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Morning Java: Is this team prepared to play?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

OAKLAND, Calif. — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column lays blame on just about everyone … and then just one guy.

Here’s some of what Mike Tomlin had to say …

… as well as Ben Roethlisberger

… and Ryan Clark

If you watch all three clips, you’ll see that I ask all three gentlemen — at different points in the sessions — the same question: Were the Steelers ready for this game?

I didn’t use the material from the latter two in the column for space purposes, but I did want to share it here with you. Draw your own conclusions.

Some other multipurpose randomness from multipurpose O.co Coliseum: Watching Terrelle Pryor burst down the field on that opening play reminded me so much of the feeling in London when Adrian Peterson did it, partly because he’s such a special athlete, partly because the Steelers looked so terribly un-athletic compared to both. … It might get lost in the loss, but the O-line is in enormous trouble after seeing Ramon Foster, Guy Whimper and David DeCastro go down. I don’t think DeCastro is serious, based on some stuff in the locker room, but the other two … that’ll hurt. … Darren McFadden told Bay Area-reporters that Ryan Clark was telling him on the field that Clark bit badly on Pryor’s 93-yard run in part because the Steelers repeatedly had Clark tackling the McFadden simulator in practice all week. … Heath Miller shouldn’t be playing. Watch him. No way he should be out there. Can barely move. … Did Le’Veon Bell do much for you in this game? Kind of tough judging given the state of the line. … Growing up an NFL Films junkie, it saddens me what’s become of the league in Oakland. Directly across from the press box was an entire level of the stadium tarped off, plus three sections  in each of the end zones. Had to be at least 12,000 seats. All of those were open last season, and all would have been sold for this game, but the league doesn’t allow teams to fluctuate capacities. … This is in the column, but it really is worth repeating: LaMarr Woodley didn’t have a tackle. … Know who had a nice game, if you want to single out a positive? Jerricho Cotchery. … Shaun Suisham was devastated afterward. I mean, just crestfallen. And you know what? He didn’t have much company in that regard.

The game story focuses on the final thud, by beat man Alan Robinson.

Suisham’s misery, by Ralph Paulk.

Terrelle’s monster run, by Eric Gilmore.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including game-changers, game balls and more.

Here’s Raiders news from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

Here’s our Steelers photo gallery by Chaz Palla, including this gem from the losing sideline …

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

>> The hockey club lugs a three-game losing streak into tonight. Josh Yohe is in Raleigh.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Hurricanes news from the Raleigh News & Observer.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> The Islanders swung a pretty big deal to get Thomas Vanek from the Sabres, and I’ve got to say at first blush it looks very, very favorable to New York in my eyes. Yeah, I know Matt Moulson’s started hot, and I know a couple of high picks went Buffalo’s way, but the team that gets the best talent tends to win trades.

Vanek is better and younger than Moulson, and there’s no way Garth Snow would have done this without being sure he could keep him from free agency after this season.

The question now around here is what impact this will have on the … ugh, still can’t bring myself to say the ridiculous new name of the Penguins’ division.

>> Pitt really lost to NavyJerry DiPaola writes.

>> Penn State really lost by 1,000 to Ohio State? Chris Adamski writes.

>> Flying back overnight from SFO, will be out of commission Monday. Back at everything tomorrow.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Eric Bowser says:

    Obviously.

    It doesn’t take a genius to start adding up the voluminous examples of how the Steelers have been ill-prepared to do much of anything right over the last few years. If you go back and re-watch the 4th quarter, add up the time the offense wasted between snaps and the clock ticking down without much urgency from the sidelines.

    Then to see what happened with the timeout because the team WAITED… that’s right, they waited around for the officials to call a horse collar tackle or reset the play clock.

    In most football towns, that type of response from the head coach and quarterback would cause an all-out hysteric criticism by the local media and fans.

    But that’s ok because I don’t think even Tomlin can screw up the next important clock management assignment…. at the 2014 NFL Draft.

  2. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    One can speak of ill-prepared and clock management….But the bottom line is no talent.
    There ARE NOT many good football players on this current Steeler team.
    I will completely agree with the assessment that Heath Miller should not be on the field.
    That in itself….Is a shame.

    It’s time for the Steelers to look completely and totally to the future.
    Trade or bench players like Ryan Clark.
    Any team that would lose twice in two years to a Dennis Allen team defies description.
    This team is flat-out terrible….

  3. Ghost says:

    The Steelers ARE “terribly un-athletic.” They now have too few gamers. Troy, Ben, Ryan and Ike have been proven gamers, but that’s about it. And three out of those four of them are past their primes.

    It’s taken a few seasons, but I am no longer in Mike Tomlin’s camp. As I’ve often said previously, I am thoroughly unimpressed with the post-Cowher Kevin Colbert. But more than anything, Art Rooney’s tenure at top of the totem pole has been a monumental failure. This team continued winning for a while on the fumes of the Dan Rooney / Bill Cowher-era edifice. But the lag time between Cowher’s, and then Dan’s departures has expired. Art Rooney does not know what he is doing. The proof is in the very uncompetitive 53-man roster.

  4. Voytek says:

    There’s never any urgency until it is too late (and truthfully, it seems there’s not much of it then, either). Consistently waiting until one second on the play clock to snap the ball, even when down three scores in the second half, betrays either rank incompetence or an absence of caring what happens.

    This also, staggeringly, has become one of the least talented rosters in the league. A few disastrous drafts and some even worse contracts can wreak havoc in short order. Throw in schemes on both sides of the ball that were outdated five years ago, and there’s no joy in watching these guys lately.

  5. DJ says:

    Out-”travel-planned”, out-prepared, out-coached and outplayed.

    On play-calling, wasn’t it just two years ago that Arians got run out of Pittsburgh for his love of bubble screens to our wide receivers? Was Haley not watching?

    Has anyone told Haley that the NFL actually permits teams to have a TD drive take less than 15-18 plays, particularly where we know there will be several sacks, drops and pre-snap penalties the longer our offense is on the field?

    Is it possible for our QB to take a three-step drop and deliver the ball on time, with precision and conviction and without all the double-clutching and pump fakes? Get rid of the da(r)n ball, for god’s sake.

    This isn’t rocket science. Why make every drive so laborious?

  6. Voytek says:

    Postscript: We have scored more than 27 points precisely once in 23 games with Todd Haley calling plays. I get the distinct feeling the Steelers have no interest in scoring as many points as possible. They play to the score and hope to see what happens at the end. It’s infuriating. See, e.g., not running a play with :30 left in the first quarter, already down 14.

    DK: Really enjoying your stuff tonight. Welcome!

  7. DJ says:

    DK:

    1. On Heath, not surprised. He took a real shot to his right knee. As expected though, not a single complaint and stayed in the game.

    2. On Bell, I thought he played very well and believe he is going to be a very good to great player for us down the line — sooner rather than later. Great body lean, gains 3-4 yards after contact (a number of plays today), rarely stood up in short yardage, blocks and catches the ball well. What’s not to like?

    3. A lot of guys and coaches on this team are delusional. They need a rude awakening, the kind that a 2-14 or 3-13 season would be expected to bring.

    DK: Would hate to see Miller get really hurt again.

  8. Voytek says:

    Since the start of 2012, the Steelers have scored 30+ points in a game once. Tied for fewest in NFL over that span with JAX/ARIZ/KC. Only two other teams have done it but twice, meaning 80% of the league has had 3 or more such games in this timeframe. The Steelers have gone 20 straight games without scoring 30 points against someone.

    Part of that is the historically meager turnover numbers on defense. But the bar is low. The NFL average over the past two years is right at 23 ppg.

  9. Dan1283 says:

    More than half the o-line in the infirmary before November arrives? 18-game season please!

  10. DJ says:

    Not sure anyone noticed this subtlety, but on the Mesko block, it looked like he was trying to drive a low trajectory punt for distance rather than just standard hang time. Consequently it was blocked. On at least two others he had easier chances to pin the Raiders inside the 20 but put them in the end zone, one of those in part attributable to horrible punt coverage (our guys searching the sky at the 20 and the ball hitting on the 5).

    Mecko’s now trying to pad his gross (and his punts were) at the expense of his net, likely influenced by Tomlin publicly calling his kicks — rightfully — of the junior varsity variety.

    DK: Actually, the real problem on the block, per all involved, was that Mesko didn’t catch the snap cleanly.

  11. Reading says:

    To focus in the missed field goals for a second, it sure looked the holds had a distinct lean to them. I haven’t studied all of the FGs by the Steelers, and don’t know if Suisham wants the ball held at an angle, but noticed that on the two misses.

  12. Reading says:

    I believe he was also Denver’s D-coordinator in the infamous Tebow playoff loss.

  13. Brandie says:

    The Steelers are who I thought they were…Junior Varsity. Pee Wee players do better at the fundamentals than this bunch of over paid, underperforming, smack talking, ill-prepared, under talented, delusional, spoiled babies!

  14. Brandie says:

    As I told my husband yesterday, the Steelers are setting the bar high for suck. The Standard Is The Mendoza Line.

  15. JoeyBats says:

    …the Steelers need to get “back to basics” in the scouting department and start using stop watches again to TEST SPEED! ….they are slow, SLOW, SLOWWW :-(……and yes some of that comes with age

  16. theplanisworking says:

    Opening play from scrimmage, Pryor executes a read-option play for a 93 yard TD. No Steeler defender was within 7 yards of Pryor at the line of scrimmage. But when Tomlin, and players were asked if the team was ready to play, the players answered yes, and Tomlin, while saying it was on him, he only said “based on the quality of play” were they not ready. Keep this in mind.

    Tomlin had the team fly out to Oakland saturday. Team looked tired and slow, lethargic. Taylor and Clark were the tacklers in the “game simulator” all week. This is my point…….. this team was not prepared to play yesterday. I saw the opening TD 5 times, and I saw Woodley as the only player on the left side of the defense…… everyone else flowed right towards McFadden. Being Woodley was the only player out there, he should have stayed put, in case McFadden reversed field, or Pryor kept the ball. Woodley bit hard, and Pryor had a wide open field for the TD. If the Steelers would have been prepared to play, Woodley, or another player would have been shadowing Pryor, and would have taken the read-option away. That is on the coaches for not simulating that in practice.

    Had a talk with a friend of mine yesterday, and he says that there is no way to prepare for a game, its all about execution and talent of the players. He says coaches dont drop passes, make tackles, get punts blocked, etc…………… thats all on the players. I tried to explain that the opening play was about poor preparation, not execution, but he didnt budge. Players cant prepare themselves, thats why they break into groups, and study film, and listen to the coaches during the week.

    So in addition to having poor quality players, lack of concentration (dropping passes, blocking breakdowns), poor game plans on both sides of the ball, poor personnel decisions, the preparation of the team is painfully obvious that it isnt good. Players can say that the other team played well, injuries, etc. but even a casual fan can see that the Steelers look lost for vast periods of most games, and even when they arent lost, they simply do not have the players/athletes to make the plays.

    Execution? Yeah, I am in favor of it.
    But it was painstakingly obvious from the first play, that the team was not prepared to play that game.

  17. theplanisworking says:

    Other random thought from yesterday…………..

    ** When are the receivers going to be held accountable for the multiple dropped passes?
    ** When is the OC going to stop the screens…… when you have smurf receivers doing the blocking?
    ** When is the secondary going to stop allowing 20-yard gains on 3rd down for first downs?
    ** When is someone going to explain all the injuries to the Steelers O-Line? they cant all be freak injuries….
    ** When are quick slants going to be used to stop the killing of Ben?
    ** When are the goofy personnel decisions going to stop? How’s Mesko working out for ya? Coach cliche labeled him “junior varsity” LAST week. Why werent tryouts held for a better replacement? Is this another week of “cut another RB”??

    But here is the kicker………….. DK said that Suisham was alone in his despair in the locker room. That sums this team up………. lazy, arrogant, complacent…….. and it comes from the top down. Not using available metrics, poor scouting, poor coaching, poor personnel decisions, cap problems every year……. the list goes on.

    Dont look for solutions anytime soon. Tomlin isnt going anywhere…… that would make the organization look bad because of the Rooney Rule. Colbert isnt going anywhere, because on his watch, the Steelers made it to 3 SB’s in 6 years. And of course Artie isnt going anywhere. So how will this team improve?

    I see 2 more possible wins on the Steeler schedule this year, Buffalo, and one Cleveland game. Thats it. Good Lord, what will happen to this team next week in NE? Best thing to do it rest Miller (or he might get another serious injury), and get as high a draft pick as possible. At the beginning of the year, I predicted 6 wins. I honestly cant see that now, unless they turn it around 180 degrees.

    And long-overdue personnel decisions are needed in the offseason………. Troy, Clark, O-Line. This isnt pretty.

  18. theplanisworking says:

    And, on top of the Steeler devacle yesterday, it was a horrid weekend for all Pittsburgh sports.

    Pens gagged up the Friday game to the Islanders. and took a vacation during periods 2 and 3 against Toronto. Yeesh.

    Pitt got beat by a bad Navy team. Gave up 10 points in the final 3:45. Yeesh.

    Penn State got hammered by THE Ohoho State Brutuses.

    I cant even drown my sorrows in booze……… I dont drink,
    If I ate away the weekends sorrows, I would weigh 800 pounds.

    Here is hoping that all the area sports teams get back on track, starting tonight in Carolina. Sports are one outlet to provide a distraction from real-life stuff. Now I see why people from Cleveland are always on ledge-watch. I may have to take up shuffleboard and bocce. ;)

  19. theplanisworking says:

    I need you to be a little more open about how you really feel! ;)

  20. KenKopp says:

    How many days until spring training? Football ain’t doing it for me this year. I don’t know why. Maybe because we can’t even beat the Raiders for gosh sakes.

  21. theplanisworking says:

    Daq,
    are you suggesting the Steelers do a Cleveland, and trade players for draft returns, like the Browns did Richardson? If so, who? Would there be any sacred cows?

  22. Brandie says:

    Does Santa Claus live in Ohoho?

  23. theplanisworking says:

    :D

    Maybe Bad Santa?? ;)

  24. JAL says:

    Song Sunflower by Low, indie group from Minnesota.

    JAL’s Sunflower Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7Qd0mbji0U

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 MLB Important Dates

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/schedule/important_dates.jsp

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Winter Leagues: More Pirates Players Confirmed For Winter Ball

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/10/winter-leagues-more-pirates-players-confirmed-for-winter-ball.html

    5 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Top First Base Target Should Be James Loney

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/10/27/pittsburgh-pirates-top-first-base-target-should-be-james-loney/

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates Desperately Need Changes in 2014

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/10/28/pirates-desperately-need-changes-2014/

    7 Climbing Tal’s Hill

    What about Wandy Rodriguez?

    http://climbingtalshill.com/2013/10/27/wandy-rodriguez/

    8 The Green Weenie

    Brandon Cumpton

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/10/brandon-cumpton.html

    9 News and Observer

    Saunders: Start the World Series games earlier!

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/10/28/3318766/saunders-start-series-earlier.html

    10 Amazin Avenue

    2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: Paul Maholm

    http://www.amazinavenue.com/2013/10/27/5028336/2014-mlb-free-agency-paul-maholm

  25. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Boston Globe

    Red Sox win Game 4, even World Series

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/10/27/jonny-gomes-blast-propels-red-sox-over-cardinals/Yr8rxHm83zvF3jB9Zz5E5O/story.html

    12 NBC News

    The obstruction play provides a glimpse of the essence of baseball

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/27/the-obstruction-play-provides-a-glimpse-at-the-essence-of-baseball/

    13 Tucson Sentinel

    Fall League: No economic home run for Valley, but still a baseball bonus

    http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/sports/report/102713_az_fall_league/fall-league-no-economic-home-run-valley-but-still-baseball-bonus/

    14 Baseball Nation

    World Series Game 4: Mike Matheny’s short memory

    http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/10/27/5036830/world-series-game4-jonny-gomes-homerun-cardinals-mike-matheny-manager

    15 Boston Herald

    Knot to be denied: Gomes, Buchholz help Red Sox tie series

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/boston_red_sox/2013/10/knot_to_be_denied_gomes_buchholz_help_red_sox_tie_series

    16 Yahoo Sports

    Baseball – Rookie mistake haunts Wong, Cardinals look to Monday

    http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/baseball-rookie-mistake-haunts-wong-cardinals-look-monday-064245261–mlb.html

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    It’s the Cardinals’ turn to cry

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/it-s-the-cardinals-turn-to-cry/article_b0af17d5-d779-5c5b-88c7-629a9677fb44.html

    Bernie: A deserving defeat for Cardinals

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-a-deserving-defeat-for-cardinals/article_e4317ccd-9f68-5133-af9c-49372aa55b9c.html

    18 Newser

    In baseball-mad St. Louis where Cards cast a long shadow, pro football finds fragile foothold

    http://www.newser.com/article/da9mif4g0/in-baseball-mad-st-louis-where-cards-cast-a-long-shadow-pro-football-finds-fragile-foothold.html

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week in Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22119

    20 Fangraphs

    Cards Skip a Chance to Turn a Superstar Human

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/cards-skip-a-chance-to-turn-a-superstar-human/

  26. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs. Raiders final score: Pittsburgh dominated in three phases by Oakland in 21-18 loss

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/10/27/5035976/steelers-raiders-nfl-week-8-final-score-highlights-recap

    Winners and Losers in Steelers Week 8 loss to Raiders

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/10/27/5036182/winners-and-losers-in-steelers-week-8-loss-to-raiders

    22 Steelers Gab

    Mesko’s Mistakes Enough To Force A Move To Be Made

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/10/28/meskos-mistakes-enough-to-force-a-move-to-be-made/

    Soccer(football)

    23 NBC Sports

    Drawing parallels between English national team ‘problems,’ U.S. soccer

    http://prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com/2013/10/24/drawing-parallels-between-english-national-team-problems-u-s-soccer/

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: the stories you need to read – October 25, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-the-stories-you-need-to-read-october-25-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Monday: Vanek Traded to Islanders for Moulson

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/10/28/5037078/pens-points-monday-vanek-traded-to-islanders-for-moulson-picks

  27. Brandie says:

    Leaving you all with this thought…

    Coach Tomlin, Coach Tomlin!

    I love ya, Coach Tomlin!

    You’re always a Cliche away!

    Channeling My Inner Annie!

    Merry Playoffs!

    Ohoho!

  28. Jandy says:

    Coal for everyone!

  29. Jandy says:

    Hope you have a great Monday, Sister :)

  30. Brandie says:

    Bonus…

    Annie…With Troy Polamalu as Annie.

    And DK as Daddy Starbucks!

  31. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I’d suggest alot of things but you and I know they are going to hold the status quo.
    It’s worked for them in the past….I don’t think it will work this time.

  32. theplanisworking says:

    The parallels to 2003 are obvious, huh?

  33. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    That’s some amazing input on your part.
    Just looked it up and you are right!
    I think I’ll have trouble going back to sleep on that fact…..
    That’s crazy!

  34. theplanisworking says:

    How about 9 wides for everyone?

  35. Jandy says:

    I don’t think even the 9 wides will help at this poing
    :sigh:

  36. Jandy says:

    that would be point.
    my fingers are cold..sorry :/

  37. Drew71 says:

    Nice going, Dejan.

    Last week’s MVP pick? You jinxed the kicker.

  38. Jandy says:

    Poor Suisham…

  39. theplanisworking says:

    Poor Dejan………. ;)

  40. Drew71 says:

    And he STILL may be the best player on THIS team.

  41. Shame on you for that irreverance.

  42. Now Predictacevic called the zero sacks and wrote a column on it.

    Oh wait, they had 2 and the Raiders only had 5. And the Steelers also had a fumble recovery and 2 picks.

    There are some bright spots.

    (Sarcasm alert)

  43. Michael Davis says:

    Man that was painful. I can’t believe we’re sitting at 2-5 nearing the half way point. Up until this week I actually had myself believing that competing in the division was possible. Now I’ve come to the unfortunate realization that we’re officially practicing for the coming seasons. Thank goodness for the Penguins. At least they’ll keep us occupied until spring training starts. Go Pens!

  44. gregenstein says:

    I would rather the Pirates brought back Jones, brought back Morneau, or gave a the job to Lambo than bring in James Loney to play 1st base.

  45. Jandy says:

    that’s the saddest thing about this entire mess…

  46. Jandy says:

    ZING!

  47. Jandy says:

    You HOPE the Pens keep us busy…after the last 3 games, I’m rather disgusted lol.
    I know all teams go thru these stretches, but man, the last two losses were brutal.

  48. And Jandy as Miss Hannigan.

  49. Or Plan as Mr. Plannigan.

  50. Lee says:

    Regarding bad Steelers personnel decisions, it still pains me every time I see Sean Lee do something for the Dallas Cowboys, remembering that Tomlin wanted Jason Worlids instead. Sean Lee has 11 INTs over the past 3 years, does the entire Steeler D have that many? SMH…

  51. Is this the once-banned Lee Foo, formerly of Midland, PA or another Lee?

  52. Jim S. says:

    I said trade Ben for whatever they could get last off-season, because there was no way they could win with this talent and he was worth a lot.

  53. Dom says:

    I’m thinking that Heath might be done at the end of the season.

    He’s up there in age, dealing with injuries all year, and is set to have a nearly $8 million charge atainst the cap next year. We’re already pressed up against the cap and parting with Heath would go long way in terms of breathing room.

    I’m not saying I’m in favor of this but I believe it is a decent possibility.

  54. Dom says:

    Yeah but Jason Worilds had one tackle yesterday.

  55. Jandy says:

    I’m sure it’s another Lee…

  56. Jandy says:

    had a tackle yesterday too, Dom,l I tackled my pitt pull when she got a bit too frisky to suit me! lol

  57. Jandy says:

    Revvie is on a roll! :D

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    “Any questions about LeVeon Bell ?”

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    Guess there’s no chance Mike Tomlin will ever be accused of bullying. Just looking for the positives folks.

  60. Jim S. says:

    Not prepared is an understatement. But, that’s only part of the problem. This team has very few players even close to impact level. And some of the decisions during the game … oh my.

    Random thoughts:

    * 1st and 10 at the 15, down 21-3. We ran a draw to lose 5 yards on first down. Ok, now it’s 2nd and 15. NO team runs the ball there. We run the ball here. That set up 3rd and 9. In a critical, must have 7 situation, we reduced 1st down at the 15 to one 3rd and long pass play. Predictably, the pressure from the opposing team was enormous, and our QB threw it out of the endzone.

    * Our coach says our punter had several “JV punts” last week. But, he’s still our punter. He was not good again yesterday, except for the lucky bounce at the goal line.

    * Our receivers miss a lot of easy receptions.

    * Our passing game can’t really run conventional patterns in predictable passing situations because the OLine can’t keep the pressure off the QB long enough.

    * Our QB burns timeouts late in the game, down 2 scores when our only chance to win is to save all 3 timeouts.

    * We cut a certain RB a few weeks ago, then brought him back. Now, apparently he is our best option to return kickoffs. That’s right, the supposed overweight, lazy, unmotivated 250 lb. RB now returns kickoffs. Usually teams try to put fast, agile guys back there. Process that one for a moment.

    * We lost 3 more OLinemen from a group that isn’t very good when they are all healthy. Fortunately, the promising one of the 3 may not be injured too badly. Somewhere in the US today there is a guy sitting on his couch eating fast food who might be starting on the Steelers’ OLine within the next month.

    * Our defense is so immobile that Prior and McFadden often ran in circles without fear of being caught until they could find an opening.

    * We generate no pressure on the opposing QB, ever.

    Other than these few things, I think we are in great shape.

    Oakland was begging us to put them out of their misery. Their QB is so bad as a passer that they gladly ran the ball directly into our line 2x on nearly every 2nd half possession, then had the QB throw a safe, sideline pass before punting the ball back to us. We still managed to not put enough points on the board to come back and win.

    Some of us saw this coming last season. Sadly, the Steelers’ organizatiional arrogance still won’t allow them to see it. Sometimes you just have to break it all down, throw everything away and start over fresh.

  61. pattonbb says:

    The Steelers are a bad team. When bad teams are coached by bad coaches, you get what we saw yesterday. There are only two ways this thing plays out; the roster gets a complete makeover or the coaching staff gets a complete makeover.

    If I had a vote, it would be adios Mike Tomlin. I think this team has continued to regress every year under his leadership. He has proved time and time again that he is terrible at managing the game, terrible at evaluating talent, and until yesterday’s “proof is in the pudding” quote, he refused to take any blame for this fiasco.

  62. kr70 says:

    Starky’s article still up there, a very good read….take your mind off the Steelers

  63. Dom says:

    I agree about the punter situation. Daniel Sepulveda is available via free agency. Why don’t we pick him up?

  64. Jim S. says:

    I think he’s scheduled for knee surgery later this week. :-)

    Seriously, though, is Butler still available? Surely there is someone halfway competent. Last week, though, Coach Soundbyte blamed the punter for stinking. Who do you blame this week if that same punter still stinks and you sent him back out there?

    Fool me once ….

  65. Jason81 says:

    He’d probably blow out his ACL signing his contract.

  66. Jim S. says:

    BTW, Milo, your line yesterday about Pouncey thinking long and hard about going to New England next week … priceless!

  67. Steve says:

    A bad performance all around. Hard to know where to begin with the finger pointing. I will say that Haley’s offense is maddening to watch. On the rare occasions they approach the end zone there seems to be no creativity or real effort to score a TD. A lot of passes where the receiver is expected to run 5 – 10 yards after the catch to score. Will Derek Moye ever get another chance? At least they threw the slant to Heath but he couldn’t hang on.

    That bad Navy team also beat Indiana who had no trouble with Penn State. Just sayin’

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    I wasn’t even kidding. :)

  69. Jim S. says:

    Well said.

  70. Damon says:

    Too aggravated to comment on the Steelers, so….thoughts on the Pens:
    1. Malkin seems to be frustrated and trying too hard to be spectacular. I think he is feeling the pressure to be great rather than letting greatness happen. He shouldn’t need Neal to function properly (elite level), but then again Kobasew wasn’t helping much (D’Agostini looked pretty good in his debut).
    2. Zatkoff made a couple nice saves, but it seems when he goes down to the ice to make a save, he struggles to get back up. A couple of those goals he gave up he seemed to be flopping around leaving the net wide open. Still not sold on him as the back up.
    3. Kunitz is starting to finally look a little like he did last year. He’s handing and carrying the puck much better in the last two games.
    4. Dupuis still needs to come around and start looking like the player he was the last two years – a sniper.
    5. Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik’s play has been sub-par recently. Niskanen and Maata have come back to Earth a little too. Really hope Scuderi is OK.
    6. Why does it seem to be so easy to work a PP for other teams, but watching the Pens is so frustrating? Other teams have players constantly moving (and not just around the perimeter), in and out of the low and high slot, players cutting toward the net, players actually hitting the net with shots…..
    7. I know this is because of injuries, but the Pens look like a team with one #1 line, a #3 line and two #4 lines right now.

    I’m taking all this with a grain of salt because it is way too early in the season, but then again they have had a pretty easy schedule this month which means harder times are coming. They need to end this losing streak tonight….

  71. Jim S. says:

    I know.

  72. Damon says:

    I think the arrogance is getting the better of him. Early success and having people tell him how great of a coach he is has gone to his head. He keeps taking blame for this and that, but nothing seems to change. The whole travel issue thing is just an example of him not letting anyone tell him what to do….

  73. Jim S. says:

    Ledge watch. Hehe!

  74. Jim S. says:

    I don’t really want to compare the Pirates to the Steelers from an organizational standpoint. I mean, the Steelers have been the gold standard for over 40 years, and the Pirates have been bumbling and stumbling for the last 20.

    But, honestly, right now, which organization do you have more faith in for the next, say, 5 years? I mean that as a serious question.

    The Pirates just have the one winning season, and maybe the hope for a few more. They operate on a shoestring budget, and let’s face it, they still have some demons to exercise. But, don’t they seem to at least embrace new ways of thinking? Aren’t they on the cutting edge in some ways?

    I find it so sad what is quickly happening with the Steelers. I hope they somehow come to their senses and get back on track. They’ve been so smart and so good for so long.

  75. pattonbb says:

    Good point about the arrogance, Damon. Absolutely agree. I think this is exactly what got him in trouble with the OL. He acted like they could just plug anyone into the line and everything would be fine because, you know, we are the Steelers. We can coach them up to “maximize their contribution”, or some such nonsense.

  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    In a World Series where I wondered if there was a way for both teams to lose, it’s poetic justice that these have been four of the worst played baseball games I’ve ever seen.

  77. JoeyBats says:

    Pssst…DK.
    .
    No More Talk ….About “Who is the Steelers MVP?”
    .
    .
    WE AIN’T GOT ANY ;-)

  78. Probably a better tackle than Worilds had.

  79. I remember him talking about being at the “top of his profession” when he won the SB. And he was looking at it as an example to aspiring young, black men.

    I agreed with him at the time, because it was true. Now, it does seem to have gone to his head. Imagined power has that affect. I’ve seen it many times over the years in many professions.

    I still believe him to be a good person, but many flaws are being highly exposed these last 3 seasons, in his coaching ability and bedside manner.

  80. Arriba Wilver says:

    Looks like I picked a bad weekend to bet all Pittsburgh teams.

  81. Joni says:

    Remarkably odd thought: Is it possible (even though magnificently improbable) to give coaches (Bylsma) a healthy scratch? Think about it, Ray Shero. Everyone deserves a break sometimes…

  82. theplanisworking says:

    I see you posted many things I posted above.
    Nice to see I am not the only one witnessing this destruction of the Steelers.

  83. theplanisworking says:

    Are they even playing baseball?
    I havent watched an inning, but I heard Jim Joyce had another doozy call.

    Carry On.

  84. Drew71 says:

    How did the Pirates do?

  85. Arriba Wilver says:

    Only ones who didn’t lose.

  86. You haven’t missed anything. Whenever I tune in, which hasn’t been much, it’s how wonderful every player and pitcher is, no matter how bad they look.

    Kelly and Lynn. We lit them up several times. Sox made them look like Cy Young and his younger son.

  87. theplanisworking says:

    Hey, look at the bright side.
    I read on here that Leyland was God……. even Dejan had one of the game threads as Cardinals-Tigers. There may be a preacher position in Leyland’s church for you.

    ;)

  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    Younger Young ?

  89. Dom says:

    Sure we do. What about Fernando Velasco?

  90. :D

    Now they get Wainwright and Wacha again.

    Should be interesting.

  91. JohninOshkosh says:

    Great tweet Saturday Night by TSN and NHL Network hockey commentator, Bob McKenzie:

    Bob McKenzie ‏@TSNBobMcKenzie 26 Oct

    That’s why I don’t watch baseball. Too much obstruction.

    And just for a fun, a clip from The Great White North comparing Canadian and American beer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04u58ifxmRA twist offs

  92. Dom says:

    I am going to stand by my prediction of Cards in six.

  93. CWalton_67 says:

    Good to see Tomlin finally getting some heat for being a bad coach, but he’s not solely responsible. Art Rooney and Kevin Colbert are failures as well.

    Is anyone getting fired? Doubtful.

    Interesting that no one even seems to care about Pitt football any more. Mediocrity or worse is simply accepted. Steve Pederson has destroyed the football program. Wonder how the distinguished alumni feel about it?

  94. Jim S. says:

    Definitely, plan, and I posted a lot of similar things yesterday after the game. It’s an ugly situation.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah coach. Does 13 go into 24 evenly ?

  96. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks for the “standard”, Jim. ;)

  97. Jim S. says:

    Last night’s finish was amazing. What is Boston doing holding a runner whose run is absolutely meaningless, exposing the hole between 2b and 1b with a lethal LH hitter at the plate? Oh, I figured out why they did that? They knew Colton Wong was dumb enough to get a lead as if he were going to steal 2b, and they knew the 1b coach would not instruct him to get back close to the base.

    In one of my son’s games (11U) this year, we had a runner thrown out on the bases to end the game when we were down 3 runs. One of the coaches said to that kid, “Son, what exactly was it about my telling you that YOUR RUN MEANS NOTHING that you didn’t understand?”

    I would blame this on Wong’s minor league instruction, but as we know, the Cardinals do everything right.

  98. Jim S. says:

    So true, Lucky. Joe Buck and McCarver are so annoying. Buck continuously tells us about the uber-young, uber-talented Cardinals pitching staff. They put graphics on the screen listing their age, and how hard they throw. Joe Buck announces the MPH of every Cardinals fastball, to every batter, in every inning, every game. Last night, the graphic showed that Lance Lynn averaged 96 MPH in the first inning while Bucholz only averaged 89.

    He only takes time out from telling us how great the Cardinals young pitching staff is to praise Yadi Molina endlessly. I swear, Buck, who is generally a very competent announcer, has totally forgotten that he is speaking to a national audience.

  99. Jim S. says:

    Polanco raked.

  100. tdb1977 says:

    154 days until opening day!

  101. Jandy says:

    For sure! Poor dog had the living bejesus scared out of her lol

  102. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds like you didnt read the Pitt thread, Saturday, CW?

  103. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think they got lucky everybody else sucked, too. But people care.

  104. Jandy says:

    ha! Good one, Joni ;)

  105. Jandy says:

    Last time you ventured there, Jim, you got a >b> BOLD REAMING

  106. Jandy says:

    Darn! BOLD REAMING

  107. theplanisworking says:

    Nice goof.

    There isnt much action here today, think I will head out.
    See ya in the hockey thread, unless some great thought hits me (which will be the first).

  108. Jandy says:

    Priceless, Osh Kosh! lol

  109. Jandy says:

    LOL Hipposter. I’m trying to hurry at work..and end up spending more time fixing my goof.
    Enjoy the day :)

  110. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    As we’ve seen in recent years, teams can be fixed very quickly in the NFL.
    This one won’t be easy.

    Offense –

    *The OL remains in a injury prone shambles after two #1′s and two #2 picks in recent years.
    Count on nothing from Maurkice Pouncey now that his twin brother has been served a subpoena related to the Aaron Hernandez case. As of yesterday, the Steelers were denying the same for Maurkice….So far.

    *WR is one of the weakest positions on the team. No size, strength, nor a vast amount of speed. 3rd round pick Marcus Wheaton has done nothing but sit on a broken pinky for 3 weeks now.

    *Heath Miller should NOT be on the field. It’s not his fault….He is clearly still in the middle stages of recovering from a major knee injury. I would get him out NOW.

    *I do believe that Ben Roethlisberger still has it at QB IF he has the supporting cast.
    As to when that will happen, I don’t know. This will be a major decision in deciding if things can be turned around in Ben’s window of remaining talent.

    *No one has proven anything at RB. LeVeon Bell has the most potential, but I’m not so sure about the speed/quickness factor.

    Defense –

    *This is a defense that has no single player that puts the fear of God into other teams. The DL is average at best….To the point where a mid-30′s Brett Keisel is their best player. Heyward has improved, but he sure doesn’t look like a #1 pick three years ago.

    *Vince Williams is no starting inside LB in the NFL. He’s all over the place and can’t keep up. He’s a backup…Plain and simple. Jarvis Jones has been a disappointment (granted he’s a rookie). Woodley is a guy that lost it all when he loaded up on his bank account. The sooner they can spring him….The better.

    *CB is now officially a mess. They “should have” resigned Keenan Lewis and let Ike go.

    *I believe Polamalu still has some football left in him, and I believe he is one of the few that still puts out max effort. Ryan Clark is a joke, and should’ve been cut and sent to ESPN last January. Shemarko Thomas shows flashes.

    Overall….This will be a massive project to take on.
    I’m sure Tomlin and Colbert will be back next year, but I’m not sure they can handle this.
    Just a hunch….But I don’t think that Tomlin will have the long leash that Bill Cowher had in his tenure.

  111. Jim S. says:

    True, Jandy. So be it. I think it is obvious at this point.

    But, I don’t separate Pirates fans from Steelers fans. In fact, I don’t know of many native Pittsburghers who are Pirates fans but not Steelers fans. They exist, I’m sure. But, I think they are few and far between. My point is 90% of us probably care deeply about all 3 teams. It pains me to see the Pirates and Steelers change positions. I’d much rather it if the Pirates had just joined the Steelers and Penguins as first class, well run franchises.

  112. Jandy says:

    I just got the courage to read the Monday column. It’s very direct, and very factual. Bet Tomlin never answers a question of Dejan’s again.

  113. Dom says:

    Why do you feel CB is a mess?

    Ike didn’t have his best game yesterday but did play fairly well for the entire season. Gay developed into a good #2.

  114. Jim S. says:

    A little over 1.8 per tote, by my ciphering.

  115. CWalton_67 says:

    AW– I didn’t see it. Will go back and take a look. Good to know that people care, but does Nordenberg?

  116. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I guess in the scheme of things it’s not as bad as most positions.
    However….We’re seeing Taylor, Gay, etc. giving 8 plus yard cushions on fairly mediocre WR’s. I think the answer as to why is pretty clear.

  117. He will. In coach speak. They’re worse than politicians. Never a straight answer. Just a bunch of words.

  118. CWalton_67 says:

    I think Tomlin is a bad football coach, but a good man. Guessing he takes the heat like a pro.

  119. pattonbb says:

    We’ll know more about the CB position by this time next week.

  120. pattonbb says:

    Good stuff Daq, but I disagree with you about Vince Williams. Yea, he’s no Luke Kuechly or Patrick Willis, but he is a 6th round drafted rookie playing LB in one of the most complicated defensive schemes in the NFL. Is it his fault this he’s the best option at the position?

    I’d say he might be the most productive member of last year’s draft class. Of course, that’s not saying much right now.

  121. Dom says:

    What do you meany by that?

  122. Dom says:

    Oh, I’m sorry I misread what you said. I got ya.

  123. cmat0829 says:

    Don’t usually weigh in on the Steelers, but the real issue i think is this organization hasn’t realized the league has changed and bears little resemblance to the mid ’00s much less the 80s and 90s.

    Not really sure what I think of Tomlin as a head coach….. seems to me his main responsibilities (if he is going to turn execution over the coordinators) is preparation and game management… and those have been terrible this year.

    I think at minimum the team needs to cut Haley loose and jettison a slew of players in the offseason… I think Tomlin can stay but ownership and management needs to stop trying to play offense like it is 1986 and hire an OC that can develop a pass-dominant but solid running game offense which is the norm in the NFL nowadays.

    Watching the game yesterday reminded me of 1986 – 1989 Chuck Noll offense… repeated conservative runs and passes with zero imagination. Mind numbing, really.

    Ben is an amazing talent and they have just wasted him with this offense. Now, the LINE is pathetic and it is doubtful they can execute much more than bubble screens at this point but I’d like to see a few downfield passes called.

  124. cmat0829 says:

    Oh, one other thing… I live in Phoenix and Haley was the OC for the Cards during the Warner era… his offense was wide open, lots of passing, precision routes, timing routes, etc. He wasn’t ‘run first, conservative’ when in AZ. So is Haley the sole problem or has ownership dictated the offense he is supposed to run?

  125. cmat0829 says:

    Pretty simple what the coach should have said. something to the effect of “It is very obvious to me that the more talented team did not WIN the football game today. No offense to the Raiders talent, but hats off to how that team was prepared and how hard they played. Our team was not prepared to play and they did not play with urgency, with energy, with passion. And that job is the #1 priority of the head coach…to prepare our team to play our best and to ensure our team leaves it all out there on the field. Check the fuel tanks of many of our players, there is still a lot left in the tank. And that’s a frigging crime. If that happens even once the rest of this season, then it’s time to fire the head coach”.

  126. hockeymonster says:

    How bout starting with division of duty?!?! Colbert picks tomlin coaches. Don’t know this for a fact but seems like tomlins input on draft hasn’t worked out.

  127. Mario L says:

    You really feel OK with Tomlin & Colbert & same scouts making A very important decision come April when Steelers have top 5 draft pick. Colbert doesn’t deserve chance to fix the mess he’s created with this roster! From the horrendous drafts to overpaying said Draft Busts & continually having to restructure those bad contracts & pushing more $ down the road & being @ or above the Cap. Timmons & Woodley get by’s cause they are Tomlin’s 1st 2 draft picks What have they done sense getting PAID NOTHING, nada, zilch… after last season Colbert talked of letting players go i.e. Harrison, Wallace, Lewis cause they were apart of a 8-8 team What will his excuse be this year after 5-11 team.?

  128. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the update, Damon, appreciated!

  129. Milo Hamilton says:

    The three Florida based NFL teams have lost a combined 19 in a row.

  130. Dom says:

    But that’s Mike Pouncey.

  131. Dom says:

    Yeah, even the Jags would make the Steelers look good.

  132. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes Dom, I’m aware there are two of them.

  133. Dom says:

    We should get him under contract regardless and move Pouncey to guard and Foster to the bench.

  134. tpbco says:

    Well…I think we should regardless.

    But unless it’s a Fed Grand Jury or Pouncey (Maurkice) decides to go to Mass. He wouldn’t be subject to a State Subpoena.

  135. tpbco says:

    I would really like to know, not that I would necessarily expect a straight answer…WHOSE idea is it really to make these trips so late in the week?

    Is it Tomlin’s…or is it really Rooney’s and MT is playing loyal soldier? ($$$)

    No question in my mind they were sluggish yesterday (as a team) as they were in London and as they have been AT LEAST the last few times to the Left Coast.

    I travel enough to know the impact of changing time zones…I don’t function that well (relatively speaking) the next day, but generally do the day after.

    This team is struggling enough w/o this too.

  136. tpbco says:

    Well, FWIW, when Haley went to KC, they had one of the best run games with Jammal Charles, and that was the selling point to the Rooney’s that – he was competent in both….

    Hasn’t quite worked that way…but he has a lot of company in the blame department.

  137. Jandy says:

    agreed. Nothing like shooting yourself in the foot so to speak.

  138. pattonbb says:

    Both Pounceys lived with Hernandez at UF. They were all best buddies. Lots of folks in Gainesville claim the Pounceys were the only positive influence Hernandez had and that they kept him out of a lot of trouble.

    Now there’s rumors (coming from Gainesville, by the way) that they were all involved in some illegal gun buying/running operation.

  139. JohnS says:

    As bad and unispired as the defense they did only give up less than 90 yards passing and under 200 rushing including a 93 yard run.

    You have to score TD’s when in the red zone. The offense has to carry the burden on this one.

    At least this loss wasn’t as bad as the 2006 loss to the Raiders.

  140. SeanAY says:

    Wait…so is the ($$$) supposed to imply that the Steelers are flying so late in the week because they’re cheap?

    Because, I mean, saying that they’re doing it because they don’t want to pay for hotel rooms is kind of a leap.

  141. Steve says:

    The paltry offensive numbers Oakland put up make this loss all the more embarassing. Take away Pryor’s 93 yard run and he did nothing. I don’t recall the specifics of 2006.

    Was Mesko allowed on the team plane after the game?

  142. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hey Sean:

    I noticed Western Michigan is playing in the Rainbow Classic. Do you get to go?

    My cousin is an assistant at a big school and does a lot of the recruiting. He told me one of the first questions he usually gets is where does the team get to go?

    Good recruiting carrot for the Broncos.

  143. theplanisworking says:

    He means Brady will have a field day.

  144. Mike Kim says:

    I am writing this comment (first time ever leaving a comment on a blog post of any kind for any reason), in hopes that Dejan sees it. Simply put, you are a genuine hero, Mr. Kovacevic. In today’s sports world, getting a true – heartfelt post or pre-game comment from a player is about as rare as getting a true – honest opinion from a local sportswriter about the hometown team – when that opinion is critical of the team.

    I am so disheartened by the current state of my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, (how beloved? i know my grandma is smiling in heaven when they win), that I can hardly bear to watch this current group of players and coaches put major dents in the armor of what used to be the strongest reputation of quality and pride in all of professional sports. I am in complete agreement that it starts at the top, with mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert sharing the blame. Tomlin is so unequipped to handle the position, it shines through for all to see as he struggles with the simplest of all head coaching tasks, managing the clock. If he is incapable of this simple task, how can we expect him to successfully manage a team? My concern is, because of the steeler way, and the patience they employ with struggling head coaches in letting them work through a couple of bad seasons, the rooneys will stick with this coach for several more seasons and the damage he will do to the franchise will take a decade to undo.

    Your voice, dejan, may help to prevent that from happening and I pray that it does. That’s why you are my hero. I humbly request, sir, that you continue to sing your song of discontent and disgust as loud as you can, as often as you can – and sing for those of us without a voice in an attempt to bring on the change that is necessary for the preservation of what remains the greatest franchise in professional sports: before it no longer is.

    DK: Mike, I’m glad you posted on the blog, and I respect your views (except for the ones that make me only about a zillion times more than what I actually am).

    I don’t do crusades. I don’t do vendettas. I write what I see. That’s all. I don’t have a “song of discontent and disgust.” I’m covering a poorly prepared, poorly built football team, and I’m writing exactly that. If it were the other way, I’d write that, as well.

  145. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    How do they not see the read-option coming?

  146. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    This just in:

    The Steelers suck.

    DId they only have 3 plays going yesterday? Screens to WR/RB and a draw.

    How do you run a draw on back-to-back plays when the first one loses 5?

  147. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Or how about the fact that the Raiders pretty much took a knee in the 2nd half and the Steelers still had no fire?

    How about coming out of halftime with a flame under your butt and perhaps try a little hurry up? Just a thought, try to get a quick score and be back to a more managable game situation instead of burning up 8 minutes and get nothing out of it.

    Ah, game managment. Nevermind. Problem solved.

    Anyone else see the Broncos come back and think “how awesome would be to have that offense?”

  148. The Steelers gave up Terrelle Pryor’s monster run: the longest run by a quarterback in NFL history. And they had no effective means to overcome that and win that lousy game. How pathetic!

  149. The last thing the Steelers need at this time is an 18 game season, which would make things even worse.

  150. Jim S. says:

    I mentioned that earlier as well, Nor Cal. Down 21-3, but a promising drive going. 1st down at the Raider 15. Draw play loses 5 on 1st down. Not even teams that run the ball well – which we are not – run the ball on 2nd and 15 there. We ran the ball on 2nd and 15 there. That left us with 3rd and 9 – an obvious passing down. On obvious passing downs, we always get heavy pressure on our QB. This play was no different, as Ben got swallowed up and had to heave it out of the back of the endzone. So, we essentially took that promising drive and chopped it down to one pass play on 3rd and 9. Anatomy of a failed drive. We, of course, finished it by missing the chip shot FG. In a nutshell, that was our day yesterday.

  151. What happened yesterday shows how much the Steelers need to score touchdowns, which they haven’t been doing enough of lately.

  152. Jim S. says:

    That sounds extremely ominous – to say the least.

  153. The Steelers played well enough in the second half, but the only way to win is to play well in both halves.

  154. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    In 15 years, Bill Cowher had a total of 3 losing seasons and did it once, back to back.

    Now, in Mike Tomlin’s 7th season, following an 8-8 record, will be his first losing season as the head coach.

    Many have said that there has been a step decline in Tomlin’s team over the last 3 years. After the Bronco’s playoff game debacle in 2011, which the Steelers ended up the regular season at 12-4 and won the division.

    To me, this is a direct result of the scouting department and whoever chair’s that show. The Steelers have not been able to replicate the type of player required for their vaulted defense that Dick Lebeau draws up.

    Now, I personally don’t know Mike Tomlin and his acumen for the game, but, I think part of the problem could be the lack of knowledge he has/had with the 3-4 scheme. He was a Dungy, Tampa 2 type of defensive guy and that’s also what he ran in Minnesota.

    I don’t see the Steelers firing Mike Tomlin anytime soon. One of the above posters (I forget who know) acknowledged that that wouldn’t be the Steelers way. If they would’ve fired Cowher after his first 2 losing seasons, the Steelers probably wouldn’t have their latest 2 super bowls in 3 appearances.

    My suggestion, if they decide to retain Tomlin, is to let Lebeau go, whom I love and admire, and bring in a 4-3 guy. Start the transition during the offseason. Sign a guy like Hardy from Carolina or Johnson from Cinncy.

    I think they have the offensive weapons to do some serious damage, but I don’t think Todd Haley’s offense knows how to throw into the end zone. I like the WR’s, think Bell has a bright future, but the OL has to be addressed. No doubt about that. Get rid of Haley as well and see what else is there.

    Those are my thoughts, this season is a lost cause and I can’t wait until the draft this year……wait.

  155. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    sure was, sorry I missed your earlier post….I get on here too late at times and realize that I’m talking to posts that happen at 6 am.

  156. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    DK,

    “Did you ever knoooowwww that you’re my hhheeerroooooo”

    Ha ha…all in good fun.

    Maybe Tomlin will shake your hand and ask you how your day was at the next presser.

    DK: No, really, I’m trying to be respectful and, at the same time, accurate. It’s happened with all of the teams I cover that, when I write something that lines up with one particular set of crusaders, they think I’ve hopped aboard some bandwagon or whatever.

    This is especially true of Steelers and Penguins fans, who are INFINITELY more demanding of critical coverage of the teams they love. And it can really go too far.

  157. JohninOshkosh says:

    If they continue to do poorly, they may have a shot at Jake Matthews.

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    I read an article In Rolling Stone not too long ago about Hernandez, and it claimed Urban asked the Pouncies to hang around with him to be a good influence on him and keep him in line. Apparently everyone knew he was trouble.

  159. I take it the Pounceys are upstanding citizens?

    If they stay off Twitter.

  160. theplanisworking says:

    They say the NFL and its teams do thorough background checks on all these guys.
    Think they need to do a bit better job.

  161. Jim S. says:

    Ryan Clark won’t. Bet on that. Dejan did his job well with that article. He echoed many of the same thoughts people here have been saying, and he did it well.

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    Tomlin may be a bigger problem in the draft than on the field.

  163. Jim S. says:

    Not the Patriots. Just ask them. Caught them totally off-guard. More than happy to buy back all his jerseys. :-)

  164. Jim S. says:

    DK:

    I never doubt your integrity to the job. You are not there to be our crusader, as you put it. You are there to do exactly what you did, which was tell it like you see it. I applaud that article. Every word.

  165. Jim S. says:

    No worries. Just pointing out my agreemetn with you.

  166. Jim S. says:

    My take is that he was the perfect coach to slide in and continue to motivate the veterans. He had a great early ability to connect with them, and seemingly get the most out of a talent-laden, veteran, truly professional team – a team that needed the head coach to stay off their backs and just let them play football as they knew how. But, those guys are slowly going away, and I don’t think this coach knows how to build a team. We’ll see, though, going forward. He may indeed have a long leash to try and fix this mess.

  167. tpbco says:

    Just asking the question no one else addressed.

    Their itinerary made little sense, speaking from personal experience.

    How many have suggested in this thread that they were unmodivated?

    No bigger “leap” than any of the others.

  168. Eric Bowser says:

    Comment was more related to the fact, they couldn’t possibly screw up the clock management of the draft pick… nothing to do with the player selection, that, I have serious doubts.

  169. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Did I just get yelled at?

  170. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I’d say they’re on the verge, for sure. I’d still like to get a veteran FA to handle those duties as well.

  171. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    That’s what the “…wait” was for.

  172. tpbco says:

    I’ve posted this a few times.

    If someone can show me where exactly the drafts have been significantly different the last few years as the decade or more prior, I will agree that there is a Colbert/Tomlin element. For every “bust” someone wants to name, there is a least one from any prior year.

    The material issue is the lack of cap space – due to a closing window on a Super Bowl team – that could no longer cover up draft busts with the likes of James Farrior, Kevin Greene, Jeff Hartings, Tim Lester, Ray Seals , Ryan Clark etc., along with a $100 million dollar QB, who is not playing that way. How many passes did HE flat out miss in the 1st half yesterday, staring with the 1st play of the game (wide open AB). AND IT WAS A DEEP PASS.

    Green Bay is solid because, regardless of his COACH or surrounding teammates Aaron Rodgers is earning his check. See also Brady, Tom and Manning, Peyton. Eli…not so much and look at them.

    It’s REAL easy to say release this guy or that guy and when they DO…. there are those out there STILL PO’d over Hines Ward, Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton.

    Everybody wants them to retool, thinking there will be no down time associated with it, let alone risk. Look around the league. More teams are playing the 3-4, so its much tougher to find “steals”. Switching to a 4-3, means a complete make over. Could it work…sure KC pulled it of SO FAR, this season. Oakland hasn’t, the Vikes are a mess, Baltimore, not that long ago Tampa Bay and Jack were playoff teams.

    Be careful what you wish for…you might get it.

  173. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    By no means am I suggesting that switching from the 3-4 to the 4-3 would be an easy transition, but my thought was switching to the defense that Tomlin knows.

    The teams like Tampa, for which Tomlin learned that defense under, went in different directions after Monte Kiffin left town. They had no identity any longer and Morris was even less qualified to run a team than Tomlin.

    I personally prefer the 3-4 style of defense over the 4-3, depending on the makeup of your team, they need athletes at the LB position in order for that scheme to work effectively.

    I’m not ready to call Jarvis Jones a bust, way too early in his career for that, but the depth isn’t very good there either.

  174. tpbco says:

    It’s the $100 Million QBs, that cause teams to lose FA’s, not be able to sign any and kill any depth.

    The new Super Bowl “Window” is when you draft that guy and are able to put a good team around him, while he is still under his rookie contract. After that the window starts to close and the QB better earn that paycheck or the team is screwed.

    JMO

  175. tpbco says:

    Jones was lost yesterday. No outside contain and was only credited with one pressure. A bust?- way too early, but no guarantees either.

  176. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    can’t argue that. His paycheck takes up a huge chunk of the cap space.

  177. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Of course no guarantees. Troy was lost half the time in his rookie season as well, might be an unfair comparison though.

  178. Rick says:

    Agree that Tomlin will not be let go, but I would like to see Colbert replaced by Cowher as GM. Probably a pipe dream, but Cowher was a great eye for talent; something this team is in dire need of. Haley will most likely be held accountable after the season, his play calling on the 8 plus min drive to open the second half would be brillant if the the Steelers were up 21-3! This team is a bad train wreck that has been happening for 2 plus seasons, breaks my heart to even watch the games, even though I will continue… Almost like an addiction to watching bad B-movies every Sunday!

  179. pattonbb says:

    +2012

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think the change in the length of the rookie contracts from the last CBA may also be something they have not been able to adjust to. They used to be masters of playing the cap. Just a thought . . . (So many problems, hard to focus on just a couple, like they’re the “answer”).

  181. WVStarship says:

    I resent that reference to Mendoza. He doesn’t deserve the indignity of being lumped in with the Steelers.

  182. DJ says:

    He muffed the snap, of course, but then tried to overcompensate by altering his trajectory for length. I think he gets it away cleanly even with the muff if he doesn’t do that.

    DK: Also, he’s a bad punter.

  183. DJ says:

    No quarrel there at all and now he’s gone.

 
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