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Thread: Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line

      
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    Smile Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line

    Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line
    Monday, October 26, 2009
    By Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09299...d=steelers.xml


    Minnesota pass rusher Jared Allen has a reputation for talking trash to opposing offensive lineman.

    But Steelers left tackle Max Starks said Allen was pretty quiet yesterday afternoon.

    The two are friends. They train and hang out together during the offseason.

    "There's nothing he can really say," Starks said, "because I've got more dirt on him than he has on me."

    Now, Starks has bragging rights, too.

    Allen, one of the league's best defensive ends, was a non-factor in the Steelers' 27-17 victory yesterday. The Steelers' offensive line, recently blamed for many of the team's woes, was credited with stifling Minnesota's defense.

    Lined up against Starks, Allen had just one tackle, one pass deflection and no sacks.

    "Max is an elite left tackle in this league," Steelers right guard Trai Essex said. "People don't understand that."

    Allen entered the game ranked third in the league with 7.5 sacks through six games.

    "I know Jared ... so it wasn't this big, daunting task that a lot of people like to make of it," Starks said. "He's just a regular guy, playing hard."

    For four quarters, Starks and the rest of the Steelers' linemen made Minnesota's defensive line look like regular guys, not an elite group of players who comprise one of the NFL's best defenses.

    The Steelers' running game averaged 5.3 yards per carry against a Vikings defense that has long been among the best run-stoppers in the NFL.

    Coach Mike Tomlin credited that to his offensive line.

    "I thought they were game for the challenge," he said. "They respect the heck out of the Minnesota Vikings run defense."



    Minnesota sacked Ben Roethlisberger three times, which might not seem like a great number except Allen alone had 4.5 in one game this season. And several sacks could be credited to Minnesota's pass coverage, which forced Roethlisberger to buy time in the pocket.

    A few weeks ago, the group received a heap of criticism for allowing too many sacks and creating too few holes for the running game.

    Players point to different reasons for the group's progress. Essex said the players are communicating better, and left guard Chris Kemoeatu attributes the gains to the work the line has done in the film room.

    But no lineman was satisfied with the group's performance. Right tackle Willie Colon said the line got off to a slow start in the first half. Roethlisberger was sacked on the Steelers' second offensive play.

    "We just really didn't know what we wanted to do," Colon said.

    Another Roethlisberger sack resulted in a fumble that killed a crucial drive late in the fourth quarter.

    Center Justin Hartwig, who previously said Minnesota's defensive line was "probably" the best in the league, said the Vikings tried to confuse the Steelers' linemen by dropping defensive ends into pass coverage and blitzing linebackers.

    "They got us a few times with that look," he said.

    And Starks was disappointed the offense did not score more points. The defense accounted for 14 of the Steelers' 27 points.

    "You can't let your defense score more points than your offense," Starks said.

    But he said the line was "decent," having not made too many mistakes.

    With only a handful of offensive miscues and a strong defensive performance not many will take note of the offensive line's play.

    A few weeks removed from a lot of finger pointing, the anonymity is welcomed.

    "As long as nobody's talking about us," Hartwig said, "that's a good thing."

    Michael Sanserino can be reached at msanserino@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1722.
    Last edited by Skeeter; Oct-26-2009 at 07:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line

    The line has really jelled IMO. The one MT comment I did here from his post presser was that he was not all that happy with ST's, but said that would be corrected during our bye week.

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    Default Re: Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line

    Quote Originally Posted by bleedBnG58 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    The line has really jelled IMO. The one MT comment I did here from his post presser was that he was not all that happy with ST's, but said that would be corrected during our bye week.
    Does that mean a new kicker as well??

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    Default Re: Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line

    I couldn't read the sewcond half of the article.

    In fact, I skipped over all the posts in the thread too.

    I just wanted to say, 'We need more Jenn!'

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    Default Re: Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    Does that mean a new kicker as well??
    I gonna go out on a limb and say, unless Reed has a serious felony sometime during between now and the playoffs.....I give him the Zorn ruling....he will be our kicker for the rest of the season.

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    Default Re: Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line

    Quote Originally Posted by bleedBnG58 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I gonna go out on a limb and say, unless Reed has a serious felony sometime during between now and the playoffs.....I give him the Zorn ruling....he will be our kicker for the rest of the season.
    I know.I was being facetious.

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    Default Re: Tomlin lauds Steelers' offensive line

    The line is really coming together! I said last week that (as did many) that this was a "statement" game for the big boys...and they were up to the challenge, for the most part!

    I'm becoming a big fan of Starks, it's looking like the transition tag thing was a good move afterall. He has a weekly spot on Sirius Radio and he is very well spoken and seems to have a good "football IQ." LT is one of the most challenging positions on the field (especially with our offense), and Starks is really coming around!

    Kemo has been "lights out" for the most part this season, doing a fantastic job of sealing the edge on the outside and lighting up ILB's up the gut.

    Colon hasnt been flagged as often this year which is a plus. He's a dirty dog that needs to keep his head in the game and he'll be fine!

    Hartwig and Essex will continue to grow within the system...If we can keep this group healthy, I dont think we have much to worry about up front

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