off more then anything with Tomlin. Does he not learn or is he just a stubborn ***? I would understand if he said, "I would do it again with maybe Mendenhall instead of Moore running the play but to say he would do it again when he knows it it failed big time makes no sense to me. It's also possible that the players read this stuff too and he could start to lose them making stupid *** comments like that.
    ****ING DUMBASS!
    Last edited by LasVegasGuy; Nov-25-2009 at 03:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by LasVegasGuy View Post
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    This is the **** that ****es me off more then anything with Tomlin. Does he not learn or is he just a stubborn ***? I would understand if he said, "I would do it again with maybe Mendenhall instead of Moore running the play but to say he would do it again when he knows it it failed big time . It's also possible that the players read this stuff too and he could start to lose them making stupid *** comments like that.
    ****ING DUMBASS!
    that's what I was thinking. It was a HORRIBLE play call that should NEVER be supported or have been supported. Failure should not be supported and endorsed, it should be prevented from happening a 2nd time.

    Insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Is tomlin insane? we know that Bruce Arians enjoys it, but seriously? It's not comforting to know that your head coach is in favor of and supports failure

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    I think he says some of this **** to keep the press from having an angle at a negative story about his coaches.

    Has to be...

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    that's what I was thinking. It was a HORRIBLE play call that should NEVER be supported or have been supported. Failure should not be supported and endorsed, it should be prevented from happening a 2nd time.

    Insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Is tomlin insane? we know that Bruce Arians enjoys it, but seriously? It's not comforting to know that your head coach is in favor of and supports failure
    Ask Belicheat if he would do the same thing on 4th and 1 from his own 30 and I can assure you, you will not get an answer like "I would do it again."

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Is tomlin insane? we know that Bruce Arians enjoys it, but seriously? It's not comforting to know that your head coach is in favor of and supports failure
    Tough times such as this shows the "mettal" of an individual... I fully believe this coming Sunday night will further test him... We shall see the outcome.

    ... Either way, this year has been freakin' strange to say the least. Abnormalities abound in every direction, and abnormalities within the coaching staff (Arians it is normal) and coaching decisions will not suprise me anymore.
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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    I think he says some of this **** to keep the press from having an angle at a negative story about his coaches.

    Has to be...

    Wasn't there another instance a few weeks ago where he said the same thing, "I would do it again" on another ridiculous call? I can't remember all of them, because there are so many, but I know there was another one not to long ago.

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    I think that was going deep on 3rd and 2 with the game on the line...

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    I think that was going deep on 3rd and 2 with the game on the line...

    That sounds right and didn't Mendy have like over 125 yards in the game. The obvious choice to everyone was give it to Mendy for 2 yards since he was running hard and instead I think we went empty backfield.

    Thanks, BJG.

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Not sure about that....

    BUT

    We can now rest feeling assured that when Tomlin says "I'd do it all over again" to the press, he is just ending the discussion, because he didn't do it all over again.

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    Not sure about that....

    BUT

    We can now rest feeling assured that when Tomlin says "I'd do it all over again" to the press, he is just ending the discussion, because he didn't do it all over again.
    I just thought about that. Here we are at 3rd and 2 and we ran a sweep instead of going deep. So it's official Tomlin just says **** to say ****.

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    He says **** to shut the press room up.

    Yep.


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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by LasVegasGuy View Post
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    Ask Belicheat if he would do the same thing on 4th and 1 from his own 30 and I can assure you, you will not get an answer like "I would do it again."
    Actually I heard Belicheat say after his 4th and 2 call that he thought it was the right call and he would do it again.

    IMO that was a way worse call then this one.

    Not to defend Belicheat, but these coaches open themselves up to the sharks feeding on them if they tell the media, yeah you're right I ****ed up.

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    Default Re: Steelers struggling to overcome mid-season letdown, frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by LasVegasGuy View Post
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    Ask Belicheat if he would do the same thing on 4th and 1 from his own 30 and I can assure you, you will not get an answer like "I would do it again."
    sports.espn.go.com/boston/nfl/news/story?id=4660313

    "Bill Belichick reiterated that he thought a late fourth-down call gave the Pats their best chance to win."

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