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    Default Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Forecast bleak for the Steelers
    Saturday, December 12, 2009
    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Greg Shamus/Getty ImagesHines Ward looks on from the sideline as the Steelers lose their fifth consecutive game Thursday in Cleveland.Like a migraine that won't go away, the Steelers are trying to deal with the pain of the National Football League's longest losing streak, the embarrassment of losing to three of the league's worst teams and the frustration that goes with watching a season tumble into disrepair just 10 months after winning the Super Bowl.

    Not to mention the very real possibility that the nightmare they happen to be enduring might not end any time soon. Possibly not until next season.

    "To lose five straight, coming off a Super Bowl, it's embarrassing for me," said wide receiver Hines Ward.

    "I would have never imagined we would be in this situation," said inside linebacker James Farrior, like Ward, one of the team captains. "[HIGH-LIGHT]I don't know if we can get out of the hole we made."[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    It seemed bad when the Steelers (6-7) lost in overtime Nov. 22 to the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that was 2-7 at the time and had won just four of its previous 34 games. It seemed even worse when they lost by the same 27-24 score two weeks later to the Oakland Raiders, a team with three victories.

    But, if those losses weren't embarrassing enough, the Steelers reached a new seasonal low Thursday night when they lost, 13-6, to the Cleveland Browns, a team that had one victory, had not beaten the Steelers in 12 consecutive meetings and owned, statistically, the worst offense and defense in the NFL.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Oh, and a team that was playing without five defensive starters, including Pro Bowl nose tackle Shaun Rogers, because of season-ending injuries.[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    It was so bad the Steelers didn't even have to give it away with turnovers (0), penalties (4 for 40 yards) or kick returns for touchdowns (0).

    "It hurts a lot losing five in a row," said Ward, who caught four passes for 21 yards against the Browns despite playing with a mild hamstring injury. "There's nothing fun about losing, especially five in a row.

    "It's embarrassing for me because we're better than that. I see this team put a lot of work into it in practice and for whatever reason we're not going out and playing the way we're capable of playing. We still have the same makeup of the team from last year and people are going to question what happened. I don't know. I really can't say. [HIGH-LIGHT]But you're going to find out these last three games who wants to quit and who wants to fight their tail off."[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    The Steelers have three games remaining against teams with non-losing records -- the Green Bay Packers (8-4), Baltimore Ravens (6-6) and Miami Dolphins (6-6) -- each of which has designs on a wild-card playoff spot. They clung to some of those same aspirations before Thursday night, hopes that were quickly dissipated when Ben Roethlisberger was sacked eight times and the Steelers allowed the Browns to tie their season high with 171 yards rushing.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]But, make no mistake, if the Steelers can lose in a span of five weeks to the Chiefs, Raiders and Browns -- teams with a combined 9-28 record -- the possibility of not winning another game and finishing the season with what would be the first eight-game losing streak since 1969 is very much a reality.[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    Doubters are advised to check the collective pulse of the team and monitor the psyche of the players who dressed quietly and looked defeated in the locker room inside Cleveland Browns Stadium.

    "We've been in this position all season with teams we should beat and we're not getting it done," said running back Rashard Mendenhall, who carried only 16 times for 53 yards against the Browns. "We need to look in the mirror. These last few losses were embarrassing for the team. As good as we have been, that's not acceptable."

    Curiously, the Steelers have fared better against teams with a winning record -- witness their victories against the San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos, teams with a combined 27-9 record. What's more, the Steelers are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention because it is conceivable a 9-7 record could get one of the two wild-card playoff spots in the American Football Conference.

    And, when you get right down to it, no other NFL team has as many close losses as the Steelers, who have lost seven games by a combined 28 points.

    Still, based on their lackluster performance against the Browns and the inability of a once-proud defense to shut down the three worst offenses in the league, the only people who are thinking about the Steelers making the playoffs are the same people who are expecting the Pirates to have a winning season in 2010.

    "We're still a good football team," said cornerback Deshea Townsend, a 12-year veteran. "We're playing good football -- in spots. That's the thing, it's in spots."

    "It's the same personnel [as the Super Bowl]. If personnel is an issue, we wouldn't have won two Super Bowls. It's mind-boggling to me. There's just such a fine line between winning and losing. If you knew what that line was, you'd stay on the right side of it all of the time."



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09346...#ixzz0ZU6lMPHQ
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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    It's a very short-term article. I suppose that's only to be expected, since the piece itself would have been written so soon after Thursday's FUBAR-Bowl.

    I think Hines has hit it when he said "You're going to find out these last three games who wants to quit and who wants to fight their tail off". This ties in to my concept, if it gets extended, to the last three games being an audition and diagnostic run. Those without the heart, commitment or skill should be ousted.

    Long term, there's a lot of work involved for those who are in a position to make changes. I've got an easy ride. All I have to do is will the team on as much as I have for the rest of my time.

    It's often been said that the Steelers are a character side. Well, this is a test of character. Use it, ditch those who don't fit and, if necessary, draft to fill the slots on the team that open. Coaches and co-ords don't have to be drafted and there should be escape clauses for the organisation built in to contracts.

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Any player who shows they have quit these last few games, should not be on the roster next year. I do not want quitters on this team.
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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    The season is a loss, I think that was pretty evident when we lost to the Raiders. Losing to the stains is like what I said earlier - icing on a **** cake.

    As if losing to KC and the Raiders wasn't a wakeup call, losing to the stains only shows we basically hit the snooze button.

    But to suggest this is a long-term fix is silly. This team won the SB less than a year ago, it's in a slump and needs to redefine itself. Not by rebuilding but by reorganizing. Maybe that involves coaching changes - no, that DOES involve coaching changes and it doesn't start with Tomlin. Tomlin needs a chance to right this and he needs at the very least next year to do this. But he needs to act and for starts he needs to find a new OC and ST guy. If he doesn't address these areas then it speaks volumes on how serious the organization is taking this downturn.

    It's not like this team is the stains. There might be player adjustments that are needed but nothing on the wholesale front. Losing Aaron Smith is bigger than we may have thought. Add Troy and maybe even BMac's loss shows how vulnerable this defense's pass attack really was. Benching Taylor is a mistake. This guy can play but he can't be the only factor downfield especially when the pass rush is lacking. Might be time to put Casey Hampton out to pasture - he looked like a ****ing weebole on Thursday.

    We'll see what happens these last 3 games. I don't know if we'll see some immediate improvement, but we should see some focused change.

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    I guess we all just have to look at it like you can't win the Superbowl every season. What is frustrating is just how many facets of our game have contributed to this streak of losing. Actually, almost all facets of our game have contributed. Play calling, formations, unable to run, unable to pass block, dropped passes, Ben not on the same page as the WR, penalties, kick offs, punt returning and coverage, kick coverage, defensive run stopping by the D-line, linebackers, and secondary, missed tackles, defensive pass coverage by linebackers and secondary, on and on.

    Lets just hope Tomlin still has their full attention and can get the ship righted by making some adjustments in coaching staff, coaching style, personel, and fitness. Is it a coincidence that our defense loses steam in the 4th qtr the same year they had a shortened offseason to work out due to playing so late in the year plus all the extra attention from the media and public appearances, the easiest training camp on record from St. Vincent, the entire bye week off right before our last victory, sitting out practices during the week, etc?

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    Maybe that involves coaching changes - no, that DOES involve coaching changes and it doesn't start with Tomlin. Tomlin needs a chance to right this and he needs at the very least next year to do this. But he needs to act and for starts he needs to find a new OC and ST guy. If he doesn't address these areas then it speaks volumes on how serious the organization is taking this downturn.

    Tomlin only has one year on his contract.

    Without an extension that makes it pretty hard for him to attract any decent coaches to his staff.

    I do not think he deserves an extension at this point.

    All he has done this year is cry like a *****.

    He's Kordell with a clip board and a headset.

    **** him.

    Change them (coaches) all out before the team has to be totally rebuilt on both sides of the ball.

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    Tomlin only has one year on his contract.

    Without an extension that makes it pretty hard for him to attract any decent coaches to his staff.

    I do not think he deserves an extension at this point.

    All he has done this year is cry like a *****.

    He's Kordell with a clip board and a headset.

    **** him.

    Change them (coaches) all out before the team has to be totally rebuilt on both sides of the ball.
    I don't think Tomlin should be canned. I think he should be given a chance to right the ship. Hopefully that involves him hiring 'his' coaches and unloading the ones he was spoon fed by the Steelers organization like Arians, etc.

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    There gonna give tomlin and extension and thats that ****

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    I don't think Tomlin should be canned. I think he should be given a chance to right the ship. Hopefully that involves him hiring 'his' coaches and unloading the ones he was spoon fed by the Steelers organization like Arians, etc.
    His hires are the worst of the lot.

    Arians sucks, but he doesn't suck as much as lega****ty....

    Do you expect him to get it right the second time around?

    Do you expect someone to leave a job with a somewhat secure future for one that may just be a year?

    If Tomlin isn't extended, that is what the coaches he solicits are looking at...

    Or, do you expect him to be able to find a diamond in the rough of the unemployeed ex NFL coaches?

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Just thinking about it, we just might see the ST's and DB's coaches fired and some players cut. I can see Tomlin putting Arians on notice, that he better improve his play calling and gameplans, or 2010 will be his last season.
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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Just thinking about it, we just might see the ST's and DB's coaches fired and some players cut. I can see Tomlin putting Arians on notice, that he better improve his play calling and gameplans, or 2010 will be his last season.
    I don't see how it is possible to keep BA. As much as everyone may say the demise of this team this year was the D...giving up points and losing the lead in the 4th, but it still comes down to points......while most likely after this week will be in the upper 50% in the league in points allowed, we will be in the bottom 1/3 for points scored. We have scored over 28 points...ONLY ONCE ALL SEASON......compared to 5 games last season, including 1 playoff game.

    Last seasons losses....were all to playoff bound teams.

    So far this season we have lost to what may only be 1 playoff team, twice...Cincy?

    2009 points scored so far 278....21.4 ppg.
    2008........................... 347....21.7 ppg. (There are some defensive scores included.)
    Do you see us scoring 69 points total in the next 3 games? O points:

    2008...TD's 16 rushing 19 passing..... 27 FG's
    2009 so far..8 .......... 21................ 18 FG's

    D points allowed...lead the league 2008
    2008.............TD's allowed 7 rushing 12 receiving 24 FG's
    2009..so far.................... 4 rushing 15 receiving 19 FG's
    Last edited by bleedBnG58; Dec-12-2009 at 10:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    There is absolutely no way that BA is brought back--- not a chance !!!

    I could be dead wrong, but I would put his odds at around a 2% chance of being brought back next year.

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by pittfannyc View Post
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    There is absolutely no way that BA is brought back--- not a chance !!!

    I could be dead wrong, but I would put his odds at around a 2% chance of being brought back next year.
    I am willing to bet everyone but the Special teams coach will be back. I only say that because the offense statistically isn't bad on paper and sometimes the stats mean more then what we are seeing on the field.

    I hope, no I pray the front office watches games as a fan and see what we all see that Arians is a complete, unoriginal, ******bag.

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    His hires are the worst of the lot.

    Arians sucks, but he doesn't suck as much as lega****ty....

    Do you expect him to get it right the second time around?

    Do you expect someone to leave a job with a somewhat secure future for one that may just be a year?

    If Tomlin isn't extended, that is what the coaches he solicits are looking at...

    Or, do you expect him to be able to find a diamond in the rough of the unemployeed ex NFL coaches?
    Bob Ligashesky enters his third season with the Steelers after he was hired on Jan. 29, 2007, as the team’s special teams coordinator.

    Ligashesky, 46, is a native of Pittsburgh and has 25 years of coaching experience, including six in the NFL and 19 in the collegiate ranks.

    Along with assistant special teams coach Amos Jones, [HIGH-LIGHT]Ligashesky’s unit became the top coverage unit in the NFL in 2008. Pittsburgh ranked first in kick coverage (19.1 avg.) and fourth in punt coverage (6.2 avg.). [/HIGH-LIGHT]Additionally, Santonio Holmes set a franchise postseason record by returning a punt 67 yards for a score during the Steelers’ 35-24 AFC Divisional Game victory over the San Diego Chargers.

    Ligashesky (lig-a-SHES-kee) spent two seasons as the special teams coach for the St. Louis Rams, prior to joining Pittsburgh (2005, 2006). The Rams’ special teams unit in 2005 scored its first touchdown on a kickoff return since 2000 as Chris Johnson returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for the score in Week 5 againstSeattle. Last season also marked the third time since the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995 that the club had at least two blocked kicks in a season. Ligashesky’s unit also forced and recovered fumbles on special teams for the first time since 2000.

    Think maybe he was robbed of some personel so others like Frank the Tank and Logan could make the roster? Or did his coaching skills go in the ****ter over the course of one season? Donavan Woods is another than seemed to have special teams tackles galore before not making the club. Anthony Madison as well.

    I am optimistic Tomlin is capable of finding coaches.

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    Default Re: Forecast bleak for the Steelers

    Adam schefter just reported on ESPN's "NFL Countdown" that Ligashesky will not be back...
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