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Youth hasn’t been served


The question of age was again broached at Mike Tomlin’s weekly news conference.
“I don’t care how our performances are characterized or the reasons why,” the Steelers coach said. “This is a bottom-line business, and the bottom line is what we have on tape. That’s not good enough right now.”
If Tomlin is dismissive of questions about his aging defense, I am weary of them.
They may be legitimate, but to say the Steelers’ problems stem from their defense getting old is too simplistic.
It also gives a pass to younger players who are just as responsible for the Steelers underachieving through the first month of the season as the supposed graybeards. Take for instance:

— LaMarr Woodley: He was way out of position on Arian Foster’s 42-yard touchdown run last Sunday, and lax discipline has been symptomatic of what ails the Steelers’ run defense. Woodley, 26, hasn’t approached the level of play that made him an emerging star -– and compelled the Steelers to make him the highest-paid player in franchise history.

— Lawrence Timmons: As with Woodley, the Steelers need more return on their investment. The guy that James Farrior said could be the best defensive player in all of football has made a minimal impact.
Maybe a temporary move to right outside linebacker will get Timmons, 25, going.

— Ziggy Hood: Third-year defensive end is among those that haven’t helped the Steelers linebackers.
The light seemed to go on for Hood, 24, in the second half of last season. Or maybe Hood was simply healthy. Whatever the case, he hasn’t built on his solid play from 2010.
The Steelers desperately need him to step up.

— Rashard Mendenhall: Yeah, there hasn’t been much running room. But that hasn’t stopped Isaac Redman from averaging 4.9 yards on 22 carries.
Redman is simply running with more authority than the 24-year-old Mendenhall, who is on pace for 692 rushing yards this season.

— Maurkice Pouncey: Pouncey hasn’t dominated the way he did last season, when he became the Steelers’ first rookie offensive lineman to make the Pro Bowl since 1955.
Pouncey, 22, may be trying to compensate for some of his teammates. What can be said with certainty: the Steelers need him to become the leader of their offensive line.

— Scott Brown



  1. Dan says:

    Enough already. Isn’t it time to write off Timmons as an overrated draft pick?

  2. Dick says:

    I sure hope I’m wrong but, from here, it looks like the Steelers are headed ,for an 8 and 8 season. Some say not to fret, pointing fingers to the schedule with teams like the Titans, Bengals(2), and Browns(2), etc remaining. Are you kidding me? After watching the first four games there are no givens the rest of the way. Injuries are mounting up and the young guys now have a chance to show their stuff. Did the lockout really have this much of an impact? It has to be more than that. For one thing it seems the opposing defense seems to know what is coming. Lets get out of the rut and change things up including the snap count. It seems the Texans were anticipating it too easily. The coaches have their work cut out for them. It will be interesting to see how they handle it. Jobs are defnintely on the line.

  3. sjb says:

    Agreed. When’s the last time the Steelers took advantage of a soft schedule? The best I’ve seen this team play in recent years is when they have the hardest schedule. IMO, these next few weeks are exactly what the Steelers don’t need. The best that can come out of it is a few wins, a good record and a false sense of being a great team jsut in time for the real teams to show up. What they need right now is New England and the Ravens to motivate them. A couple wins against those kinda teams get’s the swagger back, a couple losses and at least it’s not being sugar coated anymore with excuses.

  4. Ironman says:

    This season eerily similar to the one where the B&G went 6-10. Although Ben’s not recovering from cycle injuries and appendicitis this time, he’s injured early in the year ( AGAIN ), and the sloppy play in general is frustrating for fans who remember how well this same group of players (essentially) played last year. I hate to beat a dead horse, but does anyone but me think that they could do a better job than Bruce Arians? I mean, really…the Steelers run the SAME PLAYS, the SAME WAY, in the SAME SITUATIONS, no matter who they play… It has only been through the individual efforts of Roethlisberger….extending play after play and making something out of nothing, again and again, that Arians game plans haven’t been exposed as the sham that they are…I used to like the way Cowher would throw in a wrinkle or two each game, to try to play on a particular teams tendencies…what happened to that?

    Sooner or later, Ben’s not going to be able to single-handedly save the season…he is on track to an early retirement and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease unless the Steelers mgmt team adresses to overall poor caliber of the O-line…. even Pouncey looks like he’s trying to compensate for the others and therefore not playing his man 100% like last year…. Why aren’t they picking up some of the veteran linemen being cut for salary cap reasons, like the Ravens just did..? I could go on and on, but wont.

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