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    Default Steelers Team Report

    Steelers Team Report
    Yahoo! Sports

    INSIDE SLANT

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Mike Tomlin stood firm and retained offensive coordinator Bruce Arians despite pressure from Pittsburgh’s front office to fire him. [/HIGH-LIGHT]Tomlin instead fired offensive line coach Larry Zierlein and will look for a new quarterbacks coach after Ken Anderson retired one month short of his 61st birthday.

    Arians has become a lightning rod in Pittsburgh as the Steelers’ offense transitioned from one that leaned heavily on the run to one that now features Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game.

    The Steelers boasted the NFL’s seventh-best offense in 2009, based on yardage, and had a 4,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher. Roethlisberger set the team record with 4,328 yards passing.

    However, they ranked just 19th in rushing and despite all those yards were only 12th in scoring. [HIGH-LIGHT]They ranked 30th in the NFL in sacks per pass play, and Roethlisberger’s 50 sacks set a personal high and were the second most of a Steelers quarterback ever.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Steelers want to protect their $100 million quarterback, who has been sacked 189 times, more than any other quarterback, over the past four seasons. Their inability to do that likely cost Zierlein his job. He is the first coach Tomlin has fired after keeping his entire staff intact for three seasons.

    The attention paid to the offensive coaches was curious because it was the decline on defense that likely cost the Steelers a chance to defend their Super Bowl championship. That defense blew fourth-quarter leads in five of seven losses and a tie in a sixth loss. They allowed two passes over 40 yards in 2008 and nine in 2009. They slipped from the No. 1-ranked pass defense to 16th in 2009.

    Tomlin, though, is not likely to make major changes on the roster, even though many fans and even players expect as much. Linebacker James Harrison, the team’s MVP in 2007 and 2008, predicted there would be major changes. If what Tomlin did to “rearrange” his coaching staff is any indication, the changes won’t be wholesale for 2010.

    “I don’t approach making major changes in response to our record or anything,” Tomlin said. “I like to use the term ‘appropriate change.’ And those aren’t knee-jerk reactions, those aren’t quick decisions.

    “It’s built over time as you evaluate what it is that we put on tape. It’s a process, starting (Jan. 4). We’re at the infancy of that process, if you will. My mentality is and always will be to make appropriate changes, so big changes are not something that I necessarily buy into. Appropriate changes are.”

    He had a long meeting with Arians on Wednesday before it was reported that Arians would return. He likely wanted to feel out his offensive coordinator about possible philosophical changes, such as returning the fullback to his scheme and trying to develop a better running game. Tomlin acknowledged a few weeks ago that he was not satisfied with the short-yardage results.

    The Steelers lost every one of their seven games by seven points or less, two in overtime.

    “There’s a fine line between being 12-4 and 9-7, or 7-9, for that matter,” Tomlin said. “That’s why you desire to be dominant. The more dominant you are, the more you keep yourself out of harm’s way of a play here or a play there. That’s what we desire to be first and foremost. I don’t know that we were dominant enough in ’09.”

    NOTES, QUOTES

    —More drama from the quarterback? Ben Roethlisberger could be seen favoring his right arm and shaking it toward the end of the season finale in Miami. There apparently was no injury.

    Said Tomlin, “No, I don’t think that it is, but I don’t have specific, detailed information regarding it. But I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to require a medical procedure of any kind.”

    • The Steelers again failed to make the playoffs after winning two Super Bowls in four seasons.

    “What it boils down to is it’s hard to win a championship back-to-back,” linebacker James Farrior said. “Teams are going to give you everything they have and if you’re not up to that challenge every week, you’re going to be in trouble.”

    • Free safety Ryan Clark, who can become a UFA, wants to return.

    “I definitely don’t want to finish this way, have my last game not even making the playoffs. It’s a great place to play. I think the Rooney family runs the team the way an organization should be run. I want to come back and make it right too. I want to come back and play with Troy (Polamalu), get all our guys back and make another run at it.”

    Quote To Note: “From my perspective, you learn more in failure than you do in success, I acknowledge that.” - Coach Mike Tomlin, apparently more learned now than a year ago.

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    Pittsburgh’s pass defense took a hit in 2009 and they will try to shore that up for next season, particularly in the secondary, which could have at least two new starters. They also had trouble running the ball when they wanted or had to, and that might be more of a philosophical change they need to make. Mike Tomlin is meeting with his coaches at the end of the week and some changes could occur there.

    Team Needs

    Cornerback: William Gay played so poorly that he was benched in favor of graybeard Deshea Townsend at the end of the season. They need to find a good, young corner to go with Ike Taylor.

    Defensive linemen: Despite drafting end Ziggy Hood on the first round last year, they need to replenish an aging line that could lose Pro Bowl NT Casey Hampton in free agency.

    Offensive linemen: Their line is below average, Ben Roethlisberger was sacked 50 times and they do not blow anyone off the ball. A quality player at any of the three positions would be welcome.

    Medical Watch: No impending surgeries yet. Troy Polamalu was rounding back into shape after missing the final seven games with a sprained PCL; he will not have surgery. DE Aaron Smith is well ahead of schedule from the torn rotator cuff that ended his season Oct. 11. G Chris Kemoeatu did not play in the final three games because of a wrist injury; no word on possible surgery. WR Hines Ward finished the season with two injured hamstrings that will require rest.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Tomlin: Changes will be made for a reason
    By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer
    Jan 6, 3:20 am EST

    PITTSBURGH (AP)—The Steelers went through an entire offseason a year ago with minimal changes on their roster and none on their coaching staff. Winning the Super Bowl made them hesitant to tinker with a winner.

    Finishing 9-7, losing five in a row and missing the playoffs a season later — the first Super Bowl champion to do so since the Steelers themselves in 2006— made change inevitable.

    The Steelers’ offseason alterations began Tuesday when quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson retired after three seasons, becoming the first member of coach Mike Tomlin’s original staff from 2007 to leave.

    Given the special teams struggles this season and the philosophical differences that may exist in the organization, there could be more.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, largely responsible for abandoning the Steelers’ long-standing commitment to the run, was the assistant coach who was most critiqued during the season—not only from outside the organization but from within.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Tomlin apparently wants Arians back—Ben Roethlisberger), not surprisingly, is a major supporter of him—[HIGH-LIGHT]but the Steelers’ front office is not believed to be totally in agreement with the abrupt change of direction.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Steelers’ 428 rushing attempts were their second-fewest during a 16-game season except for their 394 attempts in 1991. Their 536 passing attempts were the fourth-most in team history.

    Big changes, indeed, for a franchise that went into the season with 5,000 yards rushing more than any other NFL team since the 1970 merger.

    Tomlin isn’t saying when more changes might occur. He began meeting with every player Monday and will talk to all staff members after that, a process that could take most of the week.

    “I don’t approach making major changes in response to our record, I like to use to use the term appropriate changes,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “Those aren’t knee-jerk reactions, those aren’t quick decisions. My mentality will always be to make appropriate changes. Big changes is not something I necessarily I buy into.”

    The Steelers brought back all but two starters from their Super Bowl team this season, but there will likely be more changes than that next season. Among the players unsigned are safety Ryan Clark, kicker Jeff Reed, Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton, right tackle Willie Colon and backup running back Willie Parker, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher.

    There also could be a shakeup in the secondary, where safety Tyrone Carter, cornerback Deshea Townsend and Clark might not be back.

    While the late-season five-game losing streak that included losses to Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland kept Pittsburgh out of the postseason, Tomlin is more concerned about its 2-4 record in the AFC North. The Steelers went 6-0 last season, only to be swept by Cincinnati while splitting with Cleveland and Baltimore.

    “We were 0-3 in the division during that stretch, and that’s more disturbing than the 0-5,” Tomlin said. “There’s a sting that comes from being on the outside looking in.”

    While the Steelers managed to keep any locker room issues from becoming public during their slide, Tomlin acknowledged there always will be players who worry first about themselves first and the team second.

    He wouldn’t identify any, but he said the potential problem exists on every team.

    “We had similar issues when we won the Lombardi,” he said. “Anytime you’re working with a large number of people, it’s going to be tough to have a pure environment, a utopia if you will. I’m a realist that some of those things — selfishness—is part of putting together a football team. I didn’t think there anything uniquely different from any other team I’ve been involved with. I didn’t think it was abnormal.”

    While safety Troy Polamalu’s prolonged injury absences contributed to the Steelers’ slide—he missed 11 full games and most of two others—Tomlin said it’s too easy to pick out one or two injuries and blame them for a season gone wrong.

    Defensive end Aaron Smith also missed much of the season.

    “Troy is a unique player, but Baltimore played a lot of football without (safety) Ed Reed” and made the playoffs, Tomlin said.

    While most were on the "beat down the D bandwagon" for their failures, resulting in not making the playoffs, I am of opinion like MT about the division losses. The loss to the Browns...we only score 6 points, D held them to 13....our 18-12 loss to Cincy......4 FG's....poor redzone execution...D held them to 18.....win one of those games...we make the playoffs. 1st goal of every team each year...win your division, win division games.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Say it with me everyone "Tomlin is a colossal bull****ter" and a gutless *****.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by kinsar View Post
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    Say it with me everyone "Tomlin is a colossal bull****ter" and a gutless *****.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    I find it hard to believe that Tomlin would win against the front office. I guess not having Dan Rooney in charge anymore is a bigger deal than we know because he wouldn't lose a power struggle.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by kinsar View Post
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    Say it with me everyone "Tomlin is a colossal bull****ter" and a gutless *****.
    We will see next season. The results of his tweaking, or not tweaking, will be very telling. We come out with the same crappy secondary play, same special teams issues, same redzone failures, then the dude is just a talking head that doesn't belong running the show. Especially the B&G's show.

    What would everyones thoughts be if Whiz led the Cardinals to win the Superbowl?

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by bleedBnG58 View Post
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    Tomlin: Changes will be made for a reason
    By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer
    Jan 6, 3:20 am EST

    PITTSBURGH (AP)—The Steelers went through an entire offseason a year ago with minimal changes on their roster and none on their coaching staff. Winning the Super Bowl made them hesitant to tinker with a winner.

    Finishing 9-7, losing five in a row and missing the playoffs a season later — the first Super Bowl champion to do so since the Steelers themselves in 2006— made change inevitable.

    The Steelers’ offseason alterations began Tuesday when quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson retired after three seasons, becoming the first member of coach Mike Tomlin’s original staff from 2007 to leave.

    Given the special teams struggles this season and the philosophical differences that may exist in the organization, there could be more.

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, largely responsible for abandoning the Steelers’ long-standing commitment to the run, was the assistant coach who was most critiqued during the season—not only from outside the organization but from within.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Tomlin apparently wants Arians back—Ben Roethlisberger), not surprisingly, is a major supporter of him—[HIGH-LIGHT]but the Steelers’ front office is not believed to be totally in agreement with the abrupt change of direction.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Steelers’ 428 rushing attempts were their second-fewest during a 16-game season except for their 394 attempts in 1991. Their 536 passing attempts were the fourth-most in team history.

    Big changes, indeed, for a franchise that went into the season with 5,000 yards rushing more than any other NFL team since the 1970 merger.

    Tomlin isn’t saying when more changes might occur. He began meeting with every player Monday and will talk to all staff members after that, a process that could take most of the week.

    “I don’t approach making major changes in response to our record, I like to use to use the term appropriate changes,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “Those aren’t knee-jerk reactions, those aren’t quick decisions. My mentality will always be to make appropriate changes. Big changes is not something I necessarily I buy into.”

    The Steelers brought back all but two starters from their Super Bowl team this season, but there will likely be more changes than that next season. Among the players unsigned are safety Ryan Clark, kicker Jeff Reed, Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton, right tackle Willie Colon and backup running back Willie Parker, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher.

    There also could be a shakeup in the secondary, where safety Tyrone Carter, cornerback Deshea Townsend and Clark might not be back.

    While the late-season five-game losing streak that included losses to Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland kept Pittsburgh out of the postseason, Tomlin is more concerned about its 2-4 record in the AFC North. The Steelers went 6-0 last season, only to be swept by Cincinnati while splitting with Cleveland and Baltimore.

    “We were 0-3 in the division during that stretch, and that’s more disturbing than the 0-5,” Tomlin said. “There’s a sting that comes from being on the outside looking in.”

    While the Steelers managed to keep any locker room issues from becoming public during their slide, Tomlin acknowledged there always will be players who worry first about themselves first and the team second.

    He wouldn’t identify any, but he said the potential problem exists on every team.

    “We had similar issues when we won the Lombardi,” he said. “Anytime you’re working with a large number of people, it’s going to be tough to have a pure environment, a utopia if you will. I’m a realist that some of those things — selfishness—is part of putting together a football team. I didn’t think there anything uniquely different from any other team I’ve been involved with. I didn’t think it was abnormal.”

    While safety Troy Polamalu’s prolonged injury absences contributed to the Steelers’ slide—he missed 11 full games and most of two others—Tomlin said it’s too easy to pick out one or two injuries and blame them for a season gone wrong.

    Defensive end Aaron Smith also missed much of the season.

    “Troy is a unique player, but Baltimore played a lot of football without (safety) Ed Reed” and made the playoffs, Tomlin said.

    While most were on the "beat down the D bandwagon" for their failures, resulting in not making the playoffs, I am of opinion like MT about the division losses. The loss to the Browns...we only score 6 points, D held them to 13....our 18-12 loss to Cincy......4 FG's....poor redzone execution...D held them to 18.....win one of those games...we make the playoffs. 1st goal of every team each year...win your division, win division games.
    We scored 20 points or more against Cincinnati, Oakland and, Kansas City and lost because the defense couldn't hold those teams to under 20 points (in the case of Oakland and Kansas City under 24 points).

    Needed more than 28, more than 36, more than 20, more than 24 to beat - San Diego, Green Bay, Detroit and Miami.

    Defense was by far the biggest problem this eyar. It declined in every statistical category... the only way anyone can try and put the bulk of the blame for this season on the offense is mental retardation or they have a hard time accepting the fact that Arians' poorly run offense did it's job more than the vaunted Steelers defense which was a collossal faliure.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    We scored 20 points or more against Cincinnati, Oakland and, Kansas City and lost because the defense couldn't hold those teams to under 20 points (in the case of Oakland and Kansas City under 24 points).

    Needed more than 28, more than 36, more than 20, more than 24 to beat - San Diego, Green Bay, Detroit and Miami.

    Defense was by far the biggest problem this eyar. It declined in every statistical category... the only way anyone can try and put the bulk of the blame for this season on the offense is [HIGH-LIGHT]mental retardation [/HIGH-LIGHT]or they have a hard time accepting the fact that Arians' poorly run offense did it's job more than the vaunted Steelers defense which was a collossal faliure.
    Why you stab me in the back like that bro???

    After all we've been through together and I never revealed you participating in the donkey show when you went to Tiuana....ooooops.

    Last edited by kinsar; Jan-08-2010 at 09:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Throughout the season (loses), it was either the offense that failed or the defense. Granted, this year, it was the defense that failed more often. However, the offense did fail miserably against our division opponents.

    Both sides need to take the blame. I'm hoping Tomlin and Arians discussed how the red zone offense could be improved. We all have our opinions about what needs to be improved (fullback, shorter passing routes, etc.).

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by kinsar View Post
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    Say it with me everyone "Tomlin is a colossal bull****ter" and a gutless *****.
    ditto

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Well, if we relied on our offense that would be 2 straight seasons missing the playoffs.

    Any of you guys think that the Patriots, Chargers, Indianapolis, Saints, or any other top 15 offense would have put up 6 against the Browns in a must win game?

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh View Post
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    Well, if we relied on our offense that would be 2 straight seasons missing the playoffs.

    Any of you guys think that the Patriots, Chargers, Indianapolis, Saints, or any other top 15 offense would have put up 6 against the Browns in a must win game?
    And the same could be said for any of those teams giving up 22 points to the Raiders in the 4th Q.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    There's plenty of blame to go around for both the defence and offence.

    Sure the defence blew games in the 4th quarter - no excuse for that. But how many games did the offence put away or grind out. Not many I seem to recall.

    The offences failures in the red zone are well documented. How many times did we score 30 points in a game all season, many against of what were putrid defences? As for burying teams when we had them down, we simply did not do it. All year.

    Add in the special team shenanigans and it became a total team showing of ineptitude.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    The offense underachieved at times, but it was good enough to win a SB, in my opinion. The defense was not good enough to win a SB, however. To me the defense was a much bigger problem.

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    Default Re: Steelers Team Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Medium Ben View Post
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    The offense underachieved at times, but it was good enough to win a SB, in my opinion. The defense was not good enough to win a SB, however. To me the defense was a much bigger problem.
    The offence finished 12th overall in points scored. And the defence finished 12th in points allowed. If the offence was good enough to win a SB so was the D.

    Actually, imo neither was good enough to win a SB - that's why in hindsight I wish they had lost the last three games and finished 6 -10.

    I just realized Shmiznick (or whatever) wrote a piece in today's PG lambasting the D and praising the offence. That's all anyone should need to defend the D a bit more.
    Last edited by Crosby Clan; Jan-08-2010 at 12:19 PM.

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