Is a little Cowher-like wrath what the Steelers need to step it up?

Will the Real Pittsburgh Steelers Please Stand Up


Ok, so I realize that it’s only been 3 weeks, and we’re sitting at 2-1 right now. Not bad by any means. But, if you look at this thing with a microscope, you’ll find that the current situation is troubling at best, regardless of where our Pass Defense ranks at this particular moment. I could walk you through a list of the games, and specific moments in each that scare the crap out of me, but I think it’s simpler than that. I know you feel it. Deep down you’re thinking, “are we just a bad football team right now?” I know, because I’ve been thinking the same thing.

I was texting with my brother during the atrocity that was the Steelers performance vs the Colts last Sunday, and he said something that really got me thinking,

I think we’re in a lot of trouble, brother. No O line, our defense is getting blown off the ball, can’t stop the run…The Colts probably should have beat us. They really beat themselves. We were saved by dropped passes and a really inexperienced QB. Mathis made James and Woodley look like little kids in comparison. Looking at this upcoming week, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Texans run for 150 and pass for over 300.

My brother and I have always been connected, as most brothers are, but it’s like Jon was in my head when he wrote this slew of texts in a flurry just after the game. I can’t agree more with my little bro. The offensive line is obviously the hot button talk right now, and you know how I feel about that, but what really scares me is our sudden inability to defend against the run, and create splash plays (ie sacks, turnovers etc). We just paid big money to both Woodley and Timmons, and they’ve been way off the radar so far this season when it comes to big, game-changing plays.

I was the first to argue that the lockout as a lot to do with the sloppiness, but there are plenty of other teams that had the same lockout and are looking great (see the Patriots). So, which team is the real Steelers team? Is it the team that got absolutely owned by their bitter rivals, or the one that full out dominated the week after? Or maybe we’re just OK, and teams as weak as the Colts would beat us maybe 8 times out of 10.

My guess is that we are, at this moment in time, just OK. We’re not that same team that went to the ‘ship in 2011. Which is funny, because we actually pretty much are the same team apart from the missing O line people, namely Flozell. All of our key positions are the same, yet our play looks incredibly slow and out of sync. The only real encouraging thing I noticed was that Troy seems to be back to his old, stronger self, running all over the field and wreaking havoc everywhere. Also it would seem as though Big Ben and Mike Wallace are on the same page.

So where does the blame fall? Do we blame the coaches for being under-prepared? Do we blame the players for not executing the game plan, or for being out of shape once the season hit? I just don’t know, and frankly, I don’t really care. What needs to happen now is up to the Steelers. They could choose to have another long and painful season like 2009, or they could choose to learn from their mistakes and start to play at a higher level.

We’ve got good teams coming up in our schedule. Like, actually really good teams. If the Steelers play like they did against the Ravens or Colts, we’re going to be in some real trouble, and this is going to be a long season. The season ain’t over yet, and the sky isn’t quite falling, but those moments are drawing near. 2-1 might sound good on the surface but it scares the crap out of me. All I’m looking for is consistency. It’s something we’re missing on a lot of levels, and if we don’t regain it we’re going to continue seeing a different Steelers team week in and week out. SO…

Will the real Pittsburgh Steelers please stand up?

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  • mwelch62

    Come on. Get a grip. It’s 3 games. The key to the whole thing is being able to run the ball even a little bit. In that dome in Indy, the O-line has to use a silent count and they lose that small advantage over the defense in getting off the ball. And blocking in the run game is the thing that really suffered the most from the lockout. Pass pro is much easier in some ways to get ready to do, but it is also how an offensive lineman gets beat up. They would much rather fire off the ball and deliver a blow than just catch and punch, catch and punch. They’ll get there, and maybe this week.

  • mwelch62

    Come on. Get a grip. It’s 3 games. The key to the whole thing is being able to run the ball even a little bit. In that dome in Indy, the O-line has to use a silent count and they lose that small advantage over the defense in getting off the ball. And blocking in the run game is the thing that really suffered the most from the lockout. Pass pro is much easier in some ways to get ready to do, but it is also how an offensive lineman gets beat up. They would much rather fire off the ball and deliver a blow than just catch and punch, catch and punch. They’ll get there, and maybe this week.

  • craig.gottschalk

    @mwelch62 I would agree with you about the dome being part of the problem. But the Colts didn’t just have an edge. The beat the crap out of our O-line and made them look like chumps. Freeney lifted Scott OFF HIS FEET and planted him on the ground. That’s not a snap count edge. Please explain how the run game is what suffered during the lockout? Especially when it’s the same guys, same coaches and the same basic concepts?

  • craig.gottschalk

    @mwelch62 I would agree with you about the dome being part of the problem. But the Colts didn’t just have an edge. The beat the crap out of our O-line and made them look like chumps. Freeney lifted Scott OFF HIS FEET and planted him on the ground. That’s not a snap count edge. Please explain how the run game is what suffered during the lockout? Especially when it’s the same guys, same coaches and the same basic concepts?

  • mwelch62

    Well, it’s not exactly the same guys for one thing. Flozell is gone. Losing Willie was very big. And Kemo is not himself yet. Time does march on, and this is a sport where a team can get old very fast. Plus, everything anyone does is on tape, so the same things or concepts don’t work as well. But not being able to run is bigger than the pass pro thing, and that is where I think the biggest problems were. And that is what I think suffers from a lack of practice time on the OL. But, listen, I get you about the ugliness of the thing. I am just saying that it is the 3rd game in the loudest venue in the league maybe against a team that is absolutely desperate in prime time with the whole country watching. A win under those conditions is not something to sneeze at. I think this team and these linemen will get better, and this is the kind of game that could mark the beginning of that process. Or not. But it is just the third game. That’s my point.

  • mwelch62

    Well, it’s not exactly the same guys for one thing. Flozell is gone. Losing Willie was very big. And Kemo is not himself yet. Time does march on, and this is a sport where a team can get old very fast. Plus, everything anyone does is on tape, so the same things or concepts don’t work as well. But not being able to run is bigger than the pass pro thing, and that is where I think the biggest problems were. And that is what I think suffers from a lack of practice time on the OL. But, listen, I get you about the ugliness of the thing. I am just saying that it is the 3rd game in the loudest venue in the league maybe against a team that is absolutely desperate in prime time with the whole country watching. A win under those conditions is not something to sneeze at. I think this team and these linemen will get better, and this is the kind of game that could mark the beginning of that process. Or not. But it is just the third game. That’s my point.

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  • AdamMeckler

    @mwelch62 Well, I pointed out that it’s just the 3rd game of the season. I understand that it may be a little pre-mature, but I don’t think that what I’m saying here is that ridiculous. You think the Pats would have gone in there and won by the hair on their teeth? Absolutely not. I would say that the Ravens would have gone in there and won handily as well. That win was FUGLY and if we play like that against the Texans we will get killed. Come back next week and we’ll talk about it after the game. This week is the week that we find out which Steelers team we’re going to be this season, IMO.

  • AdamMeckler

    @mwelch62 Well, I pointed out that it’s just the 3rd game of the season. I understand that it may be a little pre-mature, but I don’t think that what I’m saying here is that ridiculous. You think the Pats would have gone in there and won by the hair on their teeth? Absolutely not. I would say that the Ravens would have gone in there and won handily as well. That win was FUGLY and if we play like that against the Texans we will get killed. Come back next week and we’ll talk about it after the game. This week is the week that we find out which Steelers team we’re going to be this season, IMO.

  • AdamMeckler

    @mwelch62 what you got to say now, after that atrocity of a loss? It’s not negativity, it’s realism. We’re just not a good football team. Period.

  • AdamMeckler

    @mwelch62 what you got to say now, after that atrocity of a loss? It’s not negativity, it’s realism. We’re just not a good football team. Period.

  • mwelch62

    @AdamMeckler Hey, when you’re right, you’re right. Still, 2-2, though. We’ll see where they are in 2 weeks.

  • mwelch62

    @AdamMeckler Hey, when you’re right, you’re right. Still, 2-2, though. We’ll see where they are in 2 weeks.