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Old 12-16-2007, 07:23 PM    (permalink
Mr. Stiller
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Default Eleven things I was pondering..

Eleven things I know about the Steelers/NFL Week 14. (5 offense, 4 defense, 1 Special Teams, 1 NFL)


1) Our offense is anemic.

I think our biggest issue the last 5 or so games is our offense stalling. I think if our offense is more consistent, this defense would still be #1 and we'd have about 2-3 more wins. We can't have 4+ 3 and outs in a game. Thats not a championship team. We can't have a Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde offense. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect perfection, but our offense is too good to suck this bad. Our top 3 WR's I'd wager against the majority of the league. Our running back, though he has the most carries, he also has the most yards and yards per game. I think his last 4-5 games he was nursing knee injuries. It's games like these that remind me why I've liked Parker since we picked him up as a UDFA. You know it's a bad day when Hines Ward drops more passes then he catches (While wide open for 90% of them) and Heath Miller drops a TD pass again while wide open. Also, when the quarterback who seemed to be the most decisive in the pocket was also your #4 WR. People complain about not having a "Randel El". I'm complaining why we're not using Cedrick Wilson in that capacity. I think that guy has a top 10 arm in the league. That pass hurt me. Nate Washington.. What can you say about that kid. You hate him one week, then you love him the next. I think we need another WR. Watching the Jets game, I wonder how many times this season that Big Ben has taken sacks or held the ball, not because he is a playmaker, or because the offensive line is patchwork.. but because the Wr's are not getting open. Seriously, when a team starting Hank Poteat can blanket your WR's... you need some help. I think some of that falls on the playcalling, and some falls on the Wr's.

2) Ben Roethlisberger will never get a Roughing the Passer.

This is a cue for other teams to dive at his knees, hit him helmet to helmet, and hit him after the whistle. I don't care if other teams QB gets a roughing the passer for a similar or identical play. I'm not blaming the refs for the Steelers loss.. but that no call on Ben would've kept them alive in the 4th, and the call against Gerrard would not have given them another chance and set of downs. That could have been a 14 point swing..

3) Ben Roethlisberger is the only reason this team has not had a losing season the last 4 years

I will never question his playmaking ability, or his heart, because he's willing to give life and limb to will his team to victory. That said, someone has to tell Big Ben it's ok to throw the ball away when the play is broken or he can avoid a 2+ yard sack.

4) Willie Parker is a franchise back...

With that said, I always was amazed by his ability to stay healthy. He's nursed some knee injuries and swelling and he seems back to snuff. I think it's amazing that his body is holding up. People try to short change him, but how many "Change of Pace" backs can stay healthy or effective running 300+ times a season? I still think he needs a partner in the backfield. I don't know what the reason for not giving Russell and opportunity, but I can't help but wonder why he's not getting a shot. He's what.. 5'9 220lbs? I know another Minnesota Running Back that could be described like that and I know a lot of Pittsburgh fans wish we had him.

5) This offense can't convert. I blame playcalling.

I put this in that "Why did we do a WR reverse", why the hell would we throw a swing pass, to a Tight End, with 40+ seconds to go, with 7 yards needed, with the game on the line. What the hell.. Was that enough commas? In this kind of weather, runs, screens should have been more utilized. I don't have the interenet while I'm writing this so I don't have the stats, but from seeing the game I'd have to say Willie Parker was very effective, I don't think we used him enough. My complaint all season has been, this team tends to stop using what works. I'm not saying become one dimensinal, but I think the playcalling is unimaginitive. My question to those reading... Is Brian Billick available after this season? Yeah, I went there.

6) I think Aaron Smith is the only player on defense that is absolutely irreplaceable.

When Casey Hampton went down for the season, Hoke did a great job replacing him.
When Troy went down, Tyrone Carter, though less dynamic and less explosive, did a solid job filling in.
Ryan Clark goes down for the season, Anthony Smith, though as any second player would do, has made some mistakes, but he's also made some good plays.
Aaron Smith goes down, and we give up 200+ Yards rushing and the largest amount rushing to 1 player in our 5 seasons at Heinz?????????????????????????

7) Deshea is a wily veteran...

But he needs replaced. I don't know how many times he got beat, even after giving a 10 yard cushion. The guy just doesn't have the wheels. I think his Experience and game intelligence allow him to stay at the #2 because no one has taken it off of him or outplayed him for it. I think thats more of a knock on our depth than it is a positive for Townsend. I know he's not overly phsyical and his thing is knowing his job and place to be, but he's getting schooled to often to not be considered a weak link in this defense.

8) Pass Rush/Secondary.

Where has our pass rush been? I think James Harrison is a manimal.. But where was he during the last two games. I was criticized earlier this season when I did mocks. "Why do we need a passrusher, James Harrison is up for Defensive Player of the Year?" Yeah, he is, but I don't think he even had a pressure the last two games. No Forced Fumbles. Matt Light and Khalif Barnes completely kept him out of the game. I don't even want to look up where we are statistically for Interceptions. Clark Haggans needs to be upgraded. DeShea needs upgraded and Ike needs to learn to catch.

9) I GUARANTEE Anthony Smith will be a playmaker.

I'll probably catch some crap for this, but I think the kid is only getting better. With more game experience he will be a staple of our defense. I often hear Ed Reed and Bob Sanders are the two best Free Safeties in the league. I think this kid is cut of the same cloth. If anyone saw him at Syracuse knows he's a ball-hawk, a big-hitter and has excellent hands. Everyone's quick to point out his "Pre-Patriots" Snafu... How quickly we forget how big of an impact he made during the Bengals games. Knocking Ocho's gold caps out. Those receivers did NOT want to catch a ball. He is a big hitter and loves playing in run-support. I think he could have a few 5-8 Interception years. With time he'll cut down on the mistakes and up the production.

10) Allen Rossum...

He hasn't lost us 1 game this season... he hasn't won us one game this season. I'm sorry if I seem a little too excited about Cedrick Wilson returning punts and Najeh Davenport returning kicks. There's something about a 6'2 250lb KR that runs in the high 4.4's and low 4.5's barreling down as #5/#6 WR's, DB's and LB's try to tackle him. That was the most explosive return this season, short of the 49ers kickoff return for a TD.

11) This league wants great offenses, not great defenses.

Now I know I have a propensity to complain about the officiating every chance I get. I'm a Fan and sometimes I blind myself to the play by complaining about the officiating. But, the Bankroll I'd have if I got a Nickel everytime I saw a hand on the back of James Harrisons Jersey as he tries to get to the QB. It looked like Light held him on every play, and it didn't seem Khalif Barnes minded holding Harrison as well. I remember seeing one play where Harrison beat Barnes, who then latched on to Harrison and completely spun him around. Not to mention When Pashos spun Haggans around by his helmet.
We didn't lose by officiating, but I wouldn't say what goes for one side necessarily went for the other.
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:34 PM    (permalink
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I agree with everything, but I think you forgot one thing...We need a pass rusher, I am sorry, I am not getting happy with all these games without getting pressure and no sacks..That is a major need.
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:36 PM    (permalink
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I agree with what was said here, but I would like to add something about the pass rush, and looking at it from a different perspective. Maybe teams have figured out our defensive scheme. I mean, we have pretty much ran the same defense for a long, long time and as much as I love Lebeau, I am beginning to feel as though teams are beginning to figure out what we are going to bring. I mean, the pass rush just did not become a problem this year. We weren't exactly tearing teams apart with it last year either. I think just as much as the players are accountable for not performing, maybe some of the blame goes on the defensive playcalling.

I think a big problem is that we get away from what has worked for so long and that is the run game. There is no way that a Steelers team should have twice as many passes as we do run. Especially the way Willie was moving the ball today. At half he was averaging 5 yards a carry. I think our offensive gets impatient and wants to have that quick strikes and is going further and further away from what made this team great: ball control and a power running game. Also where the hell did the sprint draw and the screen go? They used them often in the beginning of the season and they worked well, but lately they have been few and far between, if called at all.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:12 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by SteelCityNightmare View Post
I agree with what was said here, but I would like to add something about the pass rush, and looking at it from a different perspective. Maybe teams have figured out our defensive scheme. I mean, we have pretty much ran the same defense for a long, long time and as much as I love Lebeau, I am beginning to feel as though teams are beginning to figure out what we are going to bring. I mean, the pass rush just did not become a problem this year. We weren't exactly tearing teams apart with it last year either. I think just as much as the players are accountable for not performing, maybe some of the blame goes on the defensive playcalling.

I think a big problem is that we get away from what has worked for so long and that is the run game. There is no way that a Steelers team should have twice as many passes as we do run. Especially the way Willie was moving the ball today. At half he was averaging 5 yards a carry. I think our offensive gets impatient and wants to have that quick strikes and is going further and further away from what made this team great: ball control and a power running game. Also where the hell did the sprint draw and the screen go? They used them often in the beginning of the season and they worked well, but lately they have been few and far between, if called at all.
Here's my 2 things..

1) In a 3-4, you can't always outscheme the other team. Sometimes you just need a big horse to win the race. Look at the best 3-4s.. San Diego(Merriman/Phillips), Dallas (Ware/Spencer/Ellis), NE(I guess (Thomas/Vrabel/Colvin) even cleveland is getting a better passrush (Peek/Wimbley/McGinnest)

Then you have us who has a semi-good but oft-inconsistent James Harrison. Who I was ridiculed about earlier this season when I said "We need a big and consistent pass-rusher". We got Woodley, I think he's 1/2.. He's our Phillips/Spencer.. now we need our Merriman/Ware. I don't think we'll have a shot at Gholston.. I'd key in on Philip Merling who I think could be in a Merriman capacity.. Not as fast.. but plenty big and powerful (6'5 279lbs 4.69 40'). I was watching some clemson games.. if Clemson had any interior players or LB's.. Merling would've been a monster.

Or Brian Orakpo who is the younger faster version of Brian Robison

2) I'm all a fan of the run game, but I'm a fan of being balanced. Think about the QB's Bettis had..

Mike Tomczak, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham(tried to forget him eh), Tommy Maddox.

Now we have Ben. He wants to be the center of the offense like a Good QB and leader does.. If all you do is have him pass 250x a year, he's going to leave then you have another 20-30 years of mediocrity at the QB position. It's not like you want to have to burn a 1st rounder every 4-6 years because once you build a offense around a QB he leaves because he wants to be more involved.

I think they just need better balance. I think of the offense like a motor. The Offensive line is like the Block, the QB is the ECU, the RB is the Camshaft and the WR is the Spark plugs.

If the block has holes in it? Boom, bad engine..

The ECU goes bad or is reading something wrong? Boom bad engine.
The Camshafts are off timing? Boom bad engine..
The Spark plugs misfire (or in our case, can't catch a spark)? Boom bad engine.

all these parts need to work in cohesion.. and they're not. I think there's 2 things at work here.

Playcalling. While I don't always agree with Arians, there are a lot of plays the WR's, Ben and Willie are leaving on the field. There was about 8 dropped passes today.. anytime you have 8 dropped passes thats going to be a bad day.

I think perhaps with another season (Zierlein and Arians) the team will buy into what they're selling and then I think they'll make this machine run smoothly again.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:15 PM    (permalink
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Here's my 2 things..

1) In a 3-4, you can't always outscheme the other team. Sometimes you just need a big horse to win the race. Look at the best 3-4s.. San Diego(Merriman/Phillips), Dallas (Ware/Spencer/Ellis), NE(I guess (Thomas/Vrabel/Colvin) even cleveland is getting a better passrush (Peek/Wimbley/McGinnest)

Then you have us who has a semi-good but oft-inconsistent James Harrison. Who I was ridiculed about earlier this season when I said "We need a big and consistent pass-rusher". We got Woodley, I think he's 1/2.. He's our Phillips/Spencer.. now we need our Merriman/Ware. I don't think we'll have a shot at Gholston.. I'd key in on Philip Merling who I think could be in a Merriman capacity.. Not as fast.. but plenty big and powerful (6'5 279lbs 4.69 40'). I was watching some clemson games.. if Clemson had any interior players or LB's.. Merling would've been a monster.

Or Brian Orakpo who is the younger faster version of Brian Robison

2) I'm all a fan of the run game, but I'm a fan of being balanced. Think about the QB's Bettis had..

Mike Tomczak, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham(tried to forget him eh), Tommy Maddox.

Now we have Ben. He wants to be the center of the offense like a Good QB and leader does.. If all you do is have him pass 250x a year, he's going to leave then you have another 20-30 years of mediocrity at the QB position. It's not like you want to have to burn a 1st rounder every 4-6 years because once you build a offense around a QB he leaves because he wants to be more involved.

I think they just need better balance. I think of the offense like a motor. The Offensive line is like the Block, the QB is the ECU, the RB is the Camshaft and the WR is the Spark plugs.

If the block has holes in it? Boom, bad engine..

The ECU goes bad or is reading something wrong? Boom bad engine.
The Camshafts are off timing? Boom bad engine..
The Spark plugs misfire (or in our case, can't catch a spark)? Boom bad engine.

all these parts need to work in cohesion.. and they're not. I think there's 2 things at work here.

Playcalling. While I don't always agree with Arians, there are a lot of plays the WR's, Ben and Willie are leaving on the field. There was about 8 dropped passes today.. anytime you have 8 dropped passes thats going to be a bad day.

I think perhaps with another season (Zierlein and Arians) the team will buy into what they're selling and then I think they'll make this machine run smoothly again.
I completely agree, and when you ignore maintenance on one of these parts, the others are not going to work as well. And that what I was trying to get at when they abandon the running game. You just put it a bit better haha. I feel they have changed their gameplan from the earlier stages of the season, and at times, their playcalling is a bit cute for my liking.

I can understand Ben wanting to be the center of the offense, and he should be. However, if he wants that responsibility, he going to have to make some better decisions as well. At times he takes unneeded sacks, and has so far been unwilling to throw the ball away. Some times this works, but others it doesn't and it typically comes at critical times. It kind of a hard thing to balance, because that is what makes him special, but he needs to find a balance there.

Also along the lines of them passing more, I just don't feel like they have the necessary depth at receiver to do that. Other than Hines and Santonio, I am not sold on anyone else at the WR position. Nate Washington has flashes of brilliance, but then there are weeks that go by where it is hard to tell the difference between him and Ike Taylor. Hines Ward is not getting any younger either, which will leave just Santonio Holmes at the helm.

Also, you could not be more right when about all the dropped passes and the play calling at times has been atrocious and I think it has put us behind in a couple of the games (not all) that we ended up losing. Denver comes to mind first.
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Old 12-17-2007, 12:41 AM    (permalink
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I completely agree, and when you ignore maintenance on one of these parts, the others are not going to work as well. And that what I was trying to get at when they abandon the running game. You just put it a bit better haha. I feel they have changed their gameplan from the earlier stages of the season, and at times, their playcalling is a bit cute for my liking.

I can understand Ben wanting to be the center of the offense, and he should be. However, if he wants that responsibility, he going to have to make some better decisions as well. At times he takes unneeded sacks, and has so far been unwilling to throw the ball away. Some times this works, but others it doesn't and it typically comes at critical times. It kind of a hard thing to balance, because that is what makes him special, but he needs to find a balance there.

Also along the lines of them passing more, I just don't feel like they have the necessary depth at receiver to do that. Other than Hines and Santonio, I am not sold on anyone else at the WR position. Nate Washington has flashes of brilliance, but then there are weeks that go by where it is hard to tell the difference between him and Ike Taylor. Hines Ward is not getting any younger either, which will leave just Santonio Holmes at the helm.

Also, you could not be more right when about all the dropped passes and the play calling at times has been atrocious and I think it has put us behind in a couple of the games (not all) that we ended up losing. Denver comes to mind first.

To be honest as well. If you can find a way to re-watch the Jets game. I don't know if Ben taking those sacks is such a bad Idea. Arians seems completely fine with not using 3-5 step drops (Until the cincinnati game when.. amazingly we didn't give up 1 sack). But in that Jets game, the receivers are completely blanketed. I don't think 1 WR is getting open.. I don't know if the other teams know the play, the OL isn't holding on long enough, the Receivers don't know the offense or what the deal is. I'm hoping it's just personel.. because thats easy to fix. Give me James Hardy and Ben can throw it up like Brady does Moss every now and again and just trust in James to come down with it.


I think it's like this. We, as Steelers fans, have a long history of winning. The 2nd most wins since the Merger and 2nd most since Free agency. (Green Bay most winning since the merger by like 4 games, and Dallas most since FA.. by 5?)

But the fact remains.. we expect to be pissing excellence and frankly I wasn't really old enough to watch Bill Cowhers first season (1992.. I was 6). But I do notice a lot of similarities.

Cowher took over a team that was 7-9 the previous season under Chuck Noll.
Tomlin took over a team that was 8-8 the previous season under Bill Cowher.

Cowher cut Huey Richardson, the Steelers 1991 1st overall pick.
Tomlin(Rooneys) Cut Joey Porter, The Steelers top 3-4 OLB (Or so we thought)

Cowher had a fairly defensive draft (Besides Leon Searcy). Kirkland, Steed, Haller, Perry, Webster. (God I miss 12-round drafts)
Tomlin had a fairly defensive draft (Besides Matt Spaeth). Timmons, Woodley, McBean and ***.

Cowher was a secondary coach of the Cleveland Browns before becoming a DC for 1-2 years and taking over the Steelers
Tomlin was a Secondary coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before becoming a DC for 1 season and taking over the Steelers.

Cowher went 11-5 with:
299 Points, 4096 yards, 31 TD's, 28 Fumbles, 18 Lost on offense
Tomlin has the potential to go 11-5 with:
331 points, 4550 yards, 36 TD's, 18 Fumbles, 7 lost on offense
Cowher defensively:
225 points, 4658 yards, 24 TD's, 36 Sacks, 22 INTS 34 FF's, 21 Rec'd
Tomlin Defensively:
218 points, 3612 yards, 22 TD's, 33 Sacks, 9 INTS 21 FF's, 13 Rec'd
Cowher average Margin of Victory(11 games): 11.90909090909090 or 12.
Tomlins average Margin of Victory(9 Games): 17.111111111111 or 17. +5 margin.

Cowhers average Margin of Defeat (6 games(Buffalo Playoffs)): 13
Tomlins average Margin of Defeat(5 games): 8.2 points or 8.. +5 again.

There's a lot of similarities between Cowher and Tomlin. I mean, there's a lot of differences.. Cowhers a Rah rah type..


I think this is what it comes down to. Players buying into the system.

Notice Max Starks subtle improvement? Word is he's being worked harder by Zierlein. Showing LT potential. He could be re-signed.

I think Tomlin is going to have to slowly weed out the Cowher guys (Faneca, Kreider, Kreidwaldt, DeShea, Hines, Tuman).. the Coaches as Well. I think Arians should be gone. I'd say the same for the defensive side of the ball but Butler and Mitchell are just too good to replace.

He's a fundamentals guy. I think he also doesn't want to overrule his coordinators, he's not the power hungry type.

I just think there's a lot of gripe when there shouldn't be. Hell..

Look at Cowhers playoff Progression.

Year W-L-T WP-LP
1992: 11-5-0 0-1
1993: 9-7-0 0-1
1994: 12-4-0 1-1
1995 11 5 0 2-1
1996 10 6 0 1-1
1997 11 5 0 1-1
1998 7 9 0
1999 6 10 0
2000 9 7 0
2001 13 3 0 1-1
2002 10 5 1 1-1
2003 6 10 0
2004 15 1 0 1-1
2005 11 5 0 4-0
2006 8 8 0
Totals ---- 149 (62.3%) 90 1 12-9

I don't feel like fixing that.. but still.

He's a 12-9 alltime. Take out the 1 season he won the superbowl. he's an astounding 8-9 in the postseason.

Tomlin hasn't even had his crack at the postseason and I already hear people calling for his head.. for the same reason as Cowher..

I say Hell... Cowher was one of the best Coaches of all time.. lets see what this kids got.

9-5 your rookie season isn't bad.. considering NO ONE has beat the Pats.. The Cardinals had the inside scoop on how to hurt us.. (Attack Mahan/Simmons).

The Jets is a good loss and on the WR's IMO. Denver was just a difficult game in a high altitude place. The OL didn't help and the defense gave up too much. That was a tough loss, but we were never out of it.

And Jacksonville is always tough and they have the all-time leading rusher vs. the Steelers in Fred Taylor.

Like I said.. When Cowher took over.. he was a Rah-Rah guy. Noll was Stone Cold like Tomlin. "If I have to Motivate you, you're fired". Well they went old school with Tomlin and who knows how long it'll take.

It took Cowher 3 years for a Playoff win, and 4 for a berth. I don't like losing.. but if in the long run it'll help Tomlin develop "HIS" team.. I'm all for it.

I'm all for the 4-3 and Colts Spread offense, if we run it right. If we jump to the 4-3 like the Jets did the 3-4 without just gutting the team and starting fresh (Which wouldn't happen) I'd be strongly opposed to it.

Just some thoughts.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:32 AM    (permalink
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Yeah there's nothing to argue there. I agree with much of what you said, and of course there are situations where I would much rather see Ben take the sack instead of trying to force it. I think there he has shown some growth. Arians definitely should be gone. I was not a fan of the promotion to OC when it happened. And I am all for whatever scheme works, and if that means running the Indy spread type offense I am fine with that, but the personnel needs to be there. I do not think we have the receivers to run that. The two teams that have used that in the past have had amazing receivers, the Colts with Harrison, Wayne and Stokley (now Gonzalez) and more recently the Pats with Moss, Stallworth, and Welker. Once the personnel matches up with what system they are trying to run, then I can see this all working. But with that said, our receivers need to start living up to what they can do. They have been plaqued with dropped passes. Heath Miller even dropped a TD yesterday, which is rare for him. Nate Washington needs to step up and be more consistent. Hines has had the dropsies for two games. And I know Santonio is hurt but he has pretty much disappeared for a couple of games. I read your other post season write up and I agree that Ben would benefit from a Plaxico esque WR, as he was easily his favorite target during his time in Pittsburgh.

And it is eerily similar how Cowher and Tomlin are, however, Cowher came into a team that hadn't done much in the past eight seasons, not winning a division since 1984, and a Superbowl since 79. Tomlin inherited a team that won a Superbowl two years ago. I think that is the difference in what fans expect. That's probably a fault of the fans, but that is not going to change. I think Tomlin was the right hire, and there will be growing pains, but I am still going to ***** when they lose haha.
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Old 12-17-2007, 05:29 PM    (permalink
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I think it might be one season too early to can Arians just yet. I'd give him a shot to re-evaluate his players and his playcalling this season and try to make improvements. I know he calls some plays at times that leave me saying "WTF?" and people like to blame him when the offense isn't working right, but no one gives him credit for the success we've had at points this season.

It's hard to get things going when the o-line isnt blocking or WR aren't catching balls or the QB isn't throwing the ball well or the running lanes aren't opening. I dont think all of those things should be put on Arians. Maybe he's calling plays in reaction to what he sees from defenses, but our guys just cant execute correctly. I dont know, it seems like 1 decent season shouldn't signal the end for a guy. If the same problems continue next year, then you give him the boot.
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Old 12-17-2007, 05:38 PM    (permalink
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In all honesty he is not going to get booted because I remember reading somewhere shortly after the Tomlin hire that he was going to get the job because he and Ben get along very well. I think for that reason he was the immediate front runner for that job. I do not even remember another name mentioned for OC. Although he should not have to shoulder all the blame, his job is to put a gameplan together that will put the team in the position to succeed and I feel at times, most notably in the Denver game (1st half), NY Jets game, New England game (2nd half) and parts of the Jacksonville game he has failed to do that. But most definitely blame should go to the players as well for not executing, especially with dropped passes and the number of sacks that have been taken.
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:25 PM    (permalink
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Here's my 2 things..

1) In a 3-4, you can't always outscheme the other team. Sometimes you just need a big horse to win the race. Look at the best 3-4s.. San Diego(Merriman/Phillips), Dallas (Ware/Spencer/Ellis), NE(I guess (Thomas/Vrabel/Colvin) even cleveland is getting a better passrush (Peek/Wimbley/McGinnest)

Then you have us who has a semi-good but oft-inconsistent James Harrison. Who I was ridiculed about earlier this season when I said "We need a big and consistent pass-rusher". We got Woodley, I think he's 1/2.. He's our Phillips/Spencer.. now we need our Merriman/Ware. I don't think we'll have a shot at Gholston.. I'd key in on Philip Merling who I think could be in a Merriman capacity.. Not as fast.. but plenty big and powerful (6'5 279lbs 4.69 40'). I was watching some clemson games.. if Clemson had any interior players or LB's.. Merling would've been a monster.

Or Brian Orakpo who is the younger faster version of Brian Robison

2) I'm all a fan of the run game, but I'm a fan of being balanced. Think about the QB's Bettis had..

Mike Tomczak, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham(tried to forget him eh), Tommy Maddox.

Now we have Ben. He wants to be the center of the offense like a Good QB and leader does.. If all you do is have him pass 250x a year, he's going to leave then you have another 20-30 years of mediocrity at the QB position. It's not like you want to have to burn a 1st rounder every 4-6 years because once you build a offense around a QB he leaves because he wants to be more involved.

I think they just need better balance. I think of the offense like a motor. The Offensive line is like the Block, the QB is the ECU, the RB is the Camshaft and the WR is the Spark plugs.

If the block has holes in it? Boom, bad engine..

The ECU goes bad or is reading something wrong? Boom bad engine.
The Camshafts are off timing? Boom bad engine..
The Spark plugs misfire (or in our case, can't catch a spark)? Boom bad engine.

all these parts need to work in cohesion.. and they're not. I think there's 2 things at work here.

Playcalling. While I don't always agree with Arians, there are a lot of plays the WR's, Ben and Willie are leaving on the field. There was about 8 dropped passes today.. anytime you have 8 dropped passes thats going to be a bad day.

I think perhaps with another season (Zierlein and Arians) the team will buy into what they're selling and then I think they'll make this machine run smoothly again.

What about Timmons?
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:56 PM    (permalink
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What about Timmons?
Timmons is going to be playing Mack.

Thats inside. We need a big physical presence on teh edge that can beat a LT.

I've liked Merling all year, he should be faster than Harvey.

I'd add him to our group if he falls to the late 20's..

6'5 272lbs and 4.67-4.73 40'? I'll take it.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:10 PM    (permalink
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Timmons is going to be playing Mack.

Thats inside. We need a big physical presence on teh edge that can beat a LT.

I've liked Merling all year, he should be faster than Harvey.

I'd add him to our group if he falls to the late 20's..

6'5 272lbs and 4.67-4.73 40'? I'll take it.

Wasnt he drafted as a Rolb? Isnt he undersized for Inside at 6-1 230?
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:33 AM    (permalink
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Wasnt he drafted as a Rolb? Isnt he undersized for Inside at 6-1 230?
That was lip service.. they had just cut porter and were saying that he would be Lloyd-Like. He could be a great OLB in a 4-3.. but he's a mack.

I don't get the "Undersized" thing at ILB. He looks like he's 240-245 right now. Foote = 239
Farrior = 242
Harrison = 240
Haggans = 245
Woodley = 260
Frazier = 245

Zach Thomas = 5'11 240
Donnie Edwards = 6'1 225
Dqwell Jackson = 5'11 230
Leon Williams = 6'2 240.

6'1 240-245 isn't exactly "oversized" but it's certainly not too small.
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:17 PM    (permalink
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ray lewis = 6'1 250ish
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Old 12-18-2007, 07:23 PM    (permalink
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That was lip service.. they had just cut porter and were saying that he would be Lloyd-Like. He could be a great OLB in a 4-3.. but he's a mack.

I don't get the "Undersized" thing at ILB. He looks like he's 240-245 right now.
Espn, nfl, and steelers.com have him at 230-234...
Anyway so your saying they are going to him to middle if we keep the 3-4? I thought tomlin was set on switching to the 4-3 anyway. Would woodley stay at lolb or would he be moved down to de?
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:33 PM    (permalink
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Anyway so your saying they are going to him to middle if we keep the 3-4? I thought tomlin was set on switching to the 4-3 anyway. Would woodley stay at lolb or would he be moved down to de?
LDE, move A-Smith to DT w/ Hampton, Keisel at RDE, Timmons at OLB with harrison and either Foote / Farrior at ILB

Haggans will be doneski in Pittsburgh
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:36 PM    (permalink
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LDE, move A-Smith to DT w/ Hampton, Keisel at RDE, Timmons at OLB with harrison and either Foote / Farrior at ILB

Haggans will be doneski in Pittsburgh
I really hope we dont go to the 4-3. Grr
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:45 PM    (permalink
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i dont know if id mind it to be honest...

unless we get some dominant pass rushers than it seems like we would get a better pass rush with a 4-3
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:03 PM    (permalink
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I am not familiar with Merling, but 6-5, 272 seems awfully big for an OLB.
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:14 PM    (permalink
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I am not familiar with Merling, but 6-5, 272 seems awfully big for an OLB.
IMO, that's a great size for a 3-4 OLB, especially if he runs the 40 between 4.67-4.73 seconds. Personally, I'd take that any day of the week, twice on Sundays. Also, that's a very similar size to Shawne Merriman, who I believe is 6-4, 272.

About Merling though, I believe he only tallied up a total of 6 sacks on the season, which isn't all that much, though I believe he did rack up around 15 TFL. I don't think Clemson has that many top tier defensive players on their roster though, so with that in mind, that would make it that much harder for Merling to produce come game day, seeing as though he'd be keyed in on a whole lot. I haven't seen a whole lot of Merling though, so I can't really comment on his play, though if Mr.Stiller says he'd take him in the 1st round, that's saying something.

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Old 12-19-2007, 03:09 AM    (permalink
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Anyway so your saying they are going to him to middle if we keep the 3-4? I thought tomlin was set on switching to the 4-3 anyway. Would woodley stay at lolb or would he be moved down to de?
Tomlin is going to stay in the 3-4. There is absolutley no reason to change the #1 defense in the NFL.

To go to the 4-3, he would have to gut the defense and get a new defensive coordinator.

Aaron Smith, Nick Eason, Clint Kreidwaldt, Andre Frazier, Arnold Harrison, Brett Keisel wouldn't fit it really.

Woodley would be the weakside DE, Hoke would be the UT, Hampton the NT, we don't have a weakside rusher.

Woodley ~ Hampton ~ Hoke ~ ?
? ~ ? ~ ? ~ Harrison

LB:

James Harrison (SLB) ~ James Farrior (MLB) ~ Lawrence Timmons (WLB)
Larry Foote ~ ? ~ ?
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:11 AM    (permalink
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i dont know if id mind it to be honest...

unless we get some dominant pass rushers than it seems like we would get a better pass rush with a 4-3
Thing is with the 4-3 You have your 3 passrushers and 1.5 run stoppers (.5 for the UT).

Nearly all your LBs are coverage/run stoppers.. I think this would be killer with Harrison/Farrior/Timmons.

But I don't think the 4-3 can you really confuse the offense.. they know what your doing.

What would we do with Troy?
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:25 AM    (permalink
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I am not familiar with Merling, but 6-5, 272 seems awfully big for an OLB.
It is for an "Average" 3-4 OLB.

the average 3-4 OLB is 6'3 250ish pounds.

I think Merling is another physical speciman. Basically the monsterly-mutated version of James Harrison. Beast against the run, Solid Passrusher. But he is a good bit stronger than Harrison.. and a very good bit faster than Harrison as well. He's getting more experience in coverage the last 4 weeks of the season.

Merling has supposedly dropped about 5-10 lbs.. putting him around 6'5 260-270.. he should add about 1-2 hundredths of a second off his 40. I just watched the BC game and he looks extremely fluid the few times he dropped in coverage. I have the Florida State Game, South Carolina game and Virginia Tech games to watch yet.

But he is a complete DE.

People like Vernon Gholston. He's an inch shorter and a few ticks faster.. he also played on an all-star team.

His Whole DL, LB core and probably 3/4ths of his secondary will be playing in the Pro's..

Doug Worthington, Lawrence Wilson, Malcolm Jenkins, James Laurinaitis, Anderson Russell, Donald Washington(May eventually be better than Jenks), Eugene Clifford, Nate Oliver, Austin Spitler, Jamario O'Neal, Marcus Freeman, Dexter Larimore, Chimdi Chekwa, Mark Johnson, Kurt Coleman..

NOT 1 SENIOR IN THAT BUNCH.. and they ALL have 1st round potential.

So, Worthington, Wilson, Larimore, and Gholston.

Those guys could be all 1st team all americans...

Of Clemson...

Besides Michael Hamlin (SS), Ricky Sapp (DE), Philip Merling is literally the only other good guy on that team.. he's literally double teamed every play.

Just like Derrick Harvey's production dropped. People overlook he had 6-8 guys leave.. not to mention 4 other DL. 3 Tackles and Moss.

So. I'm more impressed with Merlings Production because he hasn't had an opportunity to be one on one with a OT very often. Gosder was struggling with him a lot, so they double teamed him and he still beat the double team a few times.. but He just couldn't get there in time.



I also have some other mocks in mind, I'm just waiting for the Juniors to declare...


1) Philip Merling, DE/OLB, Clemson ~ Franchise Passrusher
2* Trade down for 2 3rds and a 5th..
3a) James Davis, RB, Clemson ~ Change of pace/north/south runner
3b) John Greco, OG/OT, Toledo ~ LG/RG/RT
4) Nick Hayden, DT/DE, Wisconsin ~ SDE bring in behind Smith for Future.
5a) Darnell Terrell, CB, Missouri ~ CB Depth, physical
5b) Will Franklin, WR, Missouri ~ WR depth, could bump Wilson/Washington
6) Barry Richardson, LT/RT, Clemson ~ LT/RT to develop... Has LT potential, but at worst would make Solid RT.
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:38 PM    (permalink
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It is for an "Average" 3-4 OLB.

the average 3-4 OLB is 6'3 250ish pounds.

I think Merling is another physical speciman. Basically the monsterly-mutated version of James Harrison. Beast against the run, Solid Passrusher. But he is a good bit stronger than Harrison.. and a very good bit faster than Harrison as well. He's getting more experience in coverage the last 4 weeks of the season.

Merling has supposedly dropped about 5-10 lbs.. putting him around 6'5 260-270.. he should add about 1-2 hundredths of a second off his 40. I just watched the BC game and he looks extremely fluid the few times he dropped in coverage. I have the Florida State Game, South Carolina game and Virginia Tech games to watch yet.

But he is a complete DE.

People like Vernon Gholston. He's an inch shorter and a few ticks faster.. he also played on an all-star team.

His Whole DL, LB core and probably 3/4ths of his secondary will be playing in the Pro's..

Doug Worthington, Lawrence Wilson, Malcolm Jenkins, James Laurinaitis, Anderson Russell, Donald Washington(May eventually be better than Jenks), Eugene Clifford, Nate Oliver, Austin Spitler, Jamario O'Neal, Marcus Freeman, Dexter Larimore, Chimdi Chekwa, Mark Johnson, Kurt Coleman..

NOT 1 SENIOR IN THAT BUNCH.. and they ALL have 1st round potential.

So, Worthington, Wilson, Larimore, and Gholston.

Those guys could be all 1st team all americans...

Of Clemson...

Besides Michael Hamlin (SS), Ricky Sapp (DE), Philip Merling is literally the only other good guy on that team.. he's literally double teamed every play.

Just like Derrick Harvey's production dropped. People overlook he had 6-8 guys leave.. not to mention 4 other DL. 3 Tackles and Moss.

So. I'm more impressed with Merlings Production because he hasn't had an opportunity to be one on one with a OT very often. Gosder was struggling with him a lot, so they double teamed him and he still beat the double team a few times.. but He just couldn't get there in time.



I also have some other mocks in mind, I'm just waiting for the Juniors to declare...


1) Philip Merling, DE/OLB, Clemson ~ Franchise Passrusher
2* Trade down for 2 3rds and a 5th..
3a) James Davis, RB, Clemson ~ Change of pace/north/south runner
3b) John Greco, OG/OT, Toledo ~ LG/RG/RT
4) Nick Hayden, DT/DE, Wisconsin ~ SDE bring in behind Smith for Future.
5a) Darnell Terrell, CB, Missouri ~ CB Depth, physical
5b) Will Franklin, WR, Missouri ~ WR depth, could bump Wilson/Washington
6) Barry Richardson, LT/RT, Clemson ~ LT/RT to develop... Has LT potential, but at worst would make Solid RT.
I'll have to get Merling on my radar. If he's athletic enough to pull it off, he would be a freak - I'll give you that.

With Harrison making pro-bowl and Woodley likely starting next season, I still cannot see them going OLB in Rd 1 regardless of who might be available. O-line seems like too big of a priority. I am anxiously waiting to see if Duke Robinson and Alex Boone declare, as they would make a lovely pair for rounds one and two.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:16 AM    (permalink
Mr. Stiller
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Originally Posted by TerribleEd View Post
I'll have to get Merling on my radar. If he's athletic enough to pull it off, he would be a freak - I'll give you that.

With Harrison making pro-bowl and Woodley likely starting next season, I still cannot see them going OLB in Rd 1 regardless of who might be available. O-line seems like too big of a priority. I am anxiously waiting to see if Duke Robinson and Alex Boone declare, as they would make a lovely pair for rounds one and two.
Harrison is 30. He's not exactly Consistent. We need a big physical fast pass rusher opposite of Woodley.

If a guy with Merling is there I'd be hard pressed to skip over him.

I'm not a fan of Boone.. Robinson seems schizo. 1 minute he'll be amazingly dominant with a mean streak, then he goes soft.
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