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Thread: Lolley: Be careful who you blame; Polamalu; Post-Game Thoughts...

      
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    Default Lolley: Be careful who you blame; Polamalu; Post-Game Thoughts...

    ... A conglomeration of Dale Lolley's blog posts this week...

    Thursday, February 10, 2011
    Be careful who you blame

    Like Neil O'Donnell before him, Ben Roethlisberger is taking a lot of heat for his play in the Super Bowl.

    But, like O'Donnell, there were some key plays during the game when the Steelers' young receivers did not run their routes as expected, resulting in some incompletions.

    For example, on the Steelers' first offensive series, Roethlisberger made a throw to Antonio Brown's back shoulder that the receiver didn't read correctly, continuing his route down the field. The back shoulder throw was open had Brown adjusted, but the ball sailed out of bounds, looking like a horrible throw by Roethlisberger.

    And on the deep route to Mike Wallace late in the game, Roethlisberger made the throw to the spot where the ball was supposed to go - to the pylon. But Wallace cut his route off more shallow than he should have, resulting in a pass in which it looked like Roethlisberger overthrew him badly.

    We also saw Wallace struggling in the two-minute offense late in the game, not knowing what the play was.

    These are the kind of things that happen with young receivers - even talented ones. Sometimes they make mistakes and the quarterback takes the blame.

    That's why there is a belief that receivers don't hit their stride until their third year, which shows the arrow pointing up for the Steelers' passing game.

    My Polamalu theory

    While driving to my final radio show last night for the 2010 season I had a thought that hit me on why Troy Polamalu was playing so much deep centerfield throughout the playoffs.

    I don't think it had as much to do with his injury as it did with the one to Bryant McFadden.

    McFadden was suffered a hip pointer in the Carolina game while making an interception and then tore a muscle in his rib cage the following game against Cleveland.

    If you remember in that Cleveland game, Polamalu was up at the line of scrimmage to make a diving interception on the Browns' first play from scrimmage.

    We didn't see him at the line of scrimmage too much after that.

    I haven't had time to check into this yet, but it's my feeling the Steelers were so concerned with their corners outside of Ike Taylor that they felt they had to keep Polamalu deep to protect from being beaten over the top.

    We saw Ryan Clark down in the box at times, but he doesn't have anywhere near Polamalu's speed. I believe they felt with McFadden hobbled, that exposed them to the deep ball with McFadden, William Gay and Anthony Madison, particularly with Clark as the only deep safety.

    It drives home the fact that this team needs to upgrade its speed in the secondary.

    Post, post-Super Bowl post

    Some people have taken issue with my post-game post where I wrote that Aaron Rodgers only slightly outplayed Ben Roethlisberger. I stand by that statement.

    I'd say that Roethlisberger played a C to C-plus game in the Super Bowl. It wasn't great, but he accounted for nearly 300 yards of offense and two touchdowns.

    Again, I give him a pass on the first interception because his arm was hit as he threw. He made the bad throw over the middle, forcing the ball to Wallace that was intercepted, but I thought his audibles were good for the most part and they caught the Packers a couple of times when he checked into some runs.

    I'd say Rodgers had a B-plus game. It was far from the perfect game that some would have you believe. Yes, he had some drops, but drops happen because the receivers here footsteps or lose concentration.

    He produced one first down in the third quarter and could have thrown a couple of picks as well. It was not a complete game.

    At the end of the day, Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense produced 25 points. Rodgers and the Packers offense had 24.

    I do think that Bruce Arians will be back as the Steelers' offensive coordinator, but I also think that Randy Fichtner is the OC in waiting, just as Keith Butler is the DC in waiting.

    Some have been quick to criticize the Steelers for not running the ball more in the Super Bowl, but circumstances dictated that they all but abandon the running game in the fourth quarter.

    Emmanuel Sanders suffered a broken foot on the turf at Dallas he had pins inserted and there was plenty of slipping and sliding around on that field.

    That's why I'm not a big fan of field turf.

    The Steelers should seriously consider moving Maurkice Pouncey to left guard.

    Doug Legursky was solid at center in the Super Bowl. Wouldn't Pouncey look a lot better coming around the corner on the counter as opposed to Chris Kemoeatu?

    Max Starks and Willie Colon are expected to have full recoveries and you could have a line from left to right of Starks, Pouncey, Legursky, Kemoeatu/Foster, Colon/Adams.

    That's assuming Flozell Adams doesn't retire.

    He played well enough this season that they could consider moving Colon inside to guard as well.

    Colon is a free agent - assuming we have a free agent period but should re-sign pretty cheaply.

    Defensive back is the team's biggest need in this offseason.

    Ike Taylor is a solid No. 2 corner/low-end No. 1.

    But he's also a free agent - assuming we have a free agent period.

    They need some additional top-end talent in the defensive secondary considering nobody is willing to attempt to run against them.

    I wouldn't be opposed to making free safety a high draft priority.

    Defensive backs Ray Horton will interview for the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator position. The Cardinals also wanted to talk to linebackers coach Keith Butler, but were denied permission.

    http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Lolley: Be careful who you blame; Polamalu; Post-Game Thoughts...










    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Lolley: Be careful who you blame; Polamalu; Post-Game Thoughts...

    comments made by a reporter that actually made a some good sense.

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    Default Re: Lolley: Be careful who you blame; Polamalu; Post-Game Thoughts...

    I had heard that said about both the Wallace and Brown plays from another reporter on the radio earlier. It makes sense. Those looked like the two worst throws of the game (aside from the pick 6 where Ben took a hit), and it didn't seem right that Ben would miss that badly. The other reporter (can't remember who it was) mentioned that Wallace got a talking to on the sideline after the deep ball.

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    Default Re: Lolley: Be careful who you blame; Polamalu; Post-Game Thoughts...

    ... It is what it is....
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Lolley: Be careful who you blame; Polamalu; Post-Game Thoughts...

    I do remember how Neil was criticized over that Super Bowl.

    I was one of the people that kept saying you can't say it was all Neil. When there is a mis-read like that, it's easy to blame the QB. Not usually do the people think the play is designed for the receiver to be doing something (like thinking) during the play. It's all on the QB and HIS reads

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